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Wallpaper Vs. Paint

With paint techniques always evolving, wallpaper is never far behind in new designs.  So how does one choose between paint and wallpaper? Paint's advantages are many - it is typically more cost effective, its colors can be controlled, there are no seams, and paint is so much easier and less expensive to change!  If the desired effect on a wall or ceiling is a very small pattern with lots of colors and shadings, then wallpaper is probably the best.  I've found that many designers like a mix in a home.  If i am asked - smile- paint is best, but then again, I'm a painter.  Below are some great examples of using paint.


Gosh this dining room is wonderful!  I wold love to be invited to dinner in this room with its luscious textures, soothing colors and a bit of elegant whimsy!  Designer Nicole Zarr did an amazing job creating a sophisticated room with the colors and textures adored by the homeowner.   Notice in the corner, the bit of ceiling step up detail.  Rather than using a wallpaper boarder, this custom paint design was stenciled to go with the drapery fabrics.


The walls and the inset ceiling are plastered.  The small sheetrock detail surrounding the inset ceiling is painted a solid color base and then stenciled.  To give this stencil a uniquely custom look, it has been hand embelleshed for more depth and dimension, and on the whole, created a hand-painted effect.  Finding a wallpaper border this exact size and color would have been very difficult. 




I remember that this particular scene was hard to photograph because it was such a sunny day!  And I love this hallway. It leads from the kitchen to the back playroom and garage.   Nicole wanted to use a fabric upolstering on the walls to achieve this look, but because the price was very expensive and the homeowner has children who pass through this hallway so much, they were worried about the longevity of the fabric.  Nicole wanted another option so she gave us the fabric and this airy cherry blossom design is the result.


This finish ended up being much less expensive, plus, it's washable!  I love the look of it near the brick with the outside windows.  It really brings the outside in!!! I used this concept as well - different colors, different trees - in my home's back entrance and I love the inviting feeling it creates when guests walk in the door.

My back entrance.  It is a hallway between my den and the offices and game room.



These were the fabrics that Nicole gave me for the homeowner's daughter's room.  They are so, so cute!  I love the combination of these two!  Once again, the desire to avoid the expense of wallpaper in this room led to the creation of this whimsical and fun painted design on the walls.

What do you think?  I think it is so fun!

Wow! I love this unexpected hand-stenciled design in the master bedroom's walk-through area.  This home has his and her bathrooms.  (I should have taken photos of those so you could see.)  They flank this hallway (to the right) and their walls are dressed with beautiful bright white tiles.  And, oh the bath tub - ooh lala - to die for.  Wanting some interest between the two spaces, she showed me a fabric she liked, which complemented the fabrics in the bedroom.  Above is the final pattern with beautiful warm color tones. Paint is a great way to blend fabrics and surfaces from different rooms.  The fabrics used in the bedroom were a slightly different tone than the tile surfaces in the bathroom.  This transition hallway made it all work.  Notice the blue ceiling as well - it really opens up this small space.


I had the best time working on this project with Nicole.  She did such a wonderful job mixing paint, plaster, decorative painting designs, and yes even some wallpaper.  She made her choices based on the look she wanted to achieve within a certain price range, knowing durability and low upkeep were important to the homeowner.  Below is a view of the wonderful living room which is plastered in a blue gray color.

Nicole is so talented!

I hope you enoyed this beautiful home.



Creating Art for Home Design

I started Segreto Studios-a very casual, come as you are-art gallery last year. I always joke that each time one of my kids goes to college I open a new facet to Segreto. This one is for Kirby, my middle daughter, going off. I have really loved it--Working with the artists and the homeowners both has given me such joy!! Art is such a personal choice. It needs to reflect the mood for the room and the owner's personality. It is so much fun working with people to find the perfect piece for them. A personal bond develops which is so special to me!!! Below is a beautiful home I worked on and then went back and created the perfect art for the homeowner and the space. See what you think.

This home was so fun to do with designer Talbot Cooley. After we finished all the plaster and cabinet work, she and the client came to the gallery and we discussed art. This is great for me because I get to see the home furnished and finished and looking at home interiors is my favorite thing to do!! I love that they chose photography for the entrance--very unexpected!!! The black and whites of old architectures by artist Eleanor Brown were about 20 by 24 unframed. The floating frames instead of mats of these, adds weight without taking away from the image. You also can see the plaster through the frame. There will be two benches under the art. These make this amazing home's entrance very inviting, friendly and less serious, but still very elegant!!!.

In the granddaughter's room, this photograph from artist Eleanor Brown is whimsical and girlie. It looks great with the shabby chic bench.

This spacious great room needed some art to go on the right wall. The beautiful antique panel from Chateau Domingue (19th century French) on the fireplace is the focal of the room so the rest of the pieces had to compliment this. Talbot wanted a series with texture, pulling the colors from the main piece but being in a completely different style made it different enough that the two wouldn't compete. These pieces were commissioned.

This is a hallway leading to the media room. Talbot wanted to draw your eye in and complement the old doors. She decided to fill the space and wanted lots of colors and textures. Even though it is an abstract, this painting incorporates many things that are important to the homeowner. The circles represent their family tree including the kids and grandkids. It has sayings in the piece that are meaningful. Family, faith, love. Because it is a narrow hallway it needs to draw your attention from the hall but also be interesting close up. I really had fun working on these last three pieces but i was so so nervous when I brought her by the studio to see the commissions. I wanted everyone to be so happy, and I also wanted them not to feel bad about it if they wanted to make changes!! Fortunately everyone was happy--I think I cried when I saw the pieces installed for the first time. Painting myself has really taught me so much about my artists and my clients.

Hope you enjoyed the tour!!!!


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