We’ve lived in our fare share of rented apartments over the years, and each time we’ve moved into a new space, it’s taken us quite a while to start putting things on the walls. We’re pretty fast with decorating in general – furniture finds its rightful place within the first couple of weeks, nick-knacks are unpacked and placed in just the right spot, and we’re quick as can be to find the best nooks and windows for our plants. But putting holes in the walls always feels like such a commitment.
Now that we’re living in our very own home, putting holes in the walls seems even scarier! Add on the fact that our 1920 home has horsehair plaster walls (you can’t use traditional nails or you risk cracking the whole darn wall!), and maybe you’ll understand why we’ve been here for almost two years and are still looking at a lot of blank spaces.
One of the first sections of wall we knew we wanted to tackle was right near our front door – a small space with lots of possibility. When we first moved in, we haphazardly hung one of my favorite vintage pieces on an existing nail – a mid century starburst mirror. The spacing and height were all wrong, but then there were more than a few things that were not quite right about this little nook. Here’s what the situation looked like shortly after we moved in:
After the Great Wallpaper Removal of ’16, we knew we eventually wanted to put the mirror back up, but felt like the space needed a little something more. We loved the way the golden starburst frame played off of the vintage brass hardware on our front door, so we decided to run with it! We kind of stalled out trying to find something else that would compliment the brass, but then it hit us: replace that blah plastic switch plate with something fabulous! We shopped around quite a bit, and considered a few different styles, but eventually settled on this reproduction Art Deco stunner:
We contemplated quitting there, but wanted a little something else to keep the mirror from feeling lost. Which was when we had a total light bulb moment: a light! We shopped zillions of sconces and wall-mount lights, and we even considered DIY-ing this brassy beauty, but eventually fell in love with a simple brass sconce from World Market.
We loved the color of the ‘antique’ brass, the simplicity, and even the cool fabric-wrapped cord – but we weren’t crazy about seeing a standard light bulb inside, so we swapped out our CFL with a much-more-glamorous Edison-style bulb. It was perfect!
Lastly, we swapped out our boring ol’ outlet cover with one a bit more brassy, and stood back to admire our handiwork. Granted, it’s not exactly a room overhaul, but the overall difference it makes in the space is seriously remarkable. I love a project that only requires small changes, but gives you big results! And after tackling this little slice of wall, we’re already scheming about a gallery wall in another corner of the room… Look out walls, you won’t be hole-free for much longer!