Urgent (Decor) Care

“Angela, why are you showing us a boring ol’ medical office?”

Good question!  I will enumerate the reasons for you.  But first, a little back story:  I wasn’t a week out yet with the Room Service project when I received a call from a friend to help out with her new medical office…fast.  Urgent.  Like it has to be done pronto for the upcoming Open House.  The facility is new but the furniture is not–very traditional and dated.  There were no accessories, no art, and only a few tired lamps.

The entry before:


The reasons I’m showing you these?

1.  Totally self-congratulatory but, I can hustle even in exhaustion.  I received the call on Wednesday and by the end of the next Tuesday everything was bought, installed, and Windexed.

2.  Target has some great stuff on clearance right now…okay, your turn to hustle!  The budget wasn’t big so this was good news.

Target vases, starting at $3.88; mirror and box, Home Goods

Waiting room before:


Target garden stool, clearance at $34.98, TV to go on back wall

3.  Tired trad furniture can get a boost with untraditional art and a few shiny things.  The painting is one I did 6 years ago, and it has just been leaning against the wall behind our bath tub.  I’m happy it gets new life here.  Plus, it fills up that vast wall and there was no way I could have found anything else for that spot in the short amount of time.

The office before:

The office after:

Target round mirrors, clearance at $8.98 each (regularly $30!)

So this is where I try not to blast the mass-produced art market.  I usually don’t pay any attention to it, but for this I had to find stuff to fill the walls fast.  I picked the best I could at Home Goods and even found a real paint-applied-by-human-hands painting there that didn’t look too mass generated.  I had one opportunity to look for original art at an antique mall, but that search yielded nothing appropriate for this space, darn.

So on Sunday I thought it would be fun to whip out a little painting.

4.  Beautifully-framed simple art can have a big impact.  Never underestimate the power of a nice frame job.  I finished this on Monday morning in between the kids’ classes, rushed it to my framer Cynthia by the afternoon, and she had it for me the next morning ready to hang in the check-out hall.  Thank you, Cynthia–it looks amazing!

I’ll interject real quick with # 5.  Adding some painted furniture takes the edge off traditional stuff.

Who was that wise woman who said limitations are lovely?  So true!  When I discovered on Sunday that I had no watercolor paper in my studio and I was too lazy to go buy some, I dug around and found this gold star wrapping paper that I ended up using for the painting.  Thank goodness I didn’t have any plain white paper–I now can’t imagine these glasses without those gold stars.

6. Even serious spaces can use a touch of whimsy.  A little fat owl, oversized spectacles, a red-painted chest help lighten the mood just a bit and give that dose of unexpected when all the patient was expecting was cherry wood and generic landscape prints.

But I probably let my penchant for whimsy get a little, ahem, out of hand with the wall near the exit.  I searched and searched for something to set on these wall shelves I found at Home Goods.  Finally I stumbled on these porcelain hands, NFS, in a jewelry case in an antique mall.  Don’t you just hate NFS on something you love?  After a little sweet talking, those hands had a price and were mine.

  It’s like they are waving good-bye to the patients.

I told them that if the hands end up freaking people out, I will gladly take them home and replace them with something less animated.  Anyway, I have a few handless pieces en mi casa that wouldn’t mind a new appendage or two.

7.  Installations are more fun with a friend.  I could not have knocked this out in one day without the help of my friend and framer, Cynthia.  She hauled the large canvas in her truck, hung pictures the live-long day, put together that red cabinet like a pro, brainstormed and opined with me on where to put stuff, and was just a fun person to have around.  Thank you, Cynthia!

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