Sticker Shock

I try to avoid the more rabid trends in decorating. With a ten foot pole. Unless I adore them at first sight.

The truth is, I don't want to be able to date my apartment (to the season) years from now. Seeing wall decals in a home, I could say, "a-ha! spring 2007!"

I saw some lovely ones, particularly over at French site Ugly Home (which has a beautiful selection of wallpaper as well) - but I wasn't tempted because they still seemed too faddish to me, though I understood the appeal.

Why, then, am I contemplating putting them in my apartment?

This is why:

My tiny kitchen is dead boring. I'm planning on warming up the floor with a 2' x 3' rug, but the cabinets and tiles are like a never ending expanse of white. It's neither sleek nor modern - it just looks dull. I'm a renter, so I'm pretty much stuck with the kitchen. Bemoaning this fact over on Flickr, I was surprised when fellow apartment therapy cure-ers on the Chicago group suggested decals. At first I shuddered, but then I thought - why not?

They're affordable, removable, and customizable.

Even chic!

I liked the overall selection at Modern Wall Graphics. The prices, in particular, are just up my alley. $36 to spruce up my kitchen cabinets seems like a pretty good deal to me. I know Blik's graphics are popular but the prices are a little too high for me.

A lot of the motifs that appealed to me (well, all of them) are organic and leafy: bamboo, ferns, and flowers. I'm afraid of being too repetitive, especially because my apartment is so small, and the main wall in my apartment is covered with a riot of green leaves. I'm going to do yellow decals, so hopefully that will detract from it.

I would love to do the lattice print, but it doesn't come in the color I want (sunshine).

I have time to think this through, so I'm going to be patient and not rush a decision. Though said patience is beginning to run dry on my dresser hunt!



Blogger LauraB said...

I was just on blik's site, thinking of adding some bird decals over my bed, something I thought I'd never do either. BUT...they do have cheaper stuff you just have to hunt for it, and it's just less colorful. Like I found a pack of 6 birds all blue for $25.

September 13, 2007 at 10:25 PM  
Blogger Del Pantano said...

I would have the same reservations - but if you see something that speaks to you, go for it! Just be careful with the scale of whatever pattern you choose, since that looks like a pretty small space.

Personally, I still don't care for the decal look (for myself), so if it were my arctic-themed kitchen, I'd probably add color by switching out the cabinet handles & drawer pulls with something bold and bright, with some character, as well as coordinating linens (and curtains if you have a window - I can't tell what the space on the left is).

September 14, 2007 at 11:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow, so surprised you would even acknowledge modern wall decals, their stuff is so uninspired. are you an investor in them or something ;)

September 14, 2007 at 3:19 PM  
Blogger Blythe said...

thank you guys for the advice! I will look over at Blick again, Laura...hunting for that elusive yellow. I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who's been slowly won over.

Del, I really strongly considered doing the hardware thing (and may still do so in my bathroom which has the same blandness and ugly hardware) - as I am still a little hesitant about the decal look - but I'm a renter on a very tight budget, and all of the hardware I've seen would be very expensive for the number of handles I would need... the space on the left is my breakfast bar. I'm thinking of hanging some pictures or pretty plates above it, though.

Anon, I'm just desperate to bring some color into my bland kitchen cheaply and impermanently. I've seen a lot of uninspired decals as you say, but there are also some lovely ones too - I saw them used sparingly somewhere and the effect was quite nice. I'm a recent convert myself, though I'm not wholly convinced yet. It's all a matter of opinion, of course. And if I don't like them, it's only $30 or so wasted, and I can fobb them off onto a more appreciative friend.

September 14, 2007 at 11:41 PM  
Blogger smallcitybeth said...

affordable, and removable? I didn't realize they were removable... Maybe I could look into them for the pass-through from my kitchen into my dining room, which needs some sprucing up, but definitely. Thanks!

Something I used in my last apartment to perk up the bland kitchen, and to add some color, was colored tiles around the edge of the counter -- not attached, just leaning against the wall, one row of white/red/red/red/white (if I recall correctly..) It added a nice dash of color, and was completely removable, since nothing was stuck down.

September 14, 2007 at 11:56 PM  
Blogger smallcitybeth said...

I just promised (on your Flickr page) that I would post a pic on my blog of my old kitchen with the tiles. They would look way better in your kitchen, with the white countertops, than they did in my kitchen with its fake wood-block countertops. (Just have to go and scan in a pic, and post it...)

September 15, 2007 at 12:14 AM  
Blogger ma vie en rose said...

Yes, removable, Beth! Or so it is claimed...having not used them before I can't tell you from experience how easy it is to get the gunk off. But I think some of the larger decals would look fantastic in a hallway - give a wallpaper-like look without the expense and mess.
I love your tile idea...I'm going to the flea market next week and will keep an eye out for those. I can't wait to see your picture.

September 16, 2007 at 9:44 PM  
Blogger michelle said...

Hmmm, I totally understand your problem here...you know what I thought of when I saw that picture? Warm wooden accents, like teak wood. Nice curvy candle holders and a clock or maybe some trays that you can hang...I love that kind of clean white with wood, just an idea. Hope it goes well, looking forward to seeing more pictures!

September 17, 2007 at 5:31 PM  
Blogger o bicho furioso said...

Wall decals are easily removed....and if you don't like any design available, you can try and make it yourself...it's as easy as buying vynil adhesive and cut it in any shape you want; I would go crazy with yellow and green circles in your kitchen, and then buy a nice stripey rug with the same tones. But then again, I'm crazy about circles and stripes...=)

September 18, 2007 at 8:21 PM  

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