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roomplanners MARCH—APRIL 2013


art lovers issue!

paint the town!

10 top spots to see wall and street art!

7 tips on choosing & using

wall murals

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on the cover A dramatic display of art and furniture came together at Bernhardt Furniture’s showroom during the Fall 2012 furniture market in High Point, North Carolina. See more photos on page 3.

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EDITOR Loreen Epp All written information herein is copyright ©2013 Room Planners Incorporated. All rights reserved. No part of the material protected by this copyright may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means without written permission from Room Planners Incorporated.



Bernhardt Furniture Showroom High Point, North Carolina

(Fall 2012)

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Ever heard the saying ‘go big or go home’? Forget all that. Now you can ‘go big at home’! OVER-SIZED ART HAS NEVER BEEN MORE POPULAR… with street art taking on a life of its own in cities, and mural-sized prints of history’s most breathtaking paintings available at affordable prices. Inside our homes, murals can create a masterpiece out of a simple room… focusing our eyes on a big idea and inspiring some rather compelling room color schemes. MARCH—APRIL 2013


Now, just to be clear, we’re just not talking murals of the 1970s that simulated an outdoor scene or put a Tahitian beach scene outside your window. Thankfully, today’s mural suppliers offer more sophisticated choices… and they’ve never had so many looks (or sizes!) to choose from. With more artistic images, more digital capabilities and more affordable printing, fine quality mural designs—including prints of some of history’s most masterful paintings— are at your fingertips. From enlarged prints by the likes of Vermeer, Rembrandt, Van Gogh and Monet... to graffiti-style street art, pop art, photography and exciting graphic patterns, there really is something for everyone today. So forget heading to Sotheby’s to buy a famous canvas. And bid farewell to puny prints on your walls. Today you can bring home a big dose of color and art for less money, in most cases, than buying a framed piece of art from the furniture store. Murals will add drama to your home! They’ll create a one-of-a-kind look and spruce up walls with as much impact as a new paint color… but without the commitment of wallpaper. And they promise to be memorable and conversation-worthy wherever they’re placed. Ahead… some inspiration! We mixed sofas by Bernhardt, lamps from and murals from to reveal just a few ways you can go big in your own living room (or any room in the house)!



Art murals covered the walls of Bernhardt Furniture’s showroom at the 2012 fall Furniture Market in North Carolina. Hung next to elegant living room settings, over-sized Baroque- and Romantic-era art prints were used to add “touches of gold, punched-up graphics and happy energy color surprises”, said the company. It worked!

7 tips on

‘going big’ with art

Adding a big-scale mural to your room is a fun and surprisingly affordable way to add art to your room. But choose carefully. Murals don’t require the same time or dollar outlay as paint or wallpaper, but picking the right image— one that’ll stand the test of time and good taste— is important!

Very chic! An over-sized mural of Vermeer’s famous Girl with a Pearl Earring is paired with a handsome sofa and lamp that complement it. Click on each of the images for product info! MARCH—APRIL 2013



Chose quality artwork! Stick with prints of famous artwork, words, graffiti or patterns. Skip realistic photos of places. Unless in black-and-white, they tend to be a bit cheesy. The exception to this rule is in kids rooms. Anything goes here… and transforming their world into some other place can be fun.



Use simple, solid-colored furniture. Patterned or busy-looking furniture will compete with a mural… and the furniture will lose that dual! Keep your largest furniture clean-lined so it works with, rather than against, the mural’s theme.

Match the mood of your furniture and mural. Modern themes or graffiti tend to work best with contemporary furniture, while copies of classic paintings tend to work best with classic furniture. If you want to be daring and blend the two, tie their colors together… and create something in common: mix a contemporary mural with a simplelined classic sofa… or a classic mural with a highly-detailed modern sofa.




Go big! Choose a mural that’s fills a good portion of the wall behind your largest piece of furniture. Don’t be afraid to run it from just below the furniture (be sure the mural and furniture overlap where they meet) to 18”-24” below the ceiling.



Hang the mural on your ’wow’ wall. A big piece of art will be the focus of your room, so place it behind the largest piece of furniture in the room, even if some of the furniture covers a small part of the mural. Eliminate any artwork nearby; it’ll look dwarfed by comparison!


Divide up the mural for extra drama. To add dimension, cut the mural into three, four or six pieces, glue each piece to black foam-core and hang the pieces an inch apart on the wall.


Repeat the mural’s colors around the room. In fact, let them guide the scheme! Shared colors between the mural and the furniture will unify and soften the look. So will choosing a key color from the mural for your wall paint.


Click on any of the pictures to get more details about the product. MARCH—APRIL 2013


Pain ting the tow n ... Our top 10 spots to find wall and street art!

From the cave paintings at Lascaux in Southern France to the street art of Philadelphia, artfully painted walls and ceilings are a testimony to our love of color, beauty and personal expression. No matter when they were painted—or where they appear—large frescoes and murals tend to be bring as much meaning as magnificence… documenting our lives and stories, honoring our fallen, making political statements, commenting on social issues, or just making us smile. Famous street artist Eduardo Kobra dedicated his 2013 mural to Brazilian architect Oscar Neimeyer … using one the late architect’s own buildings as a canvas!



