Industry Profile: Annie Sloan

She’s the developer and queen of Chalk Paint. She’s written over 20 books and has a lovely home fragrance line. Annie Sloan talks to Dabble about paint, projects and a thriving personal life.

Annie Sloan_Photographer Harriet Thomas

Annie Sloan, Photography by Harriet Thomas

 

 

DAB: What was your goal when you developed Chalk Paint™ 25 years ago?

AS: My goal was to make a paint that I wanted. It had to be flexible, approachable and in the right colours. I was a working mother with three boys under ten, so it had to be easy to use and quick to dry!

DAB: What advice would you give to someone using Chalk Paint™ for the first time?

AS: Relax and don’t worry about making mistakes. Go with your gut!

DAB: You were born in Australia and live in England and France today. What cities inspire you the most?

AS: In no particular order: Sydney, London, Paris, Lisbon, Cape Town, New York, Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal. Vancouver for its outdoor yet arty life and Montreal for its lively metropolitan lifestyle. Of course I would love to see more of Canada one day!

DAB: Is there a place you haven’t visited but would like to go to for inspiration?

AS: I’m planning to go to Kazakhstan to visit my eldest son, who works out there. He’s in Astana, which is where East meets West so I hope it will be inspiring. India is another place I would love to visit.

DAB: How would you describe your personal décor style?

AS: I would say it’s a little bit French, a little bit of Boho and a little bit Neo Classical. I’m also currently redecorating my offices in a Warehouse style. I love it. But my house is late Victorian, so of course the Warehouse look doesn’t work here!

Annie Sloan painted table_Photographer Christopher Drake

Annie Sloan painted table, Photography by Christopher Drake

DAB: What is next for Annie Sloan?

AS: I’m going to be celebrating 25 years of Chalk Paint™ all through 2015, which I’m really excited about. My Stockists are so important to me so I’ll be doing a lot of travelling; I want to see as many of them as possible. I’m also launching my new Stencil collection, which comes in 21 designs and is the perfect complement to my paint range.

DAB: When you don’t have a paintbrush in your hand, what do you Dabble in?

AS: I like to dabble in music, eating out and a good bottle of wine with friends.

Interview with Annie Sloan – Queen of Chalk Paint

DAB: Can you name a few of your favourite applications using Chalk Paint?

AS: Of course it changes all the time, but at the moment I am working on a new piece for my office. It’s a Modern Retro piece from the 1940s. I have painted it with a very smooth, flat finish in a variety of block colours. I think people are surprised that you can achieve a smooth finish with Chalk Paint™, but you can! Years ago, I painted an old desk of mine in a custom mix of Old Violet and Emperors Silk. I created a textured and crackled finish, and finished it with dark wax. It looks very rich. I also love using a traditional technique called ‘frottage’ – you can do this with Chalk Paint, all you need is water to dilute the paint and some newspaper. I have some old doors in my home in France where I’ve used this technique and they look wonderful.

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Courtesy: Creating the French Look by Annie Sloan – CICO Books, Photographer: Christopher Drake

 

DAB: Thanks to you, people can breathe new life into old furniture. Is there a person who has taken your paint and transformed a piece of furniture in a way you didn’t expect?

AS: I saw so many people doing wonderful things with Chalk Paint™ that I decided to develop my ‘Painters in Residence’ program. It’s a wonderful way to work with creative people who can test my paint to its very limits and create inspirational projects. I’ve already worked with a portrait artist who lives in an elegantly converted schoolhouse in France, a mom-of-three who works out of her home in rural Australia, and a British stylist who has an amazing way of making clashing colours work.

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Painterly Bathroom, Courtesy Alex Russell Flint, Annie Sloan Painter in Residence

 

DAB: Selecting paint colours can be a daunting experience. What is your go-to colour combination?

AS: I don’t think it’s possible to have a go-to colour. I always think that every space, wall or piece of furniture deserves its own colour. There are a lot of colours in my range that, in small doses, can work as neutrals – Duck Egg Blue, Louie Blue, Old Violet, Aubusson and Olive, to name a few.

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Chalk Paint™ by Annie Sloan comes in quart cans (946ml), priced at approximately $45.00 CND; and in 4 oz. (100ml) sample pots, priced at approximately $13.99 CDN (regional price variations and shipping charges apply.

