New Year, New Designs!

Happy New Year all, it has come in with gusto.It all started with a small flood in our library and in the process of assessing the damage we found some very old books that we did not even know we had (the fun part of inheritance). Doug has spent the Christmas holidays making patterns from some of these treasures.Our first find, and the source of this new pattern is a 10 volume set of books published in 1776, but the story goes back another 200 years to the time of Shakespeare’s London in the early 1600’s. There are 52 plays, at least one of which, “Two Noble Kinsmen,” was cowritten by William Shakespeare and John Fletcher. John Fletcher followed him as house playwright for the King’s Men, the acting company which Shakespeare belonged to for most of his career.Each of these plays is preceded by an etching. Our newest wallpaper pattern is called “Tragedy and Comedy”. It has a repeat of 133.9” (11 feet) wide at 9 feet high. You can explore it in high resolution on the web...
Mural Restoration in Milton, Ma

Mural Restoration in Milton, Ma

The following “before and after” photos show a beautiful example of an early architectural mural, painted on the walls and ceilings of the foyer of the Dr. Amos Holbrook house, a Federalist style residence built in Milton, Massachusetts in 1800, and listed in the National Register. The mural was created by Italian artists brought to America by Dr. Holbrook to paint the entry hall of his new house with trompe l’oeil architectural motifs.The couple that own the house, an architect and a teacher, asked us to repair and restore the murals while maintaining the marvelous patina acquired over its 200 years of existence. Our approach was to repair only where absolutely necessary and try to retouch rather than repaint when possible. However, some parts were so damaged as to require significant repair of cracked plaster as well as the recreating and repainting of water-damaged areas. Water stains on the ceiling “before and after” Lena at work The area over the entry door had severe water and or smoke damage and needed to be completely repainted. You can see deep cracks in the faux molding, these cracks in the horsehair plaster needed to be repaired before we could restore the painting. Project complete.   Another “notch” in the belt of Zoe Design, we are now archivists.Here is a note from the homeowner, “Your wonderful repair and restoration of the murals in our house brings us joy every day, and we thank you so much for your talent and skill in bringing back these beautiful images.”Our reply, “Thank you for trusting us with this delicate...