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Mural depicts European Bistro

??Photo courtesy of Rigel Sauri

??Photo courtesy of Rigel Sauri

WHEN PRIOR LAKE MEMBERS Sherry and Doug Wenborg bought their home five years ago, they fell in love with the murals in one bedroom and bathroom. Sherry found a signature scribbled in a corner and decided to look up the artist. "I gave him a call and said, 'Hi, you don't know who I am and I don't know you, but I found your name on my bathroom wall,'" Sherry recounts with a laugh.

That comical introduction led to a beautiful collaboration between the avid travelers and the artist. "The inspiration came from Rigel," Sherry says. "Each day we would sit down and throw out ideas. He came up with the most amazing and wonderful things."

The Wenborgs commissioned Sauri to paint two rooms in their home to resemble a floral shop and European bistro. The bistro room is equipped with a real bar and awning, but accented with walls painted to mimic stone and terra cotta - along with a sign that reads "Bistro ~ Cafe." The ceiling is a blue sky with fluffy white clouds and each of the room's four walls offer a magnificent view into an ancient Roman streetscape or quaint boutique's window.

The second room is a continuation of a floral shop window first seen in the bistro. After you pass through the french doors beside the window, you've arrived in the room that houses the hot tub. "Because of the murals, we live in these rooms," Sherry says. "We had a skylight replaced with a glass garage door so we can sit in the hot tub year-round, and even let the snow fall in on us in the winter." Their skyward view is enhanced by paintings of flashy peacocks perched atop a wrought-iron balcony. "It's so different than anything we've ever seen before," Sherry says. "It's like being in France - we love it."

The couple, both in their late 60s, say they'd never paint over the murals but realize they won't be able to stay in their home forever. "We have 10 acres here, and it's a lot to keep up," Sherry says. "But no matter where we go, we've both decided we need Rigel to make us a bistro."


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