1. Create a theme, such as this woodland landscape mural. Like a fairy tale, it begins like this: On the rocky coast line of a quintessential Cape Cod town perches a beautiful stone house. Although the house is brand new it has the appearance and gravitas of one built in the 19th century. The surrounding flora and fauna of this ocean front home is the muse for the panoramic scene painting. Design inspiration came from antique landscape murals and panoramic wallpapers that were hand-painted in France. We crafted the composition so that each wall had elements of surprise, like the small mouse in the foreground or the Mourning Dove on the tree branch. The foreground hills contrast with background hills, leading the eye to wander through the landscape.

2. Include a main character. Outside the home are fox that occasionally make an appearance on the granite steps, and then dart back amongst the scrubby pine.5.JPG Homeowner and designer, Laura Barletta of Barletta Designs has an affinity to the family of fox in residence. We painted the female fox’s likeness to the best of our ability, having never met her in person. She stops in front of a tree log, perhaps in search of the mouse that is painted on the facing wall.

3. Have all of the design elements work in concert so that quality is matched and equitable.


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Everything in this home is gracious and generous. The ceilings are high, the window casings are deep and hand-crafted and the stone floors are heated and warm under bare feet. The landscape mural is of the same level of understated beauty.

4. Use a muted color palette, such as these monochromatic tones of grays and browns. Painted in a traditional style of limited colors, we went one step further and applied an ageing patina wash. The darkened corners and edges create a soft frame for each wall.

5. Accessorize minimally and let the mural and antique fountain-sink be the focal points. There is a beautifully painted portrait of a young woman that is hanging opposite the floor-length windows. Because of the richness of color and gold frame, the painting contrasts and layers beautifully with the faded landscape wall mural.