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PULLED-IN-PLACE FLUTED PLASTER ENHANCES A SOUTHPORT HARBOR HOUSE


Pulled-in-place fluted plaster wraparound wall with a limewash finish by SuperStrata artisan Patrick Shoemaker. All photos by Laura Wheatley.

"Given the neutral palette of the home, adding the fluted plaster wall as a textured architectural element was essential to keep the space inviting, interesting, and layered."

—Townsend Katz, principal designer

In this collaboration with Townsend & Co Interiors, the timeless architectural element of our pulled-in-place fluted plaster wraparound wall is subtle enough to harmonize with the home’s modern interiors while being an essential feature of this coastal hamlet house in Southport, Connecticut.


Limewash over pulled-in-place fluted plaster wraparound wall by Patrick Shoemaker with SuperStrata

Created by the team helmed by our artisan partner, Patrick Shoemaker, the fluted plaster walls were expertly pulled-in-place, and limewash was painted over them to give them a softer matte finish. The plaster flutes tie the first floor rooms together both in function and aesthetic, as they seamlessly wrap around the walls from the kitchen to the dining area and guide the home’s flow.



1. Concealed jib door covered in fluted plaster and limewash finish by Patrick Shoemaker with SuperStrata.

2. Details of hidden fluted plaster jib door by SuperStrata artisan Patrick Shoemaker.


Some unique elements involved are two doors concealed in the plaster flutesone door connects to the open pantry within the kitchen, and the other reveals a powder room across from the staircase. Also known as “jib” doors, they are flush-mounted doors that blend into the surrounding wall. The pattern and scale of the plaster flutes was designed so that the jib door edges lined up perfectly with the flute troughs for functional integrity and to be aesthetically pleasing.


Plaster flutes can be cast in a mold or bench run in a studio as panels and brought on location to be installed, or they can be pulled in place onsite. Each method has strengths and characteristics that may be preferred in order to achieve the design or aesthetic of your project.



1. Pulled-in-place fluted plaster wraparound wall with a limewash finish by SuperStrata artisan Patrick Shoemaker.

2. Limewash over pulled-in-place fluted plaster detail by Patrick Shoemaker with SuperStrata.


For the fluted walls featured in this home’s design, a tool was custom made by hand to create this specific style of flute. In this scenario, the artisan applied wet plaster to the wall and guided the tool in a precise, steady movement. More plaster was added and the controlled motion was repeated until the plaster completed the flute profile.


It takes a practiced hand and a certain finesse to keep the pattern of the flutes consistent throughout an entire design when incorporating multiple doorways and corners. The method takes immense focus, and the results are a sight to behold.



Pulled-in-place fluted plaster wraparound wall with a limewash finish by SuperStrata artisan Patrick Shoemaker.

Below, we share some of Townsend Katz’s insights on this project as the principal interior designer.


Can you tell us a little about the vision you had in mind when designing elements of this home? 


The home was designed for a young, active family with three children and a dog so it was essential that the home be both beautiful and functional. We worked closely with the architect to curate an open floorplan that seamlessly integrated comfortable family spaces with exciting spaces for entertaining and holidays. 


The exterior design was very restricted due to the location of the home in Southport’s historic district; we loved the juxtaposition of the traditional exterior with a more modern interior to accommodate the lifestyle of a young family. It was important to us and the homeowner to capture the natural light and beauty of the town of Southport. We kept the palette in the house calm and neutral to allow the landscape and view to really pop.


The custom fluted plaster wall wraps around the kitchen area to the dining room—what was your intention here with the design, and how did the flutes play into that?


The plaster wall was an important architectural feature introduced by the architect, Tanner White, which really elevates the entire first floor. With the wall wrapping around the dining room through to the kitchen, it anchors the space creating visual interest and continuity from all angles of the house. Given the neutral palette of the home, adding the fluted plaster wall as a textured architectural element was essential to keep the space inviting, interesting, and layered. 



Detail of pulled-in-place fluted plaster wall with limewash finish by Patrick Shoemaker with SuperStrata.




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