Limit paint col­ors and add con­trast

Baltimore Sun Sunday - - INTERIORS -

Over­size your wall art

Artwork that’s big, col­or­ful and splashy pro­vides an im­me­di­ate drawer. And while we may han­ker for a David Hock­ney, or Damien Hirst, the truth is that art doesn’t have to be pricey or have a stel­lar prove­nance to cap­ture at­ten­tion. To­day, we have lots of af­ford­able op­tions.

If you have an artist friend — or want to chan­nel your in­ner Pi­casso, take a cue from Ricky Gon­za­lez, creative di­rec­tor for Value City Fur­ni­ture. He cre­ated vi­brant back­grounds by paint­ing big flow­ers on wood boards in one room and on shiplap pan­els in an­other.

If you have ex­ist­ing pho­tos or artwork that you want to work with, nu­mer­ous on­line com­pa­nies let you up­load to their site, and get en­large­ments printed onto can­vas for fram­ing or as pan­els to hang like wall­pa­per. Two sources that we like are Me­gaPrint and Can­vasPop. If you are look­ing for a re­ally bold, large scale ad­di­tion to your space, Fla­vor Pa­per whose web­site de­clares “This is not your grand­mother’s wall­pa­per” pro­duces some of the hippest wall­pa­per around.

Ev­ery­one knows that paint re­mains one of the eas­i­est, least ex­pen­sive ways to change a room. And it can in­tro­duce a “wow” as well when col­ors con­trast boldly, and their place­ment is a bit out of the or­di­nary. Chicago de­signer Sum­mer Thorn­ton of Sum­mer Thorn­ton De­sign used Far­row & Ball’s in­tense St Giles Blue in a flat fin­ish on walls, a color not usu­ally se­lected in such a big dose, for an el­e­gant vin­tage apart­ment. Thorn­ton made the blue pop more by giv­ing the ceil­ing mul­ti­ple coats of a con­trast­ing oil­based white from Fine Paints of Europe. Though our rule is to limit wows, ex­cep­tions abound. Case in point: Thorn­ton added a big 1940s Mu­rano glass chan­de­lier that re­flects the vi­brant blue.

An­other riff on the paint idea is to go black on a ceil­ing, where it’s least ex­pected, con­tinue down part of the walls and paint the rest in con­trast­ing white. The ef­fect is a visual sur­prise that mod­ern­izes a tra­di­tional din­ing room, says Ni­vara Xaykao, color mar­ket­ing and de­vel­op­ment spe­cial­ist at paint man­u­fac­turer Ben­jamin Moore. For best cov­er­age, use a tinted primer and two coats of the col­ors.


Creative di­rec­tor Ricky Gon­za­lez painted over­size flow­ers on wood boards to cre­ate a vi­brant back­ground.


Swap out a dainty pen­dant light for some­thing big­ger and bolder, says Los An­ge­les de­signer Lori Gilder.


For a dra­matic ef­fect, try a dark color on a ceil­ing, where it’s least ex­pected.


The Shaker stove from Wit­tus works in a tra­di­tional or con­tem­po­rary in­te­rior.

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