Posts Tagged ‘decor’

the bare-wall burden

June 8, 2011

Sleek, white, unmarked walls confront a coarse tesselation of speckled red hues in here. The contrast is jarring, and the towering ceilings beckon the illusion that these competing facades are physically leaning inward with hostility. Or the walls are sloped. It’s an old building; either premise is tenable.

The undoing of any contentious relationship is most successfully achieved with the presence of a shared enemy. Fearing, with this knowledge, that the walls might yet collapse on me, I chose a more favorable option for all parties: tear down these proverbial walls by dressing them up. Put plainly, these vast, contrasting canvases needed some art.

I’ve been anticipating the moment when I have enough complementary pieces to craft an art cluster/gallery/collage. It was one of the first grueling challenges I braved when we finally located the hammer and nails (though I let the fella do the wall damage).

What makes this collection even more satisfying is how well these pieces work together considering the copious sources. The bike comes from B’s past trip to Amsterdam; the tiny ceramic tile is from my travels to Greece. I rescued this piece and its partner from a Salvation Army in Los Angeles when B and I were visiting his brother almost two years ago. We argued over who found them first (me) and who’d get to keep them (me); of course, that argument is now moot.


We’ve turned to Etsy for adorning other nooks of the apartment. The latest purchase is a trio of illustrations (still in need of frames) that B found from artist Judy Kaufmann. Adorable renditions of famous figures in art, science, and film; we picked out Albert Einstein, Woody Allen, and Charlie Chaplin—the latter, somewhat erroneously: We’d been deliberating between Bowie and Lennon and I had previously mentioned wanting Chaplin, but we figured three different fields would make a nice balance. After all that he accidentally asked for Chaplin. Ah well.)

Surely these gentlemen are up for the challenge of wall-soothing. Each print includes a quotation that I find elevates the utter preciousness of the illustrations.

And home wouldn’t feel complete or quite right without a few homespun pieces.

I printed a few dozen photos, to mix and match and swap out when I got bored. Funny enough, it took a few weeks before I realized that the six I have hanging now were all from outings and adventures with the fella. When I shared this realization, he somewhat sadly replied, “I thought you did that on purpose.” At least my subconscious is romantic.

I like to think the walls have softened their glares and deflated their stature with the splashes of color and life we’ve added to them. Though we still have room for a few more additions. Just to be safe.

sure shift

January 12, 2011

i had a hunch. i mustered up the courage to pitch it to the gent. something wasn’t right, and it wasn’t just the fact that i had to climb over B every night and every morning to get out of bed. (Actually, come to think of it, that was definitely a big part of it.) The bed was wedged in a corner, the only place it seemed to fit, and one of us (read: me) opted for the wall side and night after night of climbing/crawling/leaping over the other to get in and out.

bed: before shot

I’d only ever had one room among my many apartments that warranted a floating bed, as I had a desk and other furniture to fit and the corner was usually the most logical of locations to place the largest of furniture and waste the least square-footage. And frankly, I preferred my bed in the corner. Some fetal inclination, perhaps. But the day finally came that I realized just why “grown-ups” use the floating bed method (see above bed entry/exit description).

So I dared ask B to humor me a moment and give it a go. Letting skip a few beats before opinions formed about the change—allowing the eyes to refocus, readjust as when a light flickers back on in a dark room—we stepped back, and our simple gazes turned to admiration. This was right. yes, this was better.

bed: after shot

One of my aforementioned concerns was the space in the room that would be absorbed with the new arrangement; I thought at first that the room looked smaller, tighter. Then, looking around, I realized we had, in fact, more space. With the empty center of the room occupied, we realized the open walls can make way for another piece of decorative furniture, if we’re so inclined (we’ve since agreed on a floor plant, coming soonish).

This arrangement even helps to resolve another issue I was having with the longest uninterrupted wall in the bedroom. The three detail panels felt awkward with the bed (and, in the bed’s defense, vice versa); I couldn’t figure out what sort of art to include (or leave off) the walls, as any arrangement felt lopsided. Now with the improved symmetry, a single centerpiece or 3 one-per-panel pieces should look lovely. (NB: We’re still working that. Personally, I’d kill to get a headboard, but chances are this bed frame will soon fall apart and we’re trying to avoid frivolous spending. For now.)

An extra shot from the door frame of the closet below. Still needs work, yes (don’t judge me).

symmetry divine

P.S. Symmetry + sateen sheets = divine.