Feb 132013

Inspiration From The Hermitage

This room in The Hermitage is our inspiration for the foyer we are designing.  Panels of gold leaf and the ornamentation in porcelain.  Anyone know the name for this room.  My pictures were from a friend. It was actually quite a coincidence that my client had a trip planned to Russia prior to seeing this inspiration room.  She took a lot of closeups of the ornamentation to assist us in our design process.

The foyer adjoins this outrageous living room or salon as my client has named the space. The coffered ceiling and crown molding was in the room and Beaux-Artes designed the wall panels, pilasters, capitals and empire frieze.  We installed all the ornamentation and executed the finishes.  The powerful presence of this room was a major factor in our design decisions for the foyer.  It is a lot of ornamentation and gold which we wanted to soothe with an elegant and complementary ornamentation design and color palette.


Before Pictures

The foyer is small, unlike the grand space of The Hermitage. Part of the inspiration is to use molding to frame all the walls.   This increases the amount of space for our panels and will make the lack of symmetry less apparent.

Right Salon Wall Facing Front Door

Left Library Wall Facing Front Door

Stair Bulkhead over Entrance to Middle Foyer

Note the existing molding and the space between the salon entrance and the stairway bulkhead.

The second floor wall space and dome.

Actually our first inspiration  came from this fabulous porcelain from Historic Houses of Paris, one of my absolute favorite books.  We would use gold leaf for the walls and the ornamentation would be a porcelain finish. Perfect!  Just like the look and feel of the grand room in The Hermitage. Reverses the color palette of the Salon.

We chose these moldings because they offered us a bead to achieve the look of our inspiration room.  The chair rail molding will be used to outline the walls.  The base cap with the bead is perfect to continue the gold bead along the base of our walls and the beautiful 1-1/4″ panel molding will be used to frame our gold leaf panels.

Elevation of the panel layout for the Salon Wall.

Elevation of Salon Wall

The walls with the chair rail paneling installed.  Wall and trim painted Benjamin Moore Decorators White.

The walls and trim were then glazed with my favorite raw umber by Cal Tint to give us the slightly aged porcelain finish that will be used on our ornamentation as well.  This picture also shows that we left the middle white since we would be taping off our inside decorative panel where our gold leaf will be applied.  The bottom of the wall, the corner blocks and our trim bead has already been primed in yellow for our gold leaf.

We were very fortunate to have had the use of a lift.  Two artists worked with me on this project.

 Rebecca Hotop

Jne Jacques












Leafing the crown molding











Crown Before and After

Finished Panels prior to installing panel decorative molding.

Gilding the decorative panel molding prior to attaching composition leaves.

Our samples  for the  molding.  We chose the white and gold leaf combination on the panel molding with the large acanthus leaves slumped over the trim.  The molding and leaves are from Decorators Supply. We will be applying the leaves after the molding is installed so that we can cover the corner miters and adjust the spacing for all the panels.



Composition Leaves

Once painted we are ready to slump over the molding.  We used a hairdryer and microwave oven to heat the compo until it was soft enough to shape over the molding.  Because of the large quantity of leaves it was quickest to use the microwave with two people for heating and slumping.

Panels with slumped leaves

We are not done yet.  We have the ornamentation design left to execute.  Stay tuned for Phase 2.







  3 Responses to “Inspiration From the Hermitage And How To Get The Look By Beaux-Artes”

  1. Great article Melanie! Thanks.

  2. You did a great job…wonderful work…

  3. Wow! Finally I got a webpage from where I can really obtain valuable information concerning my study and knowledge.

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