Design Threads: Decorative Painting at Home

Day to Day

For our latest Design Threads we have been giving our home a splash of paint, in particular the bookshelves and fireplace surround. Read on for our step-by-step guide to adding some decorative painting to your own home... 

We have previously spoken about the power of paint to transform your home, including painting door frames, window panels, inside cupboards and even lamps.

In the hotels we often paint our bookshelves in a combination of colours, using one shade on the vertical drop, one on the horizontal and another on the inner shelving. We’ve also been known to add a pop of colour to doors and architraves, making these seemingly ordinary and functional items a striking design feature.

For our latest Design Threads we have been giving our home a splash of paint, in particular the bookshelves and fireplace surround. We used our favourite Annie Sloan chalk paints: Scandinavian Pink, Giverny and Barcelona Orange.

Last week, the Kit Kemp Design Studio visited the one and only paint guru Annie Sloan (keep your eyes peeled for an exciting up and coming design collaboration!). Her studio and factory are based in Oxford, so we jumped on a train and the countryside was soon whizzing past us as we left the city behind.

We had a great day discussing all things colour in their creative hub and the A.S team kindly gifted us several of their chalk paint sample pots and stencils. We couldn’t wait to put it to good use…

Step 1: Find inspiration

Whether it is a pattern you’ve had your eye on, a love of all things Bloomsbury or just a colour that’s crying out to you, try using that to visualise what you would like to paint. Then pick up a pencil and lightly mark up your object in your desired design.

Step 2: Get painting

Just go for it – with chalk paint you can always sand back and rub away any unwanted marks. Here we have painted the edges of this bookshelf in wide stripes using Scandinavian Pink and Giverny.

Step 4: Why stop there

Keep going and move onto another feature in the room. Next stop for us was the surround of the fireplace. If a room has a fireplace, it is often the focal point of the room, so why not celebrate it with an abundance of colour.

Step 3: Don’t make it perfect

Here at the Kit Kemp Design Studio, we find perfection in imperfection. It makes the design much more interesting and unique – especially when homemade. On this bookshelf we purposefully left tiny gaps of white which makes the design less solid, as the white background almost becomes part of the pattern.

Step 5: Get yourself an Annie Sloan Stencil

We found it difficult to choose which one to go for, but in the end we went for Mexican Birds. Simply place your stencil in the spot where you would like your pattern to go, and then use masking tape to stick your stencil down. The tape is very important – make sure the stencil is flat without any air gaps in between the stencil and the surface.

Leave the stencil on whilst the paint dries and keep it very still as any small movement could smudge your work.

Once dry, slowly peel your stencil away and you will be left with a lovely pattern!

This is such a fun activity to do at home with family or friends. Remember, if you don’t like it you can always paint over it again! Tag us on Instagram at @kitkempdesignthread using #DesignThreads and show us your paintwork!

Click here for Annie Sloan paints and Stencils. Happy Painting!