Though many wonderful artists can create a custom mural or wall treatment in your home, with patience (and the right touch), stenciling a subtle pattern on your walls could be a cheaper DIY substitute. Stencil templates are available from craft and home improvement stores and paint suppliers. Choose a pattern appropriate with your general decor, and a scale that is right for your room. Before stenciling, make sure your walls are the color you like and cleanly finished — you won't want to try doing major touchup after you've stenciled. • Plan your project out carefully so you know exactly where you want the pattern elements to start and stop. Do the full-stencil areas first, before you cut the stencil down to work around lights, built-in features on the wall, or corners. • Almost any paint material can work for stenciling, but a glaze offers a subtle, semi-transparent finish when properly applied. Using a gentle touch will go a long way toward a beautifully finished design. • In this picture, the subtle bamboo stencil pattern was layered to create a tall, slender pattern in the small Asian-inspired powder room. The soft shades used to stencil the bamboo are beautiful over the cream walls and perfectly complemented by silver leafing on the ceiling.
Scott Scherschel and Chip Vogel are designers with Interior Spaces Inc. If you have a design question for Interior Spaces, email your question with a picture to firstname.lastname@example.org. A solution to your question could be used in a future article.