When we spotted this grand stenciled canvas wall art on our Instagram feed, it stopped us in our tracks. It’s the result of a fantastic creative collaboration between talented decorative artist and set stylist Tobey Renee Sanders (LaLa’s Full Court Life, Why Did I Get Married?) and award-winning actress and budding home fashionista Keshia Knight Pulliam (The Cosby Show, House of Payne). We chatted with both of them on the beginnings of their collaboration and more on this unique Royal Design Studio project.
The Fabric Damask Wall Stencil on canvas nestles perfectly in a warm, contemporary space.
How did you decide to work on this project together?
Keshia: Tobey and I met about ten years ago when Tobey was at a client’s house that I knew and I said “I need you to do my house”. We’ve been friends ever since. For the canvas, I’d seen Tobey’s glass work and she showed me pics of projects and knew she had been experimenting.
Tobey: She loves the craft and technique behind it all. Keshia knows exactly what she wants and it makes my job a lot easier.
Keshia: In my house, I have a specific vision and feeling for people to have when entering the space and for how I live in the space. There’s a transitional feeling of ‘girly diva glam’ with a warm, more modern feel. I’ve had the piano from childhood and had it wrapped with a black lacquer finish and had initials added on the piano, too. I like to pick things up as I travel and have an eclectic decor mix on it. I also like damask patterns and have chairs in a pink and gray damask and wanted to play with that so the Fabric Damask Stencil was perfect. My initial idea was to do the damask on the wall and then Tobey suggested I do it on canvas because I can take it with me. I loved that idea.
How was the stenciled canvas made?
Tobey: I paired the stencil with glass shards and metallic plaster on nine canvases made as one. I first prepped the canvas and skimmed it with a light white metallic plaster to give it a shimmery texture. Then I sprayed with glue and followed by the glass to build it up. Once done and dry, I did the same technique in black with the Fabric Damask Stencil, building up the pattern with the lustery plaster and sprinkled the clear glass shards into that. The glass shards are a nightmare to work with – it’s so beautiful but it is painful. (laughing) They were either genius or crazy to come up with it as a décor material, I cannot tell!
Keshia: Everyone absolutely loves it and it definitely makes a statement. My house is very open and you can see the painting from the majority of the main level.
What are some of your best tips for mixing color and pattern?
Tobey: I have to live perfectly – I can’t come home and not see a beautiful space. I try to do that with my work, too, by choosing colors and patterns that work together in a beautiful and clean way that is both luxurious and easy to live with.
Keshia: Everything is an extension of an expression so there is no right and wrong way to mix color and pattern. I myself take a basic neutral color palette and add a strong accent color. It’s not overwhelming and it is timeless. If I tire of it, I can easily change the accent color or bring in another pattern for a new feel.
Great advice from Keshia and Tobey! We love how a chance meeting can turn creative collaborators into lifelong friends. Along with her residential projects, Tobey will be offering classes out of her Faux Décor Atlanta studio and continue doing set design for both TV and Film. Keshia is working on an upcoming lifestyle line – from fashion to home décor – so be sure to be on the lookout. Many thanks to both Keshia and Tobey for checking in with Paint + Pattern to share their beautiful stenciled damask canvas art piece. Here’s to a glittery future of creative collaborations and success for them both!