Chalk Paint™ by Annie Sloan is sold through 35 Annie Sloan stockists across Canada and is also available online.

For more information, visit: www.anniesloan.com

Industry Profile: The Metricks

Spending four months out of the year selecting furnishings for design superstore ELTE inspired fourth generation family owners Jamie and Andrew Metrick to open a store for youthful consumers. The 50,000 square foot store is the newest concept store by the Metrick family. The best part? Take your purchases home the same day.

The Metricks

DAB: What destinations inspired you to open Elte Market?
JM: Visiting India three times per year, specifically Jaipur, has definitely played a role. Colour, innovation and creativity in this part of the world are tremendous. Deconstructing silk saris and using those bold colours to reweave area carpets are just some of the things I get to do. There are many items we come across throughout our travels that reflect an edgier look, which doesn’t fit within the Elte aesthetic.

DAB: As rug buyer for Elte MKT, can you provide a couple of tips for someone looking to purchase a good quality carpet?
JM: First, knowing that the rug is handmade is enormously important—both in the look and quality of the fibre.Handmade rugs will not only last longer but, if damaged, can be repaired. They also have a look and soul to them that one cannot achieve using a machine. Second, you can never go wrong in terms of fiber by choosing wool or silk. There are other great options like bamboo and banana silk that get better and better in quality.

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DAB: How do you know when you’ve found a gem?
AM: I know I’ve found a gem when I can’t stop thinking about it. I’m working on or looking at hundreds of designs every day so for something to stick with me, it needs to be pretty special. Sometimes this lasts a week, sometimes a month and there are even the select few that have stuck with me for years now. For whatever the reason, like a catchy song, I just can’t shake them. The thing about gems however is they’re only special if you’re one of the few people that know about them. For this reason, I’m constantly pushing myself to create or collect the next best thing.

DAB: Is your personal style reflected through the items you buy for the store?
AM: I only buy things that I’d feel proud to have in my home. To that point, my style is definitely reflected in everything I’ve sourced or designed. Defining that style is a challenge for me only because I don’t tend to look at what I source as falling within specific design buckets such as “contemporary” or “traditional”. My style is an amalgamation of very subtle design preferences. Of course I have certain colour palettes or materials that I gravitate towards but it goes so much deeper than that.

elte mkt

DAB: Is there a country you haven’t stamped on your passport but would like to?
JM: One of the places I’ve always wanted to visit is Japan. The simplicity of its lifestyle and their design philosophy is truly inspiring. I’m also a tremendous food fan and always wanted to experience what the country has to offer.

DAB: What makes Elte Market a unique shopping experience?
JM: It’s a one stop shop for affordable, edgy pieces that are available right away with no wait time. I’m a rug guy and we have over 2,000 unique pieces available compared to other stores in Toronto with far fewer.

DAB: When you’re not travelling the world, what do you Dabble in?
AM: There’s not a lot of room to dabble. My weekends are spent in the store or working at a coffee shop. The books I read look a lot more like home magazines than anything else and our family dinners sound closer to office meetings than perhaps they should. That being said, I happen to love what I do so at the risk of sounding cliché, it’s not really work in that sense. I get to the gym almost every day and I love trying out new restaurants or bars. In a city like Toronto, I don’t think I’ll be running out of them any time soon. Apart from that, going out with friends and relaxing at home sounds pretty good to me.

Industry Profile: Cortney Novogratz

 With a busy design firm, a book and 7 kids, it’s go, go, go for design duo Bob and Cortney Novogratz. Dabble talks to Cortney about the strategic mix of high and low and new and vintage. 

Industry Profile with The Novogratz

DAB: How did you discover your passion for design, and how do you make it work living and working together, blending your creative personalities?
CN: I don’t know if passion found us or we found it. We bought a condemned building in New York City when we got engaged and renovated it. It took us about 3 buildings before people started saying, ‘you should do this for a living’. We found our job and career in that one home. We learned along the way. Eventually, friends and family members asked us to do their places and our careers took off.

DAB: Why is it important to create accessible design, regardless of budget?
CN: At the end of the day, everyone should have an amazing house. It really is a sanctuary, so to speak. For a lot of people, they don’t have the budget. Some of our best ideas come when we have a small budget. That’s when we have to be creative and think everything through because there is no room for mistakes. Buying items at flea markets gives you the freedom to be more unique. It doesn’t matter if you only paid $20 for an item at a garage sale. That’s what makes it cool.

