There’s something wonderful about a glorious, tree filled view from a over-sized window, even when that window is a little rough around the edges. Most of us city dwellers only have chocolate box scenery views when on holiday, as most of our windows look out onto other peoples houses. In gyms and class studios, gorgeous views are rare….. unless you have a membership to a posh country club, obv.
So what’s a designer to do when faced with these needy numbers in our newly restored holistic studio, the two huge window spaces which watch over the original female bathhouse down at the Baths.
As plain and dull as they were earlier this week, it was still a zillion times better than they looked a few months go, before Team LWB took down the ceiling and the staff stripped all the original tiles of layers of paint…
It really does defy belief that in the 70’s and 80’s city councils actually butchered heritage buildings in this way, in the name of progress. When one of the old air-con units was removed, the old ply came down and I sneaked a shot of one of the two original windows. Isn’t it something that even in its broken and battered state, this is still a completely glorious window. It pains me that these two stunning stone heritage features have to sit behind plywood because we aren’t yet fully funded. Both will have to wait patiently, watching over new classes like meditation, yoga, pilates and events, until one day when we’ll have enough money (or a grant!) to restore them to their former stained glass glory.
In the meantime however, something really had to be done. Especially given the imminent photo shoot booked for Amtico Flooring with renowned architectural photographer Andy Marshall. The wall looked far too bland and plain, with the two white rectangles crying out to be dressed.
But with what? I considered painting them in green or cream. Boring. Then thought about glazing them with mirror and window bars. Hmmm. Not bad, but costly. Then I looked at the original shot of the window again. Inspired by trees outside, what if…….. Wallpaper! And not just any wallpaper but high res, 3D digital prints of actual windows with greenery behind. The advances in print mean that large scale features like our window at 1.2m by 2.4m now could look incredibly real.
It was a bit of gamble. No, make that I was really unsure whether they’d look fantastic or blinking awful. The staff were really honest with me – so were they. It’s all very well looking at stuff online and hoping it might look great, but when you’re using charity funds and ordering bespoke all the way from Sweden… eek.
Photowall were actually brilliant. There are literally hundreds of images on the site, from cityscapes to sports scenes to on trend patterns. Once I’d picked the image I wanted, they readjusted the print to fit my measurements and we altered their standard sizing for the one large wall mural normally sold online into two framed window sections to suit our two space requirements. Each window print was £78, with a small artwork charge and installation pack containing paste, brush, spirit level, wallpaper smoother blade and cutters. Pretty much everything we needed bar a bucket and water!Each window came in three vertical panels with clear cut marks. The paper is superb quality, thick and heavy and easy to hang. The joins are excellent due to the quality of the paper. Wallpapering makes me nervous but luckily Mr M is ace at it, so we had these up in a couple of hours. Thank to Jay for his help too. Ladder footing = essential.And, phewf, everyone likes them, well the handful of people who’ve been in the room up to now. Far more colourful a backdrop for Andy’s shots of the flooring, picking up the Folly Green ceiling beautifully and adding life and colour until we can afford the real thing.Sometimes, but not often, a bit of fakery is just what’s needed 😉