A Living Family Tree

from Paint Décor
Decorative painting adds a historic touch to a family living room where realistic almond trees recall family history and accent furniture.

There was a reason Kramer couldn't let go of the idea of an artful mural for the Lewises living room. When she suggested a Van Gogh-inspired almond tree, Peggy responded that her family had been California almond ranchers. "The tree brings home a little of our family history," Peggy says.

Kramer took her time penciling in blooming almond trees, taking care to position them as focal points with respect to the furniture and views from other rooms. Kramer is a fine artist; if you're interested in a mural and aren't comfortable with your artistic skills, this project might be something you hire out. Sources at colleges, high schools, artists cooperatives, and interior design firms can point you toward available talent. (On the other hand, you might try it yourself and discover your hidden talent!)

One of the graceful almond trees is a welcoming sight as you enter the Lewises front door, but its impact is felt elsewhere, too. "It's visible from the dining room, of course, but we also see it through French doors between the living and family rooms," Peggy says. "My sons will often look up from watching a movie in the family room, see the window light on the almond tree, and say, 'Wow, the tree looks so cool.'"

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