Introducing Karen Di’Angelo and Walls Faux You
Introducing Karen Di’Angelo and Walls Faux You
By: Kaitlin Andreas
Last week I had the great pleasure of meeting Seattle’s very gracious and talented Faux Finish Artist, Karen Di’Angelo. As the founder and artist of, Walls Faux You, Karen has worked on projects around the greater Seattle area for a number of businesses and in many homes. She started her business in 2002 and her beautiful work has earned her rave reviews. When I caught up with Karen she told me all about how she got started in her line of work and what it takes to complete a faux finish masterpiece.
SPOTLIGHTseattle: For our followers, how would you define faux finish art?
Karen Di’Angelo: Faux finish is art on the wall or ceiling. It is a textured treatment that can either be smooth or have a layered textual finish from built up plaster. The art can be anything from old European to Venetian Plaster; from metallic paint to glazes swirled on top of the paint. There can be embedded designs in the texture and a mixture of several colors. Faux finish gives a wall personality and texture. It has a more luxurious feel than a simple painted wall. When someone hires a faux finish artist they are investing in something artful. It is the same as hiring an artist to do art on canvas.
SLS: How long have you been an artist and what made you decide to follow this career path?
KD: Art runs in my family, so it is in my nature. I have always had a sense of color form and design and what will work in a setting based on lighting and surface style of furniture. So, I dabbled in faux finish art years ago and there was a point in my life when I needed to restart a career. I did some work for a friend of mine and in the process had a “light bulb moment.” As I was working on the project I got caught up in the art and forgot everything else. So, I started going to academies to know everything about the style of art.
SLS: Do you find that most people know exactly what they want done or do you end up generating ideas for them?
KD: Well, after the first initial contact with a new client we will sit down for a consultation. Sometimes they will have an idea in mind, and I will offer suggestions and ideas that I believe might work better, like a different style or texture. I would have to say about 75 percent of my clients choose something from my portfolio or other samples I bring along with little tweaks here and there. Faux finishes can be done in matials such as metallics or lustered plasters to best fit into a variety of settings and create a range of looks from very contemporary settings as well as the traditional "Old World" look that many of us think of when we hear "Faux Finish."
SLS: What differentiates you from other artists?
KD: I would say my attention to detail and my range of artistic ability. Some faux finish artists focus on very bold and bright works of art that serve as the focal point of the room, while others specialize on a very soft visual to complete the setting – I do both. I also have the ability to do cabinet refinishes and add faux finishes to existing cabinetry.
SLS: On average how long does a project take to complete?
KD: About five to seven days. Some projects might take a lot longer depending on the treatment or finish, and some might be done in two days. For example, a glazed treatment takes a lot less time than a five-layer plaster treatment.
SLS: What projects are you currently working on?
KD: My main focus is the work I am doing for the Mediterranean Kitchen in Bellevue. I am doing a painting and faux finish of the whole restaurant which is a two-weekend process. I am also working on a four-layer plaster treatment in a dining room at a house in Redmond. For that project I am using a dimensional stencil to create and embed a fern with the logo of their family business. Also, in the Mount Baker neighborhood near Lake Washington, I am restoring a metallic faux finish on a ceiling foyer at a home that was built with servant’s quarters in 1902.
SLS: You sound busy! How many projects do you normally take on at one time?
KD: Usually I only do one project at a time. I like to start and stay on a project until it is completed, but I also work on samples and the preliminary work for upcoming projects.
SLS: What projects do you consider your biggest accomplishments?
KD: I renovated and restored a faux finish in a big brick apartment building that was built in 1928. In some areas that I worked on I actually replicated the art in areas that it had been destroyed. Another piece I am proud of was at the E.E. Robbins in Tukwila I hammered a metal faux finish over a 1,000 square foot ceiling.
SLS: What is the best part about your job?
KD: I love creating what other people love. When I complete a job and the client is thrilled with it that is more payment than the actual payment.
Check out the gallery of images that sample her artistry and talent below! (Enlarge images by clicking on the thumbnail of the image)
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If you are looking to add a touch of character to your own home and would like to see more from Karen’s portfolio visit her website!