Moving into a distinctly bachelorific abode just after the comforts of our honeymoon cottage meant my redecorating brain was in overdrive. I did promise my husband that I wouldn’t touch anything in his flat for another two weeks so that we could just enjoy his time off from work here in Vienna, exploring and celebrating being together after so long apart. I kept my promise. Only just.
With the newlywed bliss still reigning supreme, I had little trouble convincing him that my changes were good. He was just as excited to make it ‘our flat’ and before long, we made the living room (sofa and coffee table) tech-free, brought in more supplies to make it more homey (say another sofa, a few lamps, a desk, a chair etc etc etc) and with a few days of sunshine and baking, it even smelt great.
As the days passed, I noticed the quirks that make living with each other a daily lesson in compromise. I married a spreader. Someone who likes to put his things in as many places as possible and with such flair, you wouldn’t notice anything amiss. Hello iPod in fruit bowl. I am a junk-drawer person. Organised mess. Piles, compartments, drawers and boxes with clear categories of randomness. To justify my
OCD suggestion that my husband put all the contents of his pockets in one place, I presented it more as a way to help him not lose time in the morning looking for things. This met an approving nod with no intention of follow-through. Days later, the fruit bowl became his ‘place’. Not quite the progress I was hoping for, I decided to make a place.
Ripping out pages of one of the interior design magazines I had collected on our home furnishing hunt, I proceeded to fold them lengthwise, in halves until I had thin strips like this.
I wanted a pixellated look so I tidied up the ends with a quick snip.
I then started to make a coil of the folded strips using strong adhesive to hold it together.
After I had a coil wide enough, I started to work my way up (1cm at a time) slotting one strip into the end of the other making use of the handy V-shape for stability with an extra dab of glue for the inner surfaces of the V of the holding strip.
I kept going at that height until I had a width I was happy with to start the next level. So, the first level was made up of two strips, the second had three and so on. Each strip had glue all along the inside only where it would touch the bottom layer because I didn’t want glue residue on the exposed surfaces.
I tried to mix up dark and light pages to add depth and kept the exposed surfaces in a manly colourway. Eventually, I had a bowl that I was happy with, big enough to hold phone, keys, iPod, mints, wallet, coins, old receipts and other things that get strewn. My husband likes it so much, he actually uses it 90% of the time. This wonderful paper bowl shows no signs of giving up, is hard enough to knock someone out with and is totally customisable to any colour scheme. Win win!