Before an interior space is decorated or restored, it often is difficult to convey just how dramatic the improvement will be. A few will recognize the theatre or church as an unpolished jewel; but, many others will see only what is there. This is why the decorative sample has become a valuable tool for creating momentum for many projects. It allows everyone to share in the vision of what is possible.

When a decorative sample is commissioned, a representative section of the interior several feet wide and including a portion of the ceiling is decorated as an exact illustration of the finished restoration and decorative artwork. In the experience of Conrad Schmitt Studios, the subsequent unveiling of the sample is a privileged moment. People sometimes are emotionally moved, or step forward with offers of sizeable donations. Inevitably, people are inspired.

For cases in which a historical paint analysis is conducted, the sample is often the first, exciting glimpse of the original decorative scheme. Other reasons for creating samples are more practical. They illustrate the quality, taste and expertise the artists will bring to the project; and, they expedite the entire restoration process by allowing design decisions regarding flooring, fabrics and other elements to be made early on.

For many projects, the greatest value of the sample is its power to generate enthusiasm and support. The importance of making a restoration happen can be deliberated for a day, a month, or a decade. But when a decorative sample is unveiled, seeing is believing, and the momentum begins.

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