Interior Murals and Faux finishes on walls have historically been a part of Architecture, from Caves were the oldest paintings were found to the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican.
They have been trendy at times, and certainly unaffordable at others. That is irrelevant to us, we introduce them into our work when we feel they belong.
Having been brought up in Mexico City myself, I was familiar with Murals, particularly the Political ones from Diego Rivera and David A. Siqueiros, as well as the work of Rufino Tamayo among others. While I did prefer Tamayo, less political and more Decorative. I was also familiar with wall painting in Colonial Churches, but not so in Residential Interior Design. Now I know Picasso did some wonderful residential wall paintings too.
However in my Interior Design Practice I have concentrated though, in “Trompe-l’oeil”. Fooling the eye, if you would. Perhaps because for me sometimes it is important as an Architect, that there be something on the wall. Not necessary a framed removable Fine Art piece. More like a window perhaps, that is not there.
Besides it makes you think it is real, when it isn’t. I have specified and requested from artists, how I want to “Fool the eye”, but most of the time the artist knows how to do their job and accomplishes the trick with a craft to perfection, making it Art, and his/her own too, so it is therefore in our case design teamwork.
Even in Contemporary and Minimalist Interiors, we use and introduce the Art of wall painting. From a simple white Venetian Stucco, producing a very special sheen on the walls, and more important a feeling of comfort and quality to the user.
I first learned about Faux finishes from the great British Designer David Hicks†, who was a modernist. However in his later years did a Showcase House in London, where he marbleized the moldings, and I made my discovery.
Sculpture too. Trompe l’oeil can be created as we have done numerous times, with Pilasters and Mirrors. The Pilaster being 3D brings it into the Wall Sculpture category perhaps.
Accentuated by Texture, paintings become sculpture, and that is best for Art Critics to decide. Frank Stella certainly has broken the barrier there.
So we did my clients 400 ft2 Master Bathroom at Villa Altura, where Carlo did the sets of panels for the mirrored wall, as well as painted some Friezes on the wall. The room became the showstopper at the 1991 Marin Designer Showcase. The accent marble in the Bath was Black Portoro, so he selected Black and did a Pompeian style panel Mural and wall painted Friezes.
Carlo Marchiori, temporary Murals on panels on right as a tub splash wall. Friezes on wall above between moldings.
We designed the Interiors for this Villa in the Tobacco growing jungle in Catemaco, Veracruz, Mexico. Carlo didn’t want to go and do it there, he was already a Prima Dona, so I had to insist.
Therefore he painted it in his studio, but I insisted he install it. It made all the difference as not only did he and his partner installed it well, but the additional details he added on site were great too.
I had created a new curved wall at the Villa’s dining room, and the curvature provided a perfect Cinema Scopic effect, very encompassing the wall takes you in. He selected an Italian Mythological Garden.
Curved dining room Italian Mythological Garden. Also ceiling Oculus Tile border, and bifold screen on the left to kitchen.
It was hard to stop working with Carlo, but he became too famous and devoted to his store and his garden in Calistoga. So he gave me advice, on who to take over his spot.
He warned me on who I shouldn’t use, but of course I didn’t listen. Also not all jobs are for the same muralist or faux finisher. We have used many Artists, some with good, and some with bad experiences. I will only mention the Artists that represented a good Experience.
San Francisco Decorators Showcase. No murals here simply Faux Marble Trompe l’oeil. Our Hall of Mirrors Bath the winner of the year at the Showcase and one of the 10 Best Showhouse rooms in America, from House Beautiful. The Serpentine vanity top and splash are real Carrara marble. Faux finishes to match were applied on: pedestal, vanity, wall Moldings, pilasters and mirror frame.
It all looked like real marble giving the room a sense of Elegance, for a lot less money.
This section shows Murals by different Artists. They were all conceptualized by Jerry Jacobs Design, but executed by different talented known and unknown Artists. They are all based on Ocean Views or Historical and geographic maps.
Interior Murals and Faux finishes at the Puerto Aventuras Yacht Club Penthouse. The entrance had door to utilities. We designed a paneled mural with 4 full height doors, and depicting the ocean view, which you actually see when you turn right.
Evans and Brown. On the left. Did the Ocean View Mural at Hacienda on the Beach. Sky above as well. The Map on the left is a copy of XVII Century Map motive we did first at The Fairmont Acapulco Princess Hotel.
Villa on the Beach
Villa on the Beach has a three story atrium and it is covered with a vaulted ceiling. Notice in it the painted sky. You reach the roof garden through a glass staircase, notice the Concrete classic moldings surrounding the staircase are faux Marbleized.
There were two projects in the Caribbean were we used wood instead of Canvas, and local Artisans instead of trained artists. The Lobby of the Omni Cancun Hotel, and a Bay View Grand Condo. Just trying to use a wall to say something. At the Lobby of the Omni Cancun Hotel, we had an extra wall, so I wanted to say Shack, like you would see in Isla Mujeres across the Bay.
As there had just been a Hurricane, I incorporated to my Mural a torn corner of the shack, and it should look like water (Wallpaper). Then I did the same years later at a Bay View Grand condo, to make it more fun.
I had not been to Morgan Hill, at the south end of Silicon Valley, when she called I asked her to describe the house, and she said it had 72 columns. When I arrived I realized the white columns did nothing for the house, and that perhaps making them a little more like a natural stone would help.
We could have gone to other things, but the Budget was limited (railing replacement would have been costly miles of it). Artist. Ray Reagan.
Villafranca Studio. For “La Casa del Alamo” we interviewed several companies and choose Villafranca Studio, a team of two Parisian Artists leaving in the Bay Area, Brigitte Michelet and Miguel Villafranca (originally from Chile). We are so glad we did and we have had a very successful relationship ever since.
Interior Architecture and remodeling by Jerry Jacobs Design. We remodeled this kitchen and Family room and used Venetian Stucco on the walls. Notice the smoothness and sheen.
Venetian stucco on wall by Antonio Esta.
Refer to our wall paper Blog. Best wallpapers in San Francisco and Worldwide.
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