I envision this garden-level room as an inspiring backdrop for various creative projects. I hope to some day paint and draw in this room with my daughter, wrap presents, sew buttons, press flowers, etc. Ooooh, the anticipation....let the makeover begin!
First, I did something of which I am both proud and embarrassed. Eek. I moved this looming bookcase (above left) from the upstairs to the basement, down two flights of stairs, by myself. I tipped it on its side, braced it from the bottom, and down it went. If it would have gouged the wall, crushed a cat, or broken in half along the way (it is one of those assembly-required models), I'd have to acknowledge I was expecting it the whole time. But seeing as how the cats are fine, the walls are sound, the bookcase is still in one piece, and that I will add: I DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS METHOD OF MOVING FURNITURE, let's just move on, shall we?
So, I needed shelves to start the makeover. And, as is my usual M.O., I'd rather use something I already have than invest in something new. The problem with this bookcase is that it has a Darth Vader energy, leaning there against the wall, casting a shadow over the entire room. Elsewhere in the room, there's an antique white iron daybed, antique lamps, antique wooden furniture, a floral table, etc. My vision for this room is Light, Airy, Inspiring and Free. Not... Death Star. So, how do I lighten up this bugger?
1. Paint or stencil. Paint fumes and pregnancy, however, don't seem to mix, so I think I should find another method.
2. Wallpaper. The problem with this, for me, is that future flexibility is compromised. Scraping wallpaper in advance of future redesigns (because I never know what will strike my fancy next) sounds like a nightmare.
3. The Not-Perfect-But-Better-Than-It-Was Idea: Computer paper painted with watercolors in a subtle, easily made design (3 different panels of red, purple and blue splotches, with green around the edges to impressionistically hint at flowers), and taped to the shelves. Cheap, temporary, and I get to play with watercolors. Good enough!
So, for the middle sections, I taped together 3 pages after they were painted, and then taped them up as a group. The left panels are blue, the middle panels red, and the right panels purple, so there are subtle vertical stripes of color. I taped up panels on the sides, both inside and out, as well. I didn't bother papering the shelves themselves, as they will soon be holding my artsy supplies.
My floral design improved as I went along. The first flower splotches were too watered down, too small, too bland. But eventually I could produce a few artistic panels that I really liked in a matter of minutes. I didn't want them to be identical, but I did count the number of splotches so that one panel wouldn't be more cluttered than the next one.
Overall, I think it turned out pretty well. It only took a few hours, and definitely changed the visual weight of the shelves.
Tomorrow I'll fill the bookcase, and then move along to the next project. Doesn't it feel fantastic to begin a project you've been avoiding?! It is one of my favorite things.