< back


Purchased by our clients from descendants of the original owners, this century-old home on the Chesapeake Bay occupies the prime setting on what was once a 500-acre farm. Surrounded by water on three sides, the views are spectacular. At the time of purchase, the basic structure was sound but in sore need of repairs and modernization.

Some areas were completely rebuilt while others remained intact. The foyer was one area that required few structural changes but the designer felt it needed more visual impact so we added inlaid faux marble panels on the pilasters, subtle mottled glazes on the trim and walls, all leading to a major focal point: the stairway wall. The designer requested that we paint a trompe l’oeil garden wall inspired by the walls of the grand ballroom she had seen in an Italian palazzo.

Stripped of their multiple layers of paint we refinished the built-in bookcases in the library in a mahogany faux bois with inlaid burl panels. The ceiling was our other major contribution to the library. Over a multi-layer tone-on-tone broken color finish we painted a decorative border of holly leaves and berries. The plaster crown molding was gilded and “aged” with a color wash.

Designer Arlene Critzos requested a broken color glaze in a rich aubergine hue for the dining room with gilded stripes in lieu of panel moldings. The design for the hand-painted flowers intertwined with the gilding was inspired by the floral patterns of the drapery fabric.

In the living room we surrounded a light stria with a trompe l’oeil Greek key border applied with stencils and finished by hand. The crown molding was selectively gilded in aluminum leaf then color washed to resemble old silver.

Our work in the master bedroom is extremely subtle. Trompe l’oeil architectural elements were painted in a light, low-contrast palette over a tone-on-tone broken color finish.

The designer, who shares her clients’ appreciation for whimsy, chose a MacKenzie-Childs sink unit for the refurbished guest bath which we used as a point-of-departure when painting the existing tiles, walls, ceiling, and the original clawfoot tub.
© Warnock Studios LLC | Site Credits