Can you help me decorate this wall?
December 13, 2011 1:27 PM   Subscribe

So I rent this house, and it has a stupid wall in it. Can you help me decide what cool, interesting thing I should do with it? I've posted a video on YouTube to show it to you.
posted by AbnerDoon to Home & Garden (18 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I get someone to hold a huge piece of (thin) wood up on the wall, covering most of the blank space - and I would then be able to mark where the temp control was. Taking the board down, I'd cut a hole for that spot.

THEN one of two things would happen. Either my artistic nature would take over, and I'd paint something interesting on the board that incorporates the temperature control in some way. I'm thinking something from one of the villain lairs in old James Bond movies. Or, if my lazy side won, I'd find a cool friend to paint something for me. Or I'd make a collage on the board instead of a painting. Anyway, it would be something that works with the temperature control as an interesting feature, not a detriment.

Re-mount the painting (using the wall studs, of course), and you have a nice focal point at not too much cost.
posted by HopperFan at 1:36 PM on December 13, 2011

"I *would" get," drat it.
posted by HopperFan at 1:37 PM on December 13, 2011

3D wall art that's deep enough that you could put it over the thermostat and still have it sit flush? Or if you like the painting idea you can do canvas over the wall and paint that. Vinyl decals could work to draw attention away from it too.
posted by brilliantine at 1:50 PM on December 13, 2011 [1 favorite]

I would suggest doing a gallery wall of smaller items, into which the thermostat can mix.

Some examples of the sort of thing I mean.

Especially if you have a couple of non-rectangular items in your general mix of gallery wall stuff, your thermostat will sink into the background and just be one more item on the wall.
posted by jacquilynne at 2:00 PM on December 13, 2011 [5 favorites]

I came to suggest exactly what HopperFan did: big piece of plywood with a hole cut out of the middle, then paint something cool on the plywood.

Even if it's just painted a solid, bright color or covered in fancy fabric, it'll do a lot to brighten up your space.
posted by phunniemee at 2:01 PM on December 13, 2011

Are you allowed to paint the wall? If so, I would get a couple of nice neutral colors -- a creamy white, a medium brown, and a chocolate brown -- and I would paint 3 or 5 overlapping rectangles on the wall. Big, like 2x3 feet. Use painter's tape to get straight, neat edges. Put them off center to sort of balance the thermostat and the couch. If you can't paint, you can do the same thing by using starch to attach fabric to the wall (see here) -- use three shades of neutral fabric.

If you are handy with tools, then get some cool-looking rectangular frames, attach them all together (you'll have to cut some pieces of the frames out), then paint under them (where a picture or canvas would normally be) or do the fabric thing.

THEN, I would move the thing you got at a yard sale (is that a barometer?) and the clock over to the wall with the thermostat -- put them in the rectangles. See if you can find a few other round odds and ends. An old film reel or hard drive or something like that would be cool. Or another couple of clocks or even a collection of old thermostats. Then as a finishing touch, find one single red, circular item to put somewhere. Here's a quick sketch of what I'm describing. The black dot on both sketches is your thermostat.

Here's one more idea. Try to find a dozen or so thermostats that match that one. It's old, so you might get lucky at one of those reuse home stores that Habitat for Humanity runs. If they don't match, get an assortment of old-school round thermostats. Hang them at the same level as the real thermostat all the way across your couch (evenly spaced in a line) to create a visual mantelpiece. Then hang some pictures above the visual mantel you've created. It would be cool to get 3 blank canvases at the art store and paint them a solid color -- I'd go for red -- and hang them evenly spaced across the couch.
posted by OrangeDisk at 2:09 PM on December 13, 2011 [2 favorites]

I came to suggest hanging art/prints/posters gallery style as well. So I 2nd jacquilynne!

God it seems like someone went out of their way to put that thermostat is the stupidest place possible!
posted by grapesaresour at 2:19 PM on December 13, 2011

I totally agree-- make it part of a gallery-style art wall, like Jacquilynne suggests. To be amusing, I would actually also buy a frame and put it around the thermostat.

posted by Countess Sandwich at 2:35 PM on December 13, 2011

Part of the reason it looks so dumb is that it's a small thing in a giant blank space. So you're either going to need to hide it in a big thing (like the plywood or OrangeDisk's rectangles) or you're going to have to fill up the giant blank space with many other small things. I think hiding it in a big thing will be easier.

