Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Design Fever: Accent Wall

Do you see this wall right here? The one behind the sofa? Well, let me tell you a little history about this wall. First off, it is important to understand that this wall is THE accent wall in my office, meaning that it is the very first thing you see when you come into the room. And so naturally I've always felt compelled to make it stand out in one way or another.

My first decision--years ago--was to paint it red. This was back when everyone, it seemed, was having a grand love affair with red accent walls. And so I thought I would join the club. Naturally it was a total disaster and lasted less than a year. I replaced it with a camel/caramel brown, and painted the other walls the same. That is what you see here in the photo below:

The color was actually a nice choice, but since it was the same as the other three walls, I had to use art to make THE wall stand out.

And obviously failed miserably. I mean, have you ever seen such a hodgepodge of random pieces? Individually I like all of them; together they're a mess.

Needless to say, it was time to start over again from scratch.

Obviously you can tell from the photos that the first thing I did was replace the camel brown with a grayish-blue. And in spite of what Craig says (I believe "sanitarium" is the word he keeps using), I like it.

Once the painting was finished, I had to figure out what to do with the blank space, and as I mentioned on Friday, I was attracted to the idea of doing wall decals.

Attracted to it, but not nearly patient enough to wait for something to come in the mail. So I decided to design some decals myself using contact paper.

I spent several hours on Sunday brainstorming design ideas. The above images are a few of the options I considered. I loved the nature-inspired themes that I displayed on Friday, but decided that I needed something to tone down the femininity in the room since the pillow covers, sheer curtains and pearl chandelier were already making a very girly combo. And so shapes trumped leaves, branches and flowers.

I had a difficult time deciding which design I was going to adopt, and in the end I confess that simplicity persuaded my final decision. Perhaps not as elaborate as some of the options above, my ultimate design was, in a word, EASY. And after 48 hours of painting and sewing non-stop, I was very much in the mood for easy.

So this little rectangular motif was the winner. It took me all of 30 minutes to create and assemble. And about 99 cents. The only tools I needed were some scissors, a pencil and a level.

I didn't have any rules about spacing, pattern, etc. I just cut a random number of decals in two sizes and started placing them on the wall, eyeballing the distances between them. And frankly after two days of work and a bit of a paint-fume-headache, I'm surprised they turned out as well as they did.

Perhaps you all might have preferred one of the more elaborate styles I considered, but sometimes (particularly after a long weekend painting) simplicity just works better. Besides, I can always pick one of the fancier designs later and try it out--because that is the beauty of vinyl decals.

But for now I'm just going to admire my 99 cent rectangles and call it a day.

After all, it sure beats the red!


  1. I really love this! I think it is just the right amount of masculine with the feminine. Also, I like that the room has whimsical features (the pillows) with minimalist features. It all goes together so well while still being unexpected. Good Job!

  2. Thanks friend! I like it too. And I like that it cost me 99 cents and took 30 minutes. I even watched reruns of Drop Dead Diva while doing it. Talk about easy!


Blog Widget by LinkWithin