The first two steps you need to know before you start

Want to know where to get more bang for your buck when it comes to interior design and renovating? Are you worried you’re not making the right changes? Well all you need to know is my absolute philosophy I use when helping people make changes to their homes interiors. That is the seven layers of design. Out of all the seven layers, the first two are the most important!
Layer 1: Paint & Architecture.
Layer 2: Installed Flooring.
These are the most sacred and most valuable steps and they are the first!
My amazing client Angie brought me to her home and needed some major design changes. She told me she spent over $800 on pillows and accessories and she was unhappy and confused. I knew what she ultimately had to do and tell her about the seven layers to interior design. We started with the first layer. I told her to repaint her walls with something new and modern. I also painted a big empty wall in her game room like a chalk board. This house had a unique wall openings so I thought why not utilize it?
Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 11.53.24 AM
I then had this vision of painted shiplap along her walls. She had the boards put up and painted and it brought the most unique and perfect touch to the style of her home. The paint and shiplap accentuates the cool architecture, baseboards, and sections in In her home. (Also check out the custom weathered wood and wire cabinets.)
Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 11.52.46 AM
Next, she had an overwhelming 3 types of flooring in her home, so I told her to pick new flooring and make it only one type. She had me help her pick out the most unique and inspired by her personal country  style taste. The flooring picked out completed the second layer of design. This was a huge difference because she previously had so many different types of flooring in one space.
Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 11.53.00 AM
 The flooring helped the flow of the house and helped it remain a certain elegant style.
Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 11.56.37 AM
She made so much change with just two layers down that she started there and suddenly great design was coming to her. She felt inspired. We remodeled the kitchen next to give her the best Country style kitchen. Complete with weathered barn doors. I also told her to close off a small hallway and turn it into an open pantry and that’s just what she got.
Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 11.59.35 AM
We had her put the shiplap on her one wall all the way through as her kitchens back splash and on her Island. We re-plastered her hood to a beautiful and softer finish. We gave her more distressed weathered wood cabinets and shelving. This kitchen really turned into a sophisticated country style that our client dreamed of. Her remodeled kitchen after her floors and walls really brought things together and gave here a direction to go with her home. All you have to do is learn the seven layers of design.
Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 12.00.50 PM
The new design of her home has changed dramatically for the better. She now has a beautiful home.
The seven layers matter. The first two are the ones you need to start with before you even consider decor or furniture. Make the most out of your home or space and start with the first two layers.

All about my vacation + a unique DIY Souvenir

I was out of the studio and office because sometimes you just need to close shop and get away from your surroundings. Do you follow me on Facebook and Instagram? If so, some of you were asking about where I was and what I was doing on some of my posts. I took 10 day Caribbean vacation to Turks and Caicos Islands and spent time with some old friends, and made new ones. My really good friend owns a house, her and her husband built on a dream! I got an invite right at the same time it was my sons 21st birthday and so off we went!

Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 12.17.29 PM

The Turks and Caicos waters are breath taking and that is so relaxing to me. We stayed on the Salt cay (pronounced “Salt Key”) which is an Island that was a huge epicenter for the production of salt in the 1700s. The Turks and Caicos is located in the Bahama island chain and is owned by the Queen of England. The Island Salt Cay has a grand whopping population of 63 people. The people there were so fun, happy, warm and welcoming.

Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 12.18.31 PM

My friends and the home I stayed in.  “Calypso”

Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 12.18.49 PM

Some of the new friends my son and I made with the locals.

Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 12.19.02 PM

 Some beautiful beach time in that gorgeous blue water.

Sometimes when you are so caught up in your own business and are running low on creativity you have to hop out of the country for a little bit to breathe, catch up on the beauty of nature, and separate yourself from everything for a little bit. I came back with a full force of creativity and appreciation for the simple life.
     I’ve brought lots of goodies back from my trip! It’s a tiny rural Island with no shops or anything of that kind, so you have to take something from nature as a souvenir. Watch this Youtube video on how I change one super awesome Island goodie into a beautiful sophisticated home decoration piece by using paint and gold leaf !

Thank you all for being into my trip and following me 😉

Kari Caldwell Studios is growing and big things are coming all thanks to you!
I cherish your interaction and hope you find a place to recharge your creativity too.

And the winner is… Parisian Plaster!

Did you catch our contest on Facebook? We had a “name it to win it” type of contest two weeks ago where I asked you all to name my newest project. I came up with a finish that I filmed a video for and asked my Facebook followers to name it to get the video for free! Amber Black, a contestant came up with “Parisian Plaster” which was the winner! She won herself a free video on my newest video!
Watch the video below to check out the other names:

 This is a video where I teach you how to create a chipped paint finish. This is a finish for anything! I did one for a bench for a client and for a dresser! I sold both of them and made some money and now I want to show you how you can flip a furniture piece into a chipped paint Parisian plaster masterpiece!

If you dig this look, learn to create it. Get my newest video tutorial where I show you what I products I use and how to use them. Learning a skill like this can really set you apart to becoming the artists you were meant to be.
Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 12.12.20 PM
Make sure to like my Facebook page for more cool contests, posts and more if you haven’t already.
Have a positive day and stay creative,

Do you know how to start a wall stencil?

