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  • Writer's pictureTachic Hickman-Piazza

The Allure of Faux Plastered Walls

It's officially my favorite time of year...the month of DECEMBER! I love December for so many reasons...the cold crisp air, a reason to finally layer on clothing, a reason to sip hot cocoa and hot tea and of course because of the warm and fuzzy feelings the holidays generally bring on. But above all reasons mentioned, I love December because it's my month of birth. December 5th to be exact.

Crazy Wild Fact: Yep, I'm a true blue Sagittarius. Hence the reason I love the color blue as much as I do and also the reason the living room in #HousePiazza is adorned in such gorgeous shades of blue. I can't help it if I wanted to. Blue is both my birth and gem stone associated with my sign.

So for the first time since my husband and I had our home built on the Northsore side of New Orleans, I finally threw my first birthday & holiday bash two days before my birthday, Saturday - December 3rd. Sadly, I do not have any photos to share in this particular post from my birthday bash. Mainly because I tried my hardest to actually be "present" for all of the fun and activities and not be so consumed into posting on social media or taking a plethora of photos. Most photos weren't even taken until the very end of the night and ironically not by my camera or iPhone. And, I have to tell you I'm so happy I made the decision to be "present" because I thoroughly enjoyed my party. It was truly one of the best parties yet that I've ever given surrounded by such great company and amazing guests.

However, I did create a live video on my personal Facebook page from the night of my birthday bash. To view that particular video click here.

One of the reasons I was so ecstatic about my birthday bash, was because I knew it would be so many of our invited guests first time ever seeing #HousePiazza in person, in the flesh. Now while most of our invited guests have all visited my design blog or follow me on social media and have seen all of the photos...there's still nothing quite like taking in great interior design and decor in person. Being able to touch, feel, smell and take in every little detail that simply can't be fully captured through still photos or even through moving images such as videos, will always be far better in comparison. So for me, while this was a fun night of celebration for both my birthday and the was also a welcoming event. I literally welcomed each of our guests into me and my husband's home and took delight in their appreciation for the home I've curated thus far.

And, yes indeed, I was the hostess with the mostess, that opened the door and said the magical words that I've been eagerly waiting to say...

Well Hello, Welcome To House Piazza!

(I swear I'm so extra sometimes - just bear with me, lol)

Prior to our house party, I'd been busy for the past year getting our home together for my most recent photo shoot this past September. But also not just for the photo shoot...obviously for me and my husband to indulge comfortably and enjoy as well. So one of the most extravagant features Charlie and I decided to add to our home this year, was the stunning addition of faux plastered walls. I badly wanted something that would add this unique character and elegance to our home outside of furnishings and decor.

In particular I was looking for a classic, yet timeless element that would tie in my entire look on our first floor level, considering we have an open floor plan. Now Charlie and I are both art fanatics. We LOVE beautifully designed art pieces and have been collecting artworks for several years from various vendors. While we do collect them from retailers, one of my personal favorites is to collect artworks from some of the many local talented artists here in NOLA. It's no secret the city of New Orleans is known for our amazing festivals and one of the things I love about our festivals are having the opportunity to see all of the spectacular art pieces by so many talented locals.

In addition, even outside of a can go down to Jackson Square any day of the week and select an amazing painting from one of the many phenomenal artists selling their art pieces downtown. In our former home, that's exactly what I did. I'd go downtown and carefully observe all of the art pieces staged around Jackson Square and make my selection. Or, I'd pick up local art pieces from one of the million festivals we have here. So of course that thought and process came to mind once again. However, in our former home...I created an art gallery wall for our hallway, showcasing all of the beautiful paintings we'd collected. I wasn't so sure I wanted to emulate that same look in our new home. Well at least not throughout the first level open floor plan.

I knew that I wanted to add a feature to our home that would immediately pull you in and grab one's attention as soon as they set foot through our doors, but in the most tasteful and elegant way. I'm a firm believer when decorating any home or space, that the very first room should set the tone and essentially showcase if only just a sample, for what's to come for the rest of the home. As much as Charlie and I both love to adorn our walls with art pieces, I still wasn't sold on if staging canvass art pieces all throughout our first-level was the look that would tie everything altogether. Instead, I desired something new and different than I'd ever executed before. So I patiently waited until creative inspiration revealed itself and boy did she EVER!!!

Design Tip: When unsure of how to execute your design plans, or unsure in general of which direction to go in...if nothing else do NOT rush the process! Just be patient and allow your creative ideas to come organically and be inspired as they will. Or, if all else fails...simply hire an Interior Decorator or Interior Stylist (both are essentially one in the same) that can aid you with your process and help bring your vision to life. 😉

For the past two years, my husband and I have been fortunate enough to participate in the Northshore Parade of Homes. It's truly an AMAZING event for any and all design enthusiasts. Parade of Homes takes place all throughout the country in various cities, with each city participating at different times of the year. So both the New Orleans Parade of Homes and the Northshore Parade of Homes (which is the Northsore side of New Orleans) usually take place in May of each year. It's always during beautiful Spring weather and you get the opportunity to view all of these extraordinary well designed homes. In addition, Parade of Homes affords you the advantage of learning who's who in your local design world...who the developers and builders are, what Interior Designers and Decorators staged the homes, what retailing companies provided the furnishings and decor, who the realtors are behind the properties, etc...

