Today I was delighted to be able to have the whole day for some much needed creative time. Whilst having a break from looking after my 19 month old, the age where they are into everything! Eli is a bit like the Tazmanian devil at the moment! (Showing my age here, who remembers the cartoon?!) And with my new job, the treadmill we call life has seemed pretty relentless lately. It's still taking me a while to accept this is the reality of having children and with Eli's extra needs it all adds to the many existing responsibilities of being a parent. Which, lately, has left me with no time to myself to relax, rest, take 5 mins to stare into space and think about nothing.... Let alone have time to 'play'.
So it has been an absolute pleasure that Eli went to nursery this morning for a full day to allow me to focus on a bit of creative decorating. We moved house in June this year so it's been fun being able to use my gifting to pull all the design elements together.
I'd been thinking of a patchwork wall for a while and when I researched it, it didn't look too hard. So with this inspiration in mind, off I went to my favourite place for home wares, The Range. When I look back, I pretty much picked up some rolls I was attracted to and liked and thought about how I could mesh them together. For example, I chose to contrast warm and cool tones with blush pink and gold through to aqua/teal and silver.
So this was the first 'mock up' I came up with and quickly realised this was going to be rather too complicated. I then nearly gave up on the idea and thought we might just do one line of each roll. So starting with the teal and floral, then a line of silver, then the aqua owls, then gold, then finishing with the pink and floral.
I then thought that this would look a bit odd. So the next mock up looked like this:
Which was definitely more close to the finished thing! Bearing in mind I started this in August, having been through a downer recently, I was a bit anxious this morning. I was worrying how we'd pull it together. I'm thankful our decorator, Paul, is experienced and gave the right words of encouragement to help us get started. I think I was expecting something a bit more uniform and each edge to be neatly next to each other. Rather than overlapping. Here's one of the photos we looked at that, along with Paul's good advice, convinced me the overlapping would be best. (Photo credits and links at bottom of the page).
I have to admit I found it hard to get started. The anxiety I'd felt seemed to be taking over and it almost seemed like I was ready to give up on it. The wallpaper we started with just didn't seem to go together in the way I'd hoped. Then I remembered a couple of extra rolls I'd bought at a later stage when I was thinking of changing the design. And they were the lifesaver! The white wallpaper with a grey floral design is the one, so Lawrence Llewellyn Bowen is good for something after all! We also ended up scrapping the silver completely as it just didn't seem to gel with the gold.
So here is the piece de resistance! I am so pleased with the result and really enjoyed creating it. Not to mention I could relax with my adult colouring while Paul pasted each piece!
And here is a photo of the other side of the same room. I loved the slogan wallpaper, my favourite one is 'life begins at the end of your comfort zone'. The brown paint on this side was actually the colour the people who lived here before had. It just happened to match the kitchen in our old place, where the brown canvas painting used to hang. I love how things come together like that!
Here you can see it all as a whole. As I was pondering on this this morning, I thought to myself... We expect life to be like the slogan wallpaper, uniform, neatly laid out, with clear, simple messages and guidance. But actually, pretty obvious or clichéd, I apologise, life is more like the patchwork wall. Pretty, but random, overlapping and full of symbolism for us to decipher!
So on that note, here's my top tips if you're trying this out yourself:
1. When thinking of colours and patterns to use, either pick very similar patterns in different colours or go for something more contrasting.
2. Pick a small area to do as it can be quite time consuming/overwhelming.
3. Don't be afraid to use more unconventional materials. Newspapers, old postcards etc.
4. It's easier to overlap each piece than try to keep it uniform. The end result will be something a bit more random.
5. Utilise wallpaper scraps and play around first until you are happy with your design.
6. Go for it!
Photo credits and helpful links:
Blue patchwork wallpaper - http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/patchwork-walls-creating-wallp-92003 - this one also includes other great photos to help inspire you.
'35 Cool Ideas to Decorate Your Home with Patchwork Walls' - http://www.shelterness.com/35-cool-ideas-to-decorate-your-home-with-patchwork-walls/ - more photo inspiration.
I'm Julia, Just Creative Julia, jolly pleased to meet you!
Welcome to my creative lifestyle blog, established 2014. My main sections are: creativity including crafting, poetry and interior design; well being including mental health, recipes and my faith in God; personal including parenting and my general introvert deep thoughts. You can also have a browse in my mug shop and Etsy shop.