Sunday, March 10, 2013

When Walls Cry

These days, most of what I do around the Frankenhouse involves adding little touches.  The major things-- like new carpet and painting and light fixtures and windows and doors and such-- those are done.  Now, it's more about the smaller things, the decorative layers that make a house a home.  Most of the rooms in my house are basically in good shape, but need those finishing touches.  

For a while, I've wondered how I'm going to finishingly touch my dining room.  It has a lot of great things going on, including my grandmother's (on my dad's side) china on display in the built in (arranged my my mom and my brother).  But there's also, as you see here, a giant empty expanse of wall that is crying out for decoration.

Waaaaaaaaaaaaah!  it says.
Why do we scream at each other?
Alone in a world that's so cold.
See the empty wall?
Can you hear it crying out?

I'm a huge ten foot expanse of empty!
Maybe it's just too demanding.

So, I've been looking around for something to be the finishing touch this wall needs.  The wall is huge--  a little over 9 1/2 feet long.  Because there is a window at the other end of the dining room, I had originally thought an oversized mirror might be great.  Isn't that a thing they say on the design shows?  That it's good to have a mirror opposite a window, because it increases the feel of light in the room?

I found this mirror on Overstock, and pinned it to Pinterest, and thought about it often.  

Can you, my darling?  Can you picture this?

The description calls it silver, but I think it's actually more gold.  Either way, I really like the idea of something metallic, and it's a good size-- about three feet in diameter.  I like that it's kind of the mid-century sunburst mirror, without being exactly that.  You know?  I feel like everyone in LA* is as interested as I am  in mid-century design, and so we all run around paying 8 zillion dollars for this mirror--

--so I liked that my Overstock mirror was not exactly this thing everyone has.  I also liked that it was not a zillion dollars.

(*Or, maybe it's beyond LA, and is already passe-- this 2011 blog post from Centsational Girl goes into the various forms the surburst mirror takes these days, and asks readers to vote on whether they are 'timeless' or 'trendy.'  The vote was an almost even split, with timeless just edging out trendy.)  

But then, somehow, I decided no to a mirror.  I imagined friends seated around the table at a dinner party, and it seemed awkward for everyone to be catching glimpses of themselves chowing down.  I also imagined that there had to be a way to spend less than the $150 that my Overstock mirror would cost (though admittedly, I think that's a pretty good price).  I started to explore the idea of printing poster-size versions of pictures I've taken of LA, and then hanging those on the crying wall.  After looking at Costco's photo services, I decided to keep it easy and print out a two-foot by three-foot poster at Walgreens, and throw it in a frame from Aaron Brothers.  The result was, in total, about $60 cheaper than the Overstock mirror, and now looks like this:


I have to admit-- I think the Overstock mirror would have been cuter.  If I were on an HGTV show, they would have put the mirror up.  But, I also have to admit-- I am not, as the kids say, mad at the way this turned out.  I printed out this one picture as a test run, to see how the image would look when blown up to this size. Since that seems to have turned out fine, I'm now thinking about printing out two more of my LA pictures (probably two feet square each), and putting one on either side of this picture.

I think my wall has stopped crying.  I like it for now.  Then again, I don't know that I'll keep it this way forever.  I think maybe I'm just like my mother when it comes to these things.  We're never satisfied.


  1. Great post--I thoroughly enjoyed going through this process with you. And thanks for the shout-outs (shouts-out?) However, in our mutual defense I wouldn't say we're never satisfied. It's just that we're satisfied for a while and then it's time for a new adventure.