Obviously, being someone who is obsessed with improving her house, I spend a long time dreaming of huge, big house-changing projects. We have just knocked through our two reception rooms downstairs (have I still not blogged about this in full? Shame on me…). We have decided to re-do our kitchen in 2015 (EXCITED!) and I think I have found a wallpaper that I want to put in our hall.
But some days you have five minutes spare and you want to do something short, sharp, and immediately successful. Some days the house looks a bit plain and bare and formal, and suddenly you get the urge to add something a bit decorative, something quick and fun and light-hearted. I decided that the door down to our basement would be the beneficiary of my desire to get a lot of bang for my buck, and one afternoon set about it with instagram photos and washi tape.
If you inhabit the blogosphere, you are probably sick to death of washi tape. Washi-this, washi-that. Washi-tape tutorials, washi-tape storage solutions, blah blah blah. If you inhabit that shady, chaotic place known as the real world, you may well be thinking to yourself, ‘Washi-what?”
Put simply, it’s paper, patterned tape. It’s pretty. It rips off the roll easily. It peels off surfaces straightforwardly. It is achingly hip. What’s not to love?
I wanted something geometric, square and fun. I wanted something to lift my spirits every time I descended the dark steps down into the basement. I wanted another way to display family photos around the house, and in this particular place, I wanted all the photos to be reasonably current. Instagram photos, in a square type formation, seemed to be just what would scratch that itch. I did a quick google search and went with polargram for my prints. Not for any great, considered reason, just that they did both plain squares and also the ‘polaroid’ style prints that I had fixed my heart on.
It took me around 5 minutes to stick them up. I am sure I should have got out my ruler, spirit level and measuring tape. But instead I just whacked them all up by eye, adjusting slightly as I went along. It was perhaps the quickest, most immediately ‘wow’ish project I have ever done.
Buoyed by my success, I went on and stuck a row of them down the wall in a little space next to our new french doors.
And again, I love them. I am certain that this second set won’t stay there forever. I don’t intend that bookcase (a relic from our old study) to stay there forever. But I have reached a point now with this house where I am tired of waiting for things to be perfect. I just want things to look nice now. NOW. So I have decided, wherever I can, just to go right ahead and do things that look nice, realising that they might not be a ‘forever’ solution, so that’s ok as well.
But for now. For now, don’t they look fab? In the medium-term, I have various plans for the basement door, which is a rather horrible, chipboard specimen and not at all attractive. I might paint it with chalkboard paint. I might screw on some brightly-coloured picture frames and use it as a space to display the girls’ art. Something about it being a slightly smaller door, and a basement door to boot, has freed me up to think about different things I could do with it.
Here, despite the appalling picture quality, you can see the pictures in situ. My hall has a newly sanded and stained, beautiful dark wood floor, but the woodwork is still all faintly yellowing white, and needing some love and attention. Five minutes spent taping up photos has livened it up no end. I heartily recommend it.
PS Are you on instagram? Naturally not everyone is on the look out for yet more social media sites to be part of. But it is rather lovely. It’s very quick, and visual, and in my experience overwhelmingly female and a very kind, supportive online space with a more intimate feel than, say, twitter or facebook. If you are there, then – yay – let’s follow each other. I am @rectripp