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Debbie Naone brings your household surfaces - doors, tables, cabinets - to life through paint
by: vern uyetake Naone’s work – like this contemporary piece in blues, greens and reds – are vibrant in color and size. Many of her pieces are suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. And her subtle – and sometimes not-so subtle – use of copper is seen in most her work.

With warmer weather ahead, when was the last time you spent time in your backyard? How did it feel? Colorful? Comfortable? Like a home away from home?

For Debbie Naone of Lake Oswego, artwork needn't be limited to indoors. That's why the artist is refreshing all sorts of spaces this summer - starting with household items locals already have: cabinets, tables, backsplashes, doors, gates, water features and more.

'People in this economy aren't going out and buying new furniture, so (doing) an upgrade on what they currently have and love is the best possible market out there,' Naone said.

A painter since 2002, Naone with Designs by Dejea creates custom finishes on wood, metal, glass and stone.

'It's my passion and my love. I love, love it. I get in the zone,' she said. 'It's my connection to a higher source. I get lost and lose track of time.'

And these time lapses produce anything from customized art for water features, to copper-colored waterproof tabletops, to refinished desktops and weatherproof artwork. While Naone does build some new furniture, the main source of her business comes from painting existing surfaces.

Take her own home in downtown Lake Oswego, for example.

The dark wood table in her nook was purchased from Z Gallerie and four ornate, whitewashed chairs were purchased at Anthropologie. To tie the different furniture styles together, Naone resurfaced the table top and chair seats using a high-end acrylic resin over a fresh coat of paint.

'This is what makes everything weatherproof and waterproof,' she said. 'There is no liquid that can penetrate it. And I put a hot pot full of pasta on top of it and it did nothing.'

Beneath this almost bulletproof, shiny layer, Naone painted the seat toppers and tabletop using four colors - copper, gold, bronze and chocolate brown. The result?

'It looks copper-infused,' she said. 'People walk in and say, 'oh my gosh, where did you get that?' It's just personalizing something I already had.'

Her artwork for outdoor spaces are heavier, weatherproof and created to mount on fountains, the exterior of homes and outdoor fireplaces.

'Those can be mounted on the outside of someone's house,' Naone said, pointing to a painting she's sending out of state. 'I have done an installation above an outdoor fireplace. It really tied the space together.'

With a sales and marketing background, Naone said that for her painting business it's all about word-of-mouth advertising. And her voice peaks with excitement when talking about projects she's done for locals - like refinishing all surfaces of a coffee table for a Lake Oswego family.

Naone said that her parents' move to Europe when she was in college is a main source of her inspiration. And her finished pieces - while refreshed - look like they still could tell plenty of stories.

'Look at this picture,' she said, highlighting a layered painting in her living room. 'You can see the layers. You can see metal, different colors and outlines. There's a lot in there.'

All of Naone's pieces look like they have some history to them - and sometimes they already do before she gets her hands on them. In addition to refreshing existing furniture, Naone also sells her own designs in the same copper-like metallic shades at local garden shops and galleries.

'I've noticed that, if I let go, I create (more new items) quicker,' she said. 'It forces me to continue to create with my love and my passion.'

For more information, visit her website at http://designsbydejea.com.