Sunday, January 11, 2009

Bare Walls...

While I have met some permanent expats, most are living here for a few years until they move to their respective countries or become an expat in yet another country. Our personal situation is that we don't know what will happen after the contract runs out. A lot probably depends on the economies in both countries.

However, the question always remains (in my head at least), how do you make a rented space feel like home? Even if we stayed here, we would be unable to remain in the apartment we are in. As I gaze around at the bare walls I dare not paint and am unable to drill holes into due to the wall material, I want to be able to feel like my living space, even if it is temporary, is home.

I have found one solution that hopefully many of you could use. They are called Wall Stickers. They are removable, inexpensive, and perfect for people living in temporary homes.

You can find them anywhere. An Etsy search (worldwide) showed 4262 reults. A google search showed at least 11 pages of results. Heck, even IKEA is getting into the act with wall stickers available in the US and Germany. (I haven't checked other countries)

However, this French company called Nouvelles Images is by far my favorite. These are found in some common German retailers like Depot, Butlers and Nanu Nana. They have designs for every taste. We started with the kid's room and hope to put up a couple more around the house in more adult themes. For around 20 Euros, you can transform Baby Bird's room from boring white walls into this:



Have you heard of this before or am I writing a post about yesterday's rage? :)

I am still on a quest and will post again when I know of other ideas. In the meantime, please feel free to leave me comments on how you make your Wohnung feel more like home.

11 comments:

headbang8 said...

And funnnily enough, I have not been able to find a simple hard-wall hanger anywhere in Germany. You know, the white plastic hooks with three or foru short prongs that you can pound into plaster without drilling a hole. I ask visitors from the US or Oz to bring them!

cliff1976 said...

I feel your pain. We lived (until last week) in a place we were forbidden to paint and couldn't drill into for fear of rupturing the in-wall heating pipes. It looked nice at first glance, but was really hard to homify. The new place is drillable and more paint-friendly, but not quite fully free. There are restrictions on the kind of paint we can use due to moisture concerns, and all the available colors are pastels. That's not necessarily a bad thing (there's not much natural light in this new place — especially in the winter), but it is a little limiting.

I followed a link or two from your post; some of those look nice. At first glance I was not impressed with the designs, but a couple pages in they start to look more my style. Thanks for the tip!

C N Heidelberg said...

I wanted to get some of these when we were living in Boston! I don't remember the name of the company, but they were in a partnership with Threadless and had some Threadless designs for sale. But, I never got them because we had plenty of stuff on our walls already. Our walls here are a little more bare because it's really a pain to hang things in them - they're concrete or something. I have been wondering how well sticky things would stay up on the standard-issue German walls - with that bumpy wallpaper under the paint. Do you have walls like that, and they still stay up pretty well?

C N Heidelberg said...

Found them: Blik - http://www.whatisblik.com/

Sarah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sarah said...

Yes,it's wonderul. Unfortunately in my current apartment, I can't even put that up. Just concrete brick.
Check out www.andiwandi.com I think they are actually based in Germany. My favorites are their plants and flowers.

Alyssa said...

I was just at Ikea near Templehof on Friday and I saw those... after having seen them on Oprah while I was home in D.C. for Christmas....

I was thinking about getting some-- and your post convinced me to do it. It looks so cute!

I saw your post on my page about having trouble commenting on my blog. I haven't had anyone tell me that yet--- but hmmmm.... I will keep an eye on it. Thanks for the heads up.

Yelli said...

@headbang8 - I was looking for some of those and couldn't find them. I thought it was just me! Good to know...

@cliff-I changed the post a little to reflect that they have more than dinosaurs!

@ sarah- I checked out that site! Really cool! THANKS!

@ CN - Our walls are concrete and a little bumpy. I am not sure if they have wall paper underneath. They seem to be sticking really well. That is also a very cool link!

@ Alyssa - it turned out better than expected and my little guy loved it!

Kimber.G. said...

awww his room looks so cute now, and he's using his blanket! thats so cute!

Inverted Gravity said...

www.wallsplots.com is a great idea for wall decorating too.

Caffienated Cowgirl said...

Ah yes...it's tough, isn't it? I use a lot of heavy duty double-sided tape to hang things...less permanent and damaging :)