Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Spice Up Shelves with Washi Tape

I've already shared a couple details from Francie's Big Girl Room including her faux flower chandelier$4.50 headboard, and dumpster dive side table, today I wanted to share one more detail before I show you the whole space later this week.

This room was originally a guest room with builder-grade beige walls and a white wall-mounted shelving unit that we installed and used as a desk. As Francie's Big Girl Room we decided to first paint the walls a crisp white and to turn our desk nook into a cozy storybook nook. The white walls were a huge improvement as it allowed the melamine shelves to blend in nicely with the space yet they lacked the personality a kid's room calls for, they needed to POP.
So I jumped on the washi tape bandwagon and trimmed the edges of the shelves with the decorative masking tape to perk them up a bit and bring some personality to the storybook nook. At $2.99 a roll (I used Scotch Expressions Pink-Red Stripe Washi Tape) it's a much more affordable and less time consuming option that painting the shelves themselves or the wall behind the shelves.
Another improvement, but I quickly realized this just wasn't enough POP and on top of that, if you've ever used washi tape then you know how addicting it is. Once you see for yourself just how easy it is to use and transformative it can be when applied to walls, furniture, light switch plates, picture frames, the list goes on and on (and on and on) it can be hard to contain oneself. So I decided to extend the washi tape from the shelves onto two adjacent walls creating three stripes on the rather sparse white walls. 
By extending the tape from the shelf to the two adjacent walls the shelves become integrated into the room as if they are a permanent part of the "architecture". The Man called my solution an optical illusion, as the tape sits flat on two of the walls and then trims the edge of the shelves, playing with your depth perception in the nook. 
Washi tape is perfect for a child's room as it is not permanent so it can be removed or swapped out as the child grows without damaging surfaces it's applied to. This project required about one and half rolls of washi tape and some measuring to get my lines straight, all in all it took me about 20 minutes. While I still have urges to apply more washi tape to other areas of the room, I've forced some restraint upon myself as this particular solution is eye-catching yet not overpowering as is. 

When you live in a white box (formerly beige box) like we do, with little by way of architectural character optical illusions are key to making space appear more interesting than it actually is. Who knew something as inexpensive and easy to apply as washi tape could be the answer?! Stay tuned as I'll be sharing the completed room later this week.



  1. Wow. This looks really good. I love the extension of the tape onto the other walls. It really does play with the spatial illusion. Love Washi tape. It' such fun to play around with. I did a gallery wall in my office with Washi tape and tear sheets. If you have time, you might like a quiet read.


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