Triathlons, chicken proofing and a virtual world of interiors

Cumbrians are hardy people, fond of extreme outdoor activity. The county is known as the adventure capital of the UK with a full calendar of swimming, cycling and running events, often combining all three, and almost all involving steep hills. If you don’t get involved then you’re not really Cumbrian. So today was my initiation ceremony and my first ever triathlon. Its clearly the secret to a long life as a rather large percentage of the competitors were pensioners. I was mortified when one geriatric overtook me on the run…. but I finished in an acceptable time and now feel officially Cumbrian.

Amelia Wilson after completing the Cockermouth Triathlon 2015

I have also been making the most of the sunshine (Cumbria was warmer than the Algarve and Ibiza this week I’ll have you know), and doing a spot of gardening, or more specifically chicken proofing it. If you’re not familiar with the term then this involves placing stones on every bare patch of soil to prevent them having soil baths and digging up all your plants in the process. It also means planting a 4 inch high trim along the edges of borders to stop them kicking all your bark chippings and soil into the path when they’re digging for grubs. I even had to cover one raised bed entirely with netting as this was their last stop before Cluckingham Palace at night, and had become their equivalent of your local kebab shop. It looked like a plague of locust had visited it. Although I may not need to bother if the dramas continue. Agata met her end 2 weeks ago after an encounter with the farmers dog, and next doors spaniel tried to fetch Beate for his owner earlier in the week. It’s made them all a little jumpy as you can imagine.

Anyway, when I haven’t been achieving a wondrous work life balance I have actually been doing some interiors work, and while researching for a couple of commercial projects have become fascinated by fakes. Historically our interiors choices have been significantly more limited. It used to be the case that if you wanted a wood floor you had to buy wood floor and hope it didn’t get damaged by damp or children. If you wanted bare brick you had to chip the plaster off your walls. Gas fires looked like gas fires. TV’s looked like TV’s and bookshelves were made of… well, actual books. But the world of interiors has now become a world of clever special effects thanks to technology and innovation and I love it.

I recently discovered a Swedish company called Happywall which offers a wide range of wall murals including a collection of extremely realistic and highly touchable backgrounds. They can be made to whatever size you need, which adds to the reality. I love this one below with the chipped red paint. Perhaps this isn’t the greatest advert but it sort of reminds me of the deserted cabin in the woods in a serial killer movie…..

Chipped red paint on wood mural from Happywall

They also have some great metal finishes like these rusted corrugated and sheet steel  murals. I might even like these more than the Brooklyn Tins wallpaper by Merci….

Rusted corrugated steel effect wall mural from Happywall   Rusted sheet steel effect wall mural from Happywall

If you have a dining room, wine cellar or bar that needs a bit of decoration how about their wine bottle mural?

Wine bottle wall mural from Happywall

And what about this grungy mustard coloured mural. In a smart room it would look like crushed velvet, but in an industrial setting or dark bar it would make the walls look aged and damp.

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This one isn’t really a fake as you’d never find a tree big enough to create a wall out of the stump, or want to for that matter, but this made me go “oooh” when I saw it.

Tree rings effect wall mural from Happywall

But this is my favourite. The mural is as clear as the photographic image which was clearly used to create it, and look how it appears on a living room wall. It’s as if you’re sat in a derelict building. Not everyones idea of style, but imagine if you lived in a cool loft apartment with steel beams and a concrete floor….

Grungy wall effect wall mural from Happywall

Grungy wall effect wall mural from Happywall

All of this got me wondering where this will lead. Will we eventually live in a world of interiors virtual reality, where all our walls and floors are white and we project images on to them to match the latest trends, our mood, the time of day or the seasons? You could have that loft apartment with the concrete floor and exposed brick walls, then when you’re fed up with it download a new scheme. Wake up to a grassy meadow in the sunshine, go to sleep to the sun setting over the desert. It might mean our furniture needs to be cheaper and more disposable (in an environmentally friendly way), or maybe renting your furniture becomes the trend. Whatever happens it can only mean more choice which is a good thing. Bring on the fakes I say.

One thought on “Triathlons, chicken proofing and a virtual world of interiors”

  1. Love the derelict building mural. The irony of actually having the real thing with authentic disintegrating damp ridden plaster and brickwork and wanting a mural to replicate it. This one has gone on the Fandangle want list…….

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