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Pirate Living Room: Art and Such

As I set about trying to figure out how to cultivate a pirate theme, I began to search for odds and ends, art and nick-knacks to put into the room. I think the art helps quite a bit and the paint and other details add to the effect, so I'm giving them their own page.

Wall Art

The most curious pieces of wall art are the ones that aren't here. When I was in 5th grade I came across a pair of paint-by-number skeleton pirates. I was in some sort of art projects class and was able to convince my mom to get them because, "I need them for school!" I carried those two p-b-n pirates around with my belongings for years afterwards. As I was moving out of my last house, I suspect that I decided it was time to stop dragging these stupid paint-by-number pieces of alleged art around with me and I threw them out. Alas. Of course, I may be wrong and they'll pop up unexpectedly. If they do, I have spaces reserved for the two of them. They would be a nice childhood addition to the pirate inspired room.

But let's not dwell upon what isn't. Let's look at the wall art that is.

Sydney Harbor Tall Ship Crossed Sticks Pirate Art At left is a photograph I picked up in a street fare in Australia. One of the things that is always associated with piracy are tall ships, so I thought this would be a nice addition to my room. Plus it made a neat Oz souvenir. When we arrived in Sydney on our first day, I started walking around the area of The Rocks district. The photo is of the tourist ship the Svanen which sits in Sydney Harbor. You can just see the Sydney Opera House on the left of the picture. That wouldn't have been around at the time of the pirates, but I liked it anyhow.

Above right is the skull and crossed, er, bones? Sticks? something... Anyhow, it's a coat hanger made of carved wood. It has sort of a flat/3D effect going. There are five pegs on it, four midway up on each arm and one in the middle. However, it's too high up on the wall to actually use. I don't exactly remember where this piece came from. It may have been Cancun or it may have been the Bahamas. Either way, I always thought it was sort of cool (which was why I bought it in the first place). I had mentioned on another page that I used to have a little closet that was named "The Pirate Den" in my previous house. This was the emblem that hung over the door to signify it's name. (Save that bit of knowledge for your next trivia game.)

POTC Skull Wall Art Skull Wall Art Dangle Close Up The other piece of wall art is a 3D version of the Captain Jack skull emblem from the movie poster for the original Pirates of the Caribbean movie. As with much of the stuff for my house, the skull came off eBay. Those are real swords, although they're not very sharp on the sides. (The ends are pretty pointy, however. I wouldn't want to get stabbed with one.)

This originally came with a pretty cheap bead dangle that looked nothing like the one seen in the movie. As it happened, I bought a set of bead dangles for my ceiling fan project, which can be seen on the lamps page. The particular one I wanted for that (with the nice Kuchi) is in the discussion about the fan. The one you see in the close-up shot above on the right came as part of the set. Since I had already created my own version for the fan that I was satisfied with, I decided to pin this one on the skull in place of the cheap one.

Paint, Paper, Fixtures & Whatnot

Three Gremlins in the blue leather chair I love weird details. I know that most people don't really notice them, but that's OK. I'm the one who lives in my art project. So I notice them. A lot of the "whatnot" appears on the Plank Shelves. Since they have a whole page devoted to them, I'll let you check them out on your own. However, there are still some details that deserve mention as long as I'm mentioning. Like the three stuffed gremlins sitting in the La-Z-Boy at left, some things just need a voice of their own - a sort of collect-all section. This is that section.

The gremlins - well, I really have nothing to say for them. I bought them because it was just such a weird idea. (A cuddly, stuffed, sharp-toothed, red/orange-eyed gremlin! Just what the kids need to help them sleep soundly!")

Close up of the border and molding The wallpaper border for this room (and every other room in the house) was purchased on-line. At right you can see the major pattern. I picked this because it had blue tones and ships that reminded me of the sorts of small schooners pirates might start off with. Plus it had the right Caribbean feel.

You also find the brass light switch cover in this shot. The room is dominated by two kinds of metal - rustic black and brass. These seemed most appropriate to the theme. All the plugs have brass covers because I liked the look of it. The floor originally had a floor plug as was common 50+ years ago. I didn't have much to replace the holes in the floor with, so I decided to put a floor fixture in. Again, I liked the look. (See below left)

Brass Floor plug Wall and Molding Close Up At right, you can see a view of the paint and the moldings that I'm so proud of. As I mentioned on the main page, the moldings have untold hours of refinishing time in them. They look so nice that I have to brag on them whenever I get the chance.

The wall paint is really what I was trying to show here, however. You are actually looking at a 5' or 6' wide piece of wall. Jaime at Sherwin-Williams suggested this sponging technique and I really liked the outcome. A closer view can be seen in the wallpaper border pic above. It makes the plaster walls look like they were carved out of stone - very appropriate to a pirate theme.

Below is one last look at the moldings, brass floor switch plate and the grill that came with the house. These moldings are 7" tall and unlike anything available today. All the doorway moldings (above and to the right of the picture below) are also pretty unique. The have 45 degree beveled edges on the outside which must have made cutting the base moldings a pain.

The grill is really cool and I have no idea who made it or how old it is. The house has hot water heat, so the grills actually don't do anything (other than provide a straight shot from whatever room they happen to be in to the basement. Very handy for running electrical wires and hot water heat pipes.) I imagine there used to be an old coal furnace in this house which was replaced with hot water. Nevertheless, the grills are quite beautiful. This one was an off white, but I thought black would be more appropriate to the pirate room.

Floor molding and Grate

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