This octagon-shaped room, used as a library, is like something from a dream. Three of the eight walls have floor-to-ceiling arched windows, while the two walls on either side of the entrance have floor-to-ceiling cherry bookcases. The walls are covered in a sort of tweed fabric that has a hint of masculinity, so we could go all-out on the ceiling without it seeming overwhelmingly girly or fussy. The floor is dark cherry panels with a central stonework circle.
The cherry crown molding provides a perfect frame for the ceiling, as well as hiding rope lighting that helps to give the ceiling a heavenly glow.
Scaffolding was obviously required for this job, and I spent days on my knees and sometimes even on my back, but I think the results were worth it. The ceiling was first painted by the contractors in a shade that I chose, a pale blue low-luster semi gloss acrylic. I needed this kind of a finish so it would be very smooth and my acrylic paints would be able to slide around easily. I had to work my way around the room many times because of the unique shape. I couldn’t finish a spot and then move on- the colors and clouds had to flow in a circular motion around the room. I added a lot of yellow, pink and lavender to create a sunrise effect-more colorful at the base of the crown molding where the additional light was coming from. I suppose it could be viewed as a sunset sky as well, but I think that would have a little more orange and more intense colors.
After painting the clouds, I used a damp wide brush to smear the edges to create an illusion of movement- the clouds almost seem to swirl above you.
Bright orange hummingbird vine flowers create a counterpoint to the softness of the clouded pastel sky. The bright pops of intense color along with the dark vines and leaves help to bring the design down, literally and figuratively. The vines and flowers are shaded so they really stand out from the tweed wallpaper, creating a very 3-dimensional effect.
The final touch was to add a few iridescent hummingbirds, one of the homeowner’s favorite birds. Including this touch of deeper blue created a great balance and harmony.