Painting and Decorating Made Easier!

YOU are the creative one when it comes to designing your home and the décor within it. So it is you that you have to rely on to do it in such a way that you and others find it desirable and that what you do stands the test of time.

The area you decorate or the piece of furniture you choose to refinish must be done correctly in order to have achieved your highest expectations. Where it creates a lasting impression for all who see it. And that it is a comforting place to be.

There is nothing to be gained by a poorly thought out plan which results in your living room being painted a color you really don’t like or in the furnishings you have chosen for your décor. Common sense is all that is actually needed. Although it doesn’t hurt to know a little about the surfaces and specific areas themselves.

As far as I am concerned – concerning a modern home, there are only two trains of thought when it comes to finishing any one surface or space. They are Traditional and Contemporary.

Within each discipline there is a wide variety of surface types.  The field narrows when we consider the type of area or space. An example: A double-wide manufactured home has a bathroom. So does a thirty-room mansion – in fact many more than one. The style of design and décor would be different.

The use of traditional finishes is rooted in the history of family empires of the past, where they ruled vast kingdoms. The great Austrian Hapsburg empire comes to mind.  Those rulers, because of their notoriety, great wealth and influence, amassed  a multitude of possessions. They acquired lands further than they could see. Many would say that would require both an immense arrogance and wisdom to realize that dream. In any sense they demanded the best for what the times had to offer. The best in materials and in men.

As to material, they purchased the finest in stone, wood and even glass. The men chosen to do the work were highly paid. They were highly specialized and skillful craftsmen. They provided specially-designed decorative finishes to simulate and enhance the building and the decorating process. If you’ve ever seen the interior of an estate palace, you know exactly what I mean.

The contemporary finishing realm, relating to surfaces and area, can be considered a great deal more creative. At least when it comes to the use of color. It’s been much more highly expressive, since the 1960′s.

Presently, as with traditional, there is an endless variety of masonry products and woods from which to choose. In addition, there is also an array of metals, plastics and simulated wood products available for home design and décor today.

What, then, are we concerned about when it relates to the modern

In the non-traditional style, an office could be designed with floor-to-ceiling paneled walls, with beveled and multi-stepped base boards and crown moldings. They would be finished in a moderately dark, wood-tone stain and varnish application. With traditional, the room might be finished in approximately the same way. However, there would be the added element of extensive ornamental wood carving and molding designs.

When speaking of surfaces, you have to ask: What is the craftsperson/artisan trying to achieve? Considerations include knowing the use of color, texture, brightness, reflectance, and transparence to convey interior and exterior design schemes in a visual perspective.

Is it to your liking or taste? Like many things, it is an individual choice. The goal, of course – once the area to be decorated is selected – is to know this: What will be the purpose of the space? What is its intended use?

I am in no way pretending to be an interior designer or decorator. They know the field with a precision I have yet to master. I am speaking from the painter’s or applicator’ view point.

Within your chosen area, there are specific variables, which either allow or constrict you to create specific schemes of decor. These parameters will stipulate what you can actually do, They include the following: size of room, natural light source,  number of entry ways and windows, and traffic flow/flow path of visitors or guests.  As these issues are noted, the context of the room can be decided.

For our purposes, let’s use a living room which is a common example. Generally a living room, which is designed universally as a place for social gathering, has an overall dimension which covers the entire walking space of the room. Large furnishings would be placed against the walls. An assortment of upholstered chairs might be arranged in a way that would enhance face-to-face personal contact.  Then facets such as lighting, paintings, photographs, brisk-a-brack and even antiques would be displayed according to personal choice.

The types of surfaces, and methods of finishing them, are just as numerous as the types of spaces which are decorated. In a living room project which I had finished, the owner was seeking a tropical design motif. To work out the fine points, he had employed an interior designer.

In my role, I designed and painted two murals on each side of the room, and above a  dropped ceiling crown. Since it was tropical, the painting and decorating work consisted of the simulation of tropical leaved and flowering plants – along with palm type trees.

When the project was completed, there was a wall-to-wall jungle cat fur designed carpet, with live large-leafed palm trees placed at specific positions along the walls. The furnishings, a number of upholstered chairs and lounges, were designed and upholstered in simulated African animal patterns. The end result left? One felt as if he were in the middle of a wild tropical jungle. The final furnishing was an imported 8-foot long table top, made from a Banyan Tree. It was a sight to see.

Remember: Your inspiration and creativity are the doorway to a beautifully appealing home or business environment. And don’t forget, it can be a surface or an area that can serve to instill pride in wherever you live!

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Have a great day. Thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”


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