LISA RICKERT, CEO AND CREATIVE DIRECTOR OF AVE HOME AND JOLIE HOME, is a master of the name game.
“I’m a person who likes to put love and light into the world,” Rickert says, and the names of the sister companies she, her husband and brother founded — and the products each line puts forth — attempt to do just that.
“Ave” (Latin for “a welcoming home” or “hail” or “honor” — and pronounced “ah-vey”) paints a picture of a cozy, peaceful lifestyle. Ave Home’s furniture line (launched in 2016) is designed to be “the next best thing” to antiques, creating quality riffs off classical furniture styles while imbuing them with fresh energy and modern touches such as matte finishes, intricately carved panels and tapered legs.
The Ave line is divided into three styles: traditional, modern and raw, the latter of which features unfinished wood. While designing the raw pieces, Rickert already was toying with the idea of creating a decorative paint line to complement or enhance the wood’s rustic, rugged qualities. She and the team launched Jolie (French for “pretty”) Home, a line of decorative paints, topcoats and gilding waxes in November 2018.
Rickert is proud of the holistic, user-friendly ethos behind Jolie’s products.
“I believe that you, as the user of our products, need to be the hero,” she says. “We’re here to ask you, ‘What is your beautiful? How can we help you go through a creative transformation?’”
To help customers narrow down a colorway from 42 shades of paint, Jolie Home’s website has a style quiz that identifies your aesthetic as one of eight looks, such as farmhouse, traditional, industrial and Scandinavian. Next, colors and finishes are suggested, as well as application techniques. Jolie’s complimentary “Everyday Guide” (available at Jolie retailers and online) provides step-by-step illustrated instructions on how to achieve the line’s six most popular finishes, such as distressed, smooth or textured. Many of the looks can be achieved with nothing more than a paintbrush and a lint-free cloth.
“People need to have the tools to be successful,” Rickert says. “Ultimately, we’ve got to build the confidence.”
The palette is centered around a few collections of neutrals, which Rickert defines as “anything that is a muted tone or a more complex color,” for example, Zen, which appears to be gray but contains traces of a “mature” blush hue with a taupe undertone. Want to mix your own colors? There are instructions for that, both in the “Everyday Guide” and in Jolie’s cache of YouTube tutorials.
The paint isn’t just for furniture. It will adhere to many surfaces, including concrete, metal, plastic and tile, and in most cases doesn’t require any sanding or priming. The paint can be used on interior walls as well, although Rickert points out that it has a very matte, flat finish, so she recommends using a texturizing technique to give the wall some dynamism.
The Jolie Home line includes its own custom-designed paintbrushes, which, along with the finishing waxes and varnishes, make the line a one-stop shop. A little of the paint goes a long way. Rickert says one quart gives you 33 percent more coverage than a quart of traditional latex paint (about 150 square feet total, or 10 small projects worth).
The paints are nontoxic and water-based (and therefore breathable in New Orleans’ humidity), and although the pigment that forms the base of each paint is different, the maximum VOC (volatile organic compounds) found in any of the colors is 4 grams per liter. A typical can of flat latex paint contains an average 150 grams per liter.
“I’m having so much fun,” Rickert says. “It’s fresh and it’s new and that’s what we want people to feel about their homes. … And then you can always change it in a few years. … We try to get people to think beyond just a single piece of furniture or a single object. What we’re really trying to do is create a more beautiful space which, to me, leads to a more beautiful life.”
The Jolie paint collection is available locally at Clayton House (1600 N. Collins Blvd., Covington, 985-892-6368; www.claytonhousemarketplace.com), Creative Finishes Studio (2013 Metairie Road, Metairie, 504-909-9028; www.creativefinishesstudio.com), Melange by KP (5200 Highway 22, Suite 2, Mandeville, 504-807-7652; www.facebook.com/melangebykp) and NOLA Gifts & Decor (5101 W. Esplanade Ave., Suite 17, Metairie, 504-407-3532; www.nolagiftsanddecor.com). The products also are available online through Jolie’s website (www.joliehome.com) and Amazon; 20 percent of all direct-to-consumer online revenue is routed back to the nearest local retailer “to support the localized experience and the small shops,” Rickert says.
I WISH I COULD TAKE CREDIT FOR THAT HEADLINE, but props for that and other cat-themed puns (“feline fine,” “purrfect poses,” etc.) go to Alici…