Design in Depth: If These Walls Could Talk

March 23, 2011

By Stacy Kunstel

A recent post on Fauxology rekindled my interest in decorated walls. This is not circa-1987 crackle finishes, but a host of treatments that can take a room from forgettable to something that belongs on the pages of a magazine. Regina Garay illustrated her visit to the Getty Museum in Los Angeles on Fauxology and it reminded me of the sixteenth-century panels I saw at Villa Grazioli last year when I stayed there.

When I returned from Italy I passed the photos on to Cindy Bogart, who owns Print Rooms in Middletown, Rhode Island (and has her own blog,

Photo courtesy of

Not long after that I visited the Greenwich, Connecticut, studio of Melissa Barbieri, who paints on Venetian plaster and canvas for her installations.

Photos courtesy of

In our most recent issue of New England Home, we share the work of interior designer Wendy Valliere, who had decorative painter Mindy Jackson Jefferys of Randolph, Vermont, stencil her living room ceiling.

From New England Home; photo by Michael Partenio

Then, last month at the New York Gift Show, I met Audrey Sterk, whose murals and painted floor work I had photographed on Nantucket, but whom I’d never met in person. At NYIGF, Audrey debuted her new line of painted floor cloths and wall coverings.

Photo courtesy of

I’ve been impressed with all of these women and their creative talents, and with the variety of ways to decorate a surface that go beyond a simple coat of paint. It’s as if the decorating gods are encouraging me to do something more interesting with my walls now!

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