Cream and Navy Stripes + Brass bunny = “Franchon”

franchon1 franchon2 franchon3 franchon4

When one of my pickers brought this little piece to the shop to see if I was interested in purchasing her, I instantly fell in love with her size, shape and detail.

The character of Franchon is just so sweet and perfect. The round and soft curves, the little stacked feet, the drawer, the shelves, the side slots. Franchon packs quite a bit of storage and design in her small frame…..and I decided to celebrate that with four inch cream and navy stripes.

The brass bunny head knob has been calling my name for months now, and I knew that it would be the final detail needed to complete this design. Of course, the gorgeous flowers created by Julie Dodds of Willow Florals make this situation fresh and beautiful. When Julie walked in the door with this arangement, my stomach literally flip flopped…..and my soul groaned….literally…I am not just saying that. Fresh flowers….especially ones as diverse and colorful as this…..really make me joyful. You will be seeing lots more of Julie’s work, as she is the floral stylist for Knack book number two! Yay!

I hope all of you are well……and enjoying Spring break, or whatever it is that this week holds for you!

{p.s. Franchon is available for sale at the shop…..but if she doesn’t get snatched up this week….she will find a home with me. This one is tugging at my heart}

xo,

Barb

Spring colors and triangles for a coffee table named “Elusine”

FrogTapebeauty frogtapebeauty2

It is definitely Spring, and I cannot even tell you how her colors have inspired this piece of furniture. The blooming trees, the green green grass, and the many flowers opening their faces to the sun have me very inspired.

Remember when I lamented a bit about the Pantone color of the year being radiant orchid? I am not a huge fan of purple in any shade…but I was determined to find a way to use it my work…and at the same time stay true to the Knack aesthetic. In this coffee table design, I use radiant orchid not once…but TWICE! Once in its original state, and then I added a little somethin’ somethin’ {white paint} to create a little lighter shade. I absolutely love the color palette of pink, orange, lavender, gold, and orchid, and this palette was completely inspired by a bouquet of Ranunculus flowers I purchased a couple weeks back.

I think it is fun, yet again, to combine the hard edges and points of the geometric triangles with the feminine and curvy lines of this sweet table. The perfect pairing if you will.

I used FrogTape® to create the custom triangle designs on top of the table, and there is a full step by step “how to” up on the FrogTape blog here! If you decide that miss Elusine needs to come live with you, she IS available for purchase at Knack! {and if you freakin’ love the dish towel hanging on the wall, {me! me!} you can get that at Knack too!} We are all about some goodness for the home around here!

Hope you enjoy!

xo,

Barb

logosmallI received compensation to complete this project for using FrogTape® products. All opinions, projects and ideas are based on my own experience.

A fantastic desk named “Constantia”

driftwooddeskconstantia1 constantia2 constantia3 constantia4 constantia6This my friends….is the girl I have been telling you about. I knew she had it in her, but it took me a few tries to get her ……perfect.

After tearing through layers of warped veneer, {to reveal gorgeous planked wood}, two coats of primer, four coats of milk paint, three coats of poly, and two coats of Danish oil on the top…….she is ready to rock and roll!

I think back on the hours and hours that this piece took to complete…..and they seem to just fade away, as the lens tells a whole new story of transformation and redemption.

I love my job, and this truly brings me joy! Speaking of joy….Matt Ayers and Sam Windell of Traveling Storytellers shot a makers video on me last week. If you would like to check it out, click here! These guys creatively directed this film, and I love that they honed in on the important things: Family, passion, joy and hard work!

xo,

Barb

Sweet As Honey

49myEi3-PJZw2zMe0mF8_PqG43tJJtKkRzuzxr6lM-4When Bonnie Christine.. of the lovely blog Going Home to Roost … contacted me about participating in a blog tour promoting her new Sweet as Honey fabric line, I took one look at the fabric and said…YES !

I had two chairs that were just beggin’ for fresh paint and new fabric seats, and so this was the perfect opportunity for a new beginning….and a makeover!

Here is what the chairs looked like before: {not horrible, but not hallelujah invoking either}

SAHblogtour7Here is how many layers of fabric were on one of the seats: { three, and lots of straw and moss stuffing}

SAHblogtour9SAHblogtour8

I created custom {and very special} milk paint colors specifically for this project. I love how the tones blend with the fabric!

SAHblogtour1 SAHblogtour5 SAHblogtour4 SAHblogtour3SAHblogtour2Now, Isn’t that somethin’?! It’s amazing what a little paint and fabric can do!

If you would like to follow along on the tour, and see all 25 projects, click here. Yesterday, Heidi from Hands Occupied created sweet little needle pouches, and tomorrow Caitlin will have a brand new project up on her blog, Salty Oat.

Enjoy!

xo,

Barb

Introductions – faux bois

Do you all remember this chair?

