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:
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.
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!
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:
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:
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).
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.