Considering Wallpaper in your home or business? Stop right there and put the glue down. Consider stenciling first! Stenciling is a great way to replicate almost any pattern to a wall without the prep and ripping of the wall. All you need to use is a stencil, tape, and paint. It’s that easy!
If you are also considering doing an accent wall, stop right there before you paint it all solid! Get something better and more interesting than a solid wall color!
Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 12.02.37 PM
My client and designer wanted to fill a giant blank void of wall so I thought I would choose a stencil that was inspired by the chair patterns in the same room. They loved the idea and let me do my magic to this wall! So with my royal design studio stencil and paint, I made this look possible!
Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 12.04.07 PM
Stenciling was kind of a challenge because this wall is slanted. I had to trust my technique and handle this little sliver! You work center downwards, then right and left to close it all up.
Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 12.05.22 PM
I was posting on Facebook as kind of my visual diary through the process and people thought it was wallpaper! It’s not! Stenciling can give you such a better controlled look.
 Another person on my Facebook asked me how I even start a stenciling pattern because she was scared and intimidated to start one! It’s simple, let me show you. In my new Youtube Video below I show you how I put this pattern on can watch the whole transformation to the end through a time lapse:


I personally love using Royal Design Stencils and used the “Khanjali ikat” stencil for this wall. I love the pattern and it adds something so wonderful to make a beautiful statement walls. You can do this same pattern in any color with this high quality stencil. You can get the exact Stencil here:
I typically buy two so I can get it done faster with my assistant.
If Stenciling is something you think you want to try, I encourage you to do so! Get going and paint something beautiful,

I’m not a player, I just crush a lot…

Do you have authentic wood pieces covered in an ugly heavy varnish? It’s gross, dude.
One way to solve this is to paint it. But I used a  totally awesome new technique. I strip it down by using a Soda Blaster! If you are a DIY-er that doesn’t like heavy duty projects, this may not be for you. It’s very messy and time consuming.
Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 11.48.48 AM
One of my designers dropped off an antique console from France. It was a dark cherry varnish finish that wasn’t so pretty. So I had my employee Robbie strip it using a Soda Blaster. It made such a huge difference that I honestly fell in love with this technique! Once it’s stripped down and raw it still wasn’t as pretty and light as I wanted it to be so I bleached it about ten times to get the light raw look I wanted. It got even better and pushed it exactly to where I wanted the piece to go once I finished it off with some wax. In the end, I was so crushing on my designers piece! I think it’s such a big difference and to whomever gets to have this in their home, they’re very lucky.
Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 11.49.14 AM
If this interests you and you want to dramatically change up your heavy varnished furniture, I have some awesome news for you! This is a brand new service I am offering at my Studio. If you have any furniture that you want to strip down to a raw wood finish just email me and drop it off into my studio, or deliver it to me and I will get that varnish off and make it a totally beautiful piece!
​Have a creative day,

I never gave up, I logged on instead

You’ve probably seen me all over social media. I try my best to update often and be myself. When I first started out with my business, people would totally question why I use it or scoff  “that’s so stupid.” It’s not stupid at all! When I was in a hard place and had only $2,400 to my name I logged on to the computer and grew my business! I had no other way to make money. I wasn’t about to give up my artist lifestyle for another job. I made social media accounts and hustled to get where I am today and still hustle!

social media

Social media is a perfect medium for me. I am a shy “standoffish” person but with social media I can post for thousands of people to see because I can communicate comfortably. It’s a tool where I can teach people all over the world to paint. I treat my social media presence as a business and conduct business accordingly because that is where I get some business to paint, and can get others excited to want to paint. So obviously, I wish to be treated like a business on social media.

​I try to give as much of myself and time that I can balance my life without being a workaholic. If you want to watch me paint, watch a quick tutorial, see what I work with and how I work it. I have an excellent YouTube Channel with almost 100,000 views that I am sure you can step away with some knowledge or inspiration from. I also of course have Sellfy videos for purchase where I can teach you step by step to paint.
Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 11.28.03 AM
Kari Caldwell Studios is a business that works in Southern California homes and also creates videos to help others paint in order to change what they have in their home or to become professional painters so they can hustle and make a better life for themselves. When I get messages with people asking me to tell them what products I use, how to use it, where I buy things, etc. It feels a bit invasive of my intellectual property and icky. I’ve spent 20 years building up my business and I am continuing to build and grow. I am not obligated to tell anyone anything.  I always want the best for my viewers and want you to be happy with your furniture, home, or business. I would love to chat all day about what products I use and how to use it over social media to you, but I can’t. I am a girl boss! I have a business to run, employees to pay, and a family to support!
You wouldn’t walk into a store, see a dress, then ask the associates how they made the dress and to tell you what fabrics and dyes they used. It’s the same thing. My social media is a business. So thank you so much for those of you that treat it like so, you’re my tribe. I wish you the best.

Don’t get shut down…your itches will be scratched and your questions will be answered! I am rebooting my website super soon where I have a new service to offer! Virtual consultations! We can set up a meeting where I can walk you through the steps or answer your paint color questions, clear coat questions, and other questions without any distractions. Stay tuned for that option! We can chat about whatever you want. It’s coming soon. So save a date for me if  you got questions 😉

If you are trying to grow a business yourself, do not take social media as a joke! Do not give up on your artistic passions! Make that money. I suggest you log on to sites like Facebook, Youtube, and Pinterest and grow! If you are not a business person and more of a hobby painter, support other painters starting up a business and get inspired.
Have a creative day and never stop the hustle,