Wall Gram Wednesday: Alessandra Branca

Happy Wednesday! Today is the day we share a fabulous follow on Instagram who posts inspirational interiors and architecture with fantastic walls. For this week’s #WallGramWednesday post, we’re putting a spotlight on Alessandra Branca‘s always alluring instagrams.

You’ll find Alessandra on Instagram as @abranca. You’re bound to be inspired!

Alessandra Branca

Photo of the Palazzo Colonna in Rome by Alessandra Branca.

 

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Photo of architecture by Borromini in Rome by Alessandra Branca.

 

Alessandra Branca

Photo of an elegant design moment, captured by Alessandra Branca

 

All images via Instagram.

Nicole Fuller: Elegance With an Edge

Dining Room Interior Design by Nicole Fuller Interiors

Formal lavender dining room By Nicole Fuller wears “Boucle”, a custom textured plaster wall treatment by SuperStrata that was inspired by the iconic fabric that Chanel brought to fame

Interior, Furniture, and Accessories Designer Nicole Fuller is a lot like her interiors. At once exuberant, enchanting, and cosmopolitan, this hip sophisticate creates fresh, glamorous environments with just enough edge  to surprise and captivate. And we should know, Nicole has been a favorite client of ours for many years. Beyond being a joy to work with, she is an innovative designer who always requests imaginative new bespoke wall and ceiling treatments from us and other artisans she works with. Never one to overlook or downplay any element in her interiors, she’ll often incorporate bold wallpaper or design something completely new for those surfaces; whether custom plaster finishes, bespoke wallpaper, fabric, leather or metal, yes metal, the walls in her interiors are an integral component that never disappoint. We asked Nicole to share her design process, idols, and favorite wall treatments with us.

SS: You are a very detailed and involved interior designer and as you take every element of a room into consideration, at what point do the walls and ceiling come into your process?

NF: I consider them right from the beginning. The walls and ceiling envelope a space and are what initially inspire my creative process. They play a crucial role in the creation and direction of my designs. Walls and ceilings have the ability to either develop the pre-existing features in a space or even change the space entirely. You can also really play with spatial perception of a room just by referring to its walls and ceiling.

wallpaper and gold leaf ceiling by Nicole Fuller Interiors

A gold leaf ceiling and wallpaper by Cole & Sons in a foyer by Nicole Fuller Interiors

Nicole Fuller Interiors

“Farrah”, a custom striped venetian plaster wall finish by SuperStrata with beeswax drawing designed by Nicole in her own home. Photo via Livingect

SS:  Walls and ceilings in your designs are always an integral component. Beyond that, they are often really dynamic surfaces- fresh, inventive, and bold. Considering that wall finishes and treatments in contemporary design offer innumerable possibilities, what is your process in arriving at the final treatment for those surfaces?

NF: I like to learn and understand the age and character of the building that I am designing within. The intended emotion and ambiance in a specific space helps to define and clarify the creative process. My wall and ceiling creations often go hand in hand with the furnishings I am thinking of putting in the space, and building that initial relationship between actual pieces of furniture and what is either going on the wall or ceiling is vital.

Custom ceiling finish in living room by Nicole Fuller Interiors

Custom ceiling treatment in a dining room designed by Nicole Fuller Interiors

Custom tile mosaic with flanking wall murals in living room by Nicole Fuller Interiors

Custom tile mosaic by Sicis adorns the hearth with flanking wall murals in this sitting room by Nicole Fuller Interiors

SS: What challenges have you faced when designing for walls?

NF: More often than not, the issue is technical versus creative: uneven walls, poorly constructed buildings, and of course, low ceilings, are always a challenge that we look forward to finding a novel solution. I don’t really see any barriers as a negative but more as a challenge, and even the toughest situations excite me and push me to be more aggressive creatively.

It’s funny – clients typically resist wall covering at first. They only think about their grandmother’s flower paper. I have always used wallpaper and treatments in all my interiors. Wallpapers and treatments can reference history while simultaneously providing a compelling modern flair.

