Back in the day (I’m thinking it was 2002), I was asked to convert a room into a carousel for a nursery. When I meet with my clients for the first time, I like to get an idea of their decorating taste–likes/dislikes etc. With this meeting, there was no doubt Mom was about simple elegance.
This nursery was going to be a celebration of her third child and completion of her family. Mom wanted the room to be girly, but meant for a little one. We talked about her love of carousel horses and I immediately had an idea: we would convert the whole room into a carousel, complete with a carousel/circus tent ceiling. The room itself was going to be the artwork. There would be really no other decor, except perhaps a carousel horse (which Mom mentioned she was thinking about getting.) I was going to create wide stripes around the room and hand paint carousel horses on them. The colors were all in a pastel primary color scheme, with the addition of pale lavender, which was Mom’s favorite.
The ceiling of this room had a ceiling fan that could not be taken down. Time for plan B. I took precise measurements of each wall length and checked the measurements of the fan’s diameter where it met with the ceiling. My husband constructed a template to go around the ceiling fan base for me and told me how far apart to make the tick marks on the walls. (I’m definitely dating this project; laser levels weren’t part of my budget back then.)
This was definitely a case of proper planning yields results. I snapped the lines and had my ceiling. Each stripe was the same width. Once the ceiling was done, the atmosphere of the room changed. It truly felt like an environment, and a happy one at that!
Remember, the ceiling is your fifth wall; don’t be afraid to decorate it. Also keep in mind that having some type of plan saves time, reduces product waste, reduces stress, and ensures a more successful outcome.
If you’d like to set up an appointment with me to discuss a project you had in mind, please call (908) 599-2129 or click on this link to my contact page. Thanks!
Many years ago, I painted murals in a nursery for a couple who were transplants to New Jersey and were from Colorado. The Mom-to-be was naturally happy to be meeting her baby soon, but she was sad at the same time. She missed the landscape of Colorado and she missed her family. I can understand that. When you’re in a new place that is more busy and congested and it is nothing you are used to, it can be overwhelming.
Both she and her husband recounted to me with pride, some of their favorite places in Colorado and described them to me in depth. Thank goodness the internet existed back then and I was able to research the beautiful landscapes that make up Colorado, because I had never been there.
We brainstormed together and decided that an approach would be to paint various key destinations in Colorado that Mom and Dad had been to. One destination would flow into another.
White paneling, about five feet high, was going to be installed around the room. The scenery would encompass the upper portion of the walls. So that the room wouldn’t look to choppy, I recommended that I paint a sky with clouds on the ceiling.
Mom didn’t want dark colors; she wanted a very light happy feel. This room was going to remain a nursery as the couple planned on having more children, so the end result had to look gender neutral.
Based upon these specifications, I created a room for the family that would serve as a home away from home. So, when Mom or Dad missed their home state, all they had to do was step into this very special space.
Sometimes a room will have a little nook or niche that leaves homeowners bewildered as to what to do with it. This was such a space. It was no wider than 6 feet . But what really challenged the homeowners was what to do with it. One of the “walls” jutted out 2 feet while the other wall only projected out about 1 foot.
Other than having a custom built in made, the homeowners were in a quandry.
I met with the couple and we talked. We discovered that we were both in love with Italy-culture, art, food, fashion.
The homeowners were thinking about some kind of mural of Tuscany. I had to have those two uneven walls make sense somehow.
I envisioned creating some kind of balcony or a pergola with a walkout , columns, a little bit of a blue sky and a Tuscan vista painted in bright colors. I wanted to make an illusion so it looked like you could walk out into the space.
I presented the idea to the clients and suggested they could put a chair near the mural and it could serve as a visual getaway/ reading nook.
This project, as small as it was in size, was challenging. I had to use color theory and something called forced perspective to make this illusion work. (Forced perspective is a visual manipulation of something to make it look 3-d. This technique is often done on the convergence of 2 planes.) Challenges are great; they force you to stay on your toes and to advance your skills and knowledge.
The project was a success. I brought a little bit of Tuscany to central NJ.
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