Home & Garden: If the Walls Could Talk

Written in the October 2009 Issue
As you headed to the big box stores this fall for your family school supplies, you might have noticed the array of colors peeking behind every aisle, as you swerved your cart to miss the zebra striped pillow that fell to the floor, or the hot pink cheetah print shower curtain at your ankles.

With all the wild and crazy choices out there, we headed to the local experts for tips on the latest trends in home décor. Specifically – how can we update our wall treatments on a budget?

With a formal education in Interior Design, Lezley Lynch has been involved with art ever since she could pick up a crayon. “I started my painting career as a part time job for a local gift shop owner while still in college, and it grew from hand painted furniture and small wall murals, to larger scale murals, faux finish techniques, and decorative painting.”
With 15 years experience, she says some Edmond residents are moving away from more traditional style murals and leaning toward wall tattoos, which serve as stylish stencil designs that can range from simple patterns to elaborate artwork. These basic shapes are usually limited to one to three colors, unlike a traditional mural, which uses “as many colors as needed to render the final scene or picture,” she said.

“Just adding a hand painted scroll design over an existing framed mirror or a favorite verse or phrase above your bed may be enough to draw attention to and enhance an item you have already been living with for years,” says Lynch.
While she believes most Edmond homes are still done in the traditional French, Country, and European styles, she says younger home owners are more open to contemporary themes. “Within those styles we are seeing a lot of blues, grays, greens, silver & brown. But in my opinion, white walls will always be the standard for highly sophisticated contemporary designs,” she says. “As for more traditional homes, we are still seeing a lot of the ‘leather look’ and Venetian plaster faux finishes. I expect that to continue for a while to come.”

Other local artists agree that texture is the defining element for many décor schemes. “Whether it’s an old world glazed stucco with metallic peeking through underneath, or a large scale, modern graphic stencil done in a high gloss over a flat/eggshell base, the sheen and texture gives a finish depth,” says Brenda Helms with Wet Paint and Edmond Kitchen and Bath. “Metallics play heavily into that concept, as they provide a contrasting sheen. Silvers, coppers and blues are colors we are incorporating into room design.”

She recommends that if you still have old, worn wallpaper in your home, free yourself! “Strip it, apply a hand trowel texture, and paint it!” she says, without hesitation. “A good complimentary color in straight paint is fresher, and more updated.”

Although the old-school wallpaper of yesterday may be “out”, Ronnie Ketch, with Ketch Design Centre hasn’t seen a slowdown in business yet – just a shift. Ketch says the latest trend for walls could be termed 70s Glam. “The new wall covering and fabrics alike, seem to be bright, shimmering large patterns, that were very popular in Hollywood in the late 60’s early 70’s,” he said. “We seem to be pulling away from the earth tones, and back into bright. Old World is being replaced with a more Cosmopolitan look.”

Updating a home doesn’t have to be a huge endeavor though, according to Ketch. “Subtle changes in a home can make it feel alive again,” he says. “Try to make those small changes that have the most ‘bang for the buck’.”
Lynch says paint is the least expensive way to transform a room and recommends finding an accessory as your inspiration piece. “If you like the color combinations in a rug or pillow, you will probably also like them on your walls. Try starting with an accent wall in one of the colors pulled from you inspiration object,” she says. “It will give you a pop of color without the time and expense of painting the whole room.”

Dee Ann O’Neal, with Strokes of Style, has 12 years of specialty and decorative painting experience on walls, furniture and cabinets for both residential and commercial projects. She agrees with Lynch and Helms that layered textures are “in” right now.

Contemporary colors, such as blues, teals, and lime green paired with silver are hot trends emerging in the Edmond area. However, O’Neal says she’s traveled and taken classes all over the world and seen a wide variety of styles. “The coast leans toward contemporary a bit more, but here I see a lot of people looking for an eclectic mix of old world with contemporary,” she said. “People working on a budget and watching their money can focus on a focal point, like an island, a vent hood, or a fireplace – maybe even a focal wall – to spruce up a room,” O’Neal adds.

To see examples of updated finishes over existing stains, visit Edmondkitchen.com for examples, or contact Robert and Brenda Helms at 285-1926. To view Lezley Lynch’s murals, visit www.LezleyLynchDesigns.com, or to contact her for more infor-mation, call 550-3970. Dee Ann O’Neal can be reached at 412-7595. And the Ketch Design Centre is located at 4416 N. Western, Oklahoma City, OK 73118, 525-7757.
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