Travel with us today to California to visit with decorative artist, Jeff Raum, who seamlessly incorporates stencil patterns, hand painted artistry and decorative paint finishes. Jeff joins our Stencil Stars™ series, where we showcase the inspired use of our Royal Design Studio mylar wall stencils and Modello™ custom stencils on walls, ceilings, floors, and more.
ABOUT JEFF RAUM STUDIOS
When Jeff Raum’s kindergarten teacher wrote a note to his mom saying he had talent and should be encouraged, Jeff had already known his calling.
Achieving a BFA in Commercial Design, he has had several careers in different cities. A medical illustrator in Dayton, Ohio, working in an art studio in Washington DC, an art director of 3-D animated TV commercials and as a Broadway make-up artist in New York City. It wasn’t until he moved to Los Angeles that he began his decorative painting company, Jeff Raum Art, in 1990. He began in murals and 11 years later branched out to include faux finishes.
Some of his commercial clients include Gucci, the Las Vegas Hilton, the Luxor and Macy’s. He has appeared on The Christopher Lowell Show and his work has been published in Better Homes and Gardens and Traditional Home magazines as well as numerous books.
While Jeff actually designs and sells his own line of stencils, he’s been a friend and regular customer of Royal Design Studio and Modello Designs for many years. A man of exceptional and wide ranging talents, we now give you some of his inspiring work with our decorative stencils….
What a gorgeous Moorish Powder Bath! Our Allover Moorish Trellis wall stencil was glazed on the walls and a Modello Designs Exotic East Center vinyl stencil (EasCen111) was used on the ceiling with custom elements along the wall corners. (below) This incredible “leather” ceiling was done for a home theater. The Modello Designs stencil pattern used was Carpets & Panels Aladdin A vinyl stencil in a negative weed.
What draws you to Stenciling?
What first drew me to stenciling was the fact I could produce repetitious elements, like moldings and leaves, so much faster than freehand painting. Once I remember painting grape leaves all around a dining room. I noticed as I went, my leaves gradually got larger – trying to cover more ground. With stencils, it helps me not only paint faster, but keeps the scale consistent. With decorative painting and pattern, there are so many different designs – allover, borders and medallions readily available, I’m likely to find something that will fit the project’s needs. So I don’t have to start from scratch or reinvent the wheel.
Another thing I love about stencils is the crisp edge it gives you. I love using stencils in my murals for foreground elements because that crisp edge makes thing pop and appear in sharp focus. Also, I enjoy playing with sloppy textures, sponging, etc. Things can look like a complete mess and then you remove the stencil and viola! I love the juxtaposition of all that texture contained within a crisp outline.
Above is an example of the crisp edges that can be achieved by stenciling. This wall is in a wine tasting room in Mission Viejo, CA. The majority of this is painted freehand, but the grapes and vine are stenciled with the Grape Clusters Fruit stencil. A custom stencil was designed by Royal Design Studio to recreate the iron railing that was on the stairs in the house. (below) Stenciling can also add visual weight to a light fixture while incorporating color and pattern. The ceiling medallion was first painted on canvas and then installed. It used a modified Modello Designs Ornamental Center stencil (OrnCen 128).
How do you determine which pattern will work for your project?
When looking for a pattern that will work for a project, I always look at the type of line that appears in the house and try to find a pattern that harmonizes with that. Scrolls are enormously popular in L.A., so I’m often looking for scrolly patterns. Occasionally, I’ll be asked to do a Moorish-style interior and those designs incorporate the angular with the curve. When showing clients my proposals, I will sometimes show the patterns in black and white if the reference is in the wrong color way or tweak the color in Photo Shop. I find more often than not, clients are drawn to color first and then pattern. They will usually choose a design that is not right for their space, but is in the right palette.
An inspired use of our Modello Designs vinyl stencils! Both an Ornamental Panel pattern (OrnPan173) and an Ornamental Center design (OrnCen195) help create a wonderful finish to the panels of a window treatment.
Ceiling stenciling looks even more magnificent surrounded by wood! (above) This ceiling is in a Calabasas, CA dining room of a movie producer. The stencil designs were done with craft paint and glaze and then an antique glaze was put over the whole surface. The Villa Classic Panel stencil was used for the center while the Villa Border stencil completed the framed design. (below) The powder room cabinet was stenciled using the Micah Classic Panel & Furniture stencil to create the look of inlaid ivory.
How does stenciling enhance your creative business?
Time is money. By using stencils, I’m able to create art much faster than doing everything freehand like I used to when I started out. Stenciling is such a time-saver that I can lower my prices and get to work on bigger projects that the clients might otherwise not be able to afford.
It has really impacted the decorative side of my business. Practically all my faux jobs incorporate some form of template. Sometimes I’m called in to do a simple wash or rag, but when they see the possibilities with stencils – the projects multiply.
Powder Baths are a perfect space to incorporate stencils! The gorgeous red powder room featured above was created with the Shabby Chateau decorative wall finish and the Floral Fantasy stencils from the Pronto! Collection with Modern Masters Warm Silver metallic paint. (below) Framing each of the walls in this powder bath was an inspired choice! “I used the border off of the Modello Carpets & Panels Chambord B stencil to create the frames on the wall and used Modern Masters Ivy as well as the Antique Bronze metallic paint to tie in with the silk shades.
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