My personal favorite for last year's, 2015 Northshore Parade of Homes, was learning who the artist was behind this absolutely gorgeous designed foyer in the home pictured below.


Builder & Developer: Integrity Builders, Inc.

Now I have to tell you, for anyone who has yet to participate in your cities Parade of are missing out big time! I highly encourage you to find out when your city will be showcasing homes for the 2017 year, mark it on your calendars and be ready to be blown away. And, it doesn't matter if you're not on the market looking for a home. Just touring these homes alone will lend inspiration to you for days, months, perhaps even years for features you can add into your current home. Trust me on this, as it's the sole reason I'm writing this particular blogpost...all in honor of the inspiration that came from the interior of the above photo, and the artist that stepped into my life.

Picture it...late April 2015 in my Northshore home, I'm perusing through the book of Faces and I stumble upon the Northshore Parade of Homes page. I click on the link provided on their page and begin to view all of the recently completed custom and model homes that will be available to tour. And, then I see it! I stumble upon a photo of one of the most breathtaking and captivating foyer entrances I'd ever seen. No you don't understand!! This foyer wasn't just amazing, it was mind-blowing simply because of the beauty the artist created on the walls.


Builder & Developer: Integrity Builders, Inc.

Plastered Faux Finish Artist: Revealed Below - C'mon play along 😉

The first thought that came to my mind was OMG! Who created this aged masterpiece on these walls? Second thought was how much? Before I could get to any further thoughts or share the photo with my husband, I decided to keep silent. Why? Well, I'm happy you asked. Allow me to share...

Charlie and I had originally planned on adding a faux plastered finish to our Master Bedroom on our back wall, as the accent wall. Little did we know at the time just how expensive such a feature could cost. Or, rather how costly certain finishes and the labor involved are. As bad as we both wanted the feature, we couldn't bring ourselves to logical reasoning to spend that kind of money albeit for one wall. So before I even opened my mouth to try and get my husband on board once again for an expensive faux plastering was imperative that I see the work in person first, meet the artist and get educated on the pricing as soon as possible! I was on a serious homework mission and I managed to do all three.

I went to tour the home not once but three times. YES, three times! That's how breathtaking it was. First time I went alone and inquired about the artist behind the walls. To which, I found out she'd (Yes, SHE - girl power!) be present the following day for the reception party the developers of the home were throwing in honor of the home being complete and ready for purchase. I went back the following day, met the artist and surprisingly received a rough estimate on what it would cost to have our foyer walls designed in a faux plastered finish.

As I gave the artist an idea of the layout of our foyer, which was similar to the home that lured me into her work, I literally waited with bated breath and with my fingers crossed praying that the cost would be more affordable. And, surprisingly it was! I actually let out a sigh of relief when the artist gave me a rough estimate. I left with a HUGE smile on my face knowing that I'd be able to make the new numbers make sense to my husband, otherwise it just wasn't going to happen.

The third and final time I toured the beautifully designed, custom-built home by Integrity Builders, Inc., I brought my husband along with me. He needed to see these walls in person himself. He needed to see what I saw. He need to be allured by these walls in the same manner that I was. And, though the price was much more affordable this time around...the cost of everything still had to make sense to him. It's just the way Charlie's mind works. He's an Aquarius, he can't help it. Me on the other hand...I'm the dreamer with big, creative lofty ideas among the two of us. I did mention above that I'm a Sagittarius. My sign is associated with the planet Jupiter who's very being represents expansion and everything BIG! My husband is the practical and logical one who's usually my voice of reason when my ideas are a bit too grand for his taste, lol.

So Charlie accompanies me on this third and final visit to see not only this beautifully built home, but these remarkable foyer walls. The moment of truth is at hand. He walks through the doors AND...

He LOVES IT!!! Charlie's reaction had me doing the happy dance for the rest of the evening. His reaction was damn near identical to mine's. He couldn't take his eyes away from the beauty of the walls. He wanted to touch it, feel it, study it...even learn about the process itself. From the moment we walked into the custom home, we were immediately pulled in. It was almost like a magnetic pull because the attraction was just that strong. The foyer walls completely set the tone for the rest of the house and all of the beauty staged throughout.

The artist did such an amazing job, I didn't really have to present a case to get my husband on board. Immediately our thoughts synched and we were both eager and anxious to have the artist come and create the same beauty in our home. And, oh my did she EVER!!!

