Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Decorating for a song

A panel of French Braquenie chintz  'palampore' pattern c.1900 used as wall decoration
   Having always lived in houses too big for my budget, I have collected a few wheezes to do the decorating on half a shoestring and am happy to pass these on.
   Decorating the walls of a big room is a real challenge.  A large textile will do very well if it fits into your colour scheme - at antique fairs and jumble sales there are plenty of big shawls, old bedcovers, quilts and paisley throws that will cover one wall - fix them with a channel of strong stuff on the back along the top border and thread a thin rod through to hang them safely - this will stop them sagging.  Otherwise I suggest that you buy lots and lots of small pictures - maybe with a theme, like boats, cottages, birds, etc., and mass them together in a big block so they add up to something.   To arrange them properly you need to start with the bottom row in a line at a fairly low point and then build up the rest as you find and collect.  If you already have a lot, the best way to arrange them is to clear the floor in front of the chosen wall and lay them out as if they were hanging, jigsaw fashion.  Then, use proper picture pins and hooks so you can change the pattern if needed and you do not damage the walls.
   A big ordnance map of your area (you can still find old ones in second-hand bookshops) will cover a lot of wall and it is quite interesting to see the old names of fields and farms, if in the country;   similarly old deeds and parchment documents can be quite good and old music sheets can make an interesting pattern, especially if they have romantic pictures on the front.  If you collect anything, like old toys, old tools, dolls or hats or gloves or fans, arrange these in a pattern on a cloth backing and  make a good feature, or hang up a few shelves, edge them with a pretty border, and use them for display.  Single or odd bits do not add up to anything much visually and look like 'clutter'   Look at my Blog  A TUDOR RAINBOW and look at Nicolette Le Pelley's room. 

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