Some history preserved is puke-y

We live in 2015.

Too bad my wall doesn’t.

Two words. Wood paneling.

The 1970s are dead. Unfortunately, they didn’t take wood paneling with ’em.

One wall in my studio is this:



Note: That’s an online illustration! NOT my place! For starters, I’m super neat ‘n’ tidy and could never be a slob even in a dump!

My wall is not only the largest in my studio but, unfortunately, also in the darkest area that receives no natural light, thus enhancing the Gloom Factor. The Gloom Factor: Wood paneling never uplifts a room. Never. Never. Moreover, it’s only amplified when walls receive little to no light.

On second thought, there IS benefit to keeping wood paneling in the dark …

Still. Were I master of the world (I’m not) and had home-construction experience (I don’t) and access to infinite gallons of primer and paint (again, don’t), I’d do everyone in the world a favor and at least paint their hideous insufferable 1970s crap, if not outright rip it out. And replace it with, what, oh, I don’t know. The options are endless. Sponges staple-gunned to the wall. Magazine cutouts. Faux granite backsplashes. Bubble wrap. Indian print bedspreads. Christmas wrapping.

Because anything’s better than wood paneling!

Every time I look at it — which is about 100 times a day, pretty hard not to in a studio! — I wanna collectively or individually bawl. Hide my eyes. Barf. Flee. Rip it out and stare at industrial drywall or whatever’s beneath instead.

(I’ve palpalated and tried for a peek; no go but guess rough concrete or maybe cinderblock like the other walls.)

Truth is, I’ve done about zip in decorating that area. That’s significant wasted living space in a studio. The ugliness is that overwhelming and depressing. Wood paneling does not inspire. Save inspiration to pour a stiff rye whiskey on the rocks.

So I’ve been on this mission for months. A mission to alter, within the confines of a lease, a 7-by-10-foot centerpiece from Fugly Wall into Fetching Wall.

Y’all know what fugly means, right? It’s urban slang for fucking ugly.

Small though it be, my living space needs to be pleasing. Not puke-y.
Indeed, because it’s small and there’s no escaping into other rooms, all the more imperative that every wall uplift.

The transformation is subject to strict conditions. Since it’s a rental, there’s:

a. no painting;

b. no removing/stripping;

c. no nails {or create holes and be charged for repairs when you move. and they won’t be cheap. your choice.}

Long is the laundry list of ideas and countless the expeditions to thrift stores, fabric aisles and discount shops.

Several things are certain:

1. The color must be an uplifting cheery sunflower yellow.

2. The “reinvention” must be uber-affordable. As in cheap. And locally accessible.

3. When completed, it must allow for streamlined hanging of art. Hence no crazy zebra patterns or psychedelic trippy materials.

4. It must be easily removed so the wall can be returned fully and unmarred to its original state and my deposit returned when I move. (The property management company is a stickler so I definitely dare not push any envelopes.)

It’s baffling that Fugly Wall is allowed to remain across these decades. Every other wall is painted a nice pale yellow-tinged eggshell — plus freshly-painted between tenants if need be! Plus the owner sees to it that everything’s in good working order, etc. Go figure.

It’s been months looking for a fix and I’m wearied, admittedly. I want this done and off my plate. I’m also determined and will not give up until fugly becomes fetching.

For the owner, bringing the wall outta the 1970s and into 2015 would be such the simple and inexpensive fix:


My fix, granted, is a bit more costly and messy but still gets the job done: