Lars Sjoeberg The Swedish Room Photo credit Ingalill Snitt Source

Lars Sjoeberg  The Swedish Room  Photo Credit Ingalill Snitt 

If you are wanting depth to your walls, here are some of the very simple faux finishes you can do yourself.

Start by selecting a color theme for your room.  In this post you will see a variety of color examples from pale blue, to lighter warm yellows and lighter greens.

Working with glaze, crackle finishes, and distressing techniques can make your furniture appear older than it is.  Likewise, layering paint on your walls will also create depth and give you that old world look we all have fallen in love with.  Here is how to do it…..

1. Ragged Finishes

Color washes are finishes that are produced with rags and paint.

Color washing is usually is achieved by a using rags which attach to a roller.

The trick to achieving this finish is to work with translucent glaze. Don’t attempt this finish with solid paint.  Using a glaze mixture of (half glaze, half paint), paint is applied over a previously painted wall.  The effect it produces a subtle textured finish.

Ralph Lauren Ragging

A Primitive Effect Using Green, seen on

Notice the whole wall isn’t ragged, just a small portion of it. Also painted furniture in the same tones are paired in this room to join together the various looks.

Keep All Tones In The Same Color Family

  • One tip that I have learned through ragging finishes is to have the glaze mixture matched to be a few shades darker or lighter than the wall color.  If you decide to do three colors, keep the tones quite close in color.  The overall effect will be soft, and subtle.

Glaze + Paint For A Final Top Coat

  • Another trick I have learned is to go over your entire project with a layer or two of glaze mixed in with a small amount of paint.  The entire effect of the tinted glaze dulls the look slightly, and hides the roller effects. The idea behind this is to make your work appear subtle. You want to keep people guessing as to what you used to complete the finish.

2. Dry Brushing

Brushed finishes, is an effect which is achieved by dipping your brush into paint, and then removing most of the paint, on a rag.  The small amount of paint allows you to add a very soft effect over a previous layer of paint.

The effect depends much on the brush you use.  If you use a badger softening brush which tends to be very large and soft, it will produces a soft effect with paint.

I have used this effect with an old broom handle.  The bristles are thicker, and harder, and produces lines than a soft shading.

Again, mixing together paint + glaze will allow you to get the look of an additional layer with a faux effect, and you may not have to wipe off the excess paint.

  • In this picture, this effect can be achieved by using a dark brown artists oil paint. Most of the paint must be removed from your brush to achieve this look. This look can be achieved using brown artists oil paint over a muted orange base coat, slightly brushing the which highlights some of the raised details.
  • Achieve depth to your furniture by applying a lighter coat over top of a painted finish. As you can see with this look, a lighter shade of green-gray is applied over a darker shade of green. This look could be achieved by dry brushing.

3.  Sponge Finishes

Sponged faux finishes are those which a paint mixture is applied with a sea sponge.

Sponge painting is still the best and most frequently used mediums when it comes to classic faux finish painting.

Using a sponge, you can use multiple glazes layered over solid paint which gives the illusion of great depth.

Ideally, like most finishes, you want to start with a base coat, and build on it using a glaze mixture. The overall effect should be soft and serene.

Sponging can also be used on furniture to give an old world Swedish look.

In the past, I would use a base coat of brown, and then after it was dry, I would apply a base of oil paint in butter yellow and use a rag, or a textured paper towel to remove the paint.  Within just a few minutes of applying the paint, I would remove it, and the oil paint which was wiped off on the  rag I would then slightly dab here and there, on the furniture to create a very soft effect, making it seem as there was more layers to the paint finish.  After it was dry, dry brushing with the same oil paint was used to blend in the textured effects.

4. Faux Leather

Terrific faux effects can be produced using a very heavy garage bag. Again working with a wall that has been painted, apply a layer of a glaze mixture on the wall. More than half glaze to paint.

Tape the wall in rectangular sections and apply the glaze in the taped area.

Next apply a heavy weight garbage bag to the wall allowing the folds to be pressed into the wall using your arms and hands.

Take the garbage bag off, and the folds of the bag produces a beautiful faux finish.

This is a very easy way to create a classy effect on the walls.

– Great Article- How To Faux Paint

5. Stenciling

Stenciling can be very powerful if it is done right.

Create your own stencils using a stencil cutter which is a fine heated tip that cuts through the plastic blank stencils with precision. Lay a piece of glass in between the stencil and the pattern, and cut away.

