By now you know I can cook but I don’t amount to much in the fixing, repairing and generally do it yourself department. It took me two weeks to sand and paint two Adirondack chairs (well, the weather did not cooperate) but I do persevere and I read my share of home decor magazines, ripping out pictures of ideas I feel like I can reproduce with minimal damage. Results have been mixed.
Recently I decided to tackle the guest room. Fairly small, it contains an assortment of furniture that did not fit anywhere else and, somehow, ended up too “cutesy” for my taste (you also know I hate cutesy), so I started thinking of a fast and not expensive makeover. I settled on a dark red with a tinge of pink for a pine cabinet that has no other discernible qualities other than keeping my workout clothes organized. A dark red duvet was pulled out of the linen closet and I convinced myself that an additional shock of colour in the form of wallpaper was the way to go.
Soon I became acquainted with websites that sold all manners of wallpapers and even a store on Beverly Boulevard selling a bee wallpaper that stole my heart and it was in the process of pondering whether I could actually afford it that my heart forced me to face the reality of my lack of skills and, above all, my lack of patience. Really, I was looking at a wall with a window in it and somehow I couldn’t see myself painstakingly measuring and cutting without making some diabolical and irreparable mistake to what was not cheap wallpaper. And I hadn’t even started investigating the whole gluing process.
That is when I came upon a website that, if not changed my ideas on decorating, it steered me clear of the wallpaper project and gave me plenty of material to work with to reinvent the feel of a room. whatisbilk.com specializes in hundreds and hundreds of decals – now, don’t imagine anything to do with butterflies, roses and birds and all that 19th century imagery that made it onto decals over the decades. At whatisbilk they have fantasy monsters, manga figures, dreamy and nightmare paintings, charming clocks, kitchen utensils and on and on down to Keith Haring’s iconic little men. Everything is modern, inventive and colorful. And did I mention terribly affordable? With the plus that a mistake was not necessarily irreparable.
I decided to throw out the bamboo headboard that was second-hand when I first got it and replace it with a dark red decal one while a plain wall would host owls perched above a faintly Middle Eastern assembly of buildings and trees. The owls project was entirely tackled by yours truly while the headboard necessitated a pair of helping hands. But in just over an hour, with no glue, scissors and a lot less money, I had a brand new room. The cabinet, truth be told, still needs to be painted – I discovered this non toxic milk paint made with curdled milk that seemed promising on paper. Will keep you posted.