One thing that seems to define unique and stylish interiors is the inclusion of something one-off. It could be a striking piece of art, an unusual objet, or even a wall or a piece of furniture painted in a whimsical manner.
Take faux-painted architectural details, for example. Yes, I know, bad examples abound. But, I've found some truly charming examples such as the image from Hollyhock, above. Painted by artist Paulin Paris, the walls, rather like a stage set, are perfect for a store backdrop. That said, I could see using that painted faux mirror in an entryway or a dressing room.
What about that fabulous Christian Bérard trompe l'oeil painted console below? A work of art in its own right and one which I wouldn't mind owning. No, you're not trying to fool anyone with these faux paintings, but that's the beauty of them- they're slightly exaggerated and utterly amusing.
And if these faux paintings just aren't your thing, what about a mural? (I mean a good mural.) Now, would you have said no to Ludwig Bemelmans if he had offered to paint your walls?
A trompe l'oeil painted console by Christian Bérard, in the Jean-Michel Frank designed Guerlain Institute, Paris, 1939
A "fireplace" in the London flat of Rita Konig. Her mother, designer Nina Campbell, commissioned the painted cardboard piece from a set designer. (Image from 9/06 issue of Domino.)
While this is not a faux painted architectural detail, this figural painting is charming nonetheless. Located in the entrance hall of Tony Duquette's home "Dawnridge".
Now really, who wouldn't want these Bemelman murals in their home? Bemelmans Bar, The Carlyle.