Bring your walls to life

By Ian Bevan

A holiday in the Algarve, over 20 years ago, proved to be the catalyst for a permanent move here when I was asked to accompany friends on a short break from London. Much as I love the city, it was impossible to resist the idyllic Algarvian lifestyle. And when I was offered work here, I gave up the city life and made the move to sea and sun.

Initially, I worked as an interior designer, having trained in both Interior and Textile Design at Bradford School of Art.

Time and again in my work here, I found clients enquiring about paint finishes and artwork. At the time, very little was on offer, the white wall ruled, and I decided to use my skills.

These days, for Northern Europeans investing in property here, there is an opportunity to be imaginative with the exterior and interior finishes of their home.

The Portuguese architecture and landscape, together with the quality of the light here, provide a great inspiration to be creative – a chance to change the one-size-fits-all development building into something individual and exciting, all possible within a sensible budget.

I work a lot with coloured washes and glazes and these finishes make walls more interesting by adding texture and colour. These products are very durable. A recent comment from a client, whose hallway I painted with frescoes 15 years ago, said that the work still looked great and had turned out more economical than if she had had to repaint the original white walls every few years.

Paint finishes in a room give character and warmth to a new build and add even more style to an older farmhouse or villa, whether it’s a simple colour wash or designed feature wall.

I have painted fitted kitchen and bedroom furniture with various paint effects and, on some, added metal leaf for a real quality look.

I have changed dull inexpensive pieces of furniture into stylish, quirky items by giving them a makeover. A simple metal stair rail looks great painted with an antiqued copper coating. A plain cement column can appear to be made of marble or stone.

Terraces and patios are another area with scope for decoration. A mural depicting a rustic pot or statue, or even that ‘sea view’ look better than a blank wall and require no maintenance unlike a real plant in a pot.

The only limit is your imagination; whether you choose a sweeping abstract design for a large wall or Roman frescoes for around your pool or Jacuzzi, or turn your TV room into a gallery of movie stars. Even the smallest room has potential to look special!

I have been fortunate to work for lots of wonderful people here in Portugal and to complete some exciting projects both small and large. Long may it continue…

To know more about Ian Bevan’s work, please contact:

919 942 826