Monday, 18 November 2013

Custom canvas "art"

This weekend I finished up painting the stairway and second floor hallway. Well, I finished the ceiling and walls in the hallway - I still have the 4000 pickets to prime and paint on the second and third floors before I can call it a day.

After I put away the roller and paint, I decided to tackle this little problem area at the bottom of the stairway.

The other side of this wall is the coat closet in the front hallway. The high ceilings on the main floor meant that there was a lot of dead space in the top of the hall closet. Our wonderful contractors came up with a plan that allowed us to use this space from the back side of the closet. I love this space - we store all of our out-of-season coats/boots/hats here.

It's amazing storage, but unfortunately it left us with a couple of ugly doors high up on the wall. I had them use concealed push latches so that there are no handles on the wall, but I was unhappy with the obvious lines. I considered some kind of paneling/decorative trim, to disguise them, but them decided that hiding them with artwork would be easier.

And so the hunt began. I've been keeping my eyes open for ages. I wanted something that would be easy to take up and down, as while we don't access this cupboard weekly, I find myself in and out of it a lot more frequently than one would predict.

I was browsing at Designer Fabrics down on Queen St., and came across fabric that looked a lot like a watercolour painting. It seemed like it could provide the perfect solution to the problem. Wrapping it around a light frame would allow me easy access to the cupboard, and since I would build the frame myself, I could design it any size I wanted.

So on Saturday I trotted off to Home Hardware and picked up a couple of lengths of 1x2 pine. I measured the doors and the landing and decided on the size of the canvases. I debated one versus two; although one would have been easier, I thought a matched set would be more interesting.

I used the chop saw to cut the pine to length, nailed the pieces together into rectangles, cut the fabric to size, and used the staple gun to attach it to the frames.

I then attached wire to the back and hung the canvases on the wall. The fiddling to get the nails in the right spot and the wires the correct length seemed to take me almost as long as the rest of the project did!

I'm really happy with how it turned out. And if I get tired of this fabric, it's easy to swap it out. Who knows, maybe I'll make a couple more frames so that I can change them with the season - put up some Santas or Easter bunnies.

The paint and the frames make a big difference in the dining room. This wall is right next to the table, so we're staring at it every evening.

The frames are hung a little closer to the ceiling that I might have liked, but if I hang them any lower the upper edge of the doors is exposed when you're walking down the stairs.

I'm toying with the idea of a third canvas. I have just enough fabric left to make one. What do you think?


  1. Love it!! I see what you mean about hanging too high. I would definitely try hanging a third. Maybe use command strips to see if you like it before putting a hole in the wall? Either way, great way to disguise the secret storage :)

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