17th and 18th Century stenciling has always been the very best model of inspiration.

Here are a few very well done Swedish stenciled homes:

– Book Review: Jocasta Innes Scandinavian Painted Furniture

Ted and Lillian Williams chateau in Normandy, France

-Neoclassical White Stenciled Walls-Petit Trianon

-Antique Original Red Hand Painted Trunk with Rosemaling Floral Motif

-This photo shows a great example of wall framing simply made by stencils and paint

-Here we see a stunning Rococo design stenciled, or hand painted on the walls for a distinct Swedish look.

Darryl Carter on One Kings Lane- Swedish ArmoireDarryl Carter on One Kings Lane- Swedish Armoire

Washington, D.C., interior designer Darryl Carter certainly has made a memorable mark on the color white.   Fifteen years ago he had a busy career as a lawyer when he decided to change course and open his own interior-design firm.  He made a name for himself by transforming rooms that were grounded in a neutral palettes with an appreciation for showcasing art and antiques.  Swedish interiors have always been known for their white based interiors.  In an interview by Veranda, designer Darryl Carter gives his best tips for using the color white in your home.

1. Pick Your Paint First

“It’s not a cop out,” he insists. “It’s a way to harmonize a house in its entirety.” Once you’ve chosen your paint, select textiles next—preferably a hue that closely matches the walls. “Navigate the drapery into the wall color so that you are not so aware of the window treatment,” he suggests.

2. Paint Your Architecture In White

He says that architecture looks best in white.  He gives an example pointing to a bookshelf cabinet in a Virginia townhouse which was painted to blend into the walls.  The coffered ceiling was also painted the same color, which added a subtle architectural element to the space.

3. Don’t Shy Away From White Or Cream Around Kids

He tells Veranda, that you don’t have to sacrifice style and serenity because there’s a toddler in the house. “There is a presumption that neutral cannot be kid-friendly,” says Carter.

“Instead of shying away from softer shades, he suggests changing the materials. Try enamel finishes and high-gloss paint in high-traffic areas, as well as durable faux leather and outdoor fabrics for upholstered pieces that withstand the wear and tear of young children”

4. Unite Your Kids Rooms Into The Rest Of The House

Carter encourages parents to integrate their child’s room into the larger experience of the home.

“You don’t want to open the door and suddenly wonder where you’ve landed,” he says.

In one family home, Carter created a space in the child’s room which matched the overall modern style of the family’s home. Over time, parents can adjust the space with different pillows and textiles as the child matures.

Pro Painting Tips- Best Painted Furniture, Black Painted Antiques, Black Painted Furniture, How To Paint, Scandinavian Furniture, Swedish Antiques

Anyone can paint a piece of furniture black, but there are certain tricks to make your painted pieces appear more valuable than they really are.  Many of us feel that sensation of discovering a beautiful piece of furniture at a garage or estate sale, and then dreaming of what to do with it next.  If you are anything like me,  scrolling through pictures of paint chips, and color combinations can be a thrilling experience.

If you love lighter colored interiors such as white, light blue, or mint green, then black furniture might be a consideration for your interior.  Painting a piece of furniture black can create tremendous contrast for your interior.   Here are a couple tips to making your painted furniture look antique:

1.  Use Matte Paint

You won’t find shiny finishes on the old antique furniture in Sweden. This article won’t cover the modern black painted furniture that one would expect to see in the 50’s or 60’s , but rather the aged furniture that someone could come across 100 or more years ago.

When selecting a sheen, consider starting out with a matte finish.  Once the piece is dry you can add either a tinted wax or a tinted glaze to the final finish to give it even more depth.  The sheen will then produce a look between flat and satin.  Starting out with a low sheen will keep the overall finish looking rustic even after you apply additional paints.

2. Paint Your Hardware

While there are so many ways to feature hardware on black painted furniture, painting the hardware can be a smart way to making a black piece look understated yet elegant.  Take a look at a French Provincial chest painted in olive by Knack Studios.  The hardware was painted and carefully distressed.  In this case, a little bit of distressing went a long way.  Compare that photo, with this photo of a black painted bombe chest which is also painted in black.  The hardware is painted, but not distressed.  While bombe chests are considered some of the most spectacular pieces of furniture, this piece falls short for me.

