11 December 2019

Dramatic Christmas Dining

Christmas comes but once a year, so I really love to splash out and create scenes of grandeur and splendour to impress my guests, and to give my dining spaces a cobweb-clear-out. For this look, I used the Chalk Paint® colour Athenian Black as inspiration. A little darker than most Christmas looks, but it's a black Christmas I think you'll really enjoy. 

This moody yet cosy Christmas backdrop was painted by my son, Felix. Felix painted the walls using a large Chalk Paint® Brush and Chalk Paint® in Athenian Black. Once the wall was dry, Felix used a Small Flat Brush to flick Chalk Paint® in Old White in differing increments at the centre of the wall to give the suggestion of a star-studded galaxy. Felix left these walls unwaxed because they are of a porous, lime stone quality in an old house and therefore they need to breathe. If you use Chalk Paint® on a wall in a high-traffic area of your home we recommend a layer of Clear Chalk Paint® Wax or Lacquer to protect from sticky fingers and beyond!

These crackers have been personalised to exactly match the Christmas décor. It’s a brilliant way to tie your scheme together and avoid the plastics associated with mass-produced Christmas crackers. Plain cracker making kits can be easily found at craft stores or online and filled with your own gifts. Then, simply pick your favourite Chalk Paint® colour (or the one which best ties your Christmas theme to your existing interiors scheme) and apply to the what will become the outer surface of your cracker. For a luxurious, festive finish, apply metallic Gilding Wax to the inner tube of the crackers (here I used Dark Silver). Make it your own inside too - write a joke for added bespoke humour, and tailor the cracker gifts to your audience. You'll never look back to mass-produced crackers again. And if you're feeling particularly authentic you can purchase the illusive cracker 'bang' to add too.

The baubles were given a rustic, rusty feel. These I created using my Gilding Waxes. One set I painted first with Chalk Paint® in Emperor's Silk before stippling roughly Warm Gold Gilding Wax and more Emperor's Silk over the top. The others, I painted with Paris Grey and stippled in the same manner with Dark Silver Gilding Wax. These rustic decorations were then hung from a branch at different heights using twine for a dramatic, twist on a Christmas chandelier. The chandelier, you can see above, made its way to the table top instead!

The look was finished off with a matching table cloth and napkins made from my fabric collection Linen Union in Graphite + Old White. I simply hemmed these with a sewing machine but if your not confident sewing you could simply cut them with pinking shears to minimise fraying, or tear the fabric and embrace the rustic look and feel! 

Let me know what you're doing to your Christmas spaces this year! Remember, if in doubt or in stress, a little goes a long way. This looks has been taken to the extreme, but taking small pieces of inspiration from here can help transform your space. 



3 December 2019

The Annie Sloan Gift Guide, issue 2

Due to the success of my last Christmas Gift Guide, I’ve compiled a new list of Chalk Paint® gifts for those you love, those you like, and those you really do have to get a gift for because they always get you something, all at different price points. 

Of course, I’m biased, but when I give a Chalk Paint® gift I feel as though there’s something inherently thoughtful about it: you’re giving an experience, an afternoon of therapeutic painting, an opportunity to be individual artistic and creative, and something a little out of the ordinary. These are my top picks for generous giving this Yule…give a gift that says “just for you”. From all-in-one blow out kits for those you really love to sweet Stocking Fillers for childrens' teachers, there’s something for everyone in your life. By purchasing these gifts from your local Annie Sloan Stockist, you’ll be supporting an independent business owner and helping them have a happy Christmas, too. Feel the 
feel good vibes, everybody! 

This is the big kahuna of Chalk Paint® Christmas Gifts. For just under £50 you can get your mitts on the essential building blocks of a proper Chalk Paint® collection. Chalk Paint® in BurgundyOxford Navy, and English Yellow represent each of the primary colours - meaning you can mix bespoke Chalk Paint® shades til the cows come home. Pure allows for a whole new world of lighter tones and pastel – and Louis Blue ties everything together. The Artist Box comprises the whole Chalk Paint® kit and caboodle together in one place, inside a beautiful wooden box that’s just begging to be transformed using the treasures within! In addition, you’ll also get a 120ml tin of Clear Chalk Paint® Wax, so that your loved one’s masterpieces can be finished and protected for years to come. Just apply using the Wax Cloth included. Finally, there’s two Annie Sloan Detail Brushes inside to encourage adding detail and truly unleashing one's inner artist! 

My Charleston Gift Sets come in three different colour ways. I recommend romantic Rodmell for the elegant classicalist in your life, funky Firle with its colour clashes of Scandinavian Pink for trendsetters, and Tilton for those who love rich, warm strong colour combinations. Each of these boxes can transform a small piece of furniture; a desk in a niece’s University halls, a chair in your brother in law’s study, or your best friend’s side table (the one where the wine bottle goes when you’re having an evening setting the world to rights). These boxes each contain three Chalk Paint® colours, a 120ml tin of Clear Chalk Paint® Wax and an Inspiration Guide. Click here for more information on each over on my website!

If your intended recipient is less of a roll-up-their-sleeves-and-get-stuck-in kind of person, or if their commitment to Chalk Paint® is so deep you think they already have e*v*e*r*y colour, or if they simply are a certified bookworm, may I present The Colourist: Collection - featuring Issue 1, Issue 2 and Issue 3. The Colourist is my love letter to colour, design, and creativity. Stuffed to the gills with gorgeous photography, stunning travel locations, and furniture to delight and divert! It’s been formatted to build an encyclopaedic archive to all the colours in the Chalk Paint® palette. These first three issues cover blues, greens, pinks, yellows, reds and beyond. Get all three at once in a rather sexy silver slip exclusively designed for Christmas and save £9.90. It’s basically a buy-two-get-the-third-free deal to give your gift giving a little extra bang for your buck! Always useful this time of year.

My Detail Brushes are supremely giftable – and, in my house a supremely important consideration – very easy to wrap! They come in a gorgeous presentation box decorated with an inspiring collage of suggested marks, patterns, and designs that the brushes themselves have been specifically developed to make. This is the gift to give anybody with an eye for detail, or one who is ready to take their furniture painting up a notch and add some extra vavavoom! Once you’ve already Chalk Paint® -ed everything in your home your only option is to add Swedish inspired details; or bone inlay-look splodges; or some ultra creative free-form shape making a la Lucy Tiffney.

Who can resist these petite metallic pocket rockets! My gorgeous Gilding Waxes spread glimmer and joy wherever you use them. The glory of metallic touches is that they go with everything. I recommend Copper for those who prefer a mid-century modern style, Gold for those in love with traditional French looks, and Silver for the minimalists amongst us. These are such cute little extras that add dimension and lustre to your work without any extra expertise required! Gilding Wax can be used on painted surfaces, bare wood, or even metallic furniture parts such as hinges or knobs to refresh. Perfect to pique someone's interest in the upcycling universe or for an OG devotee. Plus, who doesn’t love a little sparkle at this time of year?

Please note, all prices given here are UK RRPs and costs in other territories will differ - check with your local Stockist for accurate pricing for your region.

That’s all from me. I’m actually getting started on my Christmas cards because otherwise you can guarantee I’ll forget completely as the more exciting Christmas traditions demand my attention! Check my Instagram, Facebook or Twitter for daily updates – and I hope after reading this you can cross at least a few names off your gifting list!