hiding the ugly window (part 2)

You can see “hiding the ugly window (part 1)” right here.

As I’ve mentioned previously, this crazy-pants diamond-shaped glass-block interior-window-to-nowhere graces the shared wall between my living room and dining room. I’m not sure what I did to make the decorating gods smite me with this, um, feature, but clearly it is my DIY mission in life to figure out a fix for it. After much contemplation, on the dining room side I covered it up with a big quilt, which worked out great. On the living room side, I finally came up with this:

Giant painting! Ta-daaaaa! After considering tons of options varying from covering the whole wall in wood paneling to wallpaper-covered foamcore, I finally decided to go the painting route. And really, it’s such a simple solution, I have to wonder why I didn’t just do this immediately. Ugly thing on your wall? Hang a painting over it! Duh!

This work of art was a joint collaboration between me and my friend Christina, a fellow crafty lady (and amazing jewelry designer) who is also an accomplished painter. I don’t know anything about making paintings, so, lured over to my place with promises of margaritas, popcorn and kitty love, Christina generously agreed to help.

My vision was for a very simple abstract painting with big sections of color (or lack of color, as it were); since the Marimekko wallpaper and the patterned curtains are close by, I wanted to keep the painting somewhat uncomplicated so that the whole corner didn’t get too busy.

Luckily I had Christina there to help, because once we got into it I realized I was completely clueless and never would have been able to pull it off without her. We really kind of tag-teamed the whole process: she helped me test out lots of colors and textures of paints, then I chose what I liked and applied the big sections of colors to achieve the composition I was seeing in my head, then she came in behind me and helped me finesse the texture of the paint on the canvas so that we got the effect we were looking for.

We used lots of different techniques to accomplish the various textures, including applying straight paint with a large brush; diluting the paint with a ton of water and brushing, splashing or smearing it on; mixing the paint with other mediums (I can’t remember what exactly) to create a more transparent effect; applying watered-down paint like stain with a rag; and using a dry brush to soften the edges of the sections of paint.

While we were making the painting we kept joking that it was like very bad teenage angst art, but once I got it up on the pink walls I really liked it. I think the pink walls needed some angst to tone them down, and I feel like the bad angstiness is a much-needed foil to the girly vintage pieces in this room. Angst: a decorator’s best friend?

I have to say I’m really happy with how this turned out! I’m sure it’s not everyone’s cup of tea and some may think it looks like teenage angst art gone wrong (ha!) but I think it’s perfect for me. And can we just say a little hallelujah that the crazy-diamond-window is gone, gone gone?!

PS: I also took down the bad eighties track lighting that was above the painting (you can see it in the before photo at the top of this post). Now I need to decide if I want to install a new light fixture, which I don’t think is needed, or just cap off the wires. Anyway, that’s why those bare wires and hanging out up there!


 Oh and, thank you for your help, Christina!! xoxo


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  • http://pdx-princess.blogspot.com/ Rilana

    It looks beautiful. Love it!

  • Richard M.

    Wow, man – that painting’s just what my heart looked like when Dad wouldn’t let me have the car Saturday night. He told me to get over it – so I was like: No, YOU get over it! Cool painting. Does Christina like Blink 182?

  • Maryann

    Looks great–love the contrast of the painting and the wall color! I once rented an apartment that came with an ugly painting. Found out it was covering an electrical box. I replaced the painting with a mirror, and all was well.

  • http://www.deuxpetitessouris.blogspot.com cinzia allocca

    Brilliant!! That painting is amazing! I would buy that! And those paper flowers are adorable.

  • http://www.itaccel.com/ Angie

    Very smart idea to cover the wall with a painting. This painting goes very well with the color of the wall.

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