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Cant paint you say?

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At one time or another, we’ve all rented, especially when you first move away from home.  It’s amazing how many apartments, rental units and homes won’t allow you paint add tile or add any other upgrade to the property.

When I was younger, I lived in an apartment that refused any use of paint or change of colour.  The place was as drab as it gets.  I went to a second hand store and managed to find two sheets the exact same size and obviously, pattern. I headed home, delighted with my find.  I bought expensive tacks, the kind you use on furniture, and with the help of my then roommate, estimated the size of the wall and how much we might have to gather.

I could have tacked it solidly to the wall, the pattern was pretty and appealing.  Instead, I chose to tack the fabric as though they were curtains. Both sheets met in the middle, and I tied them back with pieces of rope as though they were real curtains.  In the middle, I placed pictures (since they all had black frames) it was as if they were panes on a window. Where they didn’t quite meet, I added (you guessed it) black tape (the kind you use on pipes).  Today there’s a barrage of tape available in any colour you wish.  In the end, it was quite lovely, drawing the eye up and you wanted to pull the curtain back and see more.  It was a brilliant idea, and I’d do it again.

I’ve tried the same effect since in a dining room, but with mirrors in the center and this worked well as it reflected the light from the front room adding extra light to a room that was furthest away from a natural light source.  I had a sofa table that I placed in front to which I added a couple of vases overflowing with flowers.  Although fake (there wasn’t enough light to sustain real flowers) I managed to find a variety that were so real looking, people would always ask and had to touch them since they couldn’t quite believe they weren’t.

You can also buy inexpensive foam boards as tall as your walls, cover them with fabric, then attach the boards to the wall. Either way, you can add a splash of color and texture to any wall without changing anything permanently.

These days there are all kinds of wallpaper you can obtain that is not permanent and you can take it down when you leave, definitely another option that works.

My grand daughter wanted a headboard.  We went searching, couldn’t find anything she liked and created our own.  My daughter bought a set of windows approximately the same width as a twin bed. We scraped the paint down so it looked worn, then added LED lights placed around tea cup hooks on the back side, then hung sheer fabric on the front side.  It made an amazing headboard while adding extra light.

The same principle could be used on a dining room or living room wall.  I had a friend buy fabric, add a curtain rod the length of the wall and hang LED lights underneath. We added a large window complete with glass let the curtains fall on either side held back by door nobs you’d buy for kitchen cabinets.  It framed the “window” and added light, quickly becoming a center piece over the sofa. (We added photos from believe it or not, an old calendar) that she adored. It was brilliant.

So, if you are in the unfortunate position of not being able to paint, this is one option I found that works.

Oh before I forget, painting canvas and tacking it to the wall works brilliantly.  It adds texture on top of colour so it’s a two-fer more actually as it becomes a focal point, can be used as art as well.  (It works well for hiding chipped or old tile you hate.)  By adding a zig-zag of calking from one side to the other, from end to end, it won’t slide around on you, becoming a hazard.

Not sure this works for everyone, but I found it worked well in several situations, so that could put me in the “bonkers” arena, or simply delightfully eccentric. Haha maybe both.

tata for now.

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6 Comments

  1. Wow some great ideas there Phylis, I used to be a rental manager and it surprised me how many people don’t even ask if they can change the curtains they just use what’s there. In ever house John and I changed the curtains and in one house I painted it almost throughout, the agent was well impressed along with the tenant that followed us in there. 😊

    Like

  2. Suze says:

    When in our last Army housing we weren’t allowed to put pictures up (no more than 3 holes in the walls) or wallpaper, paint, or any other type of decor…so I bought a bunch of used sheets at a thrift shop, painted them in swirls of color then tacked them all up on the walls…In the living room I actually pleated all the sheets while tacking. It really looked cool.

    Like

  3. robertcday says:

    That’s the best poem I’ve read all day, Phylis. 🙂

    Like

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