Why do you decorate your home? I do it
1) for a sense of hominess,
2) for the moments I feel creatively inspired, and
3) for a degree of orderliness.
I know I am erratic with my efforts. However, my husband would much prefer I don’t spend much time or money on it anyway. I am (usually) at peace with the reality that we truly live in and often work at our home, so any magazine-like comparisons are self-destructive. I attempt color schemes, but beyond that, the only place I have a strong theme is in just one bathroom. For the last 20 years, it has been the beloved ducky bathroom. This summer, I decided it needed a new theme. For the grandchildren… and I chose “playful jungle”.
I started with a little hippo face rug from Walmart. I took some time to think about the monkey-in-a-palm-tree toothbrush holder, but eventually bought it on another day. Then, I scoured a few stores and amazon.com for kid friendly jungle items, where I found this jungle rug: Jungle Time Accent Floor Rug by Sweet Jojo Designsand these decals: Giant Wall Decal – Jungle Monkeys, Lion, Zebra and Palm Tree Baby/Nursery Wall Sticker Decals.
Guilt and apprehension fluttered around in my subconscious as I waited for the decals to arrive. Stenciling seemed more artistic. And what if the decals looked chintzy? When they arrived, I didn’t open them for days, not only because of the guilt, but because I wondered if I was emotionally up to dealing with large, sticky pieces of plastic adhering to my fingers and ending up on the walls at various angles and with all kinds of wrinkles in them. I shouldn’t have worried. (click on any photo to enlarge)
As soon as I opened the package and saw the basic instructions, I was having fun. The decals were sturdy, although there were a few times I was extra careful to not remove them from the backing too fast, as well as making it a point to not put stress on corners. The decals went on my bathroom walls very easily. The walls looked clean enough, having been painted a few months ago, so I didn’t do any pre-scrubbing.
When I did decide a particular decal piece needed to be re-adjusted, it only took a little prying to free an edge and then get whatever part off to start over again. The numbering of the pieces went with a suggested design on the packaging that I followed pretty closely. The only thing that was not mentioned in the directions, but was evident in the process, was that some pieces needed to be put up in a certain order to get layering of things like monkey hands on branches and bananas. In one instance, there was actually an “extra” monkey paw that could be placed as a top layer on top of a branch to make this easier, but this was not noticed until I had already gone to the trouble to work with the decals to get this minor 3-D look. So I “turned it into” a date for the palm tree. Now, I wish there were more extra monkey paws, as it looks lonely.
This was not a project that had to be completed all at once or was time sensitive in any way, unlike it would have been with painting. I put up about half of the decals by myself one day when there was an available time slot. A couple days later, two of my (adult!) girls did it with me, which made it even more fun. They helped hold the occasional piece for layering and helped me keep track of which decal I was looking for next.
It is true that decals may not be an elegant way to decorate more formal rooms in the house, but I am quite pleased with my new, bold, and developing, jungle theme bathroom. I now have also purchased a couple of kid pleasing jungle themed towels at Walmart, including a hooded monkey towel. The duckies blend well enough for now, being in the same general color scheme, and playing their parts well as duckies lost in the jungle.