Barrel Ceilings Decorative Art
generally spoken in the same sentence the barrel ceiling is the second most sought out area for murals and decorative art after the dome ceiling. You really can’t say one without the other when it comes to faux finishing and/or interior design. Unless of course you are one of those freakish kind of metaphysical thinkers who without reason will follow the interior designers who say everything must be black and/or white to achieve a modern kind of interior.
With the risk of making a few enemies I have to say that some are so freakish that even their little dogs are white and/or black or even both.
What else can I say, I am an artist and pure white walls and ceilings are not normal and lack life, but of course some think I’m not normal either. But hey, that’s me and I know what I like and don’t like, and what works where and why, when it comes to bringing personality into a home’s interior design. Even germaphobes like color.
I mean think about it, some are so far out in left field that they think it’s normal to chase that wormy little butt dragging dog around their own house with a bottle of Mr Clean only to have to replace the carpet a month later or reupholster the furniture because little junior upchucks his lunch all over the place after watching that freakish bald albino cat stop in mid-step and decides that this is the perfect spot to regurgitate it’s lunch to enjoy for the second time only to leave a trophy marking the spot for tomorrows “catch of the day.”
I mean really, you can’t possibly think it’s normal to live like that. If God wanted us to live with out color He would have made us all blind.
So leaving walls and ceilings with no color is not an option in my opinion which I have seen a lot of these days.
Trust me in 6 months you’ll start to question it.
God gave mother nature a tough job when creating the natural order of things so we could get along much easier for the filthy beasts that we are as human beings. Save the all white stuff for after your dead and give me the ability to live my life with as much color and decorative art as I can. Leave the must have white trend beliefs with the can’t think for themselves 30 year olds, but give us old old bastards back our colors that we need to have to at least have some dignity in our own homes, gimme a break! Don’t negate faux finishing and decorative art by institutionalizing our own homes with this “must have white walls and ceilings” way of thinking, leave that for the commercial side of interior design where most are only spending an hour or so a day looking at it.
White Interiors, geeeezzz, “kiss my old ass lol,” and get rid of that butt dragging little white bastard and give me a drool slinging brindle bulldog that would just love to roll around on that $20,000 white love seat after a nice romp in the flower bed. After all, were human beings that have accidents once in a while, not a bunch of white gloved programmable 30 year olds who couldn’t tell you the difference between purple and violet or even really care for that matter, as most are just trend followers and not trend setters.
As it stands I would have to say that barrel ceilings are one of the best areas to render decorative art work. Reason being is they are such a focal point of a homes interior that this is usually another “Feature Area” of a homes interior design.
As I keep moving into this blogging frenzy of mine in order to catch up with a few faux finishing things I may seem a little off kilter, but for those who have been following me for awhile already know, that it isn’t unusual for me to wander from my subject now and again.
The inspiration for the start of the barrel ceilings decorative art came from a design of a hallway runner which was chosen because of the on going palette we are working from through out the rest of the homes interior.
Practically the entire design of the barrel ceiling will be painted using Luster Stone as the medium made by Faux Effects International. The medium is a plaster product but has an extremely good quality of binders, micas, and pigments that the binders can be pushed to the limits without sacrificing the quality of the product. It really is one that I would highly recommend for decorative art.
As I started the border I first established the ground layer which I am doing to resemble the fabric weave of the carpet runner which appears to be hand done and not by machined.
The richness of the colors almost look like silk so this finish is surely a challenge because the runner looks like two different colors depending on which end of the hallway you are looking from. Since I already knew where I was going with the lower border I wanted to get this started as I knew this was going to be time consuming.
However I still needed to establish the main back ground color of the carpet itself.
I will not complete the entire back ground faux finish of the barrel ceiling before starting the decorative art with a border just above the crown molding. Reason being is I want to ground the design first and work my way up to the center of the chandeliers to where there is another border that needs to be established.
What ever marks and measuring I need to do I want to make sure all this is done before completing my background so changes can be easily made. Most times nothing is square, especially with these types of barrel ceilings and it is easier to do the layout on sight just in case there is a problem.
