Location: New York, NY, United States
Completion date: 2021
Robert Couturier Design Llc.
360 Degree integrated colored plaster mural on linen created for the dining room of a Park Avenue apartment renovation. The building has a rich history, built in 1926, so features Deco architectural elements. Though the renovation is completely contemporary, the design exists in harmony with the character of the building. The client and designer/architect came to me looking for a dramatic wall solution. I provided samples of a plaster technique that was multi-layered, executed using a variety of metal and plastic flat knives enabling me to compress the plaster layers. I then selectively sanded the surfaces revealing the desired compositional elements. The walls, approximately 24′ x 10′, were framed by very dark wood moldings which also encased the windows and doors. We all agreed on a dark rich blue and I presented samples that used an ombre both from the top down and bottom up, adding to the drama.The final coat was a knife applied wax burnished to a high gloss finish.
The clients were both very interested in having a unique wall surface. The wife has an art school background and is a textile designer, so was especially interested in the textured raw linen foundation for my technique. They have a mixed Middle Eastern heritage that made them comfortable with vibrant vivid color. The dining room is at the north end of an enfilade including a very large living room and den. Therefore the view through was an important element in a decision. The living room, which I also did along with an adjacent foyer, were neutral off whites done in the same layered plaster technique but with a matte finish. This provided textural continuity. The custom made carpet was also a factor.
The architect/designer, Robert Couturier Llc., had worked previously with this client on other projects and I had collaborated with him on several projects over the years. The clients had seen some of my samples in his office and wanted to visit my studio. When they came and we were able to discuss various possibilities for their project, it was helpful for them to see various techniques in person and we proceeded to develop several based on their preferences. I suggested working over linen because they all responded to the idea of a textured surface. After several variations a sample for the dining room was approved.
The success of this project was based on the artistic freedom I had to pursue my ideas that comes with the confidence that we all have in working together. This trust is especially valuable in my relationship with Mr. Couturier whose own self-confidence as a seasoned designer allows his clients to express their own preferences and gives his projects their uniqueness. There was a lot of discussion amongst us before landing on a final solution. And of course, The walls came alive with scale and gesture that was hard to imagine from an 18" x 18" sample. There was a lot of trust placed in me to actualize the idea at room scale. Everyone was pleased with the result.