Behind the Texture

with Beth Warnecke

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Hi! I’m Beth, the owner and artist behind Classic Creations Painting, providing beautiful wall and ceiling finishes for commercial and residential spaces in the metro St. Louis, MO area. I also have a passion and love for fine finished furniture and cabinetry, which comprises half of my business. I cannot get enough of home magazines, designers’ socials and painting blogs. Always immersed in the latest design trends and gorgeous pictures, I have afforded myself the opportunity to travel and train around the world and I consider staying up to date with the latest design trends one of my top priorities when bringing timeless beauty into my clients’ homes.

Where do you live and what’s your favorite part about your town/city?
I live in the greater St. Louis area, across the Mississippi river in a smaller town called Edwardsville, Illinois.  I love living here in the Midwest, and the Edwardsville area has that perfect little big-town feel. There is so much to do in St. Louis – we are known for great Blues and Jazz music, our famous St. Louis Zoo, several fun museums for the whole family, and miles and miles of beautiful hiking and biking trails. But my favorite pastime all year round?  The sports!  The St. Louis Cardinals baseball team and The Blues hockey team hold special places in my heart. So much so that I work part-time with both teams. I’ve been known to attend over 100 games a year! There’s nothing better than milling around downtown on a hot St. Louis summer day, seeing the excited fans, smelling the corner hotdog stands, hearing the crack of the bat and the cheers of the stadium.

What influences do you think shaped your approach to decorative art?
My mother was always updating our home as a child. The latest wallpapers, the latest window treatments – she took pride in making a wonderful home for her family. She instilled in me a passion to make my own adult homes as warm and welcoming as I could. Before the internet and before I even knew that the decorative painting world was out here, I would spend my free time immersed in bookstores, poring over decorator books and magazines looking for ideas for my own home.

Fast forward 35 years, now that I find my business front and center as one of the key components in client projects, my approach is the same – constant research for the latest trends in design. I am still a sucker for every home dec magazine out there along with Insta pages, design blogs, Houzz, etc. My goal still remains the same but with a twist – now it is to make my clients’ homes warm, welcoming and timeless. I still have the same approach, I stay abreast of the latest in products, finishes, and techniques with tons of training. I maintain a healthy budget for continued education in wall and furniture finishing classes; and with the availability of online networking, I can reach out to other artists across the country and world for advice while offering my advice and stay on top of what is trending in the world of decorative art and design. Just as art is timeless, decorative artists and our creations are continually evolving.

What’s the craziest paint spill you’ve ever had to clean up?  
I honestly haven’t had too many large paint spills in my career – thank goodness. But I did have one project where I needed to hide my big oops, several of them in fact. I was working with deep blue venetian plaster on the focal wall for a new restaurant going into the top floor of the Four Seasons St. Louis.

I was the only female contractor on this very large project and was instructed to use the public (aka, fancy) women’s restroom during the workday. Several times I would forget to take my own work towels with me during a bath break and even after thinking I had scrubbed all of the blue plaster off, I would reach for one of their fluffy white cloths to dry my hands. Voila, inevitably blue plaster would show up on those fancy little hand towels. Ugh. I couldn’t just deposit them into the basket, every morning the hotel staff greeted me with “Hello Sexy Blue Wall Lady” so I knew that THEY would know who got blue all over the pristine white towels. 

I would discreetly put them in my toolbox that went home with me every night, soak them, scrub them, and bring them back the next day. Never thought that I would be afraid of the laundry staff at a posh hotel, and yes, I may or may not have one fancy towel in my studio to remind me of that adventure. It only gets used on the finest of client furniture pieces now. 

If you had to pick just one color that represents you, what color would it be and why?
I love blues, I love greens. But the color that I am drawn to is the combination of very soft, faded blues and greens. I call it Spa Blue. I am entering the phase of my life where I want to slow down a bit, surround myself with a calm that was never there as I raised my 5 children, started my business, and was constantly going going going. Faded blues and greens, my spa blue, exude a sense of tranquility, depth and a finite vastness that instill a feeling of calm surrounding me. My home is a combination of creamy whites and earth tones, with touches of this quiet blue-green combination, and it makes me so happy to come home to.

What are your interests outside of decorative arts?
Well, I have mentioned my love of St. Louis sports. I enjoy going to games and watching them with friends when I am not at work in the stadiums. I also have been blessed with 5 beautiful children and will always choose to surround myself with them and their partners over anything else. I truly love having everyone home with me hanging out, cooking, and having my home full of noise, craziness, and laughter. To keep me grounded I escape into the garden, and yes, actually love to cut my grass! Last but not least I am an avid traveler, either signing up for artistic trips to Europe, planning beach escapes of my own, or traveling to see my out-of-town children and the love of my life, my 1 year old grandson.

What was something work related that you are particularly proud of?
As decorative artists we are in love with our creations and are proud of them. That goes without saying. What I am most proud of however is the personal growth I have experienced while being a member of a very special organization that gives back to the decorative arts community, the International Decorative Artisans League or, IDAL. I was very blessed to find out about this organization while taking a painting class and another student mentioned it to me.

I was excited, intrigued, and attended my first convention in 2008. During my first few conventions I was very shy and felt very intimidated – not worthy of being in the presence of so many artists that were taking the classes with me. I would volunteer here and there setting up tables, handing out goody bags, jobs that I felt were small and inconspicuous. After a few years of taking advantage of all that the conventions had to offer, slowly coming out of my shell, and making new friends, I was asked to run for a board position. Again, I did not feel worthy of such an honor but felt that it was time to give back to the organization that had done so much for my career.

Going from a scared-stiff girl that would sit in the back of class to not have to talk to anyone, to eventually serving on IDAL’s  board of directors for over 8 years – one and a half years as president – is what I am most proud of. The personal growth, the confidence in myself to accomplish my dreams. And this experience has given passion to my desire to encourage new artists in their journey, educate them about the IDAL organization, and give them courage from a once-shy girl to another.

Explore more of Beth’s work at

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