Decorative artist Charlie Vettori shares her sprawling thatched home in the equestrian hinterland of Beaulieu, Johannesburg, with her husband, two grown-up stepsons and nine-year-old daughter Ella. At the heart of the property, the playroom, with its wood tones and whimsical ice-cream colours, is a nostalgic, happy space for the whole family. Here, the walls were painted in Plascon’s Country Mushroom, a warm, natural mink colour, and decorated with a series of hanging wooden hearts painted in various shades from Plascon’s 2011 Romance Rekindled palette. The airy, romantic atmosphere is further enhanced by a high ceiling painted in Plascon Cashmere Ivory White.
The room’s storage cupboard is treated with a beguiling trompe l’oeil (“to deceive the eye”) effect. Charlie used the surface as a way of recording her family’s history through the choice of favourite books and other items painted on the “shelves” of the cupboard. To create the 3D paint effect, she took a photograph of a real bookcase, scanned it into a computer and then printed it onto an A4-transparency sheet before projecting it onto the cupboard surface using an overhead projector. She then outlined the image onto the cupboard with a water-based pencil and painted in the details using an artist’s brush and acrylic or oil paint.
The master bedroom Charlie shares with husband Gianni is a tranquil, romantic refuge with shimmering green walls and a silk-draped cherry-wood bed. Echoing the pattern of the bedspread, an intricate design above the bed runs up the back wall and draws the eye to rest on a print of Queen Titania, Shakespeare’s tragic faerie queen. To achieve the enigmatic shifting shades of green on the walls, Charlie applied a “weathered wall” effect, which gives the appearance of many years of painting and repainting with various Plascon colours shining through the top layer.
The reduce, reuse, recycle philosophy that the Vettoris strive to live by is evident in their kitchen. The walls have been renewed with two coats of Plascon’s Cashmere Tumbled Stone – a warm, organic neutral – and instead of buying new kitchen cupboards, Charlie managed to revive the old ones by applying an antiquing effect that suggests decades of gentle wear and tear. To finish the look, cupboards and chairs were decorated with a romantic script. To achieve the effect, Charlie enlarged script on a computer, printed it out and then used carbon paper to sketch the outlines onto surfaces. She then traced the outlines with a fine brush and used acrylic paint in a dark brown or black as a filler.