Thursday, December 6, 2012

fig trees and gallery walls.

Surprise! It's a fiddle leaf fig tree!
Ta da!
A few weeks ago, we bought a new plant at Gethsemane, which I would venture to say is the best nursery in the city. This plant--it's a tree, really--was one of those let's purchase this and have it wrapped up before we consider whether it will fit in our car type purchases.  Not that we've ever done that before.

fiddle leaf fig tree from Gethsemane

Luckily we were able to fit it in, and once we got home I immediately became terrified that the plant was going to die. The next morning after my boyfriend left for work, I saw that he LEFT IT IN STANDING WATER, and with the ensuing panic you would have thought I had a seriously injured child. I dragged it out of its corner, lifted (and almost dropped) it from its tray, hurriedly amended the water situation, and proceeded to google worst case scenarios. (Because the ones playing out in my head just weren't enough!) Did you know plants can go into shock? Mine will probably have anxiety, too.

The good news is that our fiddle leaf fig is actually flourishing. We water it about once a week, and it gets plenty of sun from our east- and south-facing windows.  The best spot for it in our living room that gets good light and is not close to the radiator is right by the salmon wall with the television set up. We played around with pushing the Expedit shelves over some, so that the tree could stand to the left of it.

Normally, having an off-center bookcase and television would make me twitch involuntarily, but that wall is actually not centered in the room. Nor does it line up with the mantle/firecandleplace opposite it. If things are going to be all askew anyways, I decided to do a salon wall to add to the visual cacophony. Also, I am slowly turning into a really eccentric elderly woman who hangs everything and anything everywhere and anywhere.

So here is the television after the push to the right. You can see the bottoms of two frames we were experimenting with adding.

in-progress accent wall and television set up

For a very long time, we just had the marbleized paper hanging on that wall, and later I threw some candle sconces up. I love the frame and the paper, I just wasn't crazy about how stark it looked with nothing else around it except for small sconces on either side. Here's an old, pre-sconce shot:

marble paper art on the accent wall

After the decision was made that we needed more art on that salmon wall/tv set up/ plant home, I went on a hunter-gatherer mission around the apartment.

There are various ways to put art up on your wall, including the very reasonable lay it out with paper templates first method.  I'm not that patient. My method involves a hammer and nails and that's it. I can't really get a good sense of how things are going to look on the wall until they are on the wall, so that's how I do it. And then I sit with it a few days, periodically rearranging the pieces of the puzzle, using nails that are already in the wall as approximations before jumping to put new ones in (e.g. the too-close together frame and fan just right of the television).  You are correct if you are wondering if this leaves lots of extra holes in the walls. It does, and that's where spackle comes in if you are so inclined.

So we just went for it. This crooked picture, with its crooked art, is a pretty good visual representation of what this process is like. Also, of how my mind is functioning at any given point.

in-progress gallery wall set up around television. not finished.

Note that this is an "in progress" shot, taken when things were still being swapped out, moved around, and waiting to be painted (the beige frames at left). Did you really think I would leave all that stuff as is? 

(Trick question, because that is totally something I would do for several months until I decided I couldn't take it anymore.)