My Completely Free Playroom Redo
November 30, 2012
I’m writing a big feature for HGTV right now. I love working for that magazine but hate the way it makes me feel about my house—i.e., that my style (or lack therof) sucks and that I should renovate/redecorate immediately. Why on earth did I think dark wooden blinds were a good idea for my dark, wooden living room? Grrr…. Fortunately the mag offers lots of cheapy DIY tips that don’t require massive budgets (or a great eye) and it’s those little things that, for better or worse, empower amateurs like me. The super-cool designer I’m currently writing about rocks at creating beautiful, interesting collage walls using mostly inexpensive art. Inspired by her (and stir crazy over Thanksgiving weekend), Alex and I tried one of our own in the playroom using pieces we had laying around the house. What do you think?
The collage mixes a few of my own paintings (the flower and the fish watercolor), one of Alex’s (hung with blue painter's tape, which is what the cool people do), some old ski posters of mine that I dug up from the basement, signed prints from one of our favorite kid’s artists in Traverse City (Linda Chamberlain), an Orangina girl I bought for $5 in Paris because she reminded me of, well, me, a vintage Babar poster that a friend took out of someone’s trash a few years ago (love love love it) and a piece of embroidered silk my Grandma Ruth brought back for me from China 25 years ago that I stuck in a frame. It’s still a work in progress (I want to fill the space on the upper right) and I realize some of these are crooked. I also want to get vintagey, less-formal frames (not so many mats!), but I kind of dig the vibe it gives the playroom. It’s certainly more fun than the two matching boring prints (and all the beige space) I had up there before. And the kids love it (also good: Alex managed to not bust either of our thumbs while hammering most of the nails into the wall).
I’m always amazed at how moving furniture and changing the wall art can totally freshen up a room. It's one of my favorite things to do but I've never tried a collage wall before. And, since it’s Friday and the weekend is here, I may be taking my newfound passion elsewhere in the house! (Nick, you’ve been warned.) Of course I still can’t quite tell if I love this or hate it but I think that’s a good sign for me. I tend to go very safe (almost every wall in my house is beige—including the playroom!) and this is definitely not safe. If I change my mind, there are only about 86 holes in the wall that need to be covered (I didn't measure first because all the cool experts say you don't need to). So be honest, do you like it? Would you ever do something like this?