– Darken your hardware with chemicals.  Rockler sells a brass darkening solution that ages brass, copper and bronze metal. It allows you to change the color gradually so you can control how dark the final product turns out.

– American Accents by Rustoleum sells an Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint that I have used on many pieces of my own furniture. After the paint has dried, simply distress the hardware with a sponge sander.

– 9 DIY Recipes For Rusty Hardware- Hersite

3.  Show Off The Wood With Distressing

Adding a bit of interest to your furniture can go a long way.  There are several ways to add patina.  Two ways that come to mind is by distressing, and another is by layering paint.

A: Distressing is a sure way of adding depth and interest to a vintage piece of furniture.  Some people like a LOT of distressing, and others like MINIMAL distressing.  It is rather interesting to see how people fall into those two categories.  Look at a few pictures on pinterest to decide what appeals to you.  The best thing about distressing is if you go too far, simply just repaint the areas, which will tone down the distressing.

Picture Credit –Scandinavian Antiques Co On Ebay

House Beautiful Designer Grays

Featured above are the colors, Top Row: Pratt & Lambert’s Argent 1322, Farrow & Ball’s Claydon Blue 87, Farrow & Ball’s Green Blue 84, Middle Row, Farrow & Ball’s Light Blue 22, Benjamin Moore’s Sea Star 2123-30, Benjamin Moore’s Wolf Gray 2127-40 Bottom Row,  Benjamin Moore’s Graytint 1611, Sherwin-Williams’s Magnetic Gray SW-7058,  Benjamin Moore’s Stone Harbor 2111-50

Home Beautiful featured an article on 26 Designers who shared their favorite Grays.  Gray painted interiors can be the perfect color palette for Swedish Gustavian or Rococo antique furniture.  Gray can showcase antiques like no other color, because it is neutral, and doesn’t compete with the furniture and decor. The last thing you want after spending thousands on a piece of furniture, is to have someone notice anything but what you spent your hard earned money on!   Pair your painted gray antiques with a backdrop of white gray interior walls and trim, and add a punch of color with your upholstery, accessories, and flowers.

Many of the designers featured in the article, were those of Richard Gluckman, Stephanie Stokes, David Kleinberg, Tori Golub, Stephen Sills, Phoebe Howard, Steven Gambrel, Gerrie Bremermann, and Sharone Einhorn and Honey Walters.  

Here are just a few of the designer quotes:

“Mesquite is a flattering light moss green without much yellow. I love it because it doesn’t shout ‘I’m green!’ It says, ‘I’m a very beautiful color.'” –Jennifer Garrigues, Benjamin Moore’s Mesquite 501

“Lago Argentino is a glacier lake in Patagonia, and it’s the most amazing color, an aqua, milky because as the ice melts it pulls minerals off the mountain. I stayed in an inn with a stunning view of the Perito Moreno glacier.” –Suzanne Rheinstein , Ralph Lauren Paint’s Blue-Green GH81

“For me, the most appealing colors in summer are not hot but cool. You don’t need to be reminded of the sun and heat — you’re in it. What you want is a cool breeze through the pine trees, like this chalky gray green.” –Frank Roop, Benjamin Moores Soft Fern 2144-40

“In my cutting garden I have morning glories climbing over a lattice obelisk painted this wonderful silvery sage green. It reminds me of lavender leaves.” –Michael Whaley, Benjamin Moores Cedar Grove 444

“I have a big, hugely functional Georgian Revival lawyer’s desk in tired dry mahogany, bought from a tired dry lawyer. I painted it this pale gray-green in an oil-base stain finish, cleanable, very calm, but not so pale that it dies. The gimmick is the old-fashioned desk in an unexpected color. It catches light and makes for a more interesting surface.” –Carey Maloney, Donald Kaufman Color Collections DKC-10

“It’s kind of robin’s egg blue, and with mahogany furniture and neutral upholstery, it looks great. I see dining rooms as mostly evening rooms, and this has life to it. It’s very soothing.” –Mariette Himes Gomez, Benjamin Moore’s Sage Tint 458

“Green is the great neutral, all the way from pond scum to soft sage or pale celery. I recently moved into a new house surrounded by greenery, and when I was thinking of what color I might use for a drapery lining, it came to me to reflect the green that is present year-round right outside that window.” –Barbara Barry – Donald Kaufman Color Collection’s DKC-8