Ladies and Gentleman...without further ado allow me to introduce you to the amazing artist behind so many stunning walls and also the artist behind the foyer and mantle walls of #HousePiazza

Kellie Hyatt Gironda has become both our friend and our ever so amazingly talented faux plastered finish artist. Kellie's work extends beyond wall finishes but also to custom finishes for furniture pieces and cabinets. In addition, Kellie also creates murals. She's a true artist at heart and has such a passion for creating exquisite pieces. Kellie completed our foyer walls this past Spring. She was such a delight to work with and she's soooooo committed to getting the colors and the textures as precise as possible. See the finished look in the video below.

In Her Own Words, Kellie's Process: "My plastered walls start with a base coat of paint in preferably an eggshell finish. I use sheetrock mud, a six inch joint knife and troll pans. I troll the wall in a textured pattern with the joint knife, and then let it dry. From there, I use the selected paint colors and then begin to add a little sheetrock to each color. Then I begin to troll the paint into the wall in layers - or layer by layer. The paint then puddles into the textured grooves and angles. Creating a weathered old world look."

We chose a mixture of warm and dark tones for our foyer walls to compliment the botany beige neutral color displayed throughout our home. But the shining feature on our foyer walls is none other than the shimmery gold spread throughout.


Interior Styling By: Allured By Design

Photo Still By: Asolid Photography

Shooting Location: House Piazza

Plastered Faux Finish Artist: Kellie Hyatt Gironda

Home Decor: Wall Art - Niche Modern Home

Wardrobe: White Blazer - The Limited, "Good As Gold" T-Shirt - Shop with Tene, Red Midi Skirt - Shop with Tene,

Shoes - Nine West

Because gold is my common thread or the common accent color spread across our home, it was imperative to me that we add in gold highlights throughout the faux plastering process, in an effort to further tie everything altogether. It took Kellie a little over a week to complete both our foyer walls and our mantle. And, I have to tell you...Charlie and I couldn't be more happy with the end result. It's a feature that indeed was worth every penny, in addition to adding value to our home.

As guest entered our home on the night of my birthday bash, our foyer walls evoked the same exact feeling both my husband and I felt when we first saw Kellie's work. People were immediately pulled into the beauty of it, as it's the very first thing that draws you into our space as well as setting the tone for everything else. I remember one guest in particular saying, "OMG! I've seen the photos on your blog, but it's nothing in comparison to the beauty in person."

To put it simply, faux plastered walls are truly a conversation piece. I'd encourage anyone that's ever considered having the feature added, to go for it.

Design Tip: I'd advise on doing research first on the various faux plastered finishes and what looks and colors will work well in your space with your furnishings and decor. I'd also advise on researching different artists that are skilled in the technique to ensure they ultimately give you what you're looking for. And, most importantly I'd highly advise anyone that's interested in the feature, to save your coins!

Although Kellie's price was more affordable for our budget, let me be is still NOT a cheap process!!! You're essentially paying for the artist's labor, time, skill, use of materials and the scale of the project. Contingent upon the type of materials used in the process alone, can often times drive up the cost despite of how large or small the project is. For any of my followers in NOLA or on the Northshore side of New Orleans that are interested in reaching out to Kellie, please click here for her HOUZZ profile and to see more of her work.

Honorary Mention: Besides Kellie, another outstanding faux finish artist that I'd recommend is C. Michael of C. Michael Designs. His work is phenomenal, though pricey, as the bulk of his decorative finishes are very high-end. In addition, his clientele boasts various celebrities, which speaks to how mind-blowinlgly beautiful his work is. Definitely another artist I'd love to work with one day. To view his website, click here.

And, to finally wrap things up...(C'mon ya'll know how I do - I'm a writer at heart, with a filmmaking background - so I have to share all of the details)

My birthday and holiday bash was a success and one of the happiest and most fun filled nights of this year for me. I truly enjoyed all of our guests. I was thankful simply for being able to welcome our guests into our home. I was even more tickled that some of our guests wanted to not only take photos of our foyer walls, but also wanted to touch and feel it as well. Why? Because it was the same reaction that Charlie and I had when we first laid eyes on Kellie's work ;)

I'm super grateful for having met Kellie and very much so looking forward to our next project together. Oh yes...we have future plans for Kellie to come back and create more beauty in another room. But ultimately, what I was looking for as I mentioned eons ago, much earlier in this post...I wanted something unique that would add character and elegance to our space. Something that would totally transform our home in the most graceful and poised way. Instead of staging abstract paintings all throughout our foyer walls, Kellie made our walls become the artwork itself. And, once again Charlie and I couldn't be more happy with the beauty she created.

The biggest shoutout to Kellie and an even bigger shoutout to the allure of faux plastered walls. Be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram. And, as always should you have any design questions, comments or concerns feel free to contact me by clicking here.

With Love,


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