ColorTherapy: Decorative Painting & Pattern

For a little splash of color, why not try one of my bold retro patterns in your powder room?I have so many fun projects in the works that I’m about to subtitle this column “Decorative Painting Therapy” — it’s not just for rag rollers anymore. The twin inspirations for this project were this wallpaper tear-sheet, and a photo I took of a floor in Venice — which I can’t find as I prepare this post. (And yes, even my mother knows I wander around Europe taking pictures of the floors.)

The wall was painted Violetta (Benjamin Moore AF 615) before I arrived. The lattice is Orion Grey (Ralph Lauren TH14), the shadow is my new favorite Tea Kettle Black VM156, and after three tries I finally mixed my own highlight. I painted the black first, white second and finally the grey in long strokes. As always, I find it easier to paint free-hand, although I did tape between the black and white just because the corners were so tight.

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I base many of my patterns on those from ancient Rome, which I try to update for contemporary settings. The difference here is color and scale, and also the fact that what looked like solid triangles on a floor becomes a treillage on the wall — something you could almost put your hand through. Now if only I could find that photo from Venice…

- Mark Chamberlain, interior and decorative painter