A Mondrian Wanna-Be

Wed, Oct 21, 2009

Design for $100, Featured

by Heather Paper

It all started with Colorforms. You know—the peel-and-stick vinyl pieces you played with as a kid. I was never one to be reigned in with mere coloring books. I wanted to create my own artistic masterpieces, and I think the geometric nature of Colorforms made me feel like a miniTreesome: Design with a Z Mondrian. Or maybe I was drawn to them because I could change and rearrange any creation on a whim. (And don’t get me started on the implications that, even then, I was a non-committal type.)

Who knew that this kid-friendly pastime was created by two struggling art students looking for a way to inexpensively decorate their walls? And that—more than 50 years after they came up with their idea—wall decals would be all the rage? I wish this type of wall décor had been around when I was an apartment dweller. As it was, I had to work hard to find ways to apply paint, paper and fabric without losing my deposit at the end of each lease.

But even though I’m now a bonafide homeowner, with license to do anything I want to my interiors, wall decals still have a lot of appeal. I love the fact that you can turn bare walls into something beautiful in a matter of minutes. And then, again, there’s that non-committal thing. Truth be told, I’m a fan—to some degree—of every decorating style. So, short of owning a dozen different homes, decals let me play out those various preferences, changing things out just as often as I like.

Blik is one of my favorite lines, carried by Velocity Art and Design over at South Lake Union. One of my current favorites has (surprise, surprise) a furniture theme. “Chair Mix a Lot” lets you virtually surround a room with traditional chairs in anything-but-traditional colors. And a recent discovery is Tacky Smack, which you can find online at http://www.tackysmack.com/ or over on Capitol Hill at Retrofit Home, 1419 12th Avenue.


Locally made, this line features more than 60 uber-imaginative designs that include everything from mermaids to a gi-nor-mous pair of puckery lips. But if you really want to get your creative juices flowing, check out Dezign With a Z out of San Francisco. Simply send them a digital photo and they’ll turn it into decal for your wall—you name the size and the color.

Hmmmmmm….my shih tzu, Murphy, has always had a “big dog” attitude. I wonder how she’d look blown up six feet tall?

~~Photo courtesy of Dezign With a Z.

~~Tacky Smack How To Video from Betsy Morris on Vimeo.

Heather Paper is a freelance writer/editor who specializes in all subjects design-related. A contributing writer for Miscelaney, she’s a dog-lovin’, wine-slurpin’ resident of Atlanta who considers Seattle her second home.

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8 Responses to “A Mondrian Wanna-Be”

  1. Miscelaney says:

    Heather, I’m sooooo inspired. I’m going to do my entryway….now to decide what I want. The possibilities are endless (drumming my fingers against their counterpoints in a wave-like fashion…)

  2. Love these! And so wish I had put them into play for my rental five years ago instead of going in the paint direction. It would have made my upcoming move much easier. I could have just peeled and walked away instead of planning a trip to Home Depot to find primer that will cover my dark chocolate and red walls. I’ll definitely keep this more playful way of handling walls in my next place!

  3. Liz says:

    These are fantastic! It’s really worth trolling each of their websites and looking at all of the designs. Cool stuff!

  4. Nikki says:

    OMG–how fun are these??

  5. Joyce says:

    SO easy to do PLUS you don’t have to commit. Sign me UP.

  6. :love: these. i saw something similar in a rental apartment recently- not sure if it was theirs- but they had a large vinyl decal sprouting out of a vase centered on their fold out table. so whimsical!

  7. Sybil says:

    I need to keep these in mind for when my daughter graduates from college this year and has to get a humble abode that is a little above college living.

  8. Scuba Diving says:

    Very interesting site! Thanks!

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