Spanish Colonial Ceiling

By Morgan Bricca October 10, 2009

This is the “wow” ceiling, because everyone that walks into the great room of this private residence in San Jose, CA says, “wow!” — according to the owner, even the trick-or-treaters at Halloween.

The owners have put a lot of love and creativity into their home, and invited an incredible level of quality and craftsmanship that is reflected in every room. For their “great room” they wanted to create something really spectacular with their 18’ ceilings, so we took inspiration from historic California homes with Spanish Colonial style and construction. Here’s how the artistic process went:

I designed and created a custom template, and then hand painted the elements onto each of the 50 panels. I created subtle layers of distressing and “history” on each panel (oh, that water damage was from the flood in 1738, and that damage was from when the monks rescued the panels but dinged them up in the carriage transport in 1875….) I also painted 37 “presents beams” and the 13 enormous rough hewn oak beams that anchored the ceiling design. I am often asked if I was lying down on scaffolding, like Michelangelo. No, it was a much more elegant (and time and cost effective) solution: I painted them on the ground, in my studio first, and then transported them to the client’s house for installation. My neck never ached in the entire process!

Stencil Planet was enormously helpful in producing my custom stencils for the job. They were very friendly and did a great job on the stencils.