Unlike HGTV shows where home renovations are completed within 30 to 60 minutes, the Victorian house at the corner of Chestnut Place and Main Street in Danville has been under a transformation for 17 years.This series that began in April 2016 explores the truth of home renewal from someone who has been there and done that. If you missed any of the installments, visit www.evincemagazine.com.

Andy Compton, our talented faux-graining artist, has painted many amazing surfaces in our house including the dining room ceiling. Husband Tom created a design for the ceiling that had a series of sixteen borders with a central fleur-de-lis stylized flower symbol above a silvered/stained curved cove.

Andy would work at all hours and one evening he quietly continued to paint decorative details in the corner of the ceiling while we enjoyed dinner with family and friends. One late-arriving guest was accustomed to seeing the room look like a construction zone and didn’t notice Andy at the top of the scaffold. He worked. We ate and talked. During the joyful noise of conversation, someone asked a question and Andy answered. Our unknowing guest was momentarily shocked at hearing what seemed like a supernatural presence responding to the query. Her surprise changed to laughter when she looked up and saw the proverbial fly on the wall who had been listening to the entire conversation. After the laughter subsided, Andy continued to work while we finished dinner. Not only did he beautifully execute the finished product, but he miraculously did it in a way that made a room whose walls aren’t parallel appear to have perfectly precise corners.

The walls of this room are also the result of Andy’s artistic abilities. We used a Lincrusta wallcovering with an Italian Renaissance design containing a large repeat of acanthus leaves flowing from a pomegranate center, bold floral designs, strings of pearls, and cascading ferns. Lincrusta comes in white and needs to be painted. We chose a harvest green color to complement the quartersawn oak and faux-grained wainscoting. Andy provided us with a series of paint samples based on our theme colors, along with a cooler pallet of blue and gold. Our final choice incorporated hints of blue with burnt orange and gold-green dominating. He also worked in some reflective gold pigments as highlights that give the overall scheme a look of tooled, gilded, painted leather. It is truly the icing on the cake. Though we have begun to hang paintings throughout the house, we are loath to cover up even a single square foot of those walls. They are masterpieces.

(to be continued)

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