I LOVE GRAFFITI! Don’t get me wrong now. I don’t condone street artists vandalizing private property. But done in the right places and used the right way, graffiti is a very fresh and revitalizing art form.
On a recent visit to Melbourne, Australia we came across Hosier Lane, an entire alleyway encouraging graffiti artists to showcase their talents. It has become a popular place for tourists and is used for a backdrop for wedding and fashion photography. Street code says graffiti artists respect each others work, so they will never deface someone else’s graffiti. Interesting that by encouraging good graffiti you are preventing the bad!
In Wellington, New Zealand we were impressed by these very detailed works on the sides of two different buildings. Judging by the volume and quality of graffiti we saw, I think they are much more tolerant of graffiti as an art form down under! In Ottawa, we have a couple of sanctioned graffiti sites: the Tech Wall on Slater St., and under the Dunbar Bridge between Bronson Ave. and Brewer Park, but I think there is room for a lot more. You can explore more about the graffiti scene in Ottawa at the House of Paint.
When I was at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair in New York last May, I was blown away by these cool products from Art of Board, a design company based in Hannover, PA. They save used skateboards from the landfill and provide dynamic and unique creative designs for the home. As you can see from above, they make tiles actually cut from old skateboards, ceramic tiles with photo real imagery of actual recycled skateboard decks, small furniture and accessories. What a great way to add some cool to your decor!
When we downsized to an urban loft condo almost two years ago, I knew I wanted to instill my decor with a cool vibe. What better way than to use products modelled on graffiti? My area rug by Henzel is based on an original design by Calle Henzel. Because I don’t have a lot of walls for artwork due to two walls of floor to ceiling, wall to wall windows, I used my floor as a fifth wall. The area rug became both a focal point and a work of art! It was a bit of a risky move, but I love it more and more everyday. It is fun and energizing and I am always seeing something different in it. I made sure that it was mostly neutral and that there were a few spots of different colours so that I could pull out these if I want to change up my decor going forward. Right now my accessories are teal and magenta, with a couple of bits of yellow thrown in. The rest of my room is neutral with white walls and a light grey sectional.
After making a bold decision for my area rug, I wasn’t going to wimp out in the rest of the condo. I fell in love with these Peronda tiles based on the street art of Banksy. Just covering the back wall of the shower with these large tiles was enough to add a huge WOW to an otherwise neutral bathroom. The other two walls are white subway tiles and the floor is a large grey porcelain tile that looks like concrete. Everyone loves them, and again, there is always something new to discover in each tile!
Lisa says: “Graffiti certainly is a bold choice, but more and more it is becoming mainstream. You were just ahead of the curve, Mary Anne.”