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When we were first approached by our clients’ designer, Justine Sancho, she told us they wanted to “take it slow,” allowing the design of their new suburban Maryland home to evolve room-by-room over time. As we now know, she wasn’t kidding. When we began our first assignment in the library we noticed the lone piece of furniture in the living room across the hall was a pool table. That would change, but not for several years.

Our relationship began twelve years ago when our client asked her designer to finish their library (which doubles as her husband’s home office) as a surprise father’s day gift for her husband. The designer, in turn, asked us to create an over-scale antique map for the library’s tray ceiling. In order to keep the map a surprise until it was finished, we painted it on canvas and then installed it on the ceiling in just two days while the husband was away on business.

A year later our clients were ready to finish the dining room. We began the walls by applying a subtle broken color background then added bamboo-bordered Chinoiserie panels. Using the same colors, we glazed the crown molding and rubbed back the highlights to accentuate the carved detail.

Two years passed before it was finally time to do something about the pool table in the living room. As in the dining room, we began with a light broken color background and then added a hand-painted border above the chair rail and designs inside the panel moldings in a French motif.

Six years after it began, we completed our work in the home by staining and waxing the paneled walls, doors, trim and ceiling beams in the recently-finished recreation area on the lower level (the pool table’s new home).

Next fall, after more than 20 years, our clients will move to a new home and, when they do, our first assignment will be to move the antique map we painted to their new library.

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