Sunday, April 1, 2012

ALWAYS Chic Chinoiserie, Paper or Paint?, Part I

 Of course I took many scarves and accessories on my trip!
via Couture Allure

I am finally back and unpacked!

I have been working on several big projects and travelling a bit, so I have lots of stories to tell, which somehow miraculously and without planning seem to link in various ways, and of course I MUST SHARE.

Elizabeth Dinkel Design

So to start at the beginning right here in Jackson . . .

Several months ago, my good friend and client asked me to help her with several projects in the new home she was building.

One of the things at the top of her list was the perfect wallpaper for her entry with its wonderful barrel ceiling.

We both agreed that she really needed the "oomph factor" in her entry.

Entry via Chinoiserie Chic, Paper Mural

Celerie Kemble Design, via Elle Decor, Paper Mural

Miles Redd Design via House Beautiful, Paper Mural

My client is a super organized person
(I am wishing that 
I was as organized as she is!)
 and had a notebook full of great ideas for wallpapers. 
We decided to look at 
hand painted chinoiserie papers like these.

Bedroom by Miles Redd

I have always had a fondness for them. 

When I was in high school we had one in our dining room almost just like this one.
(Perhaps another reason from my past that makes me so fond of birds!) 

My dining room had a chinoiserie silk paper with a metallic gold background.

The look is perpetuated since my mother had my portrait made in the room.

My client's color palette is a fun one
 (kind of Florida colors, which gives you a hint of where I headed first on my big 
road trip) 

so we looked at this paper
 from de Gournay.

de Gournay Panel

We actually looked at lots of papers from
 de Gournay, Griffin and Wong, 
and Gracie.

Detail from Griffin and Wong Paper

Griffin and Wong Panels

Gracie Wallpaper

We could just never quite find exactly the one we both thought was perfect and I admit we were a little worried the papers are TOO popular at the moment, although they are indeed a classic, popular since the 1700's.

So what to do?
We decided to paint!
We wanted a hand painted version of 
a hand painted chinoiserie paper.

Award winning painted mural by Kaveri Singh for designer Grady Cooley 
on twenty-two foot glazed walls

And I had just the right artist in mind  . . .

my longtime friend and artist Don Jacobs.

I have known Don for what seems like eons.
We first met working on a designer showhouse, and I have always 
admired Don's work.
 He is multi-talented and has an 
extensive portfolio, including portraits, decorative painting and murals.
His work is even in the 
Mississippi Governor's Mansion.

My client, and Don, and I met and worked out colors and details for every inch of her entry wall and ceiling, birds, branches that flowed up the walls onto the ceiling to create an "entry bower" of sorts, a neutral but pearlescent background, and the fun colors from the room but slightly muted.

And Don did NOT disappoint!

Don accentuated the pearlescent basecoat and silvered it just a bit, then he painted in the branches first.

Foliage and flowers followed.

Then he added the birds and butterflies.

And of course we added a few more 
at the end!

To be continued . . .

Next stop, Oxford!

What do you prefer, paper or paint for a chinoiserie mural?

photo credits: via Couture Allure, Elizabeth Dinkel Design, Marilyn Storey, Domino, via Chinoiserie Chic, Elle Decor, House Beautiful, Kaveri Singh, de Gournay, Griffin and Wong, Gracie


  1. What a tough call! The mural is looking mighty magnificent!! Can't wait to see the next stage - and more from your travels!

  2. It's going to be gorgeous...looking forward to a progress report!!!

  3. I like them all. This is just gorgeous work! Just found your blog via fb!

  4. I would take any of the above. I have been looking at the Gracie wallpapers for my entry, I think they would be wonderful,but having a custom painted mural is the best of both world, Great job Don, Kathysue

  5. I thought I was going to say paper until I saw the spectacular's fabulous - can't wait to see more!!

  6. Wow Don Jacobs' work is stunning! Absolutely the painted mural you both came up with -- the colors, the sheen, the bird selection...couldn't be more fabulous! The Color Matriarch

  7. How wonderful. Can you tell me how you/he achieved the metallic paint background? What type of paint does he use for the drawing? It is so lovely and soft compared to the typical mural.

  8. Beautiful, I wish we had a Don Jacobs in Europe..

  9. NSR HANDCRAFTS, produce the high quality handpainted wallpaper, panoramic murals to view more project photos!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.