I’m that crazy woman who combs the aisles of Home Goods with a camera taking shots of every little thing that is pretty. So the other day, it came as no surprise that a lady asked for my help in picking art for her family room. She had already picked out accessories and wanted to do the room in a “Restoration Hardware” style but with a Home Goods budget. Ain’t that a great idea?
In her cart were a big faux iron set square (remember high school geometry: those triangle things that comes with a protractor and a compass?) and a mechanical wheel sculpture. Looked really cool. Then I caught a glimpse of the art that she was considering and wow……….. The moment she stepped away to glance at something else I was all over it taking pics.
Great, right? What could be more industrial than drawings of boiler seams of a triple screw steamer (by the way, the Titanic and her sister ship Olympic were White Star Line triple screw steamers). It was on clearance for $100 as it had some scratches at the top. She said she could touch up those with a marker or paint, which I totally agreed with. She was considering buying a second print, that of architectural drawings of a bridge and was wondering if it would be too much of a good thing.
The bridge sketch was priced at $149, which kinda bothered her. Not knowing the size and layout of her room I told her, may be all that industrial detail might be too much. The two pics hung side by side will work only if the wall and the room is really large. You could get away with using just one as it was quite large may be with a sofa table below. She could then display one of the sculptures on the sofa table and the other sculpture on the coffee or side tables?
All that time, I kept thinking I can make this myself. It is not that tough….just need to brush up those engineering drawing skills from college. For 3 years (didn’t have it the last year) that is what we did, draw detailed pics of industrial equipment and flow charts of chemical plants! Who would have thought that I would use it for anything else and that too for decor?
As the idea started to work its way into my head I was glowing with excitement and I went into this long ‘may be you could make it on your own if you are worried about the $’ speech. My exact words, “I am seriously thinking of making these myself. You could paint a canvas to give it an aged look and then draw/trace industrial drawings on to it. I’m sure you will get so many industrial drawings online. Or you could take a large print out of the diagrams, age it with coffee/tea stains, rub some stain on and decoupage it onto the canvas.” The moment I stopped to take breath I noticed her puzzled ‘what the heck are you talking about’, look. And I added “Oh, sorry. I’m talking like this because I am into DIY, I have a home decor blog for which I do a lot of stuff like this, I paint too, and I am engineer. So I think I can draw it. If you don’t want to put in that much effort then you can go the decoupage route, will definitely work out cheaper”. Wow, what a genius speech, right?
She was like, “Oh, thank you” and proceeded to show me the rest of the stuff in her cart. She still couldn’t decide on whether she wanted both the prints or just one. In the end she decided to take the safest (and the best when it comes to stores like Home Goods which do not have a fixed set of products) route, took both the prints home. She could return it if it didn’t work.
Take away: Inspiration can come from anywhere anytime. I’m so glad that I got a chance to see those prints at the store, they were the last 2. Now I am seriously thinking of making a knock off.
To the sweet lady who unknowingly became by first client (other than friends and family), I know I’m taking a huge liberty here calling her a client…..hey it was a decor consult after all 🙂 – If you are reading this, please do send in the pics of your room. I’m sure it is going to be fabulous.
So, what do you think? Try to make the knock off or not? Am I biting off more than I can chew?