Graffiti Wall for Nicole Fuller Interiors

Personalized, custom pink graffiti wall mural by Eric Elms

Ink Blot wallpaper in an Nicole Fuller Interior.

Ink Blot wallpaper in an Nicole Fuller Interior

Custom wall finishing in dining room by Nicole Fuller Interiors

The perfect color of this high gloss lacquer sets the tone. Interior Design by Nicole Fuller Interiors

SS: What would you say has been your favorite wall treatment in one of your own projects? (Other than one of ours, of course!)

NF: I guess I would have to say Vampire’s Garden. It’s one that I designed. It’s distressed leather wall panels with abstract floral tattooed in pure mineral pigments. As with all our creations this treatment is fully customizable.

Vampire's Garden, a custom tattooed leather wallcovering by Nicole Fuller Interiors

Vampire’s Garden, a custom tattooed leather wallcovering by Nicole Fuller Interiors

SS: What about in another designer’s project?

NF: I’m obsessed with Coco Chanel’s famous apartment in Paris, France. Not only was she brilliantly talented transforming the fashion industry, but also her interior design skills were perfection. She continues to be a true inspiration. I also adore Hotel Costes, designed by Jacques Garcia in Paris. It displays such imagination brought together by beautiful wall treatments and textures. Also Yves Saint Laurent’s apartment in Paris, designed by Jean-Michel Frank is a favorite. The apartment is masterfully designed with the perfect pairing of new and old pieces.

Coco Chanel's Paris Home

Coco Chanel’s Paris Home. Photo via NPR

Hotel Costes in Paris by Jacques Garcia

Hotel Costes in Paris designed by Jacques Garcia. Photo via Keylee Sanders

Yves Saint Laurent's home designed by Jean Michel Frank

Yves St Laurent’s Paris home by Jean Michel Frank

SS: As a style trend-setter, are there any new products or processes that you’ve begun using recently? What trends are you seeing with regards to wall treatments more generally?

NF: I think metal on the wall is going to be the next big thing – applied, inlayed, and painted. Metal is inherently dimensional – you can’t go wrong. We have recently started designing a burnished bronze geometric design on large panels for a client. I can’t wait to see them in place! I’m mixing in all different metal leaves (gold leaf, silver leaf, etc.) as well in my treatments.  Stay tuned… I’ll be sending out sneak peek pictures through twitter at @NicoleFullerInt.

SS: As a designer, you create not only interiors, but also design individual elements that make up those interiors, such as furniture, lighting, and bespoke wall treatments. Where do you find your inspiration?

NF: Lately I’ve been inspired by vintage Van Cleef and Arpels jewelry. I recently went to a private showing and the shapes and color interacting just-so with the precious metals immediately made me think of a whole new concept for pieces of furniture.

Custom wall furnishing in contemporary room by Nicole Fuller Interiors

Interior Design by Nicole Fuller Interiors

It’s not surprising that Nicole is inspired by the baubles of the Van Cleef and Arpels. Just like those jewels juxtaposed just-so within their precious settings,  the elements in one of her interiors are perfectly paired with their surroundings.

For more interior design inspiration see check out Nicole’s work on her Website.

To see Nicole’s furniture and accessories, check out her collection, Isabella Wolfe.

All photos courtesy of Nicole Fuller Interiors unless otherwise stated.

The Round Up

Last week we launched #WallPinWednesday to great success! It was thrilling to see all of the fabulous contributions that fellow interior design lovers made to the collaborative inspiration board and to be a part of the conversations that ensued! Thank you to all who contributed everything from tile, lacquer, paint, color, to wallpaper, and of course, inspired interior design.

As promised, here is a round-up of some highlights from last week’s Wall Pin Wednesday. There are too many to share all of them here, even though we’d love to! To see the all of the images, CLICK HERE.

Historic meets modern in Valencia Hotel

From Barbara Segal aka @NoirBlancDesign via the Pursuitist a Valencia hotel “fusing historical legacy and modern design” that is beyond exquisite. Fragments of ancient walls, gothic arches, and 19th century palace remains are all integrated into its design. Read the entire post here. It’s worth it, we promise.

