Have you ever had a room in your home feel off? Something about the space just doesn't feel quite right. Of course you have. We all have. Well lately I've been getting that feeling about my credenza in my living room. Every time I look at it I think, that doesn't look right. I don't like it. I don't like the arrangement of the two pieces hanging on the wall, I don't like the light box and I don't like the collection of candlestick holders. It looks boring to be honest. You can see below what I'm talking about it. Now I must have liked this arrangement at some point but I've changed my mind.
So I decided to rework the space. I knew I wanted to hang something new on the wall but I didn't want it to be typical art. I wanted something I've never done before. Something interesting. Something that would make people say "Oh damn! I've never seen anything like that hanging on a wall before!" And then I was out thrifting the other day and something caught my eye. Two words: ceramic bells. I spotted two ceramic bells sitting almost right beside each other on a shelf at a second hand store I frequent. They were $4 each so I scooped them up. I now knew what I wanted to hang over the credenza! I found a third bell at a local garden nursery and I knew my set was complete. I had a new mission, to hang these three ceramic bells over my credenza. But how would I do it?
I'd seen ceramic bells around before and liked them. They're quirky. They're unusual. Definitely not something you see on a wall everyday. Oh and did I mention that they're beautiful. They have a handmade quality to them that makes each one different and imperfect. Uniformity is so boring. They also feel vaguely nautical to me for some reason. Probably because of the jute rope used to hang them up. I imagine they are used as wind chimes as well which probably adds to their outdoorsy (is that a word?!) feel. I found a stunning arrangement by styling goddess Emily Henderson (see below). She uses much larger bells and a thicker wedge like bracket to hang hers though.
I needed hooks to hang the bells. And let me tell you I looked. I looked at metal coat hooks but they weren't long enough. I also looked at wooden brackets that hang up curtain rods. But I didn't find anything I liked. The curse of living in a small city. So I did what I always do, I made them myself. I wanted them to be long and skinny so I settled on a wooden dowel. I searched the internet and of course someone out there has already figured out how to do this. I found a great DIY tutorial here on The Merry Thought. They were so easy to make. It's just a matter of cutting them to the right length (I went with 4 inches), drilling a hole into them for a dowel screw and then mounting them to the wall with a plastic anchor. Bing bang boom. Fini. And super cheap to make as well. The dowel was only $6 and the can of stain was $9. I went with this colour stain to match the credenza as well as the exposed beams. That's $5 a hook which is pretty good. Plus there's more dowel left so I may make more of them.
I wanted lots of colour for the styling because the credenza is just so darn brown. Don't get me wrong I love the thing. It's one of my greatest thrifting conquests. But it's still dark and it takes a lot of colour to bring it to life. So I found I had to push the colour envelope more than I normally would when styling it. And even after I was done and photographed the thing, I saw that I could have done more. But we'll try this for now. I chose a colour palette of red, green and pink for the styling. I have this great grasshopper style table lamp that I've been wanting to use so I dug it out. It's very white so I balanced it with another white piece on the other end, an amazing art print from my wildly talented brother. In the middle I put a large black and white tray covered in a small fraction of my vase collection. Seriously you guys, I have too many freakin' vases. I have to stop buying them. And then on the far right is the red wire basket I found recently that I'm obsessed with. I keep putting it in all my photos. It's actually a basket but I leaned it against the wall on a stack of books and I really like the look. Overall, I'm really happy with this new look. It was definitely time for a change. The space now looks and feels totally refreshed.