Authentically Venetian

Having just visited Venice and fallen under its spell, I am not quite ready to move on from this new love.  It’s a magical place, and like any new love it feels steeped in possibility.  As I embark on my next project, I want to incorporate a little of that magic into my new space.  Because as I have said before, magic makes the world go round, or is it love?  I better throw in a little of both for good measure.


I am fascinated by the quality of Venetian Plaster, and not at all fascinated by brick walls.  To be clear, I don’t dislike them altogether.  It’s just that they don’t feel right for a city apartment, inhabited by a gal, with a style that leans toward modern glamour.  Now if we are talking about brick in the home of a ruggedly handsome man or in the Tuscan hills – I”m totally in support of it.

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I think you know where I am going with this.  That brick “accent” wall in the living room of No.4 will be politely asked to fade into the background.  At Milford Street I was assaulted by three floors of brick wall.  It was too expensive for me to board it, so I had to settle for painting it.  If I was the Imelda Marcos of one bedroom condos as my boss so sweetly suggested – I totally am not – I would have hired a master craftsman and had every square meter of that brick lavishly covered in Venetian Plaster.


This age old technique, which can be traced back nearly 9500 years, and long before Venice was founded, is achieved by combining slaked lime putty, marble dust and/or quartz.  There are variations on this of course, but this particular recipe is special in that over time the plaster finish will return to its authentic state, which is lime and marble.  Those are both stone in case you were wondering.  It’s incredibly durable, holds its color, performs wonderfully in wet climates, and won’t allow mold to settle on it.  No wonder the Venetian’s like it so much.


Well I like it too.  It can be brought up to a high shine through increased compression as the material dries.  This is the particular finish I am attracted to, though it can be finished in a matte or a rustic style.  I have even seen it finished to look like clouds of meringue in a little clothing boutique in my neighborhood called Viola Lovely.  Lisa Cancelli Picard’s eye for fashion extends to interior design.  When you visit her shop at 1409 Washington Street . Boston . South End, be sure to make note of the amazing Mid-Century Modern Chandelier she curated for the build-out, and go ahead and touch the walls.  They are delicious.


While I love the idea of a pigmented finish, I am planning on using white with hints of cream, and gilt like the finish seen above.  Absolutely neutral, no?


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