A Visit to Billet Collins’ Studio

For a while, I’ve been looking for an excuse to blog about Billet Collins. I see their decorative paining work in so many high-end design projects, masterfully done:

Painted foyer walls in the DC Design House (designed by Liz Levin)

Painted foyer walls in the DC Design House (designed by Liz Levin)

 

Painted "wallpaper"

Painted “wallpaper”

A whimsically painted porch floor

A whimsically painted porch floor

So I was thrilled to go see their open house last Friday, held at Barbara Billet Collins’ home in Germantown, MD, where I was greeted by Barbara and her two daughters, Kellie Collins Hodges and Amy Collins Matthews.

Kellie, Barbara and Amy: Talent most definitely runs in the family!

Kellie, Barbara and Amy: Talent most definitely runs in the family!

They were celebrating an early St. Patrick’s Day, which occurs in the year designated Emerald by Pantone, so they were rocking the green theme!

kites

 

goodiebags

 

The most fun was seeing the “real” studio, where all the painting gets done. Here, a client gave them an old chair with a beautiful mottled-grain wood, and asked them to paint a new chair to look just like it. I think they pretty much nailed the sample here:

chairsample

They also just got the green light to paint murals in the children’s cancer wards at Georgetown University Hospital. The design community has rallied around the young patients in an big way with the ever-growing Georgetown Jingle fundraiser each year at the Four Seasons, so it makes perfect sense for Billet Collins to make the spaces there more fun for the kids.

Here are some preliminary sketches they had out:

gtown

The best part of the morning was touring Barbara’s house, which, like those of many designers, is constantly a work in progress. But beyond the paint on the walls and floors, she also has impeccable interior-design taste (and having access to daughter Amy’s art doesn’t hurt, either).

stonewall

The walls in the family room (above) look like they are upholstered in linen. Nope! Just paint.

The walls in the family room (above) look like they are upholstered in linen. Nope! Just paint.

 

living

 

I LOVE the little glass octopus on the acrylic nesting tables.

I LOVE the little glass octopus on the acrylic nesting tables.

 

Evidence of the works in progress: can you spy the blue painter's tape, and the unfinished yellow lines? I actually took the photo because I adore this vignette, and only saw these details later when I downloaded the image.

Evidence of the works in progress: can you spy the blue painter’s tape, and the unfinished yellow lines? I actually took the photo because I adore this vignette, and only saw these details later when I downloaded the image.

 

Who needs a rug when you can paint the floor? The walls are done in Venetian plaster, which are creamy and smooth to the touch, yum.

Who needs a rug when you can paint the floor? The walls are done in Venetian plaster, which are creamy and smooth to the touch, yum.

I’ve always loved Barbara and Kellie, but I hadn’t known Amy until Friday. Being one of two daughters in a family where we spent most of our time living with Mom, I can say that we had our battles! But the Collins ladies are clearly best friends, and they sincerely enjoy each other’s company—and when you’ve got that much artistic talent in a room, I am glad that they do!

Here’s a parting snap of Barbara with her custom water bottle. Just as with their intricate painting techniques, they leave no detail untouched.

barbara-water

 

 

 

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Comments

  1. You also did the porch? Awesome!

  2. This is very fun to take a peek inside their home. What a talented family! I enjoyed seeing our foyer and porch floor featured too. Love working with Billet Collins!

  3. Thank you for sharing. Their work is incredible. I have seen other decorative painter’s work first-hand and pictures never truly capture the details and artistry.

  4. Thanks for sharing their beautiful work! What a talented team!

  5. I definitely recognize their work! Thanks for the peek into their home. It’s beautiful! 🙂

  6. Hi, I wanted to go but couldn’t make it. They sent me images – looking at yours too makes me with I could have gone. I told them I’d do a post too. Hope to see you at the Design House press day.