Saturday, April 28, 2012

Waste Not, Want Not

Recently, I began a huge project in my home, designing and decorating the Master bed and bathrooms.  I used wall covering not just on the walls but behind the book shelves, on the furniture and even on the ceiling.  It was a project, to say the least.  Now that the job is complete, I am left with yards of wallpaper remnants.  I have been finding it difficult to find the right decorative accessories for the shelves, flanking my Jacuzzi tub.  No matter what I seemed to place on the shelves, I struck out.  I have so many beautiful treasures to display, but the balance is just not right.  So I sat, studied and gave it deeper thought.  What these shelves need are books to fill the majority of the space.  The openness is a problem.  I placed many different books upon the shelves and nothing looked clean and bathroom-like.  I don’t want it to look like a bookstore, nor do I want it to appear too sterile.  Then it dawned on me that what these shelves needed were a huge set of cream colored books.  It needed something that would blend in with and soften the background, as everything else I was trying was too bold.  So I set out on a mission to find an old set of cream books at every antique bookshop in the Lehigh Valley.  What did I come out with?  NOTHING!

I got in the car frustrated and began asking myself, “How can I get books to blend in with the wallpapered background?” 

Upon my arrival at home, the idea came to me, “the left-over wallpaper! I will cover some old books with the wallpaper!”  I dashed down my basement stairwell skipping steps and the first thing I ran into, right at the bottom of my steps, were 3 boxes of antique books that I was getting ready to discard due to their “ratty” appearance.  The old trash was beginning to look like a new found treasure!  I grabbed the boxes of books and wall covering and headed up to my 6x6 kitchen island, where I was ready to perform my “decorative surgery.”  With the paper, a pair of scissors and some scotch tape, I was covering books like there was no tomorrow (while reminiscing how I used to do this with my school books, only with wrapping paper instead).  They were beautiful, as each one came out slightly different due to the pattern repeat.  Though I am not quite finished with the project, I placed the first set on a shelf with a pair of kitschy book ends…PERFECTO!  That was the answer.

  This is just an example of how visual creativity can come into play in all that we do.  All it takes is stepping back and believing that anything is possible if we just use our imagination.  If you don’t have wallpaper to play with, there are so many gorgeous wrapping papers out there today.  I’m already thinking of the left-over plaid wall paper in my boy’s room and what I can do with it!  Hmmmm….make matting for a picture frame!!  See!!  Don’t stop creating!!

Good Luck,
Jamie Gottschall
The NYClifestylist

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