Thursday, January 14, 2010

A wallpaper wonderwall

I wrote here about my problem front sitting room and here about the chair I reupholstered for it.
Although I thought I had a completed corner I felt it still looked a bit naked. This is probably because of the high ceilings, which create lots of creamy blank space. Usually I like creamy blank space but the more I looked at, the more it offended me.
For the purposes of another project for this room I had obtained quite a few A4 sized wallpaper samples. I thought - why not frame them?
So that is what I did.
Ikea sells A4 unvarnished wooden frames. I bought 9 of these and then gilded them (in 'Antique Gold') with an amazing, super poisonous gilding paste I bought from a craft shop (an American product - have you noticed how all those clever products are always from the US?).
This is it. As you can see it is so easy to use that you can do your gilding with your hair done in a 1980's style wearing a white tunic top. (I didn't wear gloves so actually I found on completion that my hands were completely golden. I looked like a James Bond girl. Then I started to panic about whether I might die because my skin couldn't breathe. Then I remembered that that is only if your whole body is painted gold).
I then framed the samples I liked, and very inexpertly hung them on the wall. I could have triangulated the grid and got my protractor out and Pythagorused it but I just couldn't be bothered. Hanging is dangerous in our house because the walls are plaster and they tend to crack and crumble so I usually just do it really quickly and hope for the best.
This is how they look.

The wallpaper samples are from Florence Broadhurst, Zoffany, GP & J Baker, Graham & Brown and Little Greene Paint Co.


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Given that I was going crazy with the gilding (in fact maybe the Rub'n'Buff had made my brain go weird) I then found this wooden frame I bought in Singaraja (northern Bali) and had never used and also gilded it. What I would really like to do is put a little round mirror in there but so far I can't find one. Where does one find little mirrors? I am having no luck.


All of this is really quite unlike my usual style. I don't like gold, I don't like flowery bibs and bobs, I only like minimalist lines. However, this is a room we don't use all the time, so I thought it would be a bit of a contrast. One can't be white, grey and straight-lined all the time.
And that is the moral of my story.

17 comments:

Dumbwit Tellher said...

Jane I love your sitting room. The wall color is beautiful & what you've done with your project is fabulous. I loved the idea of framing pretty wallpaper samples & so glad to know about the gilding paste. Just in case I want to be a Bond Girl next Halloween! I have to say I've gone to the gold side, so your frames I adore. I use to get mirrors cut to size at shops where you get custom glass (such as for windows). I hope that helps. I was thinking about you this evening & low & behold I got our comment. Incredible! Thank you Jane for all your kind, thoughtful words. They mean the world to me. xoxo deb

theoldboathouse said...

Hi Jane, It looks so great!! Most glass/window people sell mirror and it is inexpensive. Or if you have a piece that is the wrong size they will size it for you. Sometimes nice picture framers will do the same, cheers Katherine

brismod said...

Gold + frames = can't go wrong. I used to work in an art shop and stare at that rub n buff stuff all day long, but that chick on the packet put me off. I'm glad your prejudices didn't hold you back because now you have a beautiful sitting room!

mise said...

Oh bravo! A splendid idea, very enterprising with the gilt, and a great use of the samples. They look wonderful, and are a perfect match for the E.M. Forster look of your sitting room.

jane said...

you are so smart. i love it.

Devon said...

Absolutely lovely. Although now I'm curious how you get craft products from the U.S. when I can't figure out how to purchase anything from Australia (where all cool things come from, of course).

Jacqueline said...

That looks brilliant, Jane. Your house is so much like mine. I have framed wallpaper samples too. It seems such a waste not to use them for something. I also used to use them for my daughters dollshouse when she was young. It was actually more for me as, she was more of a tomboy and was never that into dolls and dollhouses.... now she lives in a Victorian house and wants the dollshouse back !!
You did make me laugh with your comment about the rub and buff... the 1980's hairstyle and the white tunic !! You would think that they would update their packaging although, if they wait long enough, it will come back into fashion !!
Also, I was going to say, like my friend Deb has already said, I get mirror from the local glazier. They will cut it to any size you want.
A job well done Jane and I think that I might go and get myself some of that rub and buff, if only to look at the packaging. XXXX

JMW said...

What a great idea! It adds such a nice touch to the room.

Julie@beingRUBY said...

Well Jane I think you have done a marvelous job of framing those samples.. looks fantastic and seems affordable too.. although not sure how much it costs to get that very 80's rub and buff!! then of course the costs of hair and tunic!! you're a scream!! ...

Can't wait to see what you get up to next...xx Julie

Pinecone Camp said...

You did a fantastic job with the wallpaper and frames. Love how it looks. Well done Jane!

Engracia said...

I don't fancy the "gold and flowery bits and bobs", but gee this looks really good, and your story gave me such a good belly laugh.
Have a great day Jane.
Cheers
Engracia

maggie's garden said...

This was a great idea! Wallpaper...
You've nailed it! hehe! Yeah those craft products from the US...probably made in China. Almost everything here in the US is made in China. Very little effort here in environmental consciousness on a whole. Sorry to say. We are a small few that try to change this, and are ridiculed for being tree huggers. Cheers for repurposing.
I wonder if adding something on your table to rise up and meet the pictures on the wall may give this area a bit more stature. Almost like connecting the wall to the table would give the appearance of a larger piece of furniture, even though they are collected objects. Not sure if this made sense. Just a thought. It certainly looks great as is. Like that you've added some bibs and bobs!

Have a great weekend

karen
xxoo

Laura [What I Like] said...

There is something very appealing about the idea of golden hands I think...and your wallpaper wall is confirmation of your design brilliance I think. Such a wonderful effect you've got! I actually have heard that you can get mirrors cut to order at framing shops...it might be easier than searching for the one you want pre-made.

Cyma said...

What a clever idea, looks great!

Ange said...

You're going to die when you read this! That Rub 'n' Buff girl is also alive and buffing in France. It seems she's been stuck in an 80s period worldwide. SET her FREE Jane! Wonderful wall paper samples. That modern look needs a bit of girly gold fantasy to contrast it sometimes.

Millie said...

I have a tube of this somewhere Jane - you have given me much inspiration to dig it out. Just love what you've done, with my very non-creative brain those wallpaper samples would have just found their way to the recycle bin! Thanks for your sweet words about the guest room. The truth is we didn't plasterboard all the rooms 'cos it would have wrecked the budget & sent MOTH 'round the bend cutting in around all the windows & doors!
Millie ^_^

jaboopee said...

looks really lovely and wallpaper samples are really gorgeous...i like the idea that no matter about measuring its all about speed.....you did a fantastic job , the speed thing really worked
your local glazing shop should be able to cut mirror glass into that shape for you....bring them a template of exact shape you want....
i'd do it for you only i'm on the other side of the world .....

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