Monday, April 15, 2013

Royal Design Studio Stencil Review

Good mornin' Morning! That's what Frank (my BF) told me you're supposed to say when you awake each day.  I don't know about you, but I think I definitely need that little bit of pep on Mondays.  So... now that we're pepped up, let's get down to business.

Our presentation and review for the Noah's ARC Design Challenge went really well on Saturday.  I think the  ASID judges we're really pleased with our design.  Not only did they look at the over all design and how well it came together, but they really paid attention to the details, which I think worked in our favor.

Today I'm going to tell you about a feature of our design, which the judges loved.  Our Royal Design Studio stenciled wall set an amazing backdrop to showcase all the fun projects I've been telling you about.


A stencil is a great way to get the look of wallpaper for a fraction of the cost (check out this post I wrote a while back).   It can add subtle interest to a room, or create a bold focal point if you go with a higher contrast of colors.  Another great advantage is that you can use whatever color paint your heart desires, making it easy to coordinate with your color scheme.  We also decided on stenciling the wall in order to distract from imperfections since the wall was unfinished sheet rock, exposed seams and all.  So if you have a wall with lots of imperfections, this could be the perfect way to cover it up!

The stencil we chose is the Get Ziggy With It Wall Stencil (large).


We also considered these options...

Herringbone Pattern Wall Stencil

Eight Pointed Star Moroccan Stencil

Moroccan Geometry Stencil

...but decided the simple chevron would work well with pretty much any fabric patterns we choose, which had not yet been determined.  And being that chevron is so in right now, it was perfect pattern to show the public a current design trend.

When I got the stencil, I decided to test it out on some cardboard.  That way we could make sure the whole group was happy with it and also bring the cardboard into the store so see what it would look like in the store's lighting.  We tried two different looks: one  with only a base color and a stencil color (left); the other like the photo on the Royal Design Studio website with a base color and two other colors (right).


Although the two tone stencil gives a really cool 3-dimensional look, we decided we liked the subtle tone-on-tone look better for this project. It would add interest and texture without competing with the gallery of painted-frames that would also hang on that wall.

So first we had to start with a white wall.  Rachel and I painted our vingette backdrop Sherwin Williams "Westhighland White" on Friday while it was still in the warehouse.  That way it would be ready to stencil right away on Monday once it was in the store.


On Monday morning I brought all our stenciling supplies to the site (the Huntington Beach Salvation Army).


That included a foam roller and plastic tray, blue painters tape to attach the stencil to the wall, small brushes to get into the corners, and Sherwin Williams "Crushed Ice."  I brought stencil brushes that I thought I might use to get into the corners, but didn't end up using those.  And the paint brush was actually used for the side walls, not the stenciled wall.

First I taped off the ceiling and floor.  Then, I started the stencil at the top center of the wall affixing it with painters tape.


And began painting away with the roller!


I found that the best technique was to roll most of the paint off in the tray so that I only had a light coat on the roller as I stenciled. That way it didn't bleed through.  I also went over the stencil twice in succession to get better coverage.  In the photo above you can see that on the first stencil (directly above where I have the stencil taped), I didn't do this and the grey didn't come out quite as dark as I would have liked.

I moved the stencil back and forth from side to side as the paint dried slowly covering the wall with the beautiful chevron pattern.  At the ceiling, I used the smaller ceiling stencil provided by Royal Design Studio, which leaves a nice straight finished edge at the top of the wall.  In the corners I pushed the stencil as far into the corner as I could, which didn't quite reach, but came pretty close.

Half way though  it was lookin' good!


As we were coming to an end, I used a small brush to hand paint the stencil all the way into the corners. I simply eyeballed an extension of the design, so there are some imperfections, but overall it isn't noticeable.

At the bottom, I first tried pushing the stencil down to the floor the same way I did in the corners.  You can see the result of this in the middle bottom of the photo below.  Then I tried using the ceiling stencil upside-down, which we liked better.  It came out absolutely lovely!


But I wanted to tell you... we ran into one other snag while stenciling.  The further along we got, the harder it was to match up the stencil with the completed surrounding pattern.  Because we knew there would be a dresser in the middle of the wall blocking some of the design, we made sure the stencil matched up best toward the sides of the wall where it would show.  As we got to the center, the stencil would have overlapped the previously painted stencil so, we simply put a piece of tape down over the previously stenciled area that wasn't matching up.  Unfortunately I don't have a picture of this so I did a little drawing to hopefully make more sense of what I'm saying.


Luckily with this pattern, that worked out perfectly and you can't even really tell that the pattern isn't perfect.

With the wall done, we painted the side walls the light gray and brought the furniture in place...


Some rearranging and the final touches of styling and the room looks absolutely amazing!



The stencil adds the perfect subtle interest to the focal wall and is a great backdrop for the punchy coral dresser and a gallery of painted frames.  Amazing right!?

There are still more projects I have yet to show you guys. So stay tuned for more info about the mobile, the armoire, side table, and more little details throughout the space.

Happy Monday!