Monday, February 15, 2010

DIY Thrift Store Decor

Since we finished our big remodel last summer, most of this winter has been spent fine-tuning our decor and organizing things. Last weekend we spent re-arranging my office. I hadn't been happy with it and moving everything in there is such a pain - filing cabinet, desk, computer, etc. But last weekend we tackled it and I'm very pleased. It finally feels right.

Another thing that had been bugging me was the new pony wall by the front door. It's something like 8 feet long and I wanted something nice on it since it's the first thing you see when you walk in the door. But for months it has been a big white empty expanse. Every time I get an idea for something to put there, it doesn't work out.

So last week we were in an antique mall and John was looking at old records. We have a taste for goofy old records and still have a turntable that we pull out every now and then. (In fact, we bought an old vintage turntable that John is fixing up now so we can play it.) We also get a kick out of old album cover artwork. Some of it is just so classic 1950's - other times it is just so schmaltzy and silly. So I had an idea - why not just display some fun old record album covers on our pony wall? It would be colorful and fun. Vintage and cheap. The more we thought about it, the more we liked the idea. We could add and replace album covers as we wanted, so we could have a changing display. We could even have Christmas album covers out at Christmas-time. John designed a way to display them, using aluminum U-channel from Home Depot. He sanded and polished the aluminum channel, then sprayed it with a clear finish. Then he had to drill teeny holes in it for mounting it on the wall. Each record album cover would be held in by a top and bottom channel of aluminum and you would be able to slide the records in and out. His prep work was a lot more tedious than mine, which was to go to thrift shops and buy albums! I had a lot of fun doing that. I mean, how could you not like cheesy covers like "Claude on a Cloud"?

Or "Val Valenti, Italian Street Singer"?

"Yodeling in Hi-Fi" sounded pretty bizarre (and irresistable)

as did "Actual Business Letters Dictated at Various Speeds" (too bad the actual record was missing from that one).

We got everything measured and in place

and then we slid the records in. We are really pleased with the results. It's going to be a lot of fun playing with our display.

Next on the horizon: we need to redo our deck this summer. The current one is sagging and awful. We'll redo it and expand it. So for now, we're looking at our books for ideas and staring at our yard to try and figure it out. Our yard is still covered in snow and ice so it'll be awhile before we get started. I also need to get serious about fixing up a guest bedroom. Stay tuned!