When decorating your home, you inevitably face the dilemma of what to put on your walls. Plain color? Wallpaper? How about doing some decorative painting that incorporates the use of a “stencil” or “chinoiserie”? The first installment of this post discussed the terms “faux finish, decorative painting, murals, gilding and trompe l’oeil”. Go back one post if you want to check that one out. In this post, I will be presenting definitions and examples of stenciling and chinoiserie. I have so much great stuff to share, I decided to save ornamentation and grottesca for the next post in the series, so stay tuned!
Stenciling is a form of decorative painting that incorporates the use of plastic, mylar, cardboard or some other thin material to create a shape and mask certain areas of a painted area to form a specific shape. Modern stencils have come a long way from what they once were! The possibilities are almost endless to the different looks you can create using stencils in new and creative ways. Your only limit is your imagination. Stencils can be hand-cut using a sharp blade or stencil cutter, or they can be custom ordered from one of the many stencil manufacturers on the market. There is also a plethera of options of pre-cut stencils available today that have wonderful designs and style options from which to choose. Some of my favorite stencil resources are Royal Design Studio, Wallovers, the Mad Stencilist, the Stencil Library, Faux Design Studio, Faux by Kathy, and Cutting Edge Stencils. If you are specifically looking for help with designing a custom stencil for your project, I recommend the Mad Stencilist or Royal Design Studio (or their single use stencil branch called Modello Designs) A single use stencil, also know as a modello, is one that is cut in three layers and provides the ability to stencil without the use of stencil adhesives or “bridges” or gaps in the stencil design, which is particularly useful on ceilings or when doing intricate stencil designs. Stenciling has played a major role in the world of decorative painting for years, but has never been utilized as effectively and beautifully as it is today. Stencils of all sizes are being used by decorative artisans in innovative and gorgeous wall, ceiling and floor applications like never before.
Whether using a simple stencil for some accented areas on your wall, or doing something more elaborate that resembles wallpaper, stenciling can be a beautiful and contemporary way to decorate your interiors.
CHINOISERIE: pronounced, “[sheen-wah-zuh-ree, -wah-zuh-ree; Fr. shee-nwazuh-ree] is a style of decorative painting dating back to the seventeenth century which reflects Chinese artistic influences. It is often characterized by fanciful imagery of Chinese landscapes and birds. The style of chinoiserie is used to adorn not only walls, but also many other decorative items such as porcelain, folding screens, furniture, and fabric. The style peaked in the 18th century when it was incorporated into the current Rococo style by artist Francois Boucher. There are many sources for hand painted chinoiserie style wallpaper such as deGournay, Paul Montgomery Studio, and Gracie. Many decorative painters offer customized versions of their own “chinoiserie” style finishes.
There are so many beautiful examples of stenciling and chinoiserie, I could go on for days!! Check back for more in upcoming posts.