Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Mural for the Waldorf School at Moraine Farm

Our daughter Zoë attended the Beverly Waldorf School for years. Since then, the school has moved their campus to a larger and better facility at Moraine Farm in Beverly. 

Our friend and client Jonathan Poore of Poore & Co. assisted the Waldorf School with campus planning and interior design at the new facility. The concept for the lobby / hallway, depicting shadows cast from children at different life stages in a color wash was a story telling exercise meant to convey the “Developmental Journey” from early childhood to eighth grade. 

The entry tree is a welcoming and sheltering gesture.

The first box and mural images represent early childhood.

Second box and images portrays grade school.

And finally, the box at the end of the hall and happy teen shadow illustrates middle school.

We love working with Jonathan because of his impeccable taste, keen sense of conceptual design and especially color.

Lena was assisted in bringing Jonathan’s vision to life by Kasia Mirowska of Miro Art & Design.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Bring Nature Inside With Biophilic Imagery

At our cottage in Maine, we have continued the biophilic theme by installing one of our mural papers in a bedroom. It is a scenic mural originally painted by Lena in Lincolnshire, UK, depicting the fresco "Villa of Livia" (Circa. 30-20 BCE) housed at the Museo Nazionale Romano, Rome, Italy.

Here is a link to my 18 second video of the finished installation.

We flew to UK and I photographed the painting in detail, stitching together many hundred photos into the final wallpaper mural measuring 28’ 6” long and repeating from the right edge onto the left. The entire mural is delivered on 15 - 24” drops. 

Original Mural in Lincolnshire, UK conservatory.
While we were installing the mural in the bedroom we had the fabulous people of Stone Surface Granite & Marble, Bridgton, ME, installing new counter tops in the bathroom  and kitchen. Most of the stone was a gift from our generous friend and client Lisa Cunningham of Warner - Cunningham (Chestnut Hill, MA). It was removed from a remodel project in Brookline, MA. Every time either Lena or I wash a dish, we relish our new farm sink.

Also new at our Crystal Lake getaway is another wallpaper installation where we bring the outdoors - in. It started in the driveway a few years ago. While raking one fall day, I looked down and noticed that the worms had created a fine tracery pattern on most of the leaves. I got a few old books and started gathering and placing them between the pages to flatten and dry. Months later I took them out of the books and photographed them, turning them into a variety of leaf patterns. The color of the leaves is perfect with the pine paneling in the house and the slight opposing color in the background really brings out the warm hue. It seems quite fitting that the wallpaper was created, using leaves collected just outside the door.

Lena's grandfather, Thomas Adrian Fransioli, an artist of some note, painted and glued the shells on this piece in the hall.

We can deliver “Fall Leaves” on any background color. The size and color of the leaves is also customizable.

We have two bedrooms and the living room remaining as open pallets for our wallpapers, finishes or murals. Because I want to keep to the theme of bringing the outdoors in, we are planning wall coverings. 

We are thinking of using “Passion Flower” in the master bedroom. This pattern was created from a fragment of historic Swedish wallpaper.

And for the kids bedroom we are installing “Cherry Blossom”. I envisioned the blossoms floating down with a beautiful sky background but Lena thinks the small, cut up nature of the room requires something less complicated and requested a simple greenish blue ground. I was inspired to create the Cherry Blossom pattern during a client meeting, in a Washington, D.C. back yard during the height of “cherry blossom season”. I was enchanted by petals floating down into our portfolio. We were brushing out dried flowers for months.

I will post more when we have finished the next two rooms. Thanks for your support.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Paradise Lost Mural and Crete Wallpaper Install

Lena Fransioli and Brooke Sheldon painted this 20 foot long mural a few years ago for a Wiccan meeting room in New Hampshire. The other walls in the room really needed to be upgraded from the primitive sponging on the walls. It was unanimous that our "Crete" wallpaper pattern had the look, color and style for the mural and the room. Our friends Greg Kahler and David Morse of Paper Hanging and Design do the super fast wallpaper install you'll see at the end of the video.

I reproduced the columns on either side of the mural to complete the corner and added a drop shadow over our Crete pattern to wrap the room. Everyone is completely happy with the end result. Thanks to PHD for an excellent installation.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Bringing Nature Inside

Some of you may have seen this in our "news letter", forgive if I am repetitive.

We have owned a small lake side cottage in Maine for about 15 years and every year we add little improvements. Sometimes it is the necessary roof or septic system and others we get to use our design skills to improve the looks and feel of the place. 

Last year we did the roof and we refreshed the bathroom with a river stone floor and Marmorino walls. 

This year we have continued the biophilic theme by installing one of our mural papers in a bedroom. It is a scenic mural originally painted by Lena in Lincolnshire, UK depicting the fresco "Villa of Livia" (Circa. 30-20 BCE) housed at the Museo Nazionale Romano, Rome, Italy. If you would like to see an 18 second virtual tour of the room, on Youtube, click here.

The original mural, painted in Lincolnshire, UK, looks like this:

Villa Livia Fresco - Repeat : 28' 6" W. x 8' H. Delivered on 15 - 24” rolls.

Villa Livia - Detail
As time permits, we will be adding wallpapers to the other rooms in the house. All will have the “natural world” theme. We are thinking of what we call “Passion Flower” for the master bedroom. This paper is re-created from a fragment of antique wallpaper.
Passion Flowers (DE2813) - Repeat : 15.4” W. x 41.3” H. Delivered on 36" rolls.