Simply awe inspiring, as it’s meant to be. This cathedral glows in walls of cobalt blue stained glass. If anyone knows where this is, we’d love to know! Submitted by Feia Construction, LLC for #WallPinWednesday

Hampton Designer Showhouse 2012 Robert Passal via Quintessence

Our contribution was the master bedroom by the very talented designer Robert Passal in the 2012 Hampton Designer Showhouse via Quintessence blog (please see Q’s post for more on this truly fabulous space.) The luscious wall finish was inspired by the colors of a bouquet and executed by artist Tracy Hines.

Graphic wallpaper in interior by Kelly Carter

The graphic wallpaper sets the stage in this interior by Kelley Carter in Lonny Magazine May 2012. Photography by Patrick Cline. via Customized Walls for #WallPinWednesday.

This pink on pink interior may be too much for some, but you can’t deny its power! The wildly glamorous, intensely colorful G Hotel in Galway was designed by Philip Treacy. via Interior Designer Sarah Sarna for Wall Pin Wednesday.

Watercolor Mural in Living Room

A washy, muted watercolor mural featured in the post 5 Resurrected Old-World Interior Design Trends was submitted from Lisa League aka @agirlandamac for #WallPinWednesday. (Originally featured on House To Home > Mural by Surface View | Photograph by Emma Lee)

Awe inpisiring tile in Casa da Música in Sala Barroca

I think the Portuguese tile in the Casa da Música in Sala Barroca speaks for itself! Re-pinned from Lee Nicholson aka @FilmoreClark for #WallPinWednesday. Via http://fomosveromundo.wordpress.com

Contrasting tile

In a Northern California Home by Michelle Kaufmann Studio a bath features contrasting silver and green tile enclave topped off with a perfect soaking tub. Photo by John Swain. Submitted by Mark Johnson FAIA for #WallPinWednesday

We look forward to seeing you all tomorrow for another #WallPinWednedsay!

Sam Simon: Making Magical

Sam Simon paints a polka dot wall mural

Gentleman, artist, and designer, Sam Simon doing what he does best.

After far too long away from the blog, we make our return with one of our favorite discoveries through Twitter, Sam Simon. Not only is Sam a fine fellow and a fabulous follow, he is also a very talented artist working out of NYC creating custom murals and artwork with a focus on children’s themes. His past clients include trend-setters like Betsey Johnson, Versace, ABC Carpet and Home, Macy’s, the Big Gay Ice Cream Shop, and many happy homeowners. As Sam puts it, his goal is to create “work that hangs on your wall as long as you like- but hangs in your heart forever.”

We asked Sam to tell us a bit about the artistic process behind this charming boys’ bedroom mural. The project presented a few design dilemmas, not the least of which was the changing needs of growing boys. Without further ado, here’s Sam Simon-

“This is a shared space for two young boys in a very modern home in Manhattan’s Flatiron District.  The ceilings are soaring, yet the room’s footprint was not. The challenge was to create a beautiful mural piece that would allow for the furniture placement to change as the children grew older. (Currently, there is a crib on the opposite wall, in time another twin bed will be added under the taxi.) I also wanted the space to feel fun and alive- without being overwhelming or garish.  To achieve this I stuck to a relatively tight color palate of blues, browns and touches of red and yellow.  Keeping all of the focal points above average headboard height allows the clients to move furniture elements as the boys grow and their needs change.

 

Children's room mural by Sam Simon

A shared bedroom for two growing boys sports a custom Sam Simon mural. Photo: Mae Lee Hacking, co-founder of Here In This House

The over sized, washy block pattern looks super smart, and the horizontal lines give a “grounding point” for images like the dinosaur and vehicles. The washy texture that we achieve by mixing several values of the same hue softens the graphic nature of the piece.   Metallic white bands and silvery stars glimmer as you move around the room, and your perspective and relationship to ambient light changes.  It really looks magical at bedtime!

Children's themed, custom mural by artist and muralist Sam Simon.

