Wallflowers

April 11, 2008

Last weekend, King Sweetie and I attended the Street of Eames, a tour of mid-century homes in Portland, Oregon. While none of these homes was pint-sized — in fact, not a one fell below 2,400 square feet — we were nonetheless inspired by their connection to nature (via giant windows, albeit unopenable), their open floorplans, and, in particular, their mod flair.

Which brings me to the nexus: a bedroom in one home sported a wallpaper mural. Not just borders, not just ivy or ticking stripes. A full-on, photo-quality mural, people. Of a mountain. This mountain, in fact:

Moutain mural

This mural, which measures out at about 12′ by 8′, covered an entire windowless wall, against which rested the head of the bed and two rough-hewn, roadside-chainsaw-carver nightstands. The mural’s autumnal colors dictated the room’s palette; because of this, the whole space felt organic and woodsy in a hipster trucker way.

But is this kind of mega-art doable in a teeny house? The Living Smaller says so. Here’s how: If you follow the small-space doctrine that vies to visually expand mini-homes — think “unify the floor color” and “outfit with to-scale furnishings” and “use light, cool colors and oodles of mirrors” — a wall mural could certainly do the trick: You think you’re in a tiny house? Just kidding! You’re in the Grand Tetons!

Or, if you believe that Gaudy Is Great (that’s me!), then bully for the wall mural, too. Small space doesn’t have to equal small art. A piece like this one could be a slam-bang addition to a tiny house. In fact, Husby and I are considering this very mural. We don’t have a single featureless wall, though. Your thoughts on breaking it with a window?

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