How to Stencil on Whimsical Trees
Create a whimsical drop-off zone with a delicate stencil and a band of bold color
Hardworking mudrooms and entryways deserve a focal point that goes beyond book bags and rain gear. In this Hoboken, New Jersey, rowhouse, a lone built-in bench became a pulled-together outdoor scene, complete with a lively, eye-level avian assortment—plus resting places for outerwear—made possible in part by a purchased stencil and five shades of paint.
We started by smoothing and priming the bench and walls and putting down base coats of white and green (Benjamin Moore’s ), both in a satin finish. Then, armed with a large stencil called Birds in Trees Allover ($43; ), we mapped out an airy triplicate that called for staggering the heights of the trees and eliminating some of the branches and birds. A level and some gentle tweaking of those delicate limbs kept our forest scene looking tidy. (Tip: Create a touch-up kit with small jars of the paint. Just in case.) Today, in return, it helps keep a well-used entry tidy—and cheerful to boot.
Shown: Sturdy hooks provide natural perches for coats, bags, and stray umbrellas.