An over sized block pattern creates the horizontal lines that give a “grounding point for images like the dinosaur and vehicles.” Photo: Mae Lee Hacking, co-founder of Here In This House

Personalization is what I’m all about- everything from the 17 on the fire engine to the lower case “j” and “a” have significance to the patrons.  The letters for example signify the first initials of both boys’ names, and the number 17 signifies the local fire station.

Detail of wall mural design by Sam Simon

Personalized details are an integral part of the design. Photo: Mae Lee Hacking, co-founder of Here In This House

Detail of wall mural in kids room by Sam Simon

Detail of wall mural design by Sam Simon. Photo: Mae Lee Hacking, co-founder of Here In This House

My goal is to appeal to both children and adults.  I also always want my work to look as good and clean from across the room or 1 foot away.  I have eyes like a hawk, and have been known to tighten up every line and corner until they look close to machine made.  The addition of tiny details are one of my trademarks- in this instance the passengers of the taxi-cab and fire engine.  I believe it is all about the details, that this is where the magic of fine craftsmanship lives.”

Here are a few more of our favorite projects by Sam-

Bathroom Mural by Sam Simon

A delightful animal filled mural in a bathroom by Sam Simon.

Sam Simon Wall and Painting with New Traditionalists furniture.

Love the polka dot wall with a custom painting by Sam coupled with nursery furniture by the fabulous New Traditionalists.

Painting with truck, boat, and car by Sam SImon

Painting with truck, boat, and car by Sam Simon.

A green nursery sprouts floral tree patterned walls.

A green nursery sprouts floral tree patterned walls painted and designed by Sam Simon.

The last line of Sam’s manifesto is “create your very own beautiful world, piece by piece, personal and precious.” Brushstroke by brushstroke, Sam is helping people do just that.

You can find Sam and many more of his magical creations at www.samsimonprojects.com. He can also be found spouting more manifesto worthy quips on Twitter as @1samsimon.

Walls Surround Us

Walls are shelter. Walls are privacy. Walls keep things in and keep things out. We are surrounded by them, and when we are lucky, kept safe and warm by them. Walls are ubiquitous yet sometimes they are cursorily styled, not as an afterthought, but almost as a non-thought, something to merely hang a picture on. Other times they are works of art themselves, outstanding jewels that are perfectly suited to their environments.  This blog is dedicated to those outstanding walls that surround us.

Chronicling our obsession, Walls Surround You profiles all things wall: plaster finishes, paint, design, tile, wallpaper, and of course, the fabulous producers, designers, architects, and decorators that create them. We will feature guest blog posts mixed in with our original content, projects, commentary, book reviews, and trend spotting. We are so excited to have you join us on our journey and to share our passion for the walls that surround us!

Without further ado, let’s jump right in!

Wharton Esherick's stair encased in worn plaster walls in his home in PA from Handcrafted Modern by Leslie Williamson

Wharton Esherton’s uniquely artistic home.  Photo by Leslie Williamson from the book Handcrafted Modern

A rough hewn plaster wall, resplendent with history supports a split spiral staircase from the 1939 World’s fair in artist Wharton Esherton’s home and studio in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. There has been a surge of worn walls lately in the blogasphere, but this one in combination with the warmth of the idiosyncratic staircase and large wooden beam with a chair on top, is one of the most earnest we’ve seen. From a wonderful book that we recommend for design (and wall) inspiration, Handcrafted Modern: At Home With Mid-Century Designers by Leslie Williamson.

Fabric covered wall with matching settee. Interior Design by Vessper Wilde.

Fabric covered wall with matching settee. Interior Design by Nicole Fuller Interiors. Photo via Nicole Fuller Interiors.

We had to include this entryway turned interior landscape by the former design duo Vessper Wilde. The settee is upholstered to blend into the fabric-covered wall almost seamlessly, creating the most glamorous camouflage we’ve ever seen. The oh so glam vignette is symmetrically flanked by hanging beaded glass light fixtures and walls of iridescent abalone shell tile. As a counterpoint, the soft, shag rug warms things up; plus, it’s the perfect contrast for the outcropping of black glass occasional tables that reflect the pattern of the fabric.

