As a person of Indian origin, living in the Deep South in the U.S. of A, visitors to our house are surprised to see the huge art piece over the mantel with fjords and coniferous trees and horses. That is my cue to narrate my history, about how my first home after marriage was in Sweden, and how I am still enchanted by all things Scandinavian, from archepalegos, to apple orchards, to fashion to food.
The tall cathedral ceiling was one of the biggest reasons I fell in love with this house and pushed to buy it. The same ceiling, however, causes some serious reverb, and more often than not, I have been confused that people are shouting, when in fact, they are merely chatting! Acoustic panels solved the problem, but come on! It is my living room, I need something more than purely functional… I need something aesthetic. That is where the idea of this decor piece was born.
A quick use of the bandsaw served me my dala horses and fjords and coniferous trees, and a hunt through sonny boy’s art supplies fetched me the paints and brushes. A can of spray paint and some panels and lumber got the look I desired.
Screwing and gluing the pieces to the panel took some time, for I had to make sure that the glue had cured and the screws could withstand the heat once the mantel was in use. The acoustic panels mounted on the back of the panel, and the decor pieces glued and screwed to the front, made it far heavier than expected. Carrying the panel in from the garage was the easy part, hoisting it to the mantel took combined strength of both, my husband and yours truly.
The outer frame colored in copper is lightweight, and was easy to center and mount using a measuring tape and some wall mount. The panel, once hoisted, needed some intense calculation on my part to center, and some quick thinking to fix the anchors into what was unexpectedly a dry wall.
After much climbing up and down the ladders and lot of elbow grease, the panel was perfectly centered, mounted, and is now the talk of almost every visit. It takes me down the memory, enjoy my nostalgia, and I am now, for once, eagerly awaiting winter so I can enjoy my view of Sweden with the fireplace going and a sip of warm glögg.