Well…..she has totally come full circle now! My buddy Dale did a bang up job on the upholstery work…..and even though the wood frame was a total bugger to paint {since it is a recliner and there were so many nooks and crannies!} I am thrilled with how she turned out! Take a look…

Isn’t she a beauty?! I hate to give her up, but her owners are ready for her to grace their space! Woot!

xo,

Barb

Introductions

Well, there certainly has been an evolution process in the design of this chair! I loved it when my client brought it to the studio looking like this:

and I used it in several shoots until it was time to tear off the upholstery and freshen up the paint job…..and then it looked like this:

tearing off the fabric and foam proved to be more monumental than I had previously thought…..but it was done, and I moved onto the painting part. {woot!} I painted the frame in a medium gray and used a small brush to add some bronze details to the trim. Then, It was time for little miss to head off to the upholstery shop, and she came back to me looking like this:

For goodness sakes she is even more of a beauty now! I want to say thank you to my client “A” for trusting me with her treasure…and for bringing this beautiful chair back to the studio so I could photograph the end result!

Meet Aletta……and believe me…she is charmed to meet you as well.

xo,

Barb

Introductions

I think every time one of these giant pieces enters my studio I can almost hear the angels singing. I swear it. In my painting career I have had the privilege of transforming several of these gentle giants, but this one is extra special for a couple of reasons:

1. It belongs to one of the sweetest couples I know and I am truly honored to be trusted with their treasure.

2. It was such a mess with all of it’s white paint splatters and chipping veneer, so the prep work was intense, but that made the end result all the more rewarding.

I know there are those who look on these types of pieces as useless, victorian era, gaudy, yucky…….but seriously, in my opinion you can’t find a better statement piece that not only commands the room it resides in but also offers multiple storage and usage options. Painting these types of pieces brings them into the modern era and gives them a fresh and new aesthetic that surprisingly crosses multiple decorating styles. The detail on these pieces can’t be beat, and truly shines with a coat of paint. I also love painting the insides a bright and eye catching color so that it is always a pleasure to open the door. {wink}

Meet Berchelea.

xo,

Barb

 

FYI

I had several comments and emails about my design process after yesterdays introduction post, so I thought I would actually show you the drawings that go on behind the scenes. Sometimes I am just sketching designs that are in my head that are not necessarily connected to a specific piece, and sometimes I am actually drawing a specific design plan for a specific piece…….and then there are times where I don’t draw it out at all and just create it based on what is in my brain. I think there is a need for all of the above…..I don’t have to draw anything if I don’t want to because my brain is wired to see it without drawing it out, and spontaneity can be fabulous…..but I think creating visual aids, reminders, and guidelines is a great way to make sure that the proper time and care are given to each design.

Some of the designs pictured here have already been executed, and have found homes…..some have yet to be completed…some are half hidden because they may or may not be in the book….hee hee!…and some may get done in the next few weeks, especially the green one with the deep “V” pattern on it…….I drew that design plan last year….and I am going to make it happen……but it may not be on a chest of drawers. We shall  see!

It is super important to me, to truly create original and creative art with my furniture pieces…..so I choose to look at life and the everyday for my inspiration. It’s where its at.

xo,

Barb Blair

 

Introductions

There are projects that come along, and even though I have purchased them because I love something about them….. I get stuck trying to decide how exactly I want to take them to the level of frabjous. I started painting this little armoire with one plan in mind…I was going to paint the entire thing with milk paint and leave it pretty plain….but for some reason I felt like I was just rushing to try to get the piece done and check it off my list. I want to fight against that mentality…so I literally put one coat of milk paint on the entire thing, rinsed out my brushes, and went back to the drawing board and spent a day drawing and planning out my design.

I looked through magazines, fabric and wallpaper combinations, and stared out my front window mulling over colors and patterns….but the thing that finally got me going in the right direction was a beautiful mexican blanket that I  borrowed from a friend to use in a photo shoot. It was lying there just staring at me and the many different colors and different sized stripes totally caught my eye. Immediately the light bulb came on in my head. I knew the stripes would be hard, and a bit tedious but I had plenty of Frog Tape on hand and I crave a good tough furniture challenge. I knew if all went well, the pain would be so worth it! I went back to the studio the very next day, executed “my plan”, and this is what came out! Meet Tallulah! I am telling you…. with the turquoise, purple, yellow, cream, red, pink, orange, blue and green stripes…..the turquoise insides, and the pistachio green knobs….. Tallulah is a party waiting to happen!

I’m here to tell you it was indeed worth it to stand back and enjoy this little beauty!

xo,

Barb

Introductions

As I was telling you on Friday….I am so thrilled to be working on several really fun custom jobs for sweet clients over the next several weeks, and this chest of drawers is the first off the “assembly line”! This chest of drawers is as solid as they come and a real beauty with its bowed front drawers and carved detail. I love painting pieces like this!

The Storm family is expecting their first little one, and his name is Sam. I wish I could show you the fantastic nursery that little Sam will grow up in…it is so clean, modern and very well done. I am stoked that a little piece of Knack will get to be a part of such a happy place!

Congrats to the Storms! I can’t wait to meet Sam!

 

xo,

Barb