“This is the color of the sky in Old Master paintings, when the varnish has yellowed; it’s luminous. Paint just the floor and you’d feel as if you were floating.” –Thomas Jayne, Benjamin Moore’s Heavenly Blue

“In my cutting garden I have morning glories climbing over a lattice obelisk painted this wonderful silvery sage green. It reminds me of lavender leaves.” –Michael Whaley, Benjamin Moore’s Cedar Grove 444

Gray Painted Swedish FurnitureGray Painted Swedish Furniture – Laserow Antiques

18th Century Swedish Tray Table – Jacqueline Adams Antiques

This mirror would have been part of a room paneling. It features a beautifully hand carved and gilded top panel of a basket with flowers and grape bunches before crossed mallets and grape branches and is surrounded with a square, gilt molded frame. Beneath is a square mirror framed with a beaded, molded edge

Seglora Church -Relocated From Western Sweden

*Disclaimer*-The pictures contained in this post are to illustrate the BEAUTY of yellow and green paint used in 18th century interiors.  We have no knowledge what so ever of the paint used in the rooms or furniture.  Emerald Green and Yellow colors are absolutely stunning colors to decorate a home around.     

The History Behind Emerald Green

Emerald Green, is the color of the year for 2013, yet what many people don’t know is the color “Emerald Green” at one time, killed people.

This brilliant blue-green color was extremely popular in the mid- 1800s, because emerald green paint was cheap to manufacture, and it had such a great depth of color.

In 1814 in Schweinfurt, Germany, two men named Russ and Sattler tried to improve on Scheele’s green, and made a paint made with copper arsenite. The result was a highly toxic pigment called “emerald green”. This paint was made with arsenic and verdigris and the bright green color became an instant hit within the design community.

The vibrant color was not only used as artist paint, but as well as household paint amongst other things. Many people at that time didn’t know the paint was made with poisonous arsonic, and who is to blame them when we don’t know ourselves what kind of unhealthy additives are contained in our foods.  As soon as the color was produced, it was picked up by many companies far and wide. The emerald green dye wasn’t only used for paint, but wallpaper and as liquid dyes.

In particular, in damp rooms where mold grew, the arsonic in the wallpaper paste would be turned into a toxic gas which would be deadly for anyone living in the room.  By 1830, wallpaper production had risen to 1 million rolls a year in the UK, and by 30 million in 1870. Tests later revealed that four out of five wallpapers contained arsenic.

Leopold Gmelin (1788-1853), a German chemist, suspected in 1815 that wallpaper could poison the atmosphere, that he made several efforts to warn the people in his day to strip their rooms of the paper, and advocated banning Scheele’s green. He noticed that the substance gave off a garlic-like odor when the paper was slightly damp. Experiments at the end of the 19th century proved that arsenic pigments in damp or rotting wallpaper were lethal.  If only they listened to Leopold Gmelin’s warnings!

The color “Emerald Green” became so popular and widely used in the cotton industry which used the chemical in pigments and dyes. It was also used by other industries such as glass manufactures as a de-colouriser, and in the production of leather tanning, soaps, lampshades, pharmaceuticals, agriculture for sheep dips, children’s toys, and candles.

Emerald green was also used to color cake decorations. In a few recorded instances, this dye was used to color icing, much like we do today.  In one case,  the industry making the dyes employed hundreds of young girls, who later died from chronic arsenic poisoning.  At a banquet held by the Irish Regiment in London in the 1850’s, sugar leaves that were dyed with the Emerald Green, and used as table decorations.  Many of the guests took the decorations home to give to their children to eat as a treat, whom later died.  Another dinner in 1860, a chef produced a spectacular green sugar dessert, used Scheele’s green and later, three of the diners later died.  If this is shocking, read this up on our modern day Aspartame. It has been proven that this popular sweetener used in coffee is toxic to your brain.  In fact, they say that when aspartame is added to hot waters, exceeding 86 degrees F. the Aspartame converts to Formaldehyde, and then to Formic Acid, which damages the brain….. yet this substance isn’t pulled off the market.

Emerald green was also called Schweinfurt green, Paris green, and Vienna green. The toxicity of emerald green was not initially recognized, until the recipe was published in 1822. Napoleon’s death in exile on St Helena was possibly a result by his exposure to the Emerald green wallpaper in his favorite room. The French painter Cezanne had an attraction for using paris green, and later it was known he suffered from severe diabetes. Later, the use of this pigment was abandoned when it became general knowledge that people who wore clothes dyed with this green tended to die early.

