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Turquoise dining wall: One wall in this dining room accessorized the southwestern flair of this home. Four shades of mottled blue, with random veins of charcoal, white, rust and indigo making for a gem of a wall. Sorry for the pun.


Bath countertop: The ‘jury is still out’ for me with cast concrete countertops, especially with heavy use (pots and pans), chopping (we all get too busy to pull out the cutting board sometimes), and food preparation (bacterial control). When all is said and done, they’re only as stable as their final coat of finish. Even for lesser-use installations, there are still considerations. Because color tinting is done at the concrete-mixing stage, it’s always a ‘crapshoot’ as to the final color after curing, drying and sealing – in this countertop’s case, a putrid green-brown. This new luscious finish over the counter is based on the red metal tiles and electrical plates – deep translucent reds, rusts and ocher over a black foundation. The higher the sheen in a finish, the harder it dries; therefore the red ‘stone’ was given about ten coats of high-gloss clear.

Peacock bath wall: A foundation of silver and gold for shimmer and light refraction was painstakingly applied in a very neat grid reference for a ‘fish scale’ stylization of peacock feathers. Transparent oil glazes in sapphire blue and emerald green give almost liquid-jewel, rich, deep hues with light constantly playing through the shapes, creating a luminescent delight to the eyes.

Patinated bronze cabinet interior: The exterior custom paint and finish was what I was commissioned to apply, and to ‘paint the inside a nice color’. But merely ‘painting’ the inside was something I just couldn’t do.  With three layered steps, everyone was delighted with the final finish, which made a handsome completion to the piece.

Copper sunburst wall: The request was to make a ‘sunburst’ of copper, radiating out from the mid-point of doors accessing the central patio off the dining room. The foundation colors are forest green, deep tan and brick red. The copper pieces, ripped to about the size of a quarter, were applied in about five layers. Each layer was coated in an umber-tinted glaze that was allowed to dry, making each subsequent layer darken the layer under just a bit. By the final layer and finish coat, it appeared that the copper flecks descended into the surface a hundred times deeper than 1/16th of an inch depth that it was. Flash photography removed most of that illusion, but even still, it is a lovely and wonderful display.  Morning light through the doors makes this wall take an ethereal glow.

Vine dining ceiling border: A border of vines. That was all they said. Three shades of green, and I was left with the ladder and a thought. The foundation course and half of the leaves are cut into a stencil, for consistency in the rhythmic flow of the vine and uniformity in the leaf size; but the majority of the leaves were hand-brushed in, according to space and balance. The finish is a classic nod to dining and to the fruits of the earth.


Undersea focal wall: The feel is liquid tranquility, with the goal being a comforting refuge in this master bedroom. Bringing associations with floating underwater, the quiet and ‘slow motion’ of an evening swim, this metallic blurred shimmer of blues only exudes calm and rest. The undulating shapes are also found in the sole art piece hanging on that wall, which obviously had been the inspiration.

Moonlight wave bathroom wall: A six-by-six powder room, with only a sink and lavatory (blue glazed silver leaf lid), the room was intended to be dark and private. The only light source was a single over-sized round convex ‘bowl’ fixture on the ceiling. My idea was to subtly tell a story – with the light being the moon, and the walls of this lake house maintaining the nautical theme by becoming underwater, and having a rich fluid-like blue fill that role. A grid of diamond shapes applied in silver, play at being the ‘netting’; and as the nets ascend, they transform at their intersections into stars, which are seen up through the paling shades of undulating surface water reaching the ‘sky’ surrounding the ‘moon.’ Yes, I paid attention in the sixties.

Bamboo forest dining: The client asked me for an oriental-themed room, enhancing her beautifully clean-structured black and deep brown lacquered dining set and china cabinet. She desired that my ‘art’ would replace the need to have any other art on the walls. Wow. With detailed stenciling, five layers and careful measuring, this bamboo-paneled room was created. Architectural corbels were added to the opening from the front room adjacent, enhancing the opulent ceiling medallion in shape, and continuing the curved corners set throughout the panels, softening a formerly very linear space.

Copper hallway: A purposely dimly lit hallway was given added ‘glow’ with a rich layer of copper surged over a deep fox brown base color, and glazed in sienna and umber for a rich finish. The pale art set very well with this wall, while the rest of the hallway walls resorted to more practical beige.

Tortoise shell: Such a graceful, and for me, a soulful creature. The depth and color of tortoise shell has always been a beautiful medium, but at such an ecological expense. It is with great relief that the demand for this creature’s shell has been abated and controlled, and that science has done admirably well at synthesizing the beauty of the shell for couture and accessory. The artistic recreation of the unique markings is perhaps one of the most difficult finishes I have done to date.

Vines in mist hexagonal post: With the influence of art nouveau, whose stylizations rely on the organic aspects of design, this cumbersome column became a stately art piece in these rooms. ‘Shadowed’ panels framed in bands of antique brass, the nouveau feel is complete.

Site Photo Credits: Danny Warner, Carlos Flannery, Andrea Heitke, Doug Danforth.