Sunday, February 11, 2007

Art Harmony

Rob and I have always had a pretty "undecorated" apartment. Meaning, we don't have very many pieces of art or things to brighten up our space. Part of the reason is that we have a hard time agreeing on what to put up. The main reason is that we live in an apartment that is big and functional, but doesn't have any nice architectural details to play off of. There was one wall in our main living space that has always been a problem.

Between the heater, thermostat, and sliding glass window, it's a problem wall. It's too hard to put something centered because of the thermostat, and putting things too close to the window just makes things feel unbalanced. After seeing many of the projects and ideas on design sponge (an awesome website, by the way!), I thought maybe we could paint an image on the wall. It could be quick, fast, and cheap, because we already had a LCD projector and tons of leftover paint from when we moved in. Rob loved the idea because he's a huge fan of 2x4 and their super-scale graphic designs.

For about 3 seconds I thought maybe I could create an image to use, but I am not an artist. Of course, Rob could definitely create something, but his taste tends to go more to the dark:

What happened to the pope?

and industrial:

Images of cranes from a train window in France.

where I like things that are retro/whimsical:

my Amy Ruppel piece :)

So, to make things easier, I decided to choose a piece of art that someone else made. I bought a letterpress card back in May from port2port press that I really thought embodied both of our aesthetics.

Nice foot, Unki!

It's called "Hanging Out" and it's an image of two birds, hanging out on electrical wires. The wires appeal to Rob's love of all things industrial, and I love the birds. I emailed Maria of port2port press for permission to use her art, and she generously agreed!

Our first step was for Rob to create a Photoshop image of the wall art.

Then, we dragged out the projector

and made several adjustments until we got the correct placement.

Of course, we took time to admire the image

and Rob got to work drawing pencil lines to help our painting.

We painted

while the cats alternately created shadows and oversaw the work.

Less than two hours later, we were done!

This was such a fun, relaxing, rewarding, and incredibly successful project. We love it! We really want to thank Maria for allowing us to use her beautiful artwork. It has brought personality and beauty to a neglected corner of our house.


yumi said...

It looks wonderful!!! You guys did a great job. I especially like the photo of Unki's backside.

iSeL said...

I cannot tell you how much I love your wall project. Not only because of how beautifully it came out, but because it merged both of your aesthetics and craftsmanship to create something that you both love. That in itself is such a wonderful accomplishment!

A great and inexpensive solution to a 'big' problem, I love how modern and minimalistic the image is, yet how much character it brings to the space.

OK, I'll shut up now; I just love the whole creative, loving, artsy project so much!

Thanks for sharing this with's very inspiring.

yaiAnn said...

That is amazing! I love it! I've got to remember that technique once I've got a place of my own. That's a super creative way of addressing the problem wall.

blossom said...

that is absolutely fabulous! i will keep your creativity in mind! i love the picture you choose, too. perfect!

goodkarma said...

Perfect solution! It turned out great. I'm glad I saw this; I've been thinking about a similar project for years, but projecting one of my travel photos onto a canvas. Painting it directly onto the wall was a good idea, and the image fits perfectly on your "problem wall".

Rachel said...

That is so, so cool! What a wonderful idea. I sort of think you should have included the cat, but I suppose that would have turned a tranquil scene into an imminent death scene. Not quite so enjoyable.

Wavery said...

That is fantastic. You can bet I'll be all over that for a similar wall in my dining room, including the pesky thermostat.

MinaG said...

That looks amazing, we want to do a similiar project in our house now! How inspiring!

grumperina said...

Not only is this a brilliant idea, your execution was perfect and the result is fabulous! Also love the kitty all spread out on his belly... such a great helper :)

Nancy said...

that came out so nicely- what a great idea to use the projector like that. you're quite creative!

domesticat said...

very cool! what a great idea. and i love the kitty shot!

Sundara said...

Aaaaw, cute kitty butt!

Isn't Maria's work gorgeous? This is such a great idea and the before, during and after photos are great. The end result is fabulous and inspiring.

Carol said...

lovely! what an inspired idea.

jacqueline said...

that looks fantastic! what an absolutely brilliant idea!

heidi said...

What a beautiful wall! I'd call that a success story - bringing something problematic into something fantastic!

Carlene said...


hannah said...

so good! that mav is wonderful!

Marsha said...

i love it! what a great idea!

gracia said...

Looks wonderful... well done to you all, and of course Mav too.
take care, gracia

Jennifer said...

I'm a first time visitor to your blog. I love how your wall turned out. What a great idea. It is interesting to look at, but still fresh and clean. I'll have to store this idea in the back of my mind. Hopefully I'll be able to retrieve it if ever I have the chance to paint my own wall.

Your cats are really cool. I like that your quilt matches the toe pads of one of them.