The list of must-see frescoes and murals around the world is endless. We picked some of our favorites for their skill and beauty, along with a brief look at how each came to be!


sistine chapel VATICAN CITY, ITALY

It’s where the Roman Catholic Church elects its new pope… and all eyes were glued to this small 15th century chapel inside Vatican City recently. But the Sistine Chapel hosts more than Roman Catholic cardinals come pope election time; it’s also boasts some of the best Italian Renaissance art. Painted by Michelangelo, the chapel’s ceiling offers views of some of the most iconic art images in history – including the artist’s The Creation of Adam and The Last Judgment. Intense restoration of the art between 1980 and 1992 removed centuries of candle smoke and dirt, and the frescoes can now be seen as vividly as the day the famous artist painted them. MARCH—APRIL 2013


houses of pompeii POMPEII, ITALY

Over-sized wall paintings were common in Roman homes; part of the architecture, in fact. The large number of wall paintings that survive at Pompeii, just south of Rome, owe to the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. The wealthy port town was buried – but remarkably preserved - under many feet of ash and pumice. The city was discovered in 1748, and today, over two-thirds of site has been excavated. The amazing murals found there gave birth to vibrant color names we know as ‘Pompeii’ reds, blues, greens, yellows and blacks. Wall art in Pompeii is mythical and lighthearted, offering detailed insight into the life of a city at height of Roman Empire.

villa madelena SAO PAULO, BRAZIL

Street art is big business in Sao Paulo; a city credited with producing some of the world’s most famous street artists. It all began in the 1980s, when local artists began taking over Sao Paulo’s urban spaces, eventually merging politically-motivated art with graphic, sci-fi and humorous themes. Today, much of Brazil’s street art centers around the bohemian neighborhood of Villa Madelena. Every inch of its famous Batman’s Alley is covered with colorful murals!



The comic book route BRUSSELS, BELGIUM

Who knew Belgium had birthed such an international comic book heritage? Home to the Smurfs, Tintin and a long and colorful tradition of comic strip characters, it’s no wonder the country’s capital has painted their town with them! If you visit, be sure to take in one of Brussels' fine comic strip museums… and don’t miss the Comic Book Route; a guided walk that takes you past a slew of multi-storey buildings covered with enormous paintings of Belgium’s favorite characters. MARCH—APRIL 2013


wynwood walls MIAMI, FL

How do you revitalize an urban warehouse district filled with large windowless buildings? Make it a canvas for the greatest street art ever seen in one place. At least that was the vision of Tony Goldman, who, in 2009, conceived of the idea in order to generate more pedestrian traffic to Miami’s troubled Wynwood warehouse area… and more respect for street art. Murals by famous street artists have covered Wynwood Walls ever since. In fact, they’re now overtaking Wynwood Doors, too. The area’s most recent project is seeing artwork added to 176 feet of roll-up storefront doors!

egyptian tombs VALLEY OF THE KINGS, EGYPT Turns out not every ancient Egyptian pharaoh or king got a giant pyramid as a tomb. After 3,000 BC, many of them found their final resting place in Egypt’s Valley of the Kings. The area’s limestone caves were thought to preserve the mummies better, and in theory, to prevent robbing. But over time, robbed (and excavated) they were. What remains, though, are stunningly beautiful tomb paintings depicting ancient Egypt’s culture… and the lives of its pharaohs and kings.



orgoslo village ORGOSLO, SARDINIA

Chances are you’ve never heard of this place. Located on the isolated island of Sardinia, Orgosolo is said to have a murales tradition as passionate as its people. The town’s unique street art graffiti scene began in the late 1960s when protest students used art to question decades of social oppression and injustice. Over time, local artists turned their themes to Italian history, world affairs and scenes of everyday Sardinian village life as a way to preserve its disappearing traditions. Plan to visit the place? Locals say not to worry about finding the murals; they’re everywhere!

mission district SAN FRANCISCO, CA

Hardly a bashful town, San Francisco has used street art to boldly share its history, political and social views since the 1960s. Today, more than 1,000 murals grace the place, with the largest concentration in the Mission District. The area’s famous alleys are a mecca for art fans due to their colorful variety of works. Balmy Alley is a block-long, open-air gallery used by artists to protest political and human rights abuses in Central America… while Clarion Alley fills its walls with an artful blend of paintings by both wellestablished and up-and-coming artists. MARCH—APRIL 2013


east side gallery BERLIN, GERMANY

One of the world’s longest—and longestsurviving—open-air galleries doubles as a memorial to freedom. The canvas? A surviving portion of the Berlin Wall erected by communist East Germany in 1961 to keep folks from migrating West. In 1990, a year after the infamous came down, a surviving section - over 4,000 feet (1.3 km) long - near the center of Berlin, came to life with over one hundred wall paintings by famous artists from around the world. Named the East Side Gallery, the lively paintings express the euphoria of the time, and hopes for a free future for all.


If walls could talk, the walls of Belfast and Northern Ireland would have a lot to say. The area’s world-famous murals are a daily reminder of the turbulent history and culture of the country… memorializing the Great Irish Famine of the mid 1800′s, the sinking of the Titanic, “The Troubles” that lasted from the late 1960′s until 1998, local sporting heroes and more. Approximately 2,000 murals are found throughout Northern Ireland; many painted on the gable ends of simple houses.



roomplanners magazine - March-April 2013  
roomplanners magazine - March-April 2013  

INSIDE THIS ISSUE: Art Lovers issue! Go big at home with a wall mural / 7 tips on using wall murals / Painting the town: from Brazil to Berl...