|A shimmery, crystally, classically-modern Master Bedroom Accent Wall|
(Private Residence, Brooklyn, NY)
All hand-painted walls with subtle depth and rich finishes require many, many layers of work to achieve. The artist has to actually create a "formula" to achieve these results. The invention process takes place off-site, in a studio, on sample boards. I'm not sure how everyone else works, but for me, this is the most special part of the process. I love playing around with different products, mixing up colors and experimenting with new things. The most important part of this process is keeping good records (or "recipes," as I call them). You have to be able to reproduce your creations!
|Here's a glimpse of a work in progress in the studio. I have kept|
test cards, recipes and records of every color, every finish and
every project ever accomplished in my 14 years of painting!
Before I get to the design studio, the genesis of all new projects really begins with a Consultation. This is a no-charge, initial meeting where I travel to a client's home, view the space to be painted and discuss ideas and designs. Measurements are taken, samples and photos are shown, colors are debated and a preliminary budget is discussed. This is, in essence, a "first date" of sorts.
I have a pretty good sixth sense at these meetings. I seem to have the ability to pick up on a client's creative vibe. Sometimes, I intuitively know what they would like and then attempt to translate that into what would work in the space. Sometimes, it's not that easy. I have to ask lots of questions and dig a little to get those answers. Once in awhile, I show photos of previous work or tear-sheets from magazines... and as soon as I see a client's eyes light up, bingo! There's a clue. Other times, I get lucky, the walls just speak to me and I "see" something in my mind's eye. Mostly, I just absorb what is already in the space that inspires me... and then I take that to the next level: selecting colors and patterns that will enhance the prettiest things already in the room.
There was a little bit of everything happening on this consultation, for a Master Bed Room. The clients were a fun and friendly couple with three young children. They were extremely good communicators, very receptive to different ideas, willing to take a design risk and supportive and understanding about the creative process. I kept envisioning a "boutique hotel look" for them, and imagined a luxe, tranquil space for them to sink into at the end of a long day. They commissioned me to make them a few samples based upon a few ideas discussed, and loved what I presented to them a few weeks later.
I was really attracted to the smoky mirrors and silvery accents already existing in the Master Bedroom. Silver, glass and mirror always lend such understated elegance to a space. They suggest a little romance, a hint of mystery and a sexy, old Hollywood vibe.
|This gorgeous piece in the room inspired me with it's |
shimmery silver-leaf and classic, geometric lines.
|I also really liked this smoky, oversized mirror with beaded trim|
|The other accent pieces were of mirrored finish and all of the|
artwork was framed in a silvery-hue.
I started out on a pale grey, flat painted "canvas" that was prepared for me by another painter. My first step was painting the wall metallic silver.
|Always apply a metallic over a base of paint in similar color.|
It will give a richer over-all hue to the finished product.
In this case I used a base of flat grey for a silver top coat.
|Next up was a troweled-on layer of ShimmerStone tinted silver.|
ShimmerStone is just like Venetian Plaster, except it has a
"pearlized" finish as opposed to a "glossy shine."
I love working with it!
|Note: This is what it looks like while it's "setting up." |
I know, scary right?
And you thought airplane pilots had nerves of steel?
|Next up was a custom sized stencil from Wallovers. The entire wall needed|
to be stenciled with flat white paint as a "backing" for the glassbead gel
that I would be applying. The glass bead product dries to a clear and
would get totally lost on the wall if I didn't back it with something.
|So there you have it. The wall is really beautiful and looks different|
from every angle of the room, depending on how light hits it.
Silver, pearl and glass beads all reflect and glow differently!
|Here's another view...|
Note: the white spots is where the glass bead gel is still setting up
|Here is a detail close-up of the glass beaded stencil pattern|
|And one more shot of how the wall works in the space...|