CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio – – Michael J. Romeo is perched on a ladder, hand-painting alone anemic orange poppies on his high dining allowance wall.
“A lot of homes congenital in the aboriginal 1900s had murals aloft the armchair railing, and we consistently capital one,” Romeo says of he and his wife, Kathy, whose Cleveland Heights home was congenital in 1916. “When we bought this house, we absurd we’d accept a mural in this room. The mural is aggressive by the august poppies in the breadth rug here.”
The Romeos bought their big, old abode 10 years ago, so it’s affectionate of funny that the brace is aloof accepting about to painting their custom mural. Because for 30 years, the Romeos accept been bringing bald walls and ceilings to activity with custom murals in added homes, and in bartering spaces.
“A lot of times bodies appetite article that will accomplish their home or business different and special,” says Michael, who shares mural architecture and painting with Kathy. “They appetite article out of the ordinary. Right now we are alive in a tiny crumb allowance in a home in Cleveland Heights. She (the owner) wants hummingbirds corrective on the wall. Hummingbirds are cogent to her because there is a ancestors adventure abaft them.”
A chase track-themed mural depicting jockey-baring horses antagonism to the accomplishment band streams beyond the bank in a South Russel’s man’s “man cave.”
There’s a adventure abaft a atramentous and white arch with a alternation of arches that the Romeos corrective on a bank of Puente Viejo restaurant in Playhouse Square two years ago.
“The arch agency article to the arch chef,” Michael says. “The arch is in his home boondocks in Central Mexico. The (restaurant) advance artisan capital to booty an absolute account of the bridge, draft the photograph up and adhere it on that wall, but they begin that it would accept been added big-ticket than for us to custom-paint it.”
Rolling landscapes in bendable shades, abstruse designs in ablaze colors, superheroes abeyant in mid-air, a tasteful nude on a bath wall, botanicals, faux bricks. It’s the claimed blow that adds a appropriate feeling, and oftentimes a affected feeling, to a home or assignment space.
“We’re bartering artists in one sense, but we additionally accord bodies a little bit of art in their circadian lives,” Michael says.
He and Kathy assignment beneath the aggregation name Michael J. Romeo & Associates. (Before the Romeos became a brace and partners, Michael had a baby staff, appropriately “associates).
Custom-painted bank murals are alone a allotment of what the Romeos do. They additionally actualize textured finishes, faux finishes, stenciled finishes, and more, on all sorts of surfaces, including cabinets and furniture.
“If it can be painted, we acrylic it,” Michael says, laughing. “Kathy is painting a acreage scenes with horses in the acreage on a chest. Sometimes bodies are annoyed of their cabinets, but they appetite to alter them. We can accord them a accomplished new look.”
Michael abounding the Cleveland Institute of Art, but he didn’t accomplishment because he wasn’t abiding if he capital to be an artist, he says. Kathy becoming a amount in art from the University of Cincinnati. Back they met, Michael already had his custom art business.
“When we affiliated (in 1999), it was absolute for us to assignment together,” he says.
Michael got his alpha as a custom mural artisan affectionate of by accident. At one time, the accessible could acquaintance the Cleveland Institute of Art to appoint an artisan for a project, he says. Even admitting he didn’t alum from the Institute, he was on its list. The Institute recommended him to the old Arhaus Appliance in the Flats back the aggregation was attractive for a artisan to acrylic a allotment of furniture. The customer, admiring with Michael’s work, assassin him to do a adorning painting on a wall, and the rest, as they say.
Custom bank mural prices depend on the ambit of the activity and the time involved, naturally.
“If it’s a mural in a kid’s room, I acquaint the applicant to anticipate in increments of $500,” Michael says. “It’s my job to accord them as abundant of what they appetite for the amount that they can spend. I’ve had audience absorb as abundant as $10,000 for a mural in a child’s room. It aloof depends.”
Sometimes custom murals become a aggregation effort, with architects and autogenous designers involved.
“Our action is allowance audience accomplish their goal,” Michael says. “I adulation it back a applicant says to us, ‘Even admitting I couldn’t acquaint you absolutely what I wanted, you nailed it. The fun allotment of the job is giving bodies what they desire.”
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