26 March 2013

Making a mark

Two things happened recently that have really given me a swift kick in the making-our-house-a-home pants. First, I went to a party at our friends’ apartment, a couple who moved here about six months before us. I hadn’t seen their place yet, and aside from being struck by the general cool-ness of it (it’s above an art studio!), I was amazed by how much it felt like people lived there. Their place looks like a lived-in home because they have photos on their walls! Whereas our place looks like a lived-in home because neither one of us wants to carry down the overflowing recycling bin.

Visiting their place inspired me to really make our mark on our place. But what actually made me take action? Telling our landlady we’d like to extend our lease on this place.... through 2015. Yes. TWENTY FIFTEEN. Mr. P and I had the sort of serious chat that life partners occasionally have about goals and finances and we decided that we’d rather stay put here than buy a house or move elsewhere in the city. So yeah... 2015. And that’s the earliest we’d leave! That is a long dang time away.

And that’s also a long dang time to be afraid of committing to something because this isn’t our forever home. This is our NOW home, our RIGHT NOW home. I need to start making decorating decisions with that mindset. And not just a place that we LIVE in, but a place that WE live in. Me and Mr. P, specifically.

This is a long-winded way of saying that I finally got the guts to hang some wedding photos on the living room wall.


There’s not many walls in our living room with real estate for hanging stuff. One is all windows and fireplace and another is all slanty, so they’re out, and I covered most of the third with shelving. But this wall was still a bit tricky, as it’s mostly doors.


Plus, I couldn’t have anything that jutted out from the wall, as that space now serves as the walkway behind our new chairs (you can see the shadow of one looming against the wall).

So I knew I’d need a something flat, or better yet, two complementary somethings for balance. And whenever I need multiples of something, I need a good price.

Oh hello, $11 IKEA VIRSERUM frames.


Or VERITASERUM frames, as I’ve taken to calling them. (cough Harry Potter nerd alert cough)

Honestly, I had white RIBBA frames on my IKEA shopping list, because everyone loves RIBBA frames. But in person, the RIBBA mats were super yellow-looking to me. And while the VIRSERUM frames were more off-white compared to the RIBBA’s bright white, the mats were far less yellow. Normally I get scared when I veer from the shopping list, but I’m happy with my last minute decision to get these over the RIBBAs!

Of course, if it’s IKEA, there’s wacky assembly. The VIRSERUMs came with two little clips and medium-gauge wire for hanging...


... and instructions that might as well be a game of charades.


I guessed the correct answer was “wrap the wire enough times to convince people you’re a slightly crazy person.”


After assembling the frame, it was time for photos! I decided, after realizing that there is exactly one (1) photo of us displayed in our home, that a few wedding photos wouldn’t be super obnoxious. But they had to be more abstract, artistic photos, no stiff posed shots, and God forbid one in which I’m smiling vacantly at the camera. No.

I chose these two.


I only needed them sized to 8x10”, so rather than pay several bucks a pop for professional prints, I opted to try just printing them out with my home printer. And with enough tape on the back to secure them to the mat without wrinkles, I think they looked just fine!


It’s worth noting again that the VIRSERUM frames are definitely off-white, at least compared to the white in the photos (which is more striking here), the white mats and our very white trim. For now it doesn’t bother me (I’m ok with mixing whites) but if it did, I could always get out the paintbrush.

A few screws in the plaster walls (ahhhhhhhh) later, and we had officially made our living room our own.


Because really, nobody else is going to have those two photos hanging in their room, right?

This is just the first of several “hang some stuff on your dang walls already” posts I’ve got lined up this week, so get ready... I’m finally making a mark on our place! Or at least, making some holes in the walls.

7 comments:

Christal said...

I love those photos!!!

Rachel C said...

Yay for hanging pictures!!! It's crazy how much pictures can personalize a space. And the pictures you chose are beautiful. But, even owning my house, I agree with the "OMG! I'm making holes in my walls!!" feat associated with having things.

And, knowing that you will be there until 2015, I have to ask -- when will you start painting???

Sarah said...

@Christal - Thank you! I like how in both of them, there are people we love in the background. In the bubbles one, there's Richard and MP, and in the dancing one, there's my mom's dear friend who passed away suddenly from cancer last year. Seeing them makes me smile!

@Rachel - Haha, yes, painting! We actually haven't negotiated yet, just set a time to chat. So technically we don't have permission yet. But I did lay it all out on the table when I requested a chat, and she seemed excited that we're staying. So I don't think I'm being TOO ridiculous by walking around holding up paint chips already ;) I do think I'll be less nervous about putting holes in the wall when I know I've got my own touch-up paint to spackle & cover any holes I make!

Tina said...

Yay! The first one was the hardest - and now that it's done, You'll probably wonder why you waited so long - ??? Anyway, the first ones look great! I'm anxious to see the rest.
Rachel C. is right re: the painting. Maybe ask Sandy to at least buy the paint if you do the work, i.e., if she seems hesitant to pay a painter... band-aide beige begone!;-)

Tina said...

Your comment to Rachel wasn't here when I posted... so, yes, having touch up paint on hand to spackle and paint might be a bargaining chip - ? Besides, being a neutral-loving-girl and good renters, S. can be confident in your choosing colors anyone can live with (I'm remembering the pre-renter's bright blue room...).

Janice said...

LOVE the pictures and their location is fantastic.
Nervous about holes in the walls? pssh, you don't have wallpaper, THEN you get nervous about putting a hole in the wall! I have been known to cut the paper and peel it back, insert hanger. Then if Changed my mind, I could take hanger out and re-glue the paper, poof no one is the wiser ;) Spackle and paint what ever home needs! You're good to go Girl!

Janice said...

LOVE the pictures and their location is fantastic.
Nervous about holes in the walls? pssh, you don't have wallpaper, THEN you get nervous about putting a hole in the wall! I have been known to cut the paper and peel it back, insert hanger. Then if Changed my mind, I could take hanger out and re-glue the paper, poof no one is the wiser ;) Spackle and paint what ever home needs! You're good to go Girl!