Useable Art for the Young at Heart!

I started painting on furniture semi-accidentally a decade and a half ago, as a baby shower gift for a cousin. I discovered right then painting on a three-dimensional "canvas" is both challenging and inspiring, and my useable art was born.

I always start with high quality, solid hardwood furniture purchased directly from manufacturers, and then find inspiration in the shape of the piece or the needs of the client (or both), and imagine up an original design that I hand paint in meticulous detail.

As a mother, I know the value of beauty AND function. I find painting for children particularly rewarding--they constantly unlock my own imagination in new ways. My art is not just for children, however....it's for anyone with a sense of whimsy and wonder! I'm always looking for new ways to reflect my clients' interests and passions in a piece that becomes part of the fabric of their life--a chair they sit in every day, a table where they have breakfast, a footstool their child stands on to brush their teeth. A treasure they use, every day.

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Review for the Custom Hand Painted Large Memory Box

"Lara Ralston has an incredible talent in her craft and how she brings ideas to life. More importantly, you can easily see in her work and how she works with her clients that she has a deep love and appreciation for what she does (which is very hard to find!). When I first came to Lara with this idea in my head about making a fully customized memory box, I obviously had worries that it wouldn't turn out as I'd hope. However, Lara made the whole process worry-free. Every step of the way she was communicating with me about what she was doing and ideas that she had, and always very timely in her responses to my endless amount of questions. The finished product left me speechless. The level of detail that she put into every inch of her art was truly amazing. Highly Recommend!!!!!!!!!!!!!" carlinandrew3

Review for the "Custom Painted Dining Table with Travel Theme" and 4 "Custom Painted Kitchen Stools with Travel Theme":

"We couldn’t be more THRILLED with our kitchen table set. We’ve had it in our home for just one week and we just love it. It evokes so many happy memories and we scramble each meal to claim “our” stool. Our three-year old exclaimed this morning, “I get to sit in Boston!” and proceeded to claim Hong Kong instead. Useful geography lessons abound. She also said, “Remember when I climbed the pirate ship in the park?” We will always remember our great London trip for the 2012 Olympics, and now we have a daily reminder. Lara’s talent is extraordinary, and her attention to detail and collaboration on ensuring this project was all we imagined and more make her a true standout. I encourage ANYONE AND EVERYONE to work with her on a dream project. My husband and I have talked for more than 5 years about wanting a painted kitchen table set, and feel beyond lucky to have found Lara. We started with a chair for our daughter’s room, and immediately knew Lara was the person to fulfill our dream for this most AWESOME kitchen table set imaginable. We couldn’t be happier. Thank you, Lara. You are a star!"
--Elizabeth, client

Review for the "Life Story" chair:

"This is my chair. I am the client. I LOVE this artist. I had goosebumps as my husband put the chair together. It IS. PERFECT. It tells my story perfectly. Thank you soooo very
much Lara!!" --Sara, client

Review for "The New Sheriff in Town" footstool:

"This is probably one of the best sellers I have worked with yet on Etsy! Super great communicator, customized the piece, and got me a shipping quote super fast! The piece itself is so amazing I can't even describe it! The pictures don't even do it justice (and they are super cute), it is by far THE CUTEST footstool I have ever seen. I can't thank you enough for working with me and making it nice and sturdy to hold up to "little boy traffic". : ) I am so thrilled and can't thank you enough for your amazing service!" --Monica, client

Review for 2 Custom Designed Footstools:

"Simply adorable-both the product and the artist. A dream to work and create with! Will use her again should I need anything. A real jewel. Thanks, Lara" --Holly, client

Review for "Trompe L'Oeil" chair:

"Absolutely love our chair! Lara graciously added a few details that fit the theme of our daughter's new room and it tied everything together beautifully. Lara is SO EASY to work with, and has such enthusiasm and joy for each project she does. We are already planning another piece! Highly recommend Lara and her work to all." --Elizabeth, client

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