Monday, February 27, 2012

Guest Post: Pam from Be Colorful

To begin I want to say thank you to Decorating Insanity for having the confidence to ask me to guest blog for them.  Having such a diverse and progressive blog extend me this invitation is a huge compliment. 

Floral coffee table

So who am I? I am a blogger, functional artist, and frustrated decorator from a mid- sized town in a fly-over state. I sometimes wish I lived in a more metropolitan area where my less than conventional style wasn't so out of the ordinary. I have always loved color and when I wasn't able to find some of the pieces here locally that I was looking for to use in our own home I did the next best thing and created them myself.
Painted furniture is ubiquitous these days but what sets my style apart from most are the multiple patterns and colorful palates that I usually incorporate into my work.

I have been in the gathering inspiration stage lately and haven't done a lot of painting. As I peruse the internet and design magazines I am noticing that I am attracted to simpler lines and geometric patterns. I am thinking that is the direction I want to go now with my own painting style too.  
From the beginning I have been influenced by the designs of Sticks, Susan Sargent, MacKenzie Childs, and Kim Parker. They all use a lot of florals, words or quotes, and some version of a stripe (usually black and white).
This is an earlier piece of mine that incorporated all of those elements.
Jackie's table

Sometimes it is an idea that just presents its self and gives a piece that little extra edge and whimsy that makes me like it more. I had seen where a number of furniture painters were painting the insides of their drawers and I liked that more finished look. Then one day I thought it would be fun if the drawer held a bit of a surprise when it was opened. So I added these words.
Jackies table drawer

This credenza that I painted two years ago for my studio was heavily influenced by the more stylistic flower designs of Kim Parker. I had recently finished reading one of her design books and I was drawn to her over-sized florals and soft colors.
My credenza
This beverage cart is another example of her influence on my work.

   Beverage cart

Bev cart handle

The nod to Mac Kenzie Childs is apparent in this buffet that I painted  for our dining room and then recently sold. Her patterns lean a bit more to the traditional and her pieces often have an element of gold or gilding to them that makes them a bit more formal. It is the mixed patterns that makes them such conversational and perhaps controversial pieces. As for me, I think a single statement like this can absolutely make a room.  When I look at this buffet I am beginning to see the geometric influence  already creeping into my work. Those two quatrefoil patterned drawers are representative of the look I am obsessed with now.
Occasionally I work to edit myself and dial back on the number of colors and patterns to create something that is more compatible to most spaces and varying styles. Since I usually work with strong vibrant colors it was a stretch for me to limit myself to only two colors like I did here but this was one of those pieces that ultimately just came together so easily that I may try this technique again. 

Sherrie's piece 2

Recently I have been reading the book
In the Pink - Dorothy Draper
In the pink
Now it is her compelling style that is driving my design direction.
What appeals to me is her sense of drama. 
The bold curves,
Bod curves
the sharp contrast of black and white,
Dorothy style via the peak of chic
and her use of geometic and floral patterns.
Draper pattern
I was beginning to see a bit of her effect on my style when I painted this garden table in 2011.
  Pink table
I don't plan on leaving my colorful mixed pattern style far behind and I am not a huge fan of chnitz but I look forward to trying my hand at a cleaner more dramatic Hollywood Regency look. I will call this my HR Period. 
This will be the next piece I work on because I think this buffet lends itself well to this style. Please don't hate me for painting something from this era. I have had this vintage piece in my home for over twenty years. It has served its purpose well but I'm over it and ready to move on.  I see it in a dramatic black and white. 
This is my inspiration photo.
Blak and wht
Tobi Fairley

I will set myself a goal - to have this buffet painted and ready to go by April 1st. Let's see if I can follow through. 
Thanks for stopping by and thank you again to the women of Decorating Insanity for this opportunity.

Thanks Pam for joining us.  Isn't her stuff so fun and whimsical?  Everyone has to have a little fun color in their life.  Visit Be Colorful for more fun projects.




  1. Thanks so much for the opportunity.

  2. Love her stuff. And like her blog.

  3. Her blog is amazing. I have her blog as one of my favorites. I love all of her work and have been following her home redo for a while now. Love everything.
    But I do have to tell Pam, can't believe you are painting that piece of furniture. Oh my goodness. I am sure it will look great but.... I will leave it at that.