Stairway to Heaven

Good design is all about creating focus.  The journey begins by identifying  key features in a space.  Then,  embellishments are added that speak to other elements in the room. This is where the clever use of faux finishes and decorative painting are a designer’s best kept secret.  They will elevate a project from “very nice” to “WOW“.

before after

The style of this home is sleek, sophisticated and elegant.  That description is often used in conjunction with the term “minimalistic”.  We all understand that less can be more.  Yet, there also comes a point where too little is NOT enough.  The challenge is to find the delicate balance of achieving  richness in content without being cluttered.

The design process:

Look at this dramatic staircase.  Yes, it was large.  But, it needed the right “piece of  jewelry” to become GRAND.  The objective was to keep attention on the graceful curves below rather than allowing your eye to become overwhelmed with the height and vast open areas of the entire space.  A hand painted accent wall is an innovative solution that is often used by designers to achieve this goal.

The BEFORE photos show the beginning of the process.  The wall below the staircase was painted one shade darker than the rest of the walls throughout the home.  Now, notice the impact that was made with the addition of  the elegant hand painted stencil pattern.  This particular allover pattern was chosen because it relates to other elements in the space such as the leaded glass doors and the side board on an opposing wall.  The design offers a subtle departure from traditional damask patterns which  gave it a unique character.  Painting it with two tones of brilliant bronze and gold kept the emphasis on elegance.   The result was a wall that has become a personalized piece of art . . .  in the perfect colors, perfect size and perfect style for this sophisticated home.

* On another note, the cost of the decorative painting on this wall was estimated at 40% less than a comparable wallpaper.  It took about 30 minutes to select the pattern and choose the colors, and one  day to paint the decorative pattern.  There are no seams, it is easy to repair and can be changed with a coat of paint.  Never having to strip wallpaper. . . PRICELESS!

A special thanks to Jason Smith at Summit Design and Build . . . on time, on budget, quality results and so easy to work with!  You made it fun.  Contact Jason at: OR 404-512-3419

We welcome your feedback.  Please let us know what you think by posting your comments below.


  1. Great before and after photos. Beautiful design!

  2. Susie Lang says

    Beautiful work as always!

  3. Gorgeous work as usual Kass! It’s all in the details isn’t it? Detailing a small space like that made a HUGE impact in this foyer!

  4. Just beautiful. Love the simplicity and elegance. Very suttle but what visual impact.

  5. Perfect color…perfect scale and perfect design! Seriously! It adds height and validates the dark wood on the stairs.

  6. Kass as always beautifully executed thanks for sharing your talent with us!

  7. What a difference!! I so admire your VISION!! Your skills to bring that vision to reality are amazing too!!

  8. Elisa Bragga says

    It is beautiful! Love it!

  9. Kass
    I’ve Been following you since becoming FB buddies–you never cease to amaze!

  10. Elaine Bishop says

    I love the way that looks under the stair case.

  11. Excellent work! thanks for sharing this!

  12. Gorgeous! Great Job thanks for sharing.

  13. This is beyond stunning!!

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