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Category: Fabulous Design & Architecture

18 Oct

Life in a Birdcage

It’s no secret I love birds.  Birds in patterns, textiles, stencils, interior design… I’ve never owned a bird although my Mother has a pair of cockatiels and they are very entertaining.  The Hubs has a beautiful tree right outside his office and we enjoy seeing all the birds that set up shop there year after year. One was not too pleased that we were so close to his home and he let us know by pecking at our glass window (with serious attitude to boot).  He subsequently moved everyone out.  We were so bummed.  But this uplifts me now…

I love how this looks like a beautiful mural with great colors over a grey glazed finish or even Venetian Plaster. Wall & Decò.

LOVE the scale of this fresco. I didn’t even notice the sofa until a few seconds in! Gorgeous work by Andrei Kievsky of Studio Unique.

Click Images to Enlarge

Wallpaper in square panels or handpainted on a floor screen – birds are pretty either way. Screen featured in Atlanta Homes.

I couldn’t resist sharing this azulejo with you — so gorgeous. The macaws fit right in! Via Dustjacket Attic

Click Images to Enlarge

Sweet birds over a door and a pattern with birdcages (via Daniella Marie) in a bath.

Speaking of birdcages, have you ever wondered about life within one?  Ca’Toga gives us a fun glimpse as seen below.  Out & About gives us a quick tour of most of the Ca’Toga property while my friend, Theresa Check of Art’s the Answer, recently visited with the artist in residence, Carlo Marchiori.

The Birdcage Room at Ca'Toga

You could also visit the Mandarin Oriental in Paris

…and have a nice breakfast within a glam birdcage.  Cool, no?  Have a wonderful day!


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07 Oct

Silver Leaf

We’ve been doing a lot of work with silver leaf — silver leaf schaibin to be exact.  (Schaibin is irregular sheets of leaf that are primarily used for “broken leaf” effects.)  Next week, we tackle several ceilings with it as well as a few inset niches. Messy (size & flakes) but a whole lotta fun.  I’ve been seeing a lot of beautiful traditional silver leaf work as well. I thought I’d share a few to take us into the weekend…

 Always a thrill to see a silver leaf wall.  This one is designed by Lisa Ficarra.

Love the quiet elegance of this guestroom in a Pacific Heights Victorian – including the silver leaf ceiling. Designed by Claudia Juestel of the Adeeni Design Group.

I looooove silver leaf furniture.  (Especially when paired with mirrors. Serious love.)  It saddens me to see the scratches on this one but it is a pretty piece nonetheless.  It was featured by the Little Green Notebook blog.

Gracie is a studio that produces extraordinary wallcoverings. This one features a handpainted mural over silver leaf.

Here’s one by my company, Garay Artisans. The client and designer wanted imperfections on the layout, with the dark base showing through. I profiled this finish and others for a restaurant commission in Tallahassee, FL.

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I was asked recently why I normally prefer to use leaf in a technique over foils. There are advantages to both actually. There’s just no beating the look of leaf in any way and I like how it covers the surface as completely and opaquely as you’d like.  Foils, however, do save you in cost as well as mess – there’s simply no product to clean up after the transfer. It does take quite a bit to fully transfer the foil product and has much more elbow grease involved. Both are fantastic in their own right and perfect for their own finishes.  Do you prefer one over the other? Do tell.  Have a great weekend!


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05 Oct

Orange Delight

With the start of Fall, I thought I’d share images of one of its most iconic colors.  It appears that the color is named after the fruit and it’s first recorded use was in 1512.  Orange is dynamic, powerful and it is also associated with the warmth of the sun.  It is just as passionate, but less fiery, than her analogous neighbor, Red.

 An Antoni Gaudí interior.  Seriously incredible crackle.

I’ve shared this image on our FB fan page and thought to share it again. Love the inspired Peter Pan shadow!  You?  (Via We Heart It)

Gorgeous patterns! Love them both so much… Left: My Overlays Right: Fine Art America

Click smaller images to enlarge for greater detail.

Unexpected yet so effective! Left: I believe this is fabric on the ceiling with corresponding painted stripes on the walls. Via HGTV.  Right: Cool patterns within circles on what looks like Venetian Plaster. Via Metamorfaux.

Incredible flooring (and view!) in Lake Como, Italy

The Fromental principals with their design. Love it all. Photography by Don Freeman.

An exhilarating mix of colors, textures and patterns! Designed by Todd Black.

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I find that Orange is one of those “extreme” colors – clients will either love to consider it or steer clear altogether.  There’s rarely any ambivalence.  (…and hopefully, you didn’t feel that towards any of today’s images.)  BTW, did you know that the name of the Golden Gate Bridge color is International Orange? The formula is easily available should you desire to have it.  Fascinating history, too.  Have a great day!


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29 Sep

My Mural Crush

I love murals — they always add so much to a room. I think many find it hard to envision just how much a mural can enhance a space — but done well, you can have a work of art that gives a small yet effective monochromatic pop or in the alternate, an entire room of ambiance. Of course, there are many, many styles in between those two parameters to consider .

