By Jill Nagy
When the renovated Adelphi Hotel on Broadway in Saratoga Springs reopens, its new look will include ornate ceilings decorated by Donna Mock whose company, Classic Design Finishes, has been bringing new life to area walls and ceilings for nearly 20 years.
The ceilings in the Adelphi’s rooms and hallways will be finished with a silver metallic glaze, Mock said. She has completed work on the rooms and she expects to have the hallways finished in three or four weeks.
The project at the Adelphi is fairly simple, she said. Often, she produces murals, trompe d’oeil effects and other artistic details. “I can make walls look like wallpaper, plaster, whatever the client wants, but I am best known for my plaster work,” she said.
Another project, the lobby of the Saranac Hotel at Saranac Lake, is more complicated.
That work is “coming along” and should be finished in May. For that project, she is working on 30-foot-long ceiling beams first installed in 1924. There is water damage and much of the design on the beams has faded so that they have to be completely redone.
Mock’s work is part of the historic restoration of the hotel.
These relatively large commercial projects are a change from Mock’s usual work. Most of the time she works on people’s homes, both new construction and existing buildings.
“Every job is different,” she said, “And I love what I do. It’s very creative, it’s fun, and it’s great to work with clients.”
She tries to have some of her work included in the Parade of Homes and Showcase of Homes each year “to keep my name out there.”
She also attends meetings of the International Decorative Artists League and other organizations, where she can compare information with colleagues and learn about new products and techniques. And she recharges her batteries at the occasional artists’ retreat.
Mock has a degree in art and takes courses every year. Some of her home decoration projects include murals and she will, now and then, paint a canvas for a client. However, she has not had time lately for painting.
“I’m saving that for retirement and when I can no longer climb scaffolding,” she joked.
She grew up in Burnt Hills but lived in several places after college. She became established in her decorative work in Florida, in about 2000, and moved to the Saratoga Springs area in 2007.
She lives in Greenfield. That was a bit of a homecoming for Mock because one of her grandfathers grew up in Greenfield.
She is a sole practitioner and does most of her work in clients’ homes or hotels. She can be reached at 944-0331.