Art of Illusion

We stepped onto our clam shell and began the search for Nemo at Epcot’s the Living Seas. Cool air rushed around us and blue lights created the illusion that we were beneath the surface of the ocean. Jelly Fish of white gossamer floated above our heads while rays of light broke through the waters of the deep blue sea. Movement around us increased and we were swept into a tide current where we joined a large family of migrating sea turtles. Then there was a shark! “That is a real shark!” I said to my husband. We were seeing a cartoon purple sting ray, the clown fish Nemo and Dory his friend singing in the water and behind them was a real shark. It was a total optical illusion, I don’t know how they do it but it is fascinating. As we reached the end of the journey there was a pink starfish stuck to the glass while the real shark swam by again! I left the ride marveling at Disney’s ability to create a fabulous experience through optical illusion and sensory perception. Disney does such a great job of illusion in the world or entertainment but I have a few tricks up my sleeve in the world of decorating. Let’s peek into a room of a Gardenia Model to see how we conspired to trick the eye somewhere in the heart of The Villages.

Paintthe Vertislide hidden away, Gardenia Model, Home Décor by Ruth Dyer - in the Villages of Florida.
The homeowner wanted the home to feel southern and coastal. The home sits on a beautiful golf course view and all that you see as you look out the window is green grass and blue sky. I wanted to make the inside of the home feel like it was an extension of the outside of the home as if there were no barriers between the two worlds. We accomplished this by painting the walls Window Pane 6210. This color is a neutral green based blue and it looks and feels like air in the space. Window Pane blends with the outside and creates a calm and soothing feeling on the inside.

• Newest illusion
The privacy treatment on the sliding glass door is a Vertislide by Hunter Douglas and it is mounted outside the window on the wall. This product is a honey comb blind that opens from the center and slides back to each side of the window. The stack back on the Vertislide is very small and when mounted outside the window allows for the full view to be seen. In the past we would have left the sides of the Vertislide out in the open to be seen and they would blend somewhat with all the white trim but now we offer an optical illusion. The crown molding team created a bump out for the Vertislide to hide behind. The bump out looks like it is a part of the casement molding and the wainscot. When you look out the window you will see nothing but beautiful casement molding. I love this new way of hiding window treatments. This can be done with verticals as well!

• Molding around the large window
It does not matter if you have a privacy treatment or if you have bare windows, the large slider window always looks better with casement molding and a header. The illusion that is created by the casement molding and header is that the window is a defined picture frame to the beautiful view.

• Wainscot
The homeowner wanted the house to look finished but did not want lots of furniture that he did not need. This room is large and we needed it to look welcoming, abundant and finished. We accomplished a finished look by adding wainscoting all the way around the room. The wainscot created the illusion of texture on the walls and it made the space look grounded. Visually grounding the space created the illusion of a more finished space without adding lots of furniture.

• Headers on the shutters
We always add headers to the top of the shutters. Adding the headers will visually tie the shuttered windows to the sliding glass door treatment and all the windows will look cohesive. Also, adding headers to the shutters creates the illusion that the windows are taller.

• Luxury vinyl flooring
The entire house received new flooring. The product that the homeowner chose was “Sahara Sand” Titan collection from Nuvelle. We chose this flooring because it looks real! It can be laid next to one of my favorite engineered hardwoods, “Oxnard by Brentwood Hills” which is a European white oak; and you cannot tell which is which. This was the flooring that was shown in last week’s column as well. This flooring worked so well because it is a mixture of tans and greys so that it stays warm and neutral in the space.

• Two arched mirrors
The homeowner liked the idea of having two mirrors reflecting each other and he chose the Palladian arched mirrors in oil rubbed bronze finish. The mirrors create the illusion of two extra windows in the space.

• Art
The art featured in the space looks great above the buffet. The piece is titled, “Endless Journey”, by Alan Maltz the official wildlife and fine arts photographer of Florida. The picture creates the illusion that the dock does not end.

• Flip Flop
Finally, if you have this model have you noticed that the living room is the dining room in this photograph? We flipped the spaces! The homeowner cooks so much that he wanted the TV right across from him in what was the original dining room….but that is a column for another week.
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Before and After Pics Below