This week’s installment of our Stencil Star™ series features the incredible works of Arizona-based husband and wife team, Anna & Scott Sadler of Surface Refinements. They use Modello Designs vinyl wall stencils and patterns in ever-creative and ways for many unique surfaces, such as ceiling and mirror stencils and also within their decorative paint finishes. Their love of design and patterns enable them to incorporate stencils in most all of their projects.
Anna & Scott Sadler
ABOUT SURFACE REFINEMENTS
Anna’s art business operated under different names for over 20 years, and had been based at times in Montreal, Naples (Florida) and Monte Carlo. She spent 5 years in the South of France and owned two art galleries in Monaco. She spent a summer in Tuscany studying fresco painting and took a watercolor and illustration class in St Paul de Vence, France with Ringo Starr and his wife Barbara Bach. The former Beatle and his actress wife were clients, as was Prince Albert of Monaco and several Formula One race car drivers. Then, talk about opposites attracting! Scott was a police officer in Toronto and personal trainer in Montreal. Anna was an accomplished artist who gave little thought to fitness. They met, fell in love and became successful business partners. Anna got interested in fitness and nutrition, and alternately, Scott in her growing business.
Now, the Scottsdale, AZ residents and native Canadians are a couple in every sense of the word. Surface Refinements specialize in hand applied finishes, encompassing every surface in a home, from walls, ceilings, mirrors and some furniture. Each project they undertake is a team effort. Gypsies at heart, they have enjoyed living in many destinations, having a transportable business that has afforded them many opportunities to explore the world. Their vision is what drives them to undertake what might be considered the impossible, and it is that vision realized that is so rewarding to them — the magic is when tape is pulled and the vinyl, the plastic and the furniture gets placed back in the room. Today, they are two individuals successful as one in a partnership that encompasses both their business and personal lives.
(above) A Modello Carpets & Panels vinyl stencil (Chateau CC118) is applied here over a chocolate and cream base along with several colors of leafing and tamise flakes.
How do Modello Designs vinyl stencils enhance your business?
Modello decorative stencil patterns enhance our creative business by giving us the ability to create old world craftsmanship with a modern application. We always approach every new project as an opportunity to enhance the spaces with the use of a Modello. Every surface from the walls to ceilings and mirrors are opportunities to create stunning visual and complex depths of pattern and color, with the use of leafing, plasters, glass beads, glitter and foils. The beauty of Modello masking adhesives is the ability to achieve these results without the need to spend months of time creating them.
Antique mirror and patterned surfaces are a specialty for Anne and Scott. (above) The mirror was aged and then patterned with a Modello Ancient Motifs stencil (AncMot312). It was the finishing touch to a Chicago penthouse foyer. The entire project had a Greek theme to it and the pattern set the tone perfectly upon exiting from the elevator entry. (below) The first image is a bath mirror with a Modello Ornamental Pattern (OrnPan186) which customized for the niche shape. The second is a customized ornamental panel stencil from the Modello Hearst Collection (OrnPan 108). “Melanie Royals was instrumental in tweaking that pattern to work for the space. We used gold leafing and shellacs, and aged the mirrors to give a more antique and masculine feel,” Anna shares. “The client was ecstatic!”
What are your favorite surfaces to work and design Stencils for?
Well, our necks may not agree, but our favorite surface has to be ceilings. We are fortunate to work in homes that have some pretty outstanding architectural surfaces just begging to be showcased and enhanced with pattern. Ceilings are definitely a focal point and are ideal places to apply a design, setting the stage for spectacular dramatic effects that compliment the rest of the interior. If I can slide in our second favorite surface, it would be mirrors. We are so enjoying the creativity involved with applying pattern to mirrors. They have become our canvas of choice! It’s a fascinating process where we are able to take brand new mirror, and by using the antiquing solution to the reverse side of the mirror, we are able to create the look of old tarnished antique mirror. Further enhanced by pattern, every piece is truly unique in the creative partnership we have between Mother Nature and ourselves!
(above) The large dome was done with a designer foil in a copper green gloss, with the double borders done with a combination of celestial leafing for one of the borders and a three-color metallic finish for the other. Both are Modello Ornamental Border vinyl stencil patterns (OrnBor101 and OrnBor154). (below) The dome ceiling was an Old World plaster technique using various Faux Effects products, and then the team at Modello designed a custom Modello Ornamental Motif pattern (OrnMot176) for the insets.
What is your top Stenciling tip?
Number one rule with us is measure, measure, measure! One can never be too accurate and we triple check ourselves to be absolutely certain we are bang on with our measurements that are submitted to the design team at Modello Designs. One tip that has been helpful in the numerous odd shaped ceilings and domes we do, is to use tape to measure around the perimeter for the border. We run the tape around the circular border, then remove the tape, lay it on the ground, and measure the tape. Works perfectly every time!
(above) The beautiful groin ceiling was done with a custom 4-color plaster treatment over a coppery-gold designer foil. The pattern was customized and based on a Modello Architectural Center stencil (AchCen206).
Another tip we use when working on groin ceilings or niches, is to make a template out of Kraft paper or lighter weight Rosin paper, in addition to all our measuring, and send that along to the Modello team. We also like to order a paper plot of the design on more complex groin ceilings, to get a good visual prior to finalizing the Modello order in vinyl. If there is any tweaking or adjustments to be done, it’s WELL worth taking the time to double check with that paper plot at a fraction of the cost of the Modello vinyl stencil.
(above) This dining room stunner was created with a Modello Carpets & Panels vinyl stencil (ChavallCC105) which is perfect for ceilings, too!
Anna and Scott are so creative with patterns and designs on any surface — it’s no wonder their artistry is exemplary! We have profiled some of their more unique projects before as well. Do be sure to keep up with them on their Facebook page, Surface Refinements. Many thanks to them both for their enthusiasm and design savvy with our Modello vinyl stencil patterns and innovative finishes!