Custom, handmade plaster panels depicting a tree motif by SuperStrata flank cherry paneled walls.

Forest motif custom handmade plaster panels line the top of wood paneled walls.  Photo ©SuperStrata

It is not everyday we get to stretch our legs and work on a project like this one. Sketched, hand-carved,  and then cast by SuperStrata artisans, the detailed, custom plaster panels that abut the solid cherry wood walls were designed to bring the surrounding outdoors inside.  Exposed beams, wood mantel, inviting furniture, antique church pew: together all of the elements create a comfortably elegant gathering spot.

Detail of custom plaster panel atop wood paneled walls in upstate New York.

Detail of custom plaster panel with trees in upstate New York. Photo ©SuperStrata

Photo ©Jonas Everets

This photo was taken on vacation years ago in Mexico. We’ve long forgotten what town it was in, but we’ve never forgotten this work of traditional Mexican artistry. Unfortunately, we can’t give you too much detail, but we can share its visual splendor with you. We’re imagining the geometric rosette design as a painted contemporary wall treatment.

Lime paint wall finish and Marmorino plaster walls by Christian Liaigre in Alta Gracia Spain

Lime wash and Marmorino. Interior Design  by Christian Liaigre in Alta Gracia, Spain. Photo from Liaigre by Christian Liaigre, Thomas Luntz, Jean-Philippe Piter and Eric Morin

We love Liaigre! What’s not to love? He is so gifted, and we definitely appreciate his talent with walls. Not only two-toned, these walls are two-textured. Buffeting a warm toned limestone and marble dust plaster finish, Marmorino, or “little marble” in Italian, with a cool white lime paint in all of its gritty, brushy beauty is a textural feast for the eyes. Featuring this project and many more with walls that will make you swoon, Liaigre by Christian Liaigre is another must read for interior design devotees.

Detail of the brushy texture in the lime paint finish of a project by Christian Liaigre in Alta Gracia Spain. Photo by Jean-Philippe Piter

Detail of the brush strokes in an eco-friendly lime paint finish by famed Interior Designer Christian Liaigre in Alta Gracia Spain. Photo by Jean-Philippe Piter

Bausman window display by Interior Designer Oliver Furth honoring The Fountainhead

Bausman window display by Interior Designer Oliver Furth. Photo via Oliver Furth

Los Angeles Interior Designer Oliver Furth created this interior, actually a window display, for Bausman’s LA showroom, in honor of Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead. We’ve included it in our inaugural post for its brilliant use of old blueprints as wall coverings. Given the subject and the context, the blueprints make for a smart show, but in combination with the oversized sexy, organic shaped desk, colorfully contrasting chair, stark black and white art work, and a light fixture mobile composed of architectural photographs, we think it’s downright outstanding. Now, where to find enough blueprints do our own offices…

Venetian Plaster in a high shine yellow warms a mezzanine hallway

One of our Venetian Plasters in a high shine yellow warms a mezzanine hallway. Interior Design by Vessper Wilde. Photo © SuperStrata

Not your average Venetian Plaster, this fresh, custom yellow finish was executed without the mottling that many Venetian Plasters have; perfectly smooth, it has all the sheen and double the glory. It reminds us of that other high shine treatment, lacquer. However, unlike lacquer,  an authentic limestone plaster wall treatment is eco-friendly, which makes us love it even more.

Dune Cast concrete tile by Stephen Lindsay

Dune, seen here in cast concrete, is a shaped tile by Stephen Lindsay. Photo via UrbanProduct

Dune, by Stephen Lindsay, is a contemporary shaped tile available in wood, concrete, and plaster. Abutting a bright white traditional wainscoting, the contrast of the organic inspired tiles is striking.  We are currently obsessed with tile designs that have a modulated surface, but we won’t get on our soap box yet, we have plenty of time for that!

Speaking of time, choosing the images for our inaugural post was daunting- there is so much we wanted to share with you! In the end, all are outstanding examples of their individual styles. We’d love to know what you think!

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