Irwin Weiner ASID, Manhattan interior designer, took us to his rural Bucks County, PA weekend house (pictured on his front porch at right). He showed us how he's using the Full Circle Studio Decoupage Switchplates and paperweights to add hand-crafted embellishments to different decor groupings. "Decoupage is a time-honored art. From European royalty to Picasso, the rich and famous have indulged in decoupaged objects, and it's a wonderful way to add small touches of personality to places like switchplates that you look at and use every day."
Kate Hartley DiSantis (at left) is the Decoupage Diva behind Full Circle Studio. All her products are decoupaged by hand by local artisans in the Pacific Northwest. She's got a great eye for finding artists who take the time to do a great job and take pride in their work. "After all," says Kate, "our work is created to be displayed in your home. Our hope is you buy a quality product that will add value to your home, support artists in the USA, and add to the comfort and beauty of your surroundings - thus increasing your enjoyment in life's small daily rituals." Irwin took Kate's suggestion and decided to take some of her decoupage switchplates and paperweights and make some quick changes. It was simple to do, of course, with most of the work using a regular screwdriver to remove two screws from existing plain switchplates and installing the new decoupaged ones from Full Circle.
In the two photos below, Irwin took a Paris Pair Collage double switchplate and added in his his living room. "I was delighted with the results," he remarked. "The hand-made decoupage switchplate looks terrific against the wall, which sports a hand-waxed rough plaster treatment. I like the way it harmonizes with the rustic oil painting on the wall and compliments a collection of decanters and barware I have displayed on a burled-wood Victorian aquarium stand. The colors of the glassware and the switchplate play off one another."
In the two photos below, Irwin arranged two Full Circle Studio decoupage paperweights on a leather-covered cone side table (Memphis style from the good, old 1980s). "Our living room opens up through a pair of French doors to the patio and garden, and we love how light pours into the room through these large openings. The Full Circle paperweights catch the light beautifully and make you curious to look closer," said Irwin. "I chose the paperweights for their inspirational message and beautiful artwork. 'Gratitude' is a message we should have everywhere in our homes today; we are so lucky to have our families, health, friends, and homes. And the beautiful 'Bee/Be' paperweight adds a touch of nature as well as a reminder to 'be' in the moment." Irwin made a quick tablescape with two paperweights and a carved jasper candlestick, again pairing hand-made items together - which fit in great, by the way, alongside a 1700s burgemeister caned chair with an old world tapestry seat cushion.
Next, Irwin took up to the upstairs hall. Just off the guest bathroom, wedged in a tight corner, he showed us a metal wall sculpture above an antique croquet set. "I love the colors in this small-space cluster of objects, but the plain switchplate always bothered me. Very drab and boring. Adding this decoupage switchplate of a Chinese bluebird with flowers tied the grouping more cohesively."
Also in the upstair hall, Irwin showed us a double outlet decoupage switchplate he installed. "The serving pieces are both elegant and whimsical, and I thought the 'silver' in the decoupage played nicely off the metal cart in the hall. I'm also displaying an old red ocean buoy and a beautiful Pennsylvania rag rug on a wood floor finished with glossy white marine paint."
Just off the upstairs hall is Irwin's home office. It's clad in rural vernacular tongue-in-groove paneling, painted white, and this is where Irwin has his project drafting table, files, and bookshelves of reference materials. Near the office door is an orange Kartell storage trolley for his drafting and office supplies (note how Irwin ultimately moved the paperweights onto the trolley so they'd be close at hand to holding down stacks of papers and drawings in his home office). "I used a delightful bird-and-egg double switchplate to go with the rural theme in the room, including two pictures that cluster around the light switch - on the top, an early 1900 Delaware River barge scene painted near where I live, and an old Dutch sailboat painting. A decoupage switchplate goes beautifully with the tongue-in-groove paneling. Full Circle's decoupage materials will look great in any room of the house. I've just proven it to myself!"