One of the most time consuming things is to layout the whole design ahead of time on paper only to discover something on sight that throws the whole design off so bad that you have to start all over again because of some other trades miscalculations. I have seen some that were so far off you would swear that it was intentional.
Once the border has been established then it’s just a matter of adding the details. Probably the most difficult part of it is working by yourself when laying out the design and not having those extra set of hands, especially on a 20ft long barrel ceiling. However there are some very creative old world ways of getting things done. Some of the things I have learned from my grandpa others from books, but its those that have been passed down from one generation to another that you can’t find in print are the ones that are greatly appreciated when they are shared. (but only to those who are serious about the business)
Anyway once you have initiated the design and worked out all the minor details then it’s repetition that makes it go quicker. So now that this has been establish I will work on anchoring the center border which is a bit different but still within the same style. If you have been following my posts you may recognize that this is a continuation of a commission I have had in the Gray Oaks Country Club in the Naples Fl area.
This design kind of carries on the look of the Ethiopian mural based on the 15th century church which happens to be the oldest known of it’s kind. The history behind is really quite amazing and interesting. I have posted a link below to this if you are interested in learning a little history about this amazing country.
You have a good idea of what is anchoring the Barrel Ceiling Decorative Art project.
Continuing with the process on the barrel ceiling decorative art I now will have to anchor the center border and match the chandelier medallions to their bronze covers. Working around chandeliers is not one of my favorite things when it comes to faux finishing but sometimes you must do it. I know that most of the smaller ones are not difficult to remove and replace but the three that are hanging here were posing a problem and a can of worms we really did not want to open. In fact it would have delayed the job and brought in three other trades. It was in the best interest for the client that we didn’t go there with such an irrelevant detail that most of it was hidden by shadow and with my little bag of tricks no one would know anyway. Sometimes it just is not worth the expense for such a minor detail. So I just worked around them and it came out fine.
Completing the lower anchor border decorative art of the barrel ceiling brought it to the layout of the center border which was done while I brought in the background Luster Stone color on the rest of the barrel ceiling.
Hopefully by now you can understand why I chose to anchor the barrel ceiling with a border as I wanted to create some separation from the white crown molding and show off the detail of the ceiling as it’s own entity. I laid out the center border and completed the first layer of the Luster Stone background color. However there is still another layer of Luster Stone that goes over the toning layer.
Understanding color in decorative arts and how transparency and opacity work brings certain elements to the viewer that can either recede or come forward. However the use of intensity and chroma can do the same thing. You will see as we look at what happens with this center border. The center is already laid and based out with it’s Luster Stone color (Champagne Mist) and the design was inspired fro the runner one again. I want part of what’s on the runner to appear on the barrel ceiling as it was a very good reference to the art that’s in the coffer ceiling of the master bedroom. Decorative art should flow from one room to another and not shock you as I have seen in many homes in the past. Sure the first time you see that kind of effect is cool and all, but if not done correctly it can get hard to live with that can change from “wow” to “screamin” as I call it.
Trust me there are many homes out there that scream at their owners every day and this too can become old after a while also. You must have balance in composition as well as harmony in a home. Of course on the commercial side of interior design it’s nearly the opposite.
This next image explains a lot of what I am referring to because if you look at the medallions that were matched to the chandelier you can see how dark and opaque they appear which is the way it’s suppose to be.
What needed to be done is the color intensity and opacity had to be increased in the diamond border to make it flow across the ceiling thus not competing with the darkness of the medallions. Of course we had to bring some color up from the lower border to create a flow as well.
The over all look of the ceiling at this point is looking good but there is still more that should be added. However at this point we will leave this post at where it’s at until I am able to add more if the client so desires it.
This is phase I of this Barrel Ceiling Decorative Art project at this point and I hope to be adding more to this, but we won’t know until we see the client until the fall which is how these summer projects continue with my repeat client base. However at this point it looks great and I have other areas that are next to this that will need to be faux finished before adding to this barrel ceiling.
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More on this Gray Oaks Project in Naples Fl.
(The Ethiopian Experience, next)