Two weeks ago I stopped into Victoria Mansion in Portland, Maine, a grand circa-1860 home that’s now a historic site (rescued from becoming a gas station). Among the standout details—silver call-bells in each room, ornate gilding, some of the most beautiful door hinges I’ve seen—are the original hand-painted walls by Italian-born tromp l’oeil painter Giuseppe Guidicini. (My favorite room? The WC, more jewel box than bathroom, with all four walls and even the ceiling painted in rich reds, greens, and golds.)
Since then I’ve been tempted to take a paintbrush to every room in our apartment, and I can’t help but notice that hand-painted details are popping up all over, from doorframes and mantels to full rooms. It’s a cost-efficient, creativity-unleashing way of changing up the interiors we’ve been in for so long, after all. Don’t like it? Paint over it.
Is 2022 the year white walls give way to maximalism, pattern, and painted-on whimsy? Take a look and see for yourself.