A week ago last Saturday, I was lucky enough to be invited down to Annie Sloan‘s headquarters in Oxford for a workshop, alongside some other interiors bloggers. I was ridiculously happy to receive this invitation, as I’ve been a huge fan of Annie’s paints and fine art approach to interiors for years, and so my inner fangirl was giddy with excitement! For those of you who aren’t familiar with Annie, she is the original creator of Chalk Paint, and has written countless books on using her paint to completely transform furniture, fabric and interiors. I got in my little car at 6am and made the journey down to Oxford (with plenty of coffee stops!).
When I finally arrived we were welcomed with tea and pastries, before Annie gave us a tour of her wonderful headquarters. Despite being an industrial unit, Annie and her team have made it completely unique and it is bursting with gloriously coloured walls, furniture and art. My particular favourite part was this incredible feature wall in the stairwell, made up from painted and gilded reclaimed shutters, doors and carved pediments.
Isn’t that wall just amazing?
After our tour, we took our seats to start the workshop. Annie told us all about her fine art background, how she came up with the idea for her magical Chalk Paint, and the inspirations behind her colour palette. I have to admit that I felt fairly star struck at this stage – Annie is after all, a bit of a legend in the world of creative interiors!
Annie also explained the art behind mixing colours and complimentary colours, gave us a fabric dying demonstration (Yes! You can dye fabrics with her paints! Check out the gorgeous cushions below). She also talked about her amazing work and collaboration with Oxfam which is truly inspiring.
We were all given a paper mache pineapple, and were let loose amongst the rainbow coloured paint pots and Annie’s new gilding waxes (which, by the way, are so much fun to use!).
Can you guess which one is mine?
I left the workshop with some lovely new blogger friends, and feeling completely and utterly inspired, my mind sparking with new ideas and projects. It really was a fantastic day. We also left with goody bags with some paints and gilding waxes tailor made to each of us for our next project. I already know what I’m going to do with mine, and hope to get started this week!
Each of the bloggers who attended the workshop are sharing their painted pineapples styled in their own home over the next week, so do pop over to see my finished pineapple! The hashtag is #AnnieSloanPineapple, you can find me on Instagram here.
In other news, the allotment has come on in leaps and bounds, thanks to my parents! We spent three solid days working on it, and turned it from a wilderness to a little paradise. I’ll share some update photographs with you tomorrow so do pop back to see our progress!