Groined vault ceilings are often seen in Europe, especially Italy, where the Romans were the first to construct this type of ceiling. The architectural plans for this powder room in a northern-Italian style home included a groined vault ceiling, but once the ceiling was built and painted, it was clear that this architectural feature just wasn't noticeable in such a small room.
A painted motif with acanthus and oak leaves was designed to emphasize the architectural shape of the groined vault. Acanthus leaves have been used for architectural ornamentation since the Greeks, and the depiction of the leaves, often very stylized rather than realistic, is a hallmark of the Italian Renaissance. Oak leaves were chosen because they are a classic Italian form of ornamentation and can also be found on several chandeliers selected for other areas in the house.
The client now has a powder room whose space is truly defined by the ceiling and which remains true to the spirit of the rest of the house.