Trompe L'oeil

My very oldest friend - in years of knowing, not age - is an incredibly talented interior designer. (Our grandparents were best friends, parents grew up together, and our mothers were in the hospital at the same time. I was born two days before her - the one and only race I have ever won against Sara. Let's just say she is mildly athletic. Understatement.) Sara is so talented and down to earth and humble that she easily inspires those around her to fall in love with what she does, inevitably passing her excitement for design right on to them (check out "Style Inspirations" to the right!).

I spied a photo on her computer this weekend that I had recently seen online. Sass plans to use this pagoda-inspired pediment design in a client's home.

 House Beautiful

I was reminded that when I first saw the photo, I had mistakenly thought it was trompe l'oeil (pronounced tromp loi - "trick of the eye" in French). Trompe l'oeil is an art technique that creates the illusion of a three dimensional object through painting. Those tricky French.

Even though the pediment in the photo is a true antique, it could easily be replicated with a can of white paint and a stencil or steady hand. It's an excellent way to add character and custom details to a home (especially rentals) when you don't have the money, carpenter skills or option for the real deal.

When Jon and I first moved into our New York apartment, we couldn't afford a new bed and headboard (house rich, cash poor, people). Since I hated the look of the bare wall above the pillows (it's a don't, boys), I took matters into my own hands. Jon came home from work one day to find a scrolling headboard painted in glossy black on the wall (I was going for an iron-gateish feel). I freaking loved it and kept it 'til we finally got that new bed months later.

Tromp loi is still popular today. Here are a few examples:

 Tablecloths fronting as antiques
(hmm, over a dumpster dive find?)
Mark Cutler via The Peak of Chic 

Woah - even the shadows have been fabricated.  
Via Art is the Answer
And a great starter project for the first-timer.


Hope you had a great weekend. Go Giants!

P.S. There will be a future post on Sara's work!

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