Creating innovative and showstopping finishes is a trademark of artist Michele Molek’s work. She frequently uses stencils with her finishes as well as the flexibility allowed by Modello® Designs to customize and size a pattern. The above, multi-colored stenciled ceiling features the Alhambra B Stencil from the Modello® Designs Carpets & Panels Collection with a gorgeous application by Michele in a dining room.
We travel to North Carolina to meet with the innovative and talented Michele Molek of Fashionable Finishes. She frequently mixes beautiful decorative paint and plaster finishes with lovely ornamental patterns and stencil designs. We’re proud to feature her in our Stencil Star™ series, which seeks to showcase creative artists and feature their inspired design and decorative painting projects using our Royal Design Studio Mylar stencils and Modello Decorative Painting Stencils.
An over-sized graphic stencil pattern is paired with a shimmery strie plaster finish for striking results in a dining room. The outcome, just gorgeous! The pattern was a customized vinyl stencil by Modello® Designs.
What draws you to Stenciling?
I think of myself as creative, not artistic. I mean I can whoop my kids at a game of Pictionary, but if you asked me to paint a tree on your wall – no way. Now, if you asked me to make your walls look like tree bark – no problem. I have a good eye for color and texture and I excel in figuring out what tools, materials, and processes are needed to achieve a certain look. That’s where stencils come to my rescue. A Modello® Designs Stencil is my number one go-to tool that allows me to utilize the strengths I do have in order to overcome the ones I don’t. With stencils, I can create the shapes, patterns, and designs that I would never in a million years be able to paint freehand. Stencils allow this creative painter to make-believe she’s an artist.”
Michele was ecstatic to find the time to update her own home! After 10 hours with paints, stains and Modello® Designs Stencils, white stairs were transformed with a faux wood marquetry finish. Quick and dazzling!
The Transitions Stencils from Modello® Designs allow for a seamless flow of color and design from one space to another. Here, the TransBor101 stencil pattern adds beautiful interest to architectural arched entrances.
What are your favorite surfaces to work on?
That’s easy. Ceilings, ceilings, ceilings. I am a sucker for architecturally interesting ceilings. You know, barrels, and coffers, and domes, Oh My! I want to cry when I walk into a space and see that a beautifully designed and constructed ceiling is painted white and blends into the woodwork. It’s a travesty, I tell you! So I get extra satisfaction coming up with a ceiling design that enhances the architecture and turns what was a boring neglected surface into the focal point of a room. And in my opinion, there is nothing that can transform a ceiling like a Modello® Designs Stencil (at least for those of us who are not Michelangelo).”
Gilding, layered plasters and multiple colors create a showstopping stenciled barrel ceiling. Michele used a modified version of the Modello® Designs Chateau CC 118 Stencil from the Carpets and Panels Collection.
One of the most popular Modello® Designs Stencil is the Ornamental Center 162 Stencil from the Ornamental Stencils Collection. The pattern works perfectly around both small and large ceilings as well as helping showcase light fixtures beautifully. It looks like the perfect design for this foyer staircase ceiling.
What would be your “dream” stencil project?
I’ve already completed my dream project. It was in a home where I pretty much had free reign to do whatever I wanted. I gave the homeowner a general idea of what I had in mind but very little else. When she started to ask questions I’d say, “Don’t worry about it. Just shut up and write the check.” Did I mention that this homeowner was my sister – my YOUNGER sister? It was fun executing my vision and, knowing her as well as I do, being confident that she would love the results. And if she didn’t? I’d just beat her up and steal her Strawberry Shortcake dolls (oh wait that was a flashback, never mind). All kidding aside, it was great working in my sister’s home. In all, I did four ceilings with Modello® Designs and an allover stencil pattern on the walls in the powder room. The best part of the project was that I got to spend a lot of time with my sister, create something beautiful for her, and make someone I love very, very happy. Plus, I get to visit my work every time I visit her.”
This stenciled wall finish features fire opal glitter and over 1,000 topaz Swarovski crytals. It’s an incredible wall application with an Ornamental Allover Stencil (OrnAll117). “Without your extraordinary product, this would never have been possible,” Michele says of Modello® Designs stencils.
Elegant treatment on the walls and sophisticated stenciling on the ceiling – check! Michele uses her talents to achieve a harmonious color scheme with both the finishes and patterns in this luxe bath. The ceiling pattern is the Exotic East Panel Stencil (EasPan152) from the Exotic East Stencils Collection from Modello® Designs.
Michele Molek is owner and sole artist of Fashionable Finishes located in North Carolina. As a child and teenager she could always be found doing something creative – painting posters for the high school football team, making prom bouquets for her friends, or just redecorating her room over and over again. When college rolled around, instead of following her passion for art and design, she obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Criminology and a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology. Following her high school sweetheart turned husband around the globe as an Army wife, Michele worked with military families and disable veterans in a counseling role for several years. Her first attempt at decorative finishing came in 1996 when she did a glazed finish in her own kitchen. In 2003, a contractor visited her home and commented on her beautiful “wallpaper”. When he learned that it was a painted finish, the contractor encouraged Michele to think about doing it professionally. After taking a break from counseling and undergoing decorative paint training, she opened Fashionable Finishes in 2005. That fun break from counseling is now a thriving career. Be sure to keep up with her projects via the Fashionable Finishes Facebook page, too!