Here is the sad part- Even though they knew all the scientific evidence of its highly toxic nature, production of emerald green paint was not banned until the 1960’s. 

See: 10 Tips for Buying Used Furniture Online- Painted Furniture Online

The History Cinnabar Red

One of the most difficult to use and costly pigments on the market. Cinnabar red is obtained from a mineral (the principle ore of mercury). The Romans obtained it from the Almaden mines in Spain, which is still today an important locational source of mercury. In order for it to be used as a pigment, the mineral had to be purified, then synthesized and then ground to the correct fineness. If improperly handled, it could turn black.

Red’s hard. There are so many bad ones. They’re either too bordello or too raspberry nail polish. Or they’re so brown it’s like eating in a Southwestern theme restaurant, or so primary and overly frank that you want to ask, ‘Where do I put the presidential seal?’ I’m always looking for either a juicy pomegranate red, a Chinese lacquer red, or a really good oxblood. Because it’s such an important color, red needs nuance, subtlety, and depth, so in those rare instances that I break it out, I like to do it as a glaze, a lacquer, a fabric upholstery, or as red leather walls so there’s variation to the tone.”CELERIE KEMBLE

See: The Top Shades Of Red Paint By The Most Famous Designers- The Painted Furniture

The History Behind Lead White

The poisonous qualities of Lead White have been noted since Ancient Rome, when the color was made in Rhodes (Greece ) where workers would put shavings of thin lead over a bowl filled with vinegar. The acid on the thin metal would cause a chemical reaction and leave a white deposit of lead carbonate which was then powdered, flattened and left to dry in the sun. The small amount of lead white still manufactured today follows this same formula.

The History Behind Naples Yellow

The 18th and 19th century saw the discovery and manufacture of synthetic pigments and dyes, which quickly replaced the traditional yellows made from arsenic, cow urine, and other substances. Naples Yellow is one of the oldest synthetic pigments. Naples yellow was essential to the landscape tradition because it has a quality of appearing to recede, making it perfect for capturing the essence of the sun. The genuine pigment is toxic, and it is believed that Vincent van Gogh’s mental illness and suicide was a result of his frequent use of true Naples yellow.

Have scientists finally discovered why Van Gogh’s paintings are turning brown? Mail Online

Hope For Today

Today we have a wide variety of organic paints available within reach.  More than ever paint manufacturers are producing low VOC paints as people are looking at safer brands for their homes and health.  Olympic Premium and Benjamin Moore Aura have shown to have lower VOC levels than other tested paints and did a good job in this hiding test, according to Consumer Reports. VOC levels have been toughened because VOCs are linked to respiratory illnesses and memory impairment.

The top paints in the Consumer Report Ratings  had among the highest claimed VOC levels, including Behr Premium Plus Enamel low-luster and flat  and Benjamin Moore Regal semigloss.   They reveal that lowering the VOC levels can affect performance. “When you take out VOCs, you still need strong performance properties, but you have to find other ways to achieve them,” says Carl Minchew, product-development director  at Benjamin Moore. Still, some no- and low-VOC paints did well in performance revealed in the Consumer Report Ratings.  Posted in the Consumer Reports Magazine issue: March 2009

See: Green Dreams: Environmentally Friendly Restoration FurnitureThe Painted Furniture


This information below comes from

“PY41 is genuine Naples Yellow (Lead Antimonate), tubed paints come in two yellow versions, Light and Dark (sometimes available in a “red” pigment as well). Available from Vasari, Michael Harding and Robert Doak. Genuine Naples offer a smooth blending mild tinting yellow that works in more delicate situations, like portraiture. Here is a comparison of both Michael Harding genuine Naples Yellows along with others similar colors, including OH’s PBr24 imitation Naples Yellow Extra. The lower mixes show the colors tinted with white above, and black below.”


These beautiful paints  are the result of a recent collaboration between Fired Earth and the National Trust.

Founded in 1983 , Fired Earth began as a Terracotta supplier, and later expanded to offer bathroom and kitchen cabinetry, and hardware.  Although Fired Earth has a wide selection of house products, they are best known for their beautiful paints.

With their 30th Anniversary, they launched archive colours from their extensive library of paint pigments and featured six new colours named Delias Secret, Mad King George, Jazz Cafe, Hansel and Gretel, Eton Mess and Terracotta Warrior.

