Padding the Walls

I know that you will think I’ve come unhinged, but we really are expecting snow.  Three to five inches and my sanity is, seriously, hanging by a thread.  I told Bill last week, “When people ask how I am, I am going to say, ‘I am not fine.’ Because I’m not.”  So I have retreated a bit to small, dark spaces and started thinking about the bathroom that we recently finished in the basement.  I kept the original turquoise sink and toilet because, well, they’re turquoise and what could be more fabulous?  Now I get to paint the walls.

This page from a recent Serena & Lily catalogue caught my eye.  I thought this might be a clever way to use the four-hundred-and-fifty-two sample jars of paint that I have languishing in my basement.

Then, somewhere trolling the internet, I ran across an image of Cecil Beaton’s powder room and, truly, I cannot imagine anything more charming than guests tracing their hands on the wall.
I had asked the boys (it is the basement, so mostly their domaine and their crowd) what they thought about my painting frames around squares of chalkboard paint and then their friends could draw their own pictures on the walls.  “They wouldn’t do anything crude would they?  Naughty?” I asked.  All three, in three different exchanges said, “Yeah, mom, of course they would.” And I thought with annoyance not for the first time, “Girls wouldn’t.”
So I’ve settled on something in-between.  I think I am going to paint replicas of some of my favorite paintings, something of an Abstract Expressionists hall of fame, and leave a few blank with the tempting chalkboard centers.  Naughtiness be damned.
Images, from top, Serena and Lily, unknown, Graham and Brown Wallpaper and Cafe Sebastienne at the Kemper Museum here in town which is a personal favorite. 
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12 thoughts on “Padding the Walls

  1. love the idea of the chalkboard paint! Can't wait to see how it turns out and hope you share it with us. LOVE those retro colored sinks and toilets (in the right place -like a basement).

  2. What a clever idea! I love the tongue-in-cheek reference to writing on the bathroom wall with the chalkboard paintings mixed in with the paintings you are going to do. Can't wait to see what you devise and what the boys come up with as well. Should they get a little carried away, just remind yourself that art is meant to disturb. 😉

  3. Love the history of art at Cafe Sebastienne. And,
    yes, boys are different from girls…and usually girls spell better.

  4. I hear you. I am a reader in Chicago and this winter has left me hanging on by a thread. Not fine. The (very) few nice days we have had this spring aren't close to sufficient to fill the coffers of well-being. One errant snowstorm right now might just topple the whole house of cards.
    Love your bathroom ideas but, as a mother of two girls, not quite as confident as you that the walls would stay PG.

  5. Your chalkboard paint with frames is such a fun idea! And the guys can be the ones with the wet sponge to erase the [inappropriate] stuff. re the snow – better than the fires here. California no longer has a "fire season"; it's all year long

  6. What a very charming idea! I am Googling Cecil Beaton's bathroom right now—this one could be a winner at my house.
    xo, Lissy

  7. Ha! How you could even have thought to ask your sons a question to which the answer was oh so very obvious shows that you really are not fine.

    You need a trip to a sunny and warm location, PRONTO.

    I like the paintings replicas idea, btw…

  8. Patricia, I love going to the Kemper Museum and then eating at Cafe Sebastian!

    With your talent it will be amazing!

    Art by Karena

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