I am also feeling slightly smug that I mounted this with two drywall anchors and screws in exactly the right spot, perfectly level, without a single mistake. I am getting better at this stuff. In days past, there would have been all sorts of extra holes in the wall (hidden behind the mirror). :-)
I expect the lincrusta to pick up some grunge around the stove, since we do cook a lot, but the linoleum-based paper is both washable and repaintable, so it should stay reasonably pristine with manageable maintenance. It helps that our hood vent is very powerful! Mostly, I just love the way it extends from countertop to high ceiling (rather than cutting out at the bottom of the cabinets, like most backsplashes), and how it peeks out from behind the shelf items. Despite all the pattern, I think it works as a unifying element, in an otherwise somewhat busy kitchen.
I WISH I could say that this kitchen renovation is finally complete, but there's actually one last thing to do -- get a stainless sheath for the duct-taped vent thingie from the hood. There are probably technical terms for all that. But if you could just squint and pretend one is there, then you can finally see what our kitchen is supposed to look like. Only�three and a half years after we started the renovation?
It's going to look a little playroom-y initially, with that much color, but once there's furniture against the walls and rugs on the floor, I think it'll be good, in a layered, rich sort of way. And if not -- well, it's a basement. :-)
For the wall:
For the floor:
And I don't know if, when the open shelving goes back up, that will lessen the effect and harmonize it (which I'm hoping, which was the original plan, to have the wallpaper peeking out behind the items on the open shelving as a subtle counterpoint), or if the shelves will make it even worse. I have this vision in my head, but I'm not positive the end result will match that.
It's too late now; we've spent the last of our kitchen renovation budget on it, and will have to live with it regardless. It should still be functional even if the aesthetics aren't what I hoped. I'm still going to keep stressing about it at least until it's finally painted (in Benjamin Moore's China White) and the shelves are back up and filled. This halfway stage is confusing as heck. (Will add annotations on the photos individually.)
Previous anaglypta coming down -- definitely not waterproof enough; it just peeled off the wall near the sink. What was I thinking?
Wall with the shelves taken down (mostly) and wallpaper removed.
Elizabeth being rolled out, preparatory to cutting/soaking.
Dale (excellent installer, very knowledgeable) soaks the lincrusta in water, wraps it in plastic, and lets it soak to saturate. He explains that it's still going to crack as he installs it, and that he'll just fill in the cracks as needed, and that the seams won't be visible after installation and painting.
Came home from work to see it half-up. At first glance, loved it; very striking.
Here's a close-up of the lincrusta against the art glass. Sometimes I love it; I intended the interplay of pattern, which look like different types of stars to my eyes. But maybe it's too much.
This I really like. The lighting makes the lincrusta look close to the final painted color, and I really like how it looks against the old-fashioned push button metal plate. If I have to have outlets, this is as good as I can get, I think.
View from the living room. The paper is much yellower than the end result should be, so try to imagine it closer to the ceiling color. The goal was to have the wallpaper relief pattern be subtle, and have the art glass still stand out as the main focal point in the room. I don't know.
Closer-up. Good? Bad? I just can't tell right now. I suspect I'm just going to have to wait for the finished result.
When we bought the house, we got permission from the historic commission to punch up through the ceiling and convert a severely slant-roofed little closet into a workable study for me. Every writer needs a room of her own, y'know. But one bit of the slanty roof would be better remaining (for some roofing reason I can't remember), and we also wanted to echo the way the tower across the street looked, with a bit of triangle roofline against the square tower, and also, most importantly, preserve an indicator of the history of the house. So instead of pushing all the way out to make four normal walls, we kept a bit of the slanty roof on three sides. Boy, it's hard to explain all this in words. Here, you can see it more easily here, with photos from the renovation.
Okay, so all of that is prelude to explaining that what I needed were low shelves that would fit in the narrow nook behind the desk. And I thought IKEA's Expedit shelf might work, and be way cheaper ($60 / shelf, for 3 of them) than doing custom built-ins. So I tried it, and I like it. I do actually have to crawl under the desk to get to some of the storage, but since that's stuff I'm probably going to access...umm...maybe never, but certainly no more than once a year, I'm okay with that. When I get too old to bend over, hopefully the kids will be willing to crawl for me.
Now my only question is whether I want to either paint or wallpaper the wall behind the bookshelves (both the very low wall, and the slanted walls). Maybe! But it's probably not going to happen this summer.
Door to my office! Note the top left corner is cut off -- we had to do that to accommodate the slanty roof bit. I actually kind of like it; is charming. New shelves, in black, on the floor.
We framed the trim around the door on a slant too, to match the cut out triangle on the door. It feels very quirky and Victorian. :-) I don't love the apartment building a few feet away, and hung those curtains thinking I would hide it from view, but in practice, in the summer I generally want those windows open to catch breeze And more light makes me happy. Sometimes I close them for coziness in winter.
Closer view of the shelves. As you can see, if you peer, right now, they just meet at the corner, leaving a square gap, which looks a bit odd. I could push one forward, to fill that, but I'd lose a bit of storage underneath then. So I dunno.
I could also raise them on either castors or feet; they might have to come out a bit from the wall behind the desk, but that would be okay. Not sure if it would look better, though.
There are two Expedit bookshelves, end to end, running along the length of the room. I can't put tall things on top, because of the slant, but some smaller items tuck in just fine.
The little cream boxes are from IKEA, so unsurprisingly, they fit very neatly into a a shelf. Hatboxes from IKEA too.
Better raised up? Or does that just invite dust and make it look less built-in?
Love letters and fan mail in the red boxes. Contracts and other paperwork in the file boxes. Dragon a long ago gift from Lisette.
I write more in the chair than at the desk; it tucks in pretty well to the space. So here's the question -- should I add some color to the triangular wall behind it? I am seriously tempted to stamp or stencil, along these lines.
Artwork (Lisa Snelling, Katie Roberts, Terri Windling, and a John M. Ford poem ("Against Entropy") letterpress-printed by Steven Schwartz. Photos of old friends (the family photos are on the main stairwell -- this bit is just for me). I need to actually frame that Terri Windling print; hopefully this week.
Little mousie. :-) Sometimes I like to read in here at night with just this light on.
It's very hard to photograph this space! But the walls go up, as you can see. Tons of light.
I wanted a star in the ceiling. This is the view from my desk, if you look straight up. The glass globes are lit with those old-fashioned filament bulbs, which will probably be illegal sometime soon. At some point, I may paint little metallic silver stars on the field of blue. Or not. I waffle.
I just wanted you to see my little dragon.
Gargoyle from the University of Chicago. This is where my orchids retire -- so far, two of them have come back to bloom again. Kevin hand-painted that little dragon for me, years and years ago. Three -- three dragons in this room. At least. :-)
Also, local friends, that round table is going to be for sale on Mom mail and Craigslist as soon as I get around to it. Holler if you want it; discounted heavily to friends. It's a nice table, but isn't going to fit in the room once our couch for that side of the room finally arrives in a few weeks.