Monday, August 25, 2008

Dining Room Mural and Decorating Ideas

I found this mural on The artist painted this mural in a New York City townhouse. It is a Chinoiserie style mural which (according to Wikipedia) is a French term, signifying "Chinese-esque" reflecting chinese artistic influences. I love the tent style ceiling and the twisting sprouting trees.

I found the following two murals on a site called the Mural Resource Project which was created by the Pennsylvania College of Art & Design.

This first room is so subtle with the soft pastel colors. It is the perfect backdrop for the ivory dining room furniture and decorative chandelier.

This dining room / kitchen mural takes you straight to Tuscany with the warm tones of color and the faux stone. I love the depth of this painting. It looks as if you are actually looking down a cobblestone walkway towards the arched entrance to the countryside. You can do a lot of dreaming while cooking & eating in this space.

Another beautiful landscape scene. I found this one on I love how the artist Dana Blanchard captured the reflection of the trees on the water.

Artist Don Tolman was commissioned to do this mural by his mother. It depicts the changing seasons going around the room.

So those are just a few creative ideas to transform a boring dining room into something fabulous! Feel free to email me with your questions. I would be happy to help you and give you some advice for your space.

Here are a couple of resources on Dining Room Decorating.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

How to Paint a Palm Tree

I came across this great painted palm tree mural on
I love how the artist captured a truly realistic look in the palm leaves.

I also found a great 8 minute video tutorial which I know will be a great help to those of you attempting to paint a palm tree mural in your own home. Definitely check it out!

How to Paint a Palm Tree Video

Here is a picture of one of my own murals that I did for the Westchester ARC. An organization that services the mentally and physically disabled. This mural was done for one of their group homes.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Truth About Flat Paint

I just recently had a client whose entire house was painted with a flat finish paint. She was complaining about how dirty her walls were and how it didn't wash off when she tried to clean with a damp cloth. Unfortunately, she was unaware that her walls were painted with flat finish paint until I explained to her the reason why her walls looked so dirty.

Flat paint CANNOT be washed. It is very porous and soaks in water or any other scuffs or staining. The only way to really fix it is to touch it up with more paint. And even this is not always the best idea, because the color may not come out the same as when it was first painted, so you may have a slight variation in color.

The good thing about flat paint is that it is non-reflective, so it tends to camouflage any surface imperfections, such as dents, cracks, bumps, or any other rough areas. It is the best choice for ceilings, because of its low reflectivity.

I get mad over this situation, because a painting contractor can easily choose to use a glossier paint sheen, such as eggshell, satin, or pearl. These are easily washable with water and do not need to be touched up for many years to come. There is also a washable matte finish paint that Benjamin Moore has recently launched that has the look of flat finish paint but it can be easily cleaned.

Please don't make the mistake of not being informed about the different paint sheens that are available to you. Some painting contractors are only doing this so that you will hire them to come back and paint your house all over again within a year - especially when you start noticing how dirty your walls are getting.

The key to know, is that the higher the sheen - the better the durability

Monday, August 11, 2008

Frottage Faux Paint Finish

I met with a client today who had chosen a beautiful and bold faux finish from this book. The finish is called Frottage Painting.

Frottage is a French word meaning 'to rub', and that is exactly how this finish is achieved - by gently smoothing sheets of paper against the wet glaze, and swiftly pulling it away to reveal the base color underneath.

Here are a few step by step instructions on how to achieve this gorgeous finish.


1. Tape - Using low tack painter's tape, tape the top and bottom of the walls. You don't need to tape corners if you are going to use this technique on adjoining walls.

2. Base Coat - apply two coats of pearl or satin finish paint. Allow each coat to dry according to the directions on the paint.

3. Prepare Paper - Crumple sheets of newspaper and then open them up. Let the wrinkles set while you prepare the glaze colors.

4. Glazing - Using separate rollers, apply the glazes in randomly sized blocks over an area about 3 by 3 feet. The blocks should meet each other.

5. Papering - Work as fast as you can and press the wrinkled paper into the wet glaze, then lift off.

6. Seal - apply water based varnish sealer to protect the finish.

Here is what the publisher is saying about this book.

Decorative Paint & Faux Finishes by Sunset is full of new techniques, tips, color ideas, and textured treatments for walls and other surfaces that need fresh paint—and a touch of decoration! Are color choices keeping you from getting your project started? Fret no more! This beautiful book offers pages and pages of full-color photographs that provide suggestions on color combinations for a variety of room shapes and sizes. If you’re buying a newhome or updating an old one, this comprehensive guide has you covered!

Be sure to grab this book, so you can see for yourself what

Sunday, August 3, 2008

How to Paint Faux Tile

Faux Tile is a fun and easy way to spruce up an outdated kitchen back splash, a boring laundry room, or even a bathroom. The main item you will need is 1/4" painter's tape to create the grout lines.

Follow these simple steps to create Faux Tile:

1. Print out a few reference pictures. You will want to pick what size, color, and style of tile you want to paint. Another great idea is to go to an actual tile store and purchase a few samples.

2. Pick Colors and practice first on a sample board. You will also need to figure out what faux finishing tool you would like to use (ex. rag, brush, sea sponge, stippling brush, etc.)

3. Once you are ready to start the job, Tape off your surface with 1 1/2" low tack painter's tape. (ex. cabinets, walls, etc)

2. Base coat your surface in the color that your grout will be. You can do anything from plain white, gray, or even brown. Wait till it fully dries.

3. Figure out how big you want your tiles to be and start measuring. Use a pencil or a piece of chalk to mark where your tape will go.

4. Start taping with the 1/4" painter's tape. It will be tedious, but it will be easy from there.

5. Paint the color you want your tile to be. If you want different colors, then you will need to tape off the squares that you don't want painted and vise versa.

6. To add depth and dimension, you will want to faux finish over the base colors using whatever tool you choose. (You can pick from the tools below). The paint will need to be mixed with glaze (1 part paint to 3 parts glaze). This will make it movable on your surface.

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