Fired Earth has also worked in collaboration with Kevin McCloud, a well known British designer and author and leading authority on colour.  Together, they created color formulas from carefully selected pigments, minerals and resins, chosen for their qualities of opacity, density, light fastness and durability. The paint was developed with minimal and low VOC’s.  These water-based paints are available in 120 colours in matte and eggshell finishes.

Kevin McCloud is best known in the UK as the color go to guy with a knowledge on every design style from historical to modern.  The Telegraph had an interesting article titled Are Posh Paints Really Worth It?they ask the question – Why spend the money, when you can get your local paint store to match the shade, and spend less? Here are a few interesting points from the Telegraph interview…..

McCloud, a self-confessed paint “anorak”, is unequivocal in his defence of posh paints. “Having used many, many different brands over the years, it is very clear to me that the more you pay, the better the paint,” he says. “Cheap paint has more water in it, less pigment and less binder.” Thus, as a rule, the more expensive paint covers better and lasts longer. It is also more environment-friendly, being lower in “Volatile Organic Compounds“.

“There is a place for cheap paint, and McCloud concedes he has painted his own kitchen in “bog ordinary trade white emulsion”, but the cheaper paints are made with synthetic pigments. And pigment, he explains, is what gives paint its quality and depth of colour. – “Traditional pigments tend to be made of rocks and minerals, earth and clay,” he says. “And consequently they are impure, and rather complex. The more complex the pigmentation, the more interesting the colour. It gives redolence and depth, and you get undertones – colours which subtly change in different lights.”

“One can say that this was a colour used in this particular house, on a certain day in, say, 1818, but the colour has probably faded, or gone darker, or yellowed. It’s very difficult to ascribe a particular nuance
of colour to a room for a particular date.”

The book ‘Choosing Colours’ by Kevin McCloud- Credit Nicola Holden Designs

Kevin McCloud’s Books

Choosing Colors: An Expert Choice of the Best Colors to Use in Your Home by Kevin McCloudAmazon

In this stunningly produced guide, internationally renowned interior designer Kevin McCloud puts together over 1,000 color chips arranged in over 80 palettes. Each palette—which includes anywhere from 6 to 16
color swatches—forms a blueprint for a unique decorative scheme. A palette based on old Chinese silk, for example, is seen reinterpreted in a contemporary New York apartment. Each palette features gorgeous photographs that bring the color scheme to life, along with invaluable advice and tips for using the colors to transform a room. This book provides manufacturers’ paint references and numbers, lists of suppliers, and much more.

Kevin McClouds Complete Book of Paint and Decorative Techniques by Kevin Mccloud- Amazon

From the earthy hues of Italian farmhouses to the cool elegance of Scandinavian interiors, color has always played a crucial role in decorative schemes. In the first section of the book a unique cut-out color selector illustrates the eight essential earth colors on the decorator’s palette and shows how to create and combine them successfully by clever intermixing of pigments. These essential colors, together with five secondary colors, are then used in the techniques throughout the book, so that all the stunning decorative effects can be easily recreated.

The techniques section that follows contains instructions and step-by-step photographs for more than 35 glorious decorative effects, plus countless variations. Each technique contains a list of essential ingredients, step-by-step photographs and a close-up of the finished surface or object.

Decorative Style: The Most Original and Comprehensive Sourcebook of Styles, Treatments, Techniques by Kevin Mccloud- Amazon

Using innovative, easy-to-master techniques and surprisingly inexpensive materials, Kevin McCloud — a brilliant young set designer turned interior decorator — shows you everything you need to know to design and create your own stunning adaptations of today’s most popular decorating styles.

There are forty styles in all — from Santa Fe, Shaker, Miami Deco, and Caribbean to Bauhaus, Biedermeier, Mackintosh, and French Country (to name just a few) — each designed and created especially by the author and stunningly photographed, with literally hundreds of styling options and color variations to choose from.

The decorative effects and other components of each style are analyzed, rephotographed with a full range of imaginative alternatives, and cross-referenced to all the techniques, tools, and materials needed to create each unique effect.

