Wall-frame molding can help make a large room feel more intimate, but those rectangles can also be a challenge to work with. Interior designer Meridy King, who likes to give period rooms a contemporary touch, originally decided to simply paint the paneled dining room walls in this Atlanta home a soft French blue with linen-white baseboards and chair rail. Artwork didn't sit right within the frame molding, and wallpaper inserts would have looked too fussy.

But something was still missing, so she turned to local decorative painter Brian Carter to provide the needed finishing touch. "The furniture and draperies were in; we just needed to enliven the space," he recalls. The solution came in the form of gentle tree branches, a natural motif for a room with a garden view. He let the branches grow up naturally, as if rooted in the dark oak floor, their leaves bumping up against the wall moldings as if they were framed by windows. "It looks random but has a sense of order," he says of the pattern. Just like the tree branches growing outside.

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    Tools List

    • artist's brush
      Small, Round Artist's Brush
      (No. 795)
    • abrasive sponge
      A Sponge

    Shopping List

    1. Large Piece of Foam Board

    2. Painter's Tape

    3. Two Tones of Acrylic Craft Paint Brian used Barn Wood for the twigs and Metallic Pure Gold for the leaves, both from FolkArt

    4. Chalk