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Thalman Designs - Bruce D. Thalman

Like many decorative artisans, Manhattan-based Bruce Thalman enjoys letting his work speak for itself, and it does -- eloquently. He loves to talk about his clients' unique back stories behind the projects he completes. The mission statement for Thalman Designs says it all: To create beauty and affordable luxury in a client's residence or work environment.

And Bruce is able to do just that as he applies a unique perspective based on his background as a 4th generation artisan and tradesman. "I listen to my clients, while also having a gift of listening to the room speak to me, " Bruce adds.

His talents lend themselves to the most diverse workspaces -- from Manhattan's "White Box apartments", to a Westport kitchen, or an ornate but tiny powder room - clearly illustrate Bruce's talent for interpreting his client's space in a clever but beautiful way.

Bruce is featured in the October 2006 issue of the Faux Finisher, talking about his "McGyver" like abilities to create unique solutions for his client's quite unique spaces.

One of his most recent projects requiring those skills is a beach home in New Buffalo, Michigan. Thalman utilized a Bella Gesso trim sample from at the Chicago Institute of Fine Finishes, Bruce found that the finish would be perfect for the client's "hearth room."

"Its a beach house, and the tongue and groove single panel boards combined with the Trompe L'oeil  patinated trim made it the perfect finish" Bruce notes.

In his "McGyver" mode, Bruce was also able to provide a beautiful copper solution for the client's older "ugly" pre-existing stucco which tied in perfectly with the Bella Gesso finish.

One of Bruce's most significant achievements was the creation of a multifunctional room for a Manhattan apartment. In this space, the client wanted to incorporate a bedroom, media room, home office and dining room in one space.

To do that, Bruce came up with the idea of building a murphy bed behind a Coromandel screen from the 1830's. The bed and screen were then flanked by faux French art deco cabinets Bruce completed in a fiddleback Maple finish.

The detail and beauty of Bruce's work is evident in another Manhattan apartment. This client had plain white bifold bedroom closet doors. Bruce completed the elegant faux Biedermeier doors so the client could utilize the existing Biedermeier furniture.

Once a relationship has been developed with a client, Bruce has found that they are more than delighted to give their spaces over to him. "I come in with the premise of being a base painter," Bruce says, but his clients soon find his talents are much more extensive.

Meeting Kathy Carroll nearly six years ago was a turning point for Bruce. "I went to her looking to purchase product. I had just completed Sean Crosby's woodgrain class and wanted to show some of the finishes to my father," Bruce explains.

"When I got to the studio she was so welcoming, and I actually spent the remainder of the day there, she shared so many ideas with me," Bruce explains. With just a little humor, Bruce says "I got enveloped in the Kathy Carroll glow," and he returned the next day.

Bruce credits Kathy with being a mentor and so much more. "I had taken Designer Walls I at The Finishing School, but I repeated the course with Kathy. It was the first class I took with her and she just blew me away with how different her approach is," Bruce recalls.

"She helped me focus -- thinking more practically about the 2' x 2' sample.“It represents the whole wall” -- if you spend 6 hours on the 2' x 2' sample how long will it take to do 1000 sq. ft.?"

To learn more about Thalman Designs, contact Bruce at 917-992-4233 or email him at thalmandesigns@rcn.com.

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