Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Portland Artist, Musician, & Philanthropist - Ryan Dobrowski

I just wanted to take a moment to share the works of the incredibly talented Ryan Dobrowski - an Oregonian native. I met Ryan's painting before I met Ryan and I was completely blown away. I was attending a crowded house party and entered the basement to use the bathroom and saw this incredibly expressive painting that took up an entire bedroom wall. That was around five years ago.

Fast forward and now you'll find Ryan evolving in many different directions at an incredibly fast pace!

Ryan: Artist currently exploring encaustic mediums.
Ryan: Owner of PiP Gallery in Old Town.
Ryan: Drummer of the up & coming band - Blind Pilot.

Photo courtesy of NPR Music

Ryan and Israel Nebeker started their two man show a year ago on a West Coast bike tour. That's right they toured the entire coast on bicycles hauling all their equipment with the bikes - no van driving behind them, no rescue car to provide shelter or snacks. And now, now they are in the middle of a full blown tour - just finishing up in the UK with the Counting Crows, and currently touring the U.S. with The Decemberists.

I love this song and video. Enjoy!

Keep your eye on this young man. He's a force to be reckoned with. Congratulations on all your successes Ryan - you're an impressive individual.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

8 Steps to Hiring a Decorative Painter (Faux Finisher)

Never hired a decorative painter (faux finisher) before? Not sure what to expect? Here are 8 steps to familiarize you with the process and what to expect when you work with us:


If you are an interior designer you should have an idea of the design you want to achieve for your client’s project. If you are a homeowner start with some reference pictures - ideas you've cut out of magazines, pictures of rooms you've taken on vacations, etc. If you don’t know the exact decorative finish, then know what rooms you want worked on. Prioritize them if there is more than one room.


Having an established budget makes it a lot easier to help you achieve your desired goals. Understanding your budget allows us to offer you several options that fit that price range which eliminates surprises when we present the final samples with costs. You can expect to see several options within the budget. If you don’t have an exact budget but have a range in mind we can help you select treatments within that range.

The cost of decorative painting varies widely. It depends on such factors as the technique/application you choose, the artisan’s experience and training, the complexity of the technique, the cost of materials, and the location of the painting.

We will always want to see the space before we provide you with any costs.

Be prepared to pay more than a few hundred dollars to have custom wall treatments in a powder room. Don’t be surprised if you are charged more to work in awkward spaces like two-story rooms or ceilings, which sometimes require scaffolding. There may also be additional costs due to size of a space, tight deadlines or crew requirements required to complete the job.

High-end finishes like gilding, wood graining, Venetian plaster, murals, and tromp l’oeil cost more because there are more steps involved. Some of these finishes may involve five or more layers to complete, or a highly detailed mural may take months to finish.


During the first phone call with Shakti Space Designs we will discuss the project briefs and set a date for the initial meeting with all the decision makers (the designers involved and homeowners). There is no fee for the first consultation.


Expect us to ask a lot of questions about your project and request a full tour of the home or commercial space. We will review your designs, and take necessary measurements and photographs for reference. You will get the opportunity to review our portfolios and possibly select a finish from the samples. Have fun, relax, you should feel comfortable – we are developing a professional relationship and may be spending several weeks working within your the space completing the project. Hopefully this is the beginning of a long-term relationship.


Before Shakti Space Designs begins any project we create a custom sample board (unless it is something you've chosen from our portfolio). Once the sample board is completed we set a date to present the sample with the final proposal. Architectural finish samples cost $100 per sample. Mural and trompe l’oeil renderings costs vary according to level of detail. It is not uncommon to be charged several hundred dollars for a full color rendering for mural designs. These costs cover the time and material to create samples you or the client you will sign. Sample boards may sometimes take a few weeks to complete, depending on our schedule.

All sample boards remain property of Shakti Space Designs.


Once all parties agree on the final samples, then a contract is signed.


Once the contract is signed we set a date for the project to begin. Before the project commences we will review the project and make a few requests; removal of furniture, electrical, other contractors deadlines and schedules, etc. But we'll go over all those details with you in person.


We are professional artisans creating a custom finish to enhance your design. We want you to enjoy it as much as we do.

Hiring Shakti Space Designs to create architectural finishes that will enhance your designs is a great choice. You are hiring an artist with years of experience and training, an artist who understands the chemistry of color and the modern, industry materials available. Many artisans specialize in different styles and mediums. We offer expertise in various techniques, ranging from trompe l’oeil, murals, marbling, wood graining, stenciling, and specialty plaster finishes like Venetian Plaster or LusterStone (a specialty plaster).

Shakti Space Designs is licensed, bonded and insured to work in Oregon - CCB#: 154545

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Old Fireplaces Are New Again - Part 3

Here is another renovated project. This fireplace is in a home that was built in the early 80s. The original fireplace was floor to ceiling red brick. I'm sure you're familiar with this type of design. Most people consider it an eye sore.

What can you do with an outdated fireplace? Rip it out, patch the walls with drywall, redesign the surround, the mantel and the hearth? Sure, but that's a lot of work, a lot of mess, and can get expensive.

We plastered with Marmorino right over the brick on this fireplace. No more grout lines. Smooth stone-like feel and texture.

What do you think?

Thank you Michelle @ Whirlygig Designs for making this project possible and making the rest of the room look so fantastic.