Do you have other stuff you want to display? You could put a long shelf on that wall (like, as long as the sofa), just above the thermostat, and put Cool Stuff on the shelf while the thermostat hides in the shadow.
posted by shiny blue object at 3:00 PM on December 13, 2011

I would be tempted to do one of two things:

1. Get a huge, ornate, rococo-style frame at an antique store (the kind without glass or a backing). Hang it with the thermostat in the middle.

2. That looks like an old and ubiquitous thermostat model. I would see if there were some way to obtain a large number of them for cheap (eBay?). And then I would stick them all over the wall (taking care not to forget which one was the real thermostat). Maybe in some sort of design, maybe just randomly.
posted by enlarged to show texture at 3:07 PM on December 13, 2011 [3 favorites]

Umm, just put a long shelf above the couch. Put things on the shelf. -You can either cover the thermostat or not; if there's stuff around and below it, like books, it won't matter at all. If you're dedicated to concealing it, a framed something would work well.
posted by DarlingBri at 3:13 PM on December 13, 2011 [2 favorites]

hey I just had to deal with a wall like this at my place - the thermostat was ugly and in the way, so I got a set of box shelves and hung them on the wall, with the biggest shelf around the thermostat - I have stood an interesting mask on the shelf in front of the thermostat, hung a bunch of pictures around the shelves as well, and it looks great.
I'm at work right now, but I can post a picture once I get home if you're interested.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 3:21 PM on December 13, 2011

Don't fight the thermostat, EMBRACE it!

Get an Iron Man poster, carefully cut out the glowing-fake-heart thing, and hang it so that the thermostat is in the middle. See if he controls the temperature in your house with his mind.

I might also consider finding a Star Wars poster that has the Death Star on it. "That's no moon, That's a THERMOSTAT!!"

Or, a poster of Saruman/Merry/Aragorn holding a palantir (thermostat)! Look, one of the lost seeing stones has been found! On your wall! Sweet!

Peruse the Blik online store to see if any removable wall decals suit your decor. Megaman had better look out, that bad dude is about to throw a wait, a thermostat! at him. Nobody will notice a thermostat on the wall if it is hidden amongst lots of other circles. Perhaps a naked woman on a horse, with the thermostat carefully placed to be not-quite-NSFW? If nothing fits, you could create your own decal. I think the thermostat would make a fine old school looking UFO. Perhaps a bunch of people running in fear as it shoots its laser blasters at them?

I'm so excited about the possibilities that I wish I had a big old thermostat on my wall.
posted by Elly Vortex at 3:34 PM on December 13, 2011 [5 favorites]

How about this decal placed so that the round thing is one of it's fruits?
posted by b33j at 3:35 PM on December 13, 2011

Oh which reminds, contrast repetition alignment and proximity (CRAP).

So round things that are like your other round things, your barometer, your clock, your thermostat. Align them with your thermostat. Maybe some of these or this (the mirror should make the room feel larger).

(But I like the idea of disguising it - how about a tardis with the thermostat positioned like the handle - in red, it'll match your other red thing in that room).

It appears I'm stuck on decals, but I'm just thinking if your landlord is anything like the landlords I've known, you're not allowed to put nails in the wall.

What about a collection of fob watches (and other round things) spread out around your thingy? Or a whole bunch of clocks and watches, set to different world times?
posted by b33j at 3:44 PM on December 13, 2011

You could pull a Benny Hill (or a Liz Lemon) and make it part of a sophomoric and hilarious visual gag.
posted by gjc at 4:57 PM on December 13, 2011

If I had your wall, I would cover it with the wallpaper from the opening credit sequence of Parks and Rec. With a small cutout for the thermostat, of course.
posted by eddydamascene at 9:32 PM on December 13, 2011

How about two shelves with models of ships or something along those lines?


You're going to need two LCDs hooked up to computers and some paint. Mount the LCDs on the sides of the thermostat and put up something like STSPlus on one, tracking ISS, and Qlock on the other. Above everything paint in big letters: "Thermonuclear Destruction Command Center". Below it paint a red box and arrow pointing at the thermostat with white letters that say: "Initiate Plan". Below that, in very small letters, paint: "Lethal force authorized."

Then no one will change your thermostat.
posted by jwells at 7:59 AM on December 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

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