PASADENA—Virginia Fair Studios is an oasis in the middle of the city of Los Angeles, which specializes in creating beautiful murals, faux paintings, hand painted fabrics and many other incredible designs for homes everywhere. Jay Richards, a partner with Virginia Fair, points out, “Although we do large scale projects, we also do small repairs and there are no projects too big or too small for us. We handle it all.”
Although Jay and Virginia are partners, Virginia is the founder and she makes sure to hold their integrity true and their standards consistent. This means honoring their policy of being on time and within budget. “With that said, Virginia and I pretty much are a team when it comes to taking what is the client’s vision and making it a reality. Virginia generally handles the overall design concept as it relates to the client’s vision and what will work in their space. This includes composition, color and subject matter. The final design always involves Virginia and I talking it through and tweaking it as we go along,” said Richards. “My specialty is speed and fine detail and the technical aspect of the design. This may include geometry so the piece looks in perspective. I often have a point of view that adds to Virginia’s main idea as well, and then we get to work.”
The fact that Jay and Virginia are so creative has a lot to do with the ambiance and environment in which they work on a daily basis. Jay said, “Our studio and workshop is where we often create the samples, mix colors, do our sketches—the ‘homework’ for a project. We have a vast library of books on almost every subject in the field, covering everything from color and design to reference books on plants, animals, people and technical stuff as well-materials, glazes, paints, tools, etc. We often have to mix colors at the clients’ space, as the lighting is important and will have a lot to do with the final look—whether it is a mural we are painting directly on their wall, or a canvas we paint in our studio and have it delivered to be installed. And once there we check the colors, composition in the space and do our final touch up, color washes, etc.”
Virginia Fair is also involved with pieces of furniture in the workshop from antiquing, distressing, detailing, re-facing, etc. Every project starts with the initial conversation with the client or the designer over the phone to give Jay and Virginia an idea of what is needed and wanted, and from there we can sometimes start our homework by creating samples or using samples from our collection we keep in the studio. Whether it’s lighting or creating something, nothing is taken for granted.
“We have found that murals are coming back into style, especially when they are done with taste, style and elegance. Faux on the other hand is always the wild card since there are so many different types of faux. Faux can be done to suit the style of the space without looking outdated. Our job is to keep it fresh and topical,” said Richards.
Because everyone is on a budget now, Richards has found that people’s tastes have changed. More people are simply upgrading their homes with design plasters, delicate decorative hand painting, and are especially re-facing cabinets in the kitchen and bathrooms. “This is important because when we first get into the process, the client is at the mercy of their friend’s ideas and opinions, in conjunction with their own ideas of what works in their home. It can save hours and days of mistakes for both us and them just by having a thorough consultation. Even if that means we give the client homework to collect photos in magazines and books or off the Internet so we start to get a sense of what their taste and style is. We never believe a client when they tell us they do not have any ideas, or they do not have taste. We work with the client, finding what really works for them, and it is our job to make sure it is aesthetic.”
What makes Virginia Fair Studios unique is that they really understand the client and get to know each client’s desires and needs. Whether you are in Los Angeles or around the nation, Virginia Fair Studios does projects around the globe. Like Jay Richards said, ”No job is too big or too small.” To contact them, go to their official website at virginiafairstudios.com or call 626-584-0818.
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