Thursday, September 18, 2008

Around the House: Marimekko Wall Hangings

It's Things I Love Thursday again, and I am sharing some of my favorite things in my house. Today's post is about what might be my very favorite of all: Marimekko fabric wall-hanging kits. If you have been in my house, you can testify: I am almost evangelical about these. They are an inexpensive way to have a major decorating impact in your space. The patterns are beautiful, and there is tremendous variety available. Marimekko is a Finnish design house that's been around since 1951, and to me they are the epitome of a colorful, graphic Scandinavian look that I love, and that never goes out of style. The ones I'm highlighting are my personal picks, but there is a Marimekko pattern for every taste.


This is Kaiku. I have the green one on the right. It is 54 inches square when it is put on the frame, and it's $135 at Textile Arts, which is hands-down the best place online to buy all things Marimekko. When you order a kit, they send you four wooden frame pieces that you put together to make a stretcher, then you iron the fabric and staple it to the frame with a "craft" or light-duty staple gun. Hanging hardware is included. The kits come with very good instructions, and if I can do it, truly anyone can. For a big piece like the one above, it's good to have two people doing the stapling, but I do the smaller ones by myself. Here's how big it looks on the wall:



This wall is right by our entryway, and it's cluttered up with the thermostat, the AC intake, and (up high) the doorbell. It also had a lot of nail holes in it from the previous owner. So I needed a big gesture of some kind, and this was perfect. If you hang around blogs like Apartment Therapy, you've probably seen the Kaiku pattern--it even comes in shower curtains and tea towels. But just because something is popular is no reason not to love it!

Another great piece, if you need something big and dramatic, is the Aarni, above. This would be great in a bedroom above the bed, or even in place of a headboard. I don't have this one, but I do like to visit it on the website from time to time. I'm telling you, once you get one of these fabric hangings, you want more, and you start noticing all these corners of your house that would benefit from a little Marimekko. I'm holding myself to two pieces in the living room, because more than that might start to look too uniform. The other piece I have is above my mantle:


It's the Hevonen design, and it's a steal at $65. I love this one, with a love that exceeds the love I usually feel for material objects that don't say "Marc Jacobs" somewhere inside them. Before I got this horse, I changed the art up there with the season. I had some bright naïve paintings in the spring and summer, and the Marimekko Paasky hanging in the fall and winter.

But now that I've got the horse up there, I'm going to leave it. The colors and the scale of the design are the only thing I've really found that works with the stacked stone of the fireplace. I'll just switch out the other stuff on the mantle from time to time. And here are a few more of my favorite fabric panels--I don't have these, but I love them. The panel below was in an issue of House Beautiful, hanging above the sideboard in a dining room, and costing a fraction of the price their usual accessories do. The Satakieli:

Love it. I haven't even touched on the huge selection of kid-oriented textiles they have, but you could do many different styles of kid rooms with their stuff. Here's just one I like, and then I promise I'll quit. The Kulke:
So I've given you a sort of Becky-oriented selection, and my taste may be different from yours. I love abstracts and big, big graphics. But go poke around on Textile Arts, and you'll see lots of different kinds of florals and figurals. (If I had a sewing machine, I'd buy some of the smaller prints and make pillows.) So go take a look, and thanks for reading along--I hope you find Marimekko as refreshing and beautiful as I do.

10 comments:

thediaperdiaries said...

oh my goodness these are GORGEOUS!! Thanks so much for the link.

bigbinder said...

These are beautiful!

Lecia said...

Very nice - thanks for the link! I've still got several bare walls and have been looking for ideas...

Peanut said...

Wow! Those are so pretty. Your house looks beautifully decorated!
Thanks for stopping by my blog :)

AlwaysMod said...

Great post. We have instructions on how to create Marimekko wall hangings at our blog in case you just get the fabric: http://blog.alwaysmod.com/2008/03/14/marimekko-wall-hangings-how-to-guide/

Becky said...

I'm so glad you guys like these! I am a total fan. And AlwaysMod, I am thrilled to find out about your blog. Looking forward to reading more.

Minnesota Matron said...

Beautiful! And that's without the bathroom oasis and headache meds. . . the matron loves drugs, even mild ones.

Amy said...

Love the horse one--haven't seen that one before! Great post, Beck. Don't ya think you need a ginormous one for over your bed?

Lora Lynn @ Vitafamiliae said...

Thanks for the idea! Beautiful!

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