Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Unique Art

I can't say that I am impressed by a whole lot of what is shown on HGTV (not to mention that the design community is typically at odds with the unrealistic idea that people can remodel their own bathroom in a weekend). But as I was flipping through the channels recently this image caught my eye.

In this episode they were featuring easy upgrades that actually looked pretty easy. Such as the fireplace surround that functions as art. I thought this was great because it has a lot of texture, which is interesting, but it doesn't stand out so much that it wouldn't belong in your home a few years from now. And it can easily belong to a variety of design styles. But the best part is that it is made out of....

Shims! You know, those little wooden door-stopper looking pieces that cabinet guys use to make things level. I love this idea and I thought I would give some pointers on making a project like this more green.

First of all, shims are typically scrap pieces of wood so we are off to a good start. You ultimately are gluing these down onto an mdf platform so I suggest getting a no-added formaldehyde sheet of mdf, plywood, etc. These are readily available at wood stores and are barely more expensive than their chemical-soaked cousins. We have lots of choices for stains, finishes and glue so go with a water-based stain and laquer and a low or no voc adhesive. These will keep your new artwork from off-gassing.

Finally, my best piece of green advice- keep it! Build your artwork so that it is sturdy and hang it, don't permanently mount it, to the wall. That way you can take it with you when you move, use it in a different room or even turn it into a headboard later on. It gives you flexibility instead of making it necessary to discard in the future.

If you want directions on how to make this thing visit HGTV (can't believe I am saying that)

1 comment:

  1. I can't believe you're saying it either! Great idea though, and good explanation too.