AMITHA VERMA STYLE
Get that Beach House or Country Cabin Look With Historically Accurate Colors
By Joyce Horn, owner of Joyce Horn Antiques, LtD Story by Barbara Canetti | Photos courtesy of Amitha Verma, LLC
Amitha Verma wants to help make your furniture look old again. But she understands that most DIY aficionados don’t want to spend the weekend sanding and priming. They want a new look and they want it now.
Knowing that, she worked with chemists to come up with her own brand of chalk-style furniture paint, a creamy paint that applies easily and dries quickly to a velvety, smooth matte finish. That finish, along with several interesting enhancements, can transform any dated piece of furniture into a fresh new look that will work well in a country-style or beach house escape.
Verma says the whitewashed techniques — usually done by watering down paint and applying it all over — gives even heavy, wooden furniture a lighter feel. The whitewashing allows any room to take on a warm or cool homey feel. The paints she has created come in 12 designer colors, which she considers “forever” colors, while shying away from primary or craft colors. Her chalk finish paints come in muted shades such as Chantilly white, French gray, Belgian blue, Latte beige and Noir black. The antiquing finishes are either gray or brown, giving each piece a new old look.
But to stay with a beachy look, Verma suggests that all the finishes in the house should be light: the floors, the backsplash and the walls, as well as the furnishings. “The kitchen is always the center of the house and the light, fresh colors make the room welcoming,” she says. If stone or tile is chosen, she suggests light, neutral colors to keep to the relaxed look of the room.
In terms of decorating, she recommends casual seating rather than formal arrangements. “Use ottomans, poufs and throws in the room to keep a comfortable, escape-the-city feeling,” she says.
Chairs and couches should be covered with the wide selection of durable outdoor upholstery. “I prefer the fabrics made for outdoor furniture for indoor furniture because it wears better and can handle stains and wet bathing suits without any damage to the fabric. It is great for lounging around,” she says.
For lighting in the living room, dining room, entryway or other areas, Verma likes the beaded chandeliers that are affordable while also making a statement.
So, although a room’s hard surfaces are painted in basic, subdued and muted tones, she brings the necessary color into a room through art, rugs and other furnishings.
One of the popular techniques Verma teaches in her workshops is a layered chippy (or crackle) paint look that gives furniture or furnishings an aged and casual flair. Verma, an interior designer and antiques dealer, says not all pieces of furniture are candidates for updating. Fine antiques should not be painted, but items that are in poor condition or vintage pieces that have no real value can be enhanced, up-cycled and made to look old again, but this time with style.
Verma offers hands-on classes each month: a beginners class as well as one that teaches advanced techniques, such as distressing, two-color layering and intricate detailing.
“It is not difficult to do but the change to each piece gives it a whole new life,” she says.
CLASSES AND “BRING A PIECE TO PAINT” HAPPY HOURS
April 13, 10:30 a.m., Free Fundamentals
April 20, 10:30 a.m., Beginners Hands On Workshop
April 20, 1:30 p.m., Advanced Pro Workshop
April 27, 10:30 a.m., Happy Hour
May 4, 10:30 a.m., Free Fundamentals
May 18, 10:30 a.m., Happy Hour
June 8, 10:30 a.m., Free Fundamentals
June 15, 10:30 a.m., Happy Hour
June 22, 10:30 a.m., Beginners Hands On Workshop
June 22, 1:30 p.m., Advanced Pro Workshop
Register at www.classes.amithaverma.com/houston
Amitha Verma Chalk Finish Paint
(Paint, wax, finishes and brushes)
Huffman True Value
11934 FM 1960 East, Huffman
Jacksons Home and Garden
6950 Lemmon Avenue, Dallas
7211 FM 1488, Magnolia
Upper Bay Frame & Gallery
2450 East Main, Suite D, League City
1200 Blalock, Suite 350