A while ago, I had a morgue file that comprised of many “ancient” photo albums. You know — the ones with the plastic sheet that lifted up and you placed the photo on the sticky page? Yup, tons of them. I would cut up the magazine image and stick it on there for future inspiration. You can imagine why I love Pinterest now. :)

Ceiling, Walls, Tub, Flooring...I die.

I don’t know where I got these images (above, below) but they thrilled me then and they thrill me today still.  I know they are all of the same home.

Unexpected. I like how the panels and chair rail mimic the frame.

I’m a fan of minimalism and also the opposite — and these are in the stratosphere of the latter but done oh-so-well.  I like when a home truly reflects the personality of those that live there.

My Favorite. I love, love, love these walls.

I’ve been so curious for so long about this home — wish I had thought to keep the article!  Do let me know if you know the reference source, would love to credit them.   BTW, be sure to come back tomorrow as we have a guest Fauxologist giving us a product review — and of course, there’s a Giveaway for you. See you then!

P.S. If you are interested in Pinterest but don’t know how to get involved, read our handy tutorial Pinterest for Artists and Designers written by Dana Tucker. Let me know if you need an invite!

15 Sep

Czech, Please!

I love to travel and see beautiful things and experience the wonders of the world. Mind you, my list of Need to Visit is far longer than Have Visited. No matter — there’s always room on my former list for more finds and checking them off on the latter is just a plane ride away, no?

To this instance, I like to read a lot about travel and a nice mag is Budget Travel. I learn so much about cool places and all within a reasonable budget. Here is where I had a peek at a vegetarian restaurant in Prague called Lekhá Hlava, meaning “light head”.

Coming upon Lehká Hlava...

Beautiful photo by Jeanette Irwin

One visitor said that it is “tucked around the corner in what looks to be an old alleyway. What I found was an old building with a tree growing right through it and stars painted on the medieval ceilings…”.

Hundreds of faux stars — and they twinkle and throb.  The purpose was to give the effect that you were dining outside on a starry night.  Love that!  I found more of their trippy decor.

Photo above by Žanda Gebauer

Love the inspired use of the ceiling and wall shape.

Oh, one more pic of the Starry Night can't hurt...

So, when I find myself in the Czech Republic it will be a place to visit because 1) It’s handpainted 2) I love vegetarian food (though I’m not vegetarian) and 3) Uhm. Prague.  The owners designed the restaurant like they would the interior of their own home and enlisted friends who were artists to come in and play.  Their web gallery has more images to see.  The restaurant opened in October 2005.

Hey, wait a minute Mr. Chocolate Fondue! You're not design related! How'd you get past the velvet rope and into the post? But while you're here, don't mind if I do...

Coincidentally, when I read their Project page detailing the renovation, I found that they were inspired to open Lekhá Hlava after experiencing the Zen Palate restaurant in New York City. I lived in NYC for many years and Zen Palate holds a tremendous amount of good memories for me.  I was in my 20s and in the music industry — my friends and colleagues would all congregate there before heading out to the clubs to dance or listen to new bands. Or, we’d sit and have great eats and talk the night away. Imagine – reading a translated Czech restaurant site and being taken back unexpectedly to those amazing times. Definitely worth a blog post. See you tomorrow, gorgeous ones!


13 Sep

Viva Versace

A few years ago, I saw a profile in Elle Decor on the Milanese home of fashion icon Donatella Versace as photographed by Simon Upton.  The writer, David Colman, asked this question: “Where does good taste begin and excess leave off?”.  He answered his own query by musing that one of life’s greatest thrills is walking the fine line between the two.  Indeed.  Here are a few images from the profile…

The ceiling! I'd never leave this room.

Love the relief work along the tub. Great photography - the use of the mirrors is fantastic.

Unique stained glass and ceilings abound...

Interesting design on the walls and ceiling. Am enjoying the color scheme, too. Would have loved to have seen more of the embossed ceiling medallion...

The ornamentation is sublime...

The office of Renzo Mongiardino was hired to do the interior design. (The designer himself, a bit obscure but considered one of the greatest design talents of the last century, passed away in 1998.  He authored the incredible book, Roomscapes.)  I like the mix of textures, patterns and design in her home. Ms. Versace herself liked putting different styles right next to each other. She said something I completely agree with: “I find that behind the modern façades, there are a lot of old-fashioned people out there.”  I think it certainly relates to design.  Do you agree?  Have a great day!

12 Sep

Pattern on Pattern

I love pattern on pattern designs — check these out…

Via Fifth Avenue Design Gallery.  Cool roped column, too.

An acrylic mural by artist Millree Hughes featured in Interior Design magazine.

I shared this on our Fauxology Facebook fan page and it’s one of my faves.  The pattern on pattern ceiling was featured in Decorati.  The room was designed by Linda Allen and the ceiling itself was a creation by artist Ken Moffatt.

Pattern on pattern finishes have to be done well — both in the designs and colors chosen — otherwise, the result can be a hot mess.  (Ask me how I know!  Many a sample has been worked on in our studio to find great combinations of both.)  I would experiment with different stencil patterns and colorations until you find a good scale and flow for the space.  Have an inspired day!

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