Kevin Mccloud’s Colour Now by Kevin McCloud- Amazon

Love blue but don’t know which shade to choose? In this dazzling new book, Grand Designs presenter Kevin McCloud has taken over 120 particular colours into 70 tried-and-tested palettes that are guaranteed to transform your home. A short introduction describes the history of colour and its replication, colour theory, how to combine colours into a palette and advice on how to use the book. Thereafter the bulk of the book is devoted to the colour palettes themselves – each made up of a collection of between 3 and 8 colour swatches and featuring an inspirational photograph demonstrating its possible use. Every palette is also introduced by a short piece of text describing its influences, potential and variety.

Choosing Colors: An Expert Choice Of The Best Colors To Use In Your Home by Kevin McCloudAmazon

This decorating guide explains techniques ranging from craquelure to marbling, colourwashing to liming wood, and provides information on tools and materials. The step-by-step photographs show exactly what to do, while the life-size details show the effect being aimed for.

Kevin McCloud’s Complete Decorator by Kevin McCloud- Amazon

This lovely 272 page book is filled with dozens of color photos showing many different decorating styles. It includes a unique cut-out graduated colour section, step-by-step instructions for a vast range of paint
techniques, easy colour mixing, working with different surfaces and objects and so much more.

Techniques of Decorating (Dk Living) by Kevin McCloudAmazon

Kevin McCloud is a leading influence in interior design. His unique and refreshing approach stems from a background in art history and the theatre. Using a repertoire of techniques ranging from the traditional to the self-invented, he offers an unsurpassed array of rich effects and a sure guide to effective styling. Each of the more than 30 creative effects – including gilding, verdigris, clair bois, stained glass and woodgrain – is explained in detail, while close-up, step-by-step photographs show exactly how to achieve it. A comprehensive section at the back of the book provides details of tools and materials needed and lists the addresses of suppliers.

‘Blue-ish greys are military and came into their own as World War I battleship camouflage. The really interesting greys, however, are those made with purple. They have a warm, brownish cast that flatters flesh tones and brings natural woodsy materials to life. They’re not popular, but they should be.’

‘Often the most stimulating colour combinations come from strong cultural influences – from the environment, from food or from nature. Here’s a pretty worldly palette: one of stone and sea and earth and sky.’

Principles Of Home by Kevin McCloudAmazon

On my list marked ‘fastidious obsessions’, getting the right fine old French grey comes pretty high on the list. If you were a colour expert, you could take some chalk-white casein distemper, add raw umber and a little raw siena and you’d be there. Note I didn’t mention black there – when you mix black and white the resulting colour is so cold you might as well call it blue. No, for a good grey, go greenish and go with earth colours. Fine complex colours are the tinctorial equivalent of a fine old French wine.’

“The hardest colours to get right are the four optical primaries: red, blue, yellow and green. The colours that will make your life a positive misery are tints of those colours. Most modern paints are coloured with a limited range of powerful synthetic dyes. The most interesting colours are those made with muddy, traditional earth pigments or complex arrangements of colourants.”

“The best pinks – those that change colour under different lighting conditions – are those on the cusp of red and purple, made with red oxide pigments. The best yellows or creams – those that can withstand bluish northern light and never look green – are made with yellow ochre.”


Drottningholm Palace also has a theatre that sits directly beside the palace.  The Drottningholm Palace Theatre, or in Swedish called “Drottningholms Slottsteater” is an opera house from 1766.   Today it is run by a private foundation, but still functions as a real theatre!  The theatre was built for Gustav III by his mother in 1766.   Gustav III loved the theatre so much and was often known as the theatre King. In 1792 when he was assassinated, his mother Louisa Ulrika of Prussia decided to close up the theatre at Drottningholm.  Then in the 1920s it was rediscovered, and because the theatre had not been used or touched in so many years, almost all the original equipment is still there.

This wonderful group of pictures came from TC4711 on Flicker, and Sim 1 Travels

I am so thankful to people like Hansn’s Flicker who have taken pictures for us to view.  King Gustaf III had this lobby made as an addition to the Court Theatre in 1791. It was also used for having breakfast. Musicians then sat on the upper floor making the music sound like coming from the heaven painted on the ceiling! When the King was murdered one year later the theatre was closed and it stayed closed for 130 years. Check out the marble finish on the walls. There are so many colors of faux marble wallpaper that you can put up to give the look of a high end interior marble. Add a tinted glaze over top of the wallpaper to mute the overall look so it doesn’t appear to be wallpaper. There are also many free videos on You tube today with Master Painters who show How to achieve these looks. If you are willing to learn, it just takes some practice.