In the grand tradition of procrastinating I’ve been thinking a lot about re-decorating my room. All of my nesting dolls, which are currently bunched up on a shelf, scream for me to unfurl them and let them run around my room like little Tom Lewis creatures. I also keep throwing things away in a pathological fashion, suddenly jumping up and ripping down a poster, “I’m sick of looking at you. Get out.” So, if nothing else, getting my graduate degree has helped me de-junk.
My parent’s house is another story, where I have a room so unfettered with my stuff it freaks me out. No one wants their mind to be the most chaotic thing in the room. I’ve set to filling it with old paintings, underwater pics, and a stuffed jelly fish who hangs from a non-functioning curtain rod – but it needs more and my mother has found stickers to be the easiest solution. My bathroom is a subway tiled pink and blue vortex with a VERY old glass vanity and shower, but BAM little seahorse stickers hid some of the discolouration and distracted from the feeling that you’re inside a Kaboodle.
Stickers are incredibly tricky things to add to a room and still have it looking chic. The first wall-sticker I bought was a Sleeping Beauty fathead. It was during my regression phase of college and I was psyched because as a kid all those wall stickers always ripped out the plaster so moms around the world banned them. Of course, now if I had a Disney princess above my bed it would be a little creepy. She at least shouldn’t be bright pink and two feet tall.
Now that I’ve seen the real-life successful integration of a seahorse sticker my friends and I set about finding places to put MORE stickers (side note: we also found out less sticker is more sticker). Then came the next discussion, words. Are words cool or lame?
One friend has a sister with small kids and when she baby-sits she gets her own room. This room came pre-decorated and includes black script above the headboard (like right above) that says ‘sweet dreams my love.’ It has a surprisingly unsettling affect. First off it’s too close to the headboard, second it’s like the wall is talking to you. At least the words haven’t started to bleed -yet. A more successful play on this was when my room-mate found a pillowcase with an old nursery rhyme on it, framed it and hung it above her bed. Lots of words made it harder to read so it wasn’t screaming at you and framing it classed it up. I’ve also grown fond of some word paintings that say things like dream but in an abstract pattern, so they usher in sleepy time but again, are more subtle about it. I also find that posters that seem more like post-it notes from your therapist (or yourself) can ease into a room a bit better than demonic floating wall words. (For instance you can remind yourself to breathe which is practical if you are a violinist and very important if you are not capable of photosynthesis). Words can also look cool shooting out of a canon painted on your wall or maybe hidden in a mural of fireworks.
Alone, they must be perfectly scaled to your furniture, perfectly placed, and given a bit of functionality (words on your wall are already whimsical, if it says sink and it’s on a sink ok cute makes sense if it says aquarium and its on a bathtub make sense ironically – I love sarcastic furniture, if it says Memories no one will really know what it’s referring to (was installing your wall unit an epic adventure worthy of memorialising or something?).
Words also need to be controlled. Serial killers like to write on their walls, just remember that. If you desperately want Shakespeare’s entire first folio on your wall, go graphic. Fonts really do make a big difference in presentation. Alternatively, you could use wingdings and really scare the cable guy.