Gentle Readers, the journey is over. And what a journey it’s been.
This blog post was the last time I could bear to write about the nightmare that had become my dream of a gorgeous, gigantic, hand-painted Chinoiserie backsplash. You remember, the one that arrived in about a million pieces.
I bounced back pretty quickly, I must say. Once I started talking with my friends at Billet Collins about a reverse-painted glass Chinoiserie backsplash…well, I became much more hopeful.
Fast-forward a few months, and Gentle Readers: it is now installed.
What can I say? It’s amazing.
It’s shinier than I expected, which I love in person. It does make photographing it difficult…
…but that’s why professional photographers get paid the big bucks ;)
Roberta Marovelli, the artist, is BRILLIANT. I was so concerned about the attention to detail. “An English engraving.” I kept saying. Or sometimes, “I want it to look like an Audubon drawing.” Done and done.
There are around seven layers behind the glass. First, Roberta painted the tiniest details (because remember: it’s reverse-painted glass); then she added some of the slightly larger elements; then gold leaf; then even larger things; then there’s muslin in there somewhere; and the background, of course; and then whatever is on the very back to keep it all together…
It’s a lot.
What made working with Billet Collins so special is their commitment to customization. It wasn’t enough that these panels were being made for me, for my kitchen, for this space, in the colors I want. No, Roberta and Kellie asked me to send some of my favorite flowers and birds so they could incorporate them into the painting. So I sent off peonies and some of the birds that we see on the Eastern Shore. It’s pretty fun to see this little guy when I’m cooking.
I couldn’t be more thrilled.
My poor contractor, though. When he came to re-install the hood, I told him that if he nicked the glass, I would kill him with my bare hands.
He believed me. Which he should have.
As for the wall opposite the Chinoiserie? The sink wall? I’d decided to wait until these panels were in before finalizing that side of the room. As you know, I really went through some ideas: green tile; beige tile; WHITE tile, for crying out loud; a sheet of brass; metallic tiles; and then, reverse-painted glass with gold leaf (gorgeous, but possibly just a tad too competitive with the counters, and super expensive….)…and finally, reverse-painted glass with metallic paint. The winner. Thank you, Billet Collins, once again.
This wall will be finished much sooner. And then I can photograph the kitchen. And then I can rest.
Although I have been thinking about wallpapering the dining room ;)
Bossy color | Annie Elliott interiors is a design firm based in Washington, DC. Annie’s design work and decorating insights have appeared in such publications as Better Homes & Gardens, HGTV Magazine, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Bethesda Magazine, and Washingtonian Magazine.