Autumn is the mellow time.

24 Sep

We live in a walk-up apartment built in 1929 that is – with the exception of the stick-on (!) laminate tile in the kitchen, a new toilet in the bathroom, and several dozen coats of paint – what I believe is known in the home renovation business as “authentic.” Some aspects of our home’s authenticity are more charming than others, but we love it, quirks and all. (Well, except for the window unit AC and space heaters, but I won’t go there.)

One of my favorite parts about our place is the stairway itself. It was never finished, leaving the raw wood that would have otherwise been covered by plasterboard exposed. The cracks between the boards fascinate me to no end – I wonder how many people have dropped pieces of mail or other identifying papers down into the space over the past 82 years, hoping that someday they will be found and remembered.

Decorating in the stairwell has been pretty sparse, despite its great potential. I’ve had fantasies of adorning the walls with old thrift shop paintings that have a vaguely unifying theme, or maybe installing some quirky faux taxidermy; but Mr. Right is more of a minimalist than I am, so we’ve stuck with a few framed pictures, a plant or two, and the occasional gourd or garland during the holidays. But, yesterday I got a little bit crazy, and made this:

I won’t condescend to you with a step-by-step tutorial, since the process was super simple. I used The Google to find a nice few words about Fall, typed them up using Courier in a landscape-oriented Pages document, and printed them on an old paper grocery bag that I trimmed to 8.5 x 11” sheets to fit in the printer. I thread a salvaged ribbon through slits cut on either side of each word and, voila! Near-instant seasonally-themed banner.

Do you have a favorite feature or quirk of your house? Something you’d rather do without? Do you have decorating plans that have never come to fruition? What would you do with a paper grocery bag?


One Response to “Autumn is the mellow time.”

  1. Mike Shain September 28, 2011 at 9:52 pm #

    This old place is full of surprises. Even got the old bare copper wire & glass insulators from 1st wiring in the attic. No power to them. Got a chimney with no visible bottom.

    I love bare wood. Often thought about the old stairs in my 1st school. OLD building. Would love to have some to make stuff with, the worn spots are great.

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