In the kid’s bedroom we can’t decide between the “Cherry Blossom” and “Lilly Panels”. If you have a strong opinion please leave a comment or reply with your choice.
Lilly French Panels (Detail of Panel #3) - Hand painted by Lena Fransioli and Brooke Sheldon, with faux molding and filigree surround.
Lilly French Panels (Panels 1-4) - 7 Panels of various widths, all are 71.5" H.
Lilly French Panels (Panels 5-7)
Cherry Blossom
For the living room, we are planning to use “Shagreen”.
Shagreen (NA1409) - Created from the leather hide of a shark. Repeat - 23” W x 23” H. Delivered on 24” roll.

And finally, for the tiny amount of kitchen walls and the hall to the bedrooms we will hang our “Fall Leaves”. "Layered" over the sink, "Random" across the room and "Scattered" in the hall.

FALL LEAVES (Layered-NA4124) Approx. Rpt. - 41”w x 24”h with 1/2 drop.

FALL LEAVES (Random-NA4123) Approx. Rpt. - 24”x24”

FALL LEAVES (Scattered-NA4122) Approx. Rpt. 24"x24". Delivered on 24” rolls.

It is great fun having this on going project turning this small cottage into a gem.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Faux Tortoise

Working with Bryan O'Sullivan of Wellen Construction, Heidi Bianco of Celerie Kemble Design and Greg Kahler of Paper Hanging and Design, Lena Fransioli painted faux on 41 separate trim pieces, making them look like the surrounding wall coverings.

The Tortoise was the most striking and also the most time consuming.

Lena also painted Wisteria on AC vents and speaker grills. The speakers are tricky because we don't want to clog the holes and effect the sound quality. Greg suggested the solution of using compressed air to clear the holes periodically during the process.

Painting wisteria on a light box

Painted AC vent with some of the surrounding wallpaper, over which it will be installed

Thanks to my friend David Stoffregen, I am adding his photo of the light and AC Vent installed

Thanks for reading and have a happy healthy spring. 

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Sunny Tabriz Grass Cloth

I have spent the last few days printing a seamless grass cloth I created for Cynthia First of Now Interiors and First Oriental Rugs. She wanted ultimate control of the color of the grass cloth and neither of us like the seams that show and sometimes fray with most grass cloth wall coverings. By creating a digital version I was able to address both concerns. After installing our “Sunny Tabriz Grass Cloth” there will be no visible seams and with the colors of her accessories, I was able to nail the color, contrast & saturation.

I have a simple operation with one computer and printer in the office and the studio for painting, photographing, trimming and shipping.

While I was printing Cyn’s paper I started looking closely at a sample I had on my table of our “Cat’s Cradle (DE9721-C)” and thought of a gloss coating that we offer for scuff, water and UV protection. I had an epiphany, instead of coating the entire print, we could just paint parts. I tested it and it is amazing the depth it adds to the image. If the light hits it just right, there is a highlight and if you look straight on with no reflecting light it is darkened and intensified in the painted areas.

Now, I just have to figure out how to selectively apply the UV coating faster. Painting the 12” x 24” sample took me almost an hour and while I did get faster toward the end, no one will want to pay me to paint hundreds of square feet by hand. I’m thinking silk screen or block printing. If anyone out there has any ideas about how to spot print gloss on to these, please leave a comment or email me with your suggestions.

If I work this out, I can see adding silver highlights to this:

Or, 24k gold highlights to this:

Thanks for reading & Happy Valentines Day.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Chinoiserie Wallpaper - Painted Floor

I have just returned from photographing a project we did at the end of last year for the wonderful team at Wilson Kelsey Design. Our small part was to paint the floor and design a wallpaper to fit the space from Lena's hand painted Chinoiserie (MU2011) at a small horse farm in Ipswich, MA.  I will let the photos speak for themselves.

Sally Wilson, the interior designer, came out to help me with the styling of the photos and what a great help she was.  I love the fine elements, like a  second molding on the ceiling, just inside of the crown molding. Here are some of the other details adding to the design and style.

And finally, the powder room, adjacent to our mural, Sally's French leaning makes this room sing.

I'd like to send my deepest thanks to all 12 of you, faithful followers of our blog.


Thursday, January 14, 2016

Hand Painted Marble Floor

We originally painted this foyer with a faux marble tile finish in September of 2008 and it looked great.

Near the end of 2015 our client asked us to repaint it exactly the same. The floor was damaged by a contractor and she wanted it ready for traffic before her "Post Christmas Party" on Jan. 9, 2016.
The party was a smashing success - excellent food and drink provided by Jeanie Gruber. Here is a time lapse movie featuring our hand painted floor, created during the festivities.

For those interested in the process, I thought I would give you a "How To" on marbleizing. We started with a white floor and first had to map out the grid making sure it lines up with the pre existing floor mural in the dining room as well as the walls in the foyer. For the layout we use lasers and for this white marble tile pattern, we drew a thin pencil line at each intersection to represent the grout. Once the grid is mapped out, Lena and Kasia added the white / gray marbling. For this they use tinted glaze, rags, feathers, fan brushes, stipplers and Badger hair softeners. First they paint the glaze on in drifts, rag it off, add veins with the feather and fan brush, blend with the stippler and finally soften with light sweeps of the Badger Brush.

Raging the glaze
Cutting through with a feather
Adding a vein with a fan brush
Softening the finish with a badger brush

When this is done and dry we added the darker greenish marble tiles at each intersection using tape because stencils leaked too much.

When they were dry we brought in Bob Tucker of Peabody Floors. We needed a non yellowing, water based, hard, quick dry product. To achieve this Bob suggested a first coat of VerMeister Aqua Tenax two component sealer followed by a coat of VerMeister Idro two-component polyurethane NMP-free waterborne, non-yellowing finish. As you can see, the end result was stunning and what you can't see is it is very hard.

Thank you to all who were involved with this project and if you have any questions I did not answer above, please contact me for more. We have no secrets.