Thursday, April 22, 2010


One of the things that happens when you remodel in an old building is that you are able to do a bit of time traveling. We are opening up a doorway to add some floor space (Paper Room!) to the store and the construction uncovered the original wall treatment we created when we moved to this building years ago. The 'new' store (circa 2002) was so big compared to our previous store that we had a lot of wall space to fill. A talented friend, Elizabeth, covered walls with a geometric collage of tissue paper and Joss papers that was so lovely. I remember the collage going up over several hours one day and we all kept admiring it...years later we moved the sales counter and the collage was covered up with slat wall. I almost cried when we had to cover it up and I think I sort of avoided breaking the news to Elizabeth. I felt guilty. If you don't speak Retail, slat wall is that paneling that has the horizontal grooves in it so stores can put pegs/shelves/hooks just anywhere. Yeah, I know that slat wall is fugly but it is so durn efficient. We love to rearrange and having slat wall around the store does keep me from spending all my retirement money on anchor screws, spackle and paint. We just move the hooks.

In theory, I'd love to get rid of the slat and have a store filled with antique furniture or hand-made hooks or some thing more elegant and original. The problem is that we have an actual Budget for all the fancy in the store. Really. Yeah, I know you look at the dragged-from-the-curb-and-spray-painted furniture and think we must spend tons of money on decor, but we just don't. We can't. If I spend it all on decor I can't spend it on beads and ribbon! So the reality of economy and efficiency win and we put up the very useful slat wall and get creative. I have tried, over the years, to camouflage all that slat wall with pieces of paper, paint treatments, fabric, bamboo blinds and my current favorite, magazine faces. I have flirted with peg board, shelving and cork boards but we come back, time and again, to the utility of slat wall.

Here is a video of the in-the-works Paper Room at Ornamentea. I shot this on Thursday morning. Since I made the video we, uh, put more slat wall up in the room.



Oh, you might have to log in to Facebook to view the video. Sorry, I don't know any other way to put it up here...you can friend me while you are there, or fan Ornamentea.com or join the We Love Ornamentea group. What the heck.