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Reader Q: Ceiling Medallion Resources?

I’ve been obsessing about medallions since the 80’s, when I first saw them as a wide-eyed little girl. We took a field trip to Charleston, South Carolina to tour the mansions there, and I couldn’t stop looking at the ceilings, decked out with chandeliers, ornate carvings, and ornamental medallions. I was dazzled then, and my affection for ceilings has only increased over time.

Often the ceiling is a major problem in a space, commonly overlooked by homeowners and renters alike. You’d be surprised to know how many people never look up, and hire professionals to ‘diagnose’ their space issues, shocked to discover that their ceiling is one of them. Serious. I know calling it the fifth wall sounds cheesy, but people, it’s the truth.

When reader, Gabby Girl, wrote in concerning her hunt for medallions, I knew she’d emailed the right geek for the job. “I wanted to know if you knew where to find a rosette similar to the photo I have included, but with a center cut-out for a light fixture, attaching it to the ceiling. I am certain I saw something like this in a Domino Issue but I cannot find it anywhere!”


Gabby is right on; Domino did write about an amazing resource and the prices at this place are so affordable, even a cheap skate can afford one (some are as low at $30!). The company is called Architectural Depot. Of course, they’re reproductions, if you want the real deal, you’ll need to tap into your local salvage yard and then, hire a pro to install it (they often weigh a ton.)

Here’s some additional medallion resources on the web:Statue,Balmer,Fire River,Go Ceiling Medallions (lots of beautiful corbels and moldings, too.), and Cumberland Woodcraft.

HOW TO INSTALL: Plaster medallions are quite heavy and may require a professional to install, but lightweight versions in plastic, wood, or polyurethane foam are easy to DIY by simply cleaning the surface with soap and water, allowing it to air dry, then applying urethane adhesive, position the medallion dead center,it and either nail or screw into place. You want to fill the holes with spackle, paying close attention to gaps along the edges, especially if you find your ceiling is a bit uneven (common in older homes). Once dry, lightly sand where you’ve spackled and use a wet cloth to rid the medallion of dust particles from sanding. Air dry again, then apply your favorite color of oil or latex-based paint. If you have a white ceiling and white light fixture, have some fun and paint the medallion a bold color, like black, or keep it neutral with grey, cream, or plain white. You can even handpaint the medallion with many different colors, if your has a floral motif, you can paint the flowers and leaves in your favorite hues. Have fun with it, and if you go outside of the lines, no worries – you won’t see it from the floor.

Tip: If you spot a medallion you like, but the hole is too large (or small) for your fixture, opt for medallions without a hole and ask someone to drill a center for you that fits perfectly.

Psst: You haven’t lived until you’ve visited Charleston and Savannah, in my opinion. But then again, I’m from South Carolina, so I’m a huge fan. If you’re ever looking to stay in historic Charleston, here are some of my favorite inns to stay at. And remember, whenever you go, look up!

(images from arch depot)

Posted in reader questions on February 15, 2007

Jonathan Adler Mega Sale 2/14-24

Hurray!(Or should I saw, Hurry!) There’s a major Jonathan Adler sale going on, tons of merchandise marked to jaw-dropping prices. Pillows, pottery, placemats, and more. Click here to start saving major moolah.

(image from jonathan adler)

Posted in reader discounts on February 15, 2007

Papered Together: Custom Correspondence + More!

You’ll love these! Fine letterpress cards and coasters over at Papered Together are definitely a paper lovers dream. I discovered them last night while simultaneously shopping Etsy and watching Top Design, what a treat to find them. (They have a website too.) As for who is behind the site and where they are located, I have no clue. But when I saw the customized cards with ‘Ingrid’ on them (below), I was sold.

(images from papered together)

Posted in etsy, stationery on February 15, 2007

Dishing Top Design – Episode #3 Open Thread

What did you think of Top Design tonight?


I have to say, the judges looked great on Santa Monica beach. Loved Adler in the cocoa polo and Kelly’s gorgeous dress…

Team Tahiti had a beautiful space but the ceiling looked a little unfinished. It really did need sun protection. I would have loved to see some color, it was very neutral. I like Felicia a lot, she is so well spoken. The Gilligan’s island and that comment about going to the Viceroy for a “Girls weekend, all three of us” was cute. (he he) Team Miami’s roof was gorgeous and I loved all the strips of fabric and the way the light filtered in, wow. Just add mojitos and music and I’m there… I have to say Team Miami got hammered. The judges do not like Elizabeth, Kelly called her, “passive aggresive”. I also liked Team Saint Tropez, what an amazing structure. So sculptural, clearly Goil has amazing talent. It was definitely better than a hamburger shack. Ryan should not have gone shopping. Period. All I can say is that at least they got out of the PDC this week, sheesh! Your thoughts???

So far, I’m liking Felicia and Goil as designers… Michael for sheer personality, his sarcasms keep the show fun and less serious, and when he was stuffing his bed, you had to admit it was cute. Who do you think stands out?

If you’re just jumping in on our threads, you can catch up on what readers think about the show by clicking below:

Episode #1 thread
Episode #2 Thread

See ya later, decorator’s (eek!)…

(image from top design)

Posted in reality tv on February 15, 2007

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Some of my books...

Further editions available: Decorate published by Murdoch Books for AU/NZ, Decorar BR, Alt om indretning DK, Inspirace pro váš byt CZ, Dekorácie SK, La décoration FR, Lust auf Wohnen DE, Sisusta tyylillä FI and Sztuka aranżacji wnętrz PL.

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