From the outside a property in Ramsgate’s Royal Road containing four flats looks unremarkable.
But, if you go inside and climb the stairs to the top flat you find yourself entering a full blown ‘art gallery’ with an amazing mural ceiling, hundreds of pieces of framed art and an ocean-themed kitchen complete with porthole ‘windows.’
The creations are the work of artist Carl Stafford who says there is more to come with a dragon room in development, an art room and gallery.
The 58-year-old says the flat had been ‘wrecked by students’ but his first thought on walking in was how he could paint his own design on the ceiling.
The dad-of-two said: “I did about four and a half months work on the ceiling in the front room, which is now my Egyptian room, and then I started on the kitchen. I demolished the old kitchen and rebuilt the whole thing, putting in lights and creating my ‘fish’ room.
“My style is surrealist. Salvador Dali is probably my biggest influence.”
The painter and decorator studied art at Ashford college but struggled in the second year due to being dyslexic. However, that didn’t stop his creativity and Carl has produced hundreds of art pieces and displayed his work in exhibitions with the last major show being ‘Nothing’s Free’ at the Horsebridge Centre in Whitstable.
He said: “I have also done a hard back book which is a portfolio of my works and I am writing a book about my life, which will be an arty book, with the first draft done.”
Carl is hoping to become a self-employed artist and is currently taking a business course to help him with the practicalities of that.
But most pressing is the need to complete the dragon room and remaining conversions so he can take part in the East Kent Open Houses event this October.
He said: “The flat will be open to the public for three weekends in October so I have to finish the dragon room and I am hoping it will be a real show-stopper.”
East Kent Open Houses runs on 8th/9th, 15th/16th, 22nd/23rd October.
The annual event is now in its 22nd year and has more than 250 artists spread over 80 houses and studios.
The artists’ trail gives the public a personal insight into how an artist works within their specialised field.
The Open House sites are listed on the website (scroll to bottom of homepage and click on required town) at https://ekoh.org.uk/