All year-round, nosegays blossom on the floor borders of this brand-new family room in Bethesda. In this transformed garage, hand-painted flowers bloom on dining chairs, and ramble up the walls between French doors. Even a short, high-traffic hallway leading from the upper-level kitchen to the family room below has been treated to a miniature garden bursting with sunflowers, rosebuds and other joyfuls signs of summer.
Claire Howard, a self-taught artist, interior designer and decorative painter, selected a light honey stain for the newly laid floor. After the stain and a single coat of semigloss polyurethane were applied, Ms. Howard used water-based acrylic paints to create the garden. Two coats of polyurethane were used to seal the finished design and ensure durability even for a heavily trafficked area.
Says Ms. Howard, "I wanted to create a happy and mood-uplifting room for curling up with a good book on a rainy day, or for entertaining large groups."
She has succeeded so well that even on rainy days the room offers a sunny, summertime feeling. Her clients, a couple with children, are delighted.