DAB: You like to combine new and vintage. At what part in the process do you determine which items should be new and and which ones should be vintage?
CN: A sofa, for example, needs to be comfortable and it needs to last. You’re not going to buy a sofa every few years, so if you find a vintage one with good bones, you need to make sure it’s reupholstered properly. When we shop at chain stores, we buy a solid piece that’s gonna last and that’s adorable. Then we sprinkle in one-of-a-kind, funky, flea market pieces. I think the combination of modern, brand-new mixed with mom-and-pop, antiquey stores is ideal. That old piece brings soul to the house, and the new piece brings in the function that we need.

Cortney Dabbles

DAB: You aren’t afraid to use bold colours. What advice would you give to someone who wants to use colour but is afraid?
CN: Start off slowly if you’re having anxiety over color. Paint a focal wall a really bright color. Maybe the wall behind your bed or just a door. Live with it, see if you like it. Then, paint the ceiling, or finish off the other walls. You could also paint a chest of drawers in a really bright color. I think we can all live with more color and should take a risk.

DAB: What 3 tips would you give someone trying to achieve a vintage / modern look?

CN: Buy something old, a lamp, a chair, a vase. And then buy something contemporary, with clean lines. Maybe a sofa or coffee table. Add a mixture of textures with pillows and fabrics. If one fabric is a linen, add wool or an old quilt. If you bought an old lamp, buy a big, modern lamp shade. I think it’s just mixing all the things you love so it feels like a home, rather than something “decorated”. That’s important to me.

DAB: Is there a city or country where you haven’t designed, but would like to?
CN: Oh, definitely Asia. So we want to go to Japan. My daughter wants to go too. We have a place in South America so we go to Brazil quite a bit, which has really been inspiring. But I think the more travel we have… oh, India! My daughter would definitely say India.

 

Congrats Elte on 95 years!

This May marks a major milestone for leading home furnishing retailer Elte, as it celebrates its 95th anniversary. Established in 1919, the family-owned company was founded on the notion of providing the world’s most beautiful products to shoppers. Almost a century later, and with an expanded complete offering of home furnishings, carpets and accessories, Elte continues to focus on curating the best products from around the world, while offering a personal touch to its loyal customers.

Elte

Elte’s 150,000 square feet showroom is located at 80 Ronald Avenue in Toronto.

Today, led by Ken Metrick, the founder’s grandson, Elte has evolved into one of North America’s largest retail establishments while staying true to its heritage, operating as a closely-knit, family-run business spanning over four generations. Working daily with Ken Metrick are his wife, Renee Metrick, Furniture Buyer, and their sons Jamie, who buys different types of rugs, and Andrew, Furniture Buyer.

Elte - Metricks

From left to right: Andrew, Renee, Ken and Jamie Metrick – Photography by Katherine Holland

 

For more information, visit: www.elte.com @elte #elte95

David Carter Pulls Focus

British designer David Carter is an attention seeker.  It’s obvious.

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Look how deftly he pulls us into this foyer, by cleverly directing our attention to the handsome painting at eye level.  The graphic pillows create a frame which narrows our vision to the painting above.

Proof that when no natural focal point exists….it’s the designer’s job to create one.

Day in the Life of Lesley Anton

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Dabble visits ceramic artist, Lesley Anton, in her 1923 Spanish-style bungalow in LA and follows her to the office for a ‘day in the life’.

Read the entire article ‘Industry Profile – Lesley Anton 4’ in Issue 9 of Dabble.

At Home with Suzanne Rheinstein

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Looking stylish in a black linen ensemble and chunky gold bangles, renowned LA-based interior designer Suzanne Rheinstein takes Kimberley Seldon on a private tour of her gracious Hancock Park home and garden.

Industry Profile

Suzanne’s living room is luxurious and serene. She spotted the blue and white striped Regency chaise in a London shop window and insisted her husband pull over so they could run in to make the purchase.

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‘I design rooms clients can live in, and in this house we live in the family room’, says the designer. We can see why. Who wouldn’t want to relax on that cozy velvet-striped sofa with some late night reading?

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Natural lighting, soft hues and luxurious cotton print drapes accent the elegance of the master bedroom.

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To read the full article on Suzanne Rheinstein, check out Industry Profile, Issue 3 July/Aug 2011.