LVBA Award 2003 -
"'s always sunny in the Garden Kitchen!"

Society of the Arts (SOTA) Designer Showhouse

The challenge: Using texture and paint, transform the flat walls of the kitchen in this recently renovated 1830's farm house into a faux outdoor environment.


To capture the essence of weathered exterior walls, we used a three layer, seven color glazing process incorporating a textured "peeling plaster" technique. The application resulted in a distressed wall finish that looks decades old.


At some point during the building's history, the original fireplace wasconverted into a nook with a window. To feature this dominant architecturalelement, we used a variety of texture materials. With a multi-layer build-up, we manipulated them to look like brick and stone being revealed by a top layer of crumbling plaster. Seven earth-tone glazes were applied over the textures resulting in an old world, Tuscany-like quality. The elegant, reflective interior of the "fireplace"was achieved with eggplant and mahogany glazes on a metallic copper base using an embedded glazing technique.


Standing in the middle of the room you look up to a "soft summer sky"painted on the ceiling. The tri-tone blue sky finish, framed by faux wooden beams,creates the trompe l'oeil (fool the eye) illusion of dimension on the flat surface. One-point linear perspective and strong highlights and shadow were incorporated to make the beams appear to be bathed in sunlight. Details of the woodgrain and interlocking joints enhance the realistic quality of the painting. Handpainted vines appear to be growing from the outside of the room to wrap around the beams and grow down the walls. For an added touch,handpainted tree swallows soar above.


Unique wall finishes and the art of painted illusion transformed this oncesmall, unimpressive, white-walled room into an outdoor showcase, where, even on dreary days... "it's always sunny in the Garden Kitchen."


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