29 January 2020

Welcome to my latest Painter in Residence, Chloe Kempster of Maisie's House

Chloe Kempster is the Chalk Paint® maestro behind Maisie’s House. Chloe is a UK based furniture painter who I first discovered through her stunning Instagram account, where she shares regular updates of her experiments in style and colour.

Chloe’s signature look is hard to pin down; always beautiful, always innovative, and always original this is a painter who isn’t afraid to explore new avenues, channel unusual inspiration and have fun! That said, I can recognise a Maisie’s House piece from fifty yards – something in the flair, the expert execution of an idea, and the artistry is just so immediately recognisable as Chloe’s work. As well as being a stalwart in the furniture painting scene, Chloe has also leant her talents to BBC1s Money for Nothing demonstrating how easily Chalk Paint® can be used to upgrade your furniture and your home. An inspiring lady indeed.

Maisie’s House is named after Chloe’s grandmother, Nannie Maisie. Chloe fondly remembers Nannie Maisie’s bright yellow Formica kitchen, complete with lifesize palm tree mural (bold now but even more impressive when you consider this was the décor she chose for her council flat way back in the 1960s!). This and the eccentric William Morris touches in the parental home enthused a young Chloe with a lifelong passion for interior design. Formative years spent in boldly, joyfully curated interiors is evident in Chloe’s passion for bright colours, playful designs, and witty styling touches.

Similar to myself, Chloe studied Fine Art at University. Her style became more expressive and she embraced pattern, colour and texture over figurative painting. After University she moved into Retail where she nourished her flair for aesthetics and creativity through visual merchandising – a period of study in staging which is evident through her simple, impactful furniture photography.

It was when Chloe and her husband bought their first home, which they renovated themselves due to budget restrictions, that Chloe was really able to explore her gifts. “After starting a family fairly young, we couldn't afford brand new pieces to furnish the place and wanted a unique look so I used to scour auctions, charity shops and antique centres for interesting pieces that I could restore or paint and put my own stamp on. I guess this is where painting furniture really started! Not only was it a great way to save money it also helped me to stay creative. We all know as parents, that sometimes it's hard to find a space for ourselves amongst all the chaos but painting has certainly done that for me.”

Maisie’s House is the result of Chloe realising, retaining and nurturing that creative spark of hers. Her painting style produces functional art, through a myriad of different paint techniques, expert use of colour, and an empathy for the furniture she is upcycling. Not afraid to restore and refresh unloved furniture from any era, Maisie’s House designs are notable for the way each makeover complements the innate character of the furniture in a way which is modern, painterly, expressive and endlessly gorgeous to look at. Chloe loves bringing new life to old furniture (which she values as usually being better made than flat pack quick fix options) not only because of the creative process itself but because in bringing something old new life she feels as though she is “holding hands with the planet”.

When I spoke to Maisie’s House about becoming a Painter in Residence and sharing her enthusiasm, her talent, and her incredible imagination for new looks for old pieces she was so quick to agree, “every time I use a brush I feel like a little bit of Chloe is coming out into the world and I would hope to inspire others to pick up a paintbrush and do the same. Art is more of a journey rather than a final destination and there is no right answer, best just to try it and see where it takes you!”

I can’t wait to see where this Painter in Residence journey takes us all and what one-of-a-kind pieces we see on the way. Stay tuned!




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