In May 2016, we shifted to a new house. My elder daughter Isha was pretty excited as she was getting her own room. And I was her ‘go to’ guy for room decor. You see, I had previously wallpapered her wardrobe with a 7 foot close up of her face. That interior design idea was a super hit. And like all hit movies, she was demanding something bigger and grander for part two of the same. While there were no specific directives, Isha’s instructions were –
• Give me a decor which is super-personalised and talks about her as a person.
• The room interiors have to be unique. So use an idea that has never been thought of, by any architect or home interior consultant.
• Make sure that you ‘wow’ me and my friends. Friends after all are probably more important to my teenage kid than the air she breathes.
I know what you are thinking. ‘Impossible demands’, right?
But when Isha asks me to ‘jump’, my only question is… ‘how high?’
Before I start describing the project we undertook, I need to fill you in, on a little background. It will help you understand where I got my inspiration for Isha’s wall decor. Our family had just come back from a long vacation in South Africa. Everyone knows about this country’s beautiful wildlife reserves. But apart from this, South Africa offers its tourists, opportunities for some of the most extreme sports you can imagine.
I found my girl of 14, jumping off planes and skydiving from a height of 10000 feet on one day, and bungeeing off from the world’s tallest bridge on the next. And if this was not enough, she went scuba diving with sharks, off the coast of Cape Town. She also zip-lined into thin air between lofty mountain peaks and burrowed beneath thousands of feet of hard rock, in the Cango caves. Isha was flush with excitement with all these achievements. She also became a YouTube star of sorts in her school. Check out her skydiving video at the bottom of this page. Make sure you see what happens at 3:15 on the video timeline.
Isha started identifying with all these high-risk activities. And it was logical for her room to somehow reflect this.
The ‘interior decor’ Gods were probably smiling upon me at that time and gave me an idea right away. Inspiration struck when I was walking through one of the outdoor markets at Table Bay in Cape Town. I came across this shop selling some very funky looking signs. As you can see from the images below, the letters have been twisted into artistic shapes, to convey an emotion or idea. I now knew what I had to do, to decorate the wall in Isha’s room.
Mission ‘3D Alphabet Wall Decor’ was ON!
While working on a labour of love you cannot quantify it or base it on a generic template. It needs care, dedication, and being thought through as if your world depends on it. In this case, my daughter’s awe certainly depended on it. And therefore did my world.
• Coming Up With the Artwork: On the flight back home, I started making a list of words that my daughter identifies with. I shortlisted some, like ‘adrenaline’, ‘scuba’, ‘sharks’, ‘cute’, ‘daddy’s girl’, etc. I am not listing all the words here because I want you to guess the rest (more on this in a minute).
• Stylizing the Artwork: Also, just pasting these words, in an Arial font, on the wall was no fun. The letters had to be converted into something more artistic. So the next step was to convert these words into an artistic shape. They had to be rewritten in weird shapes and cryptic ways to arouse viewer curiosity.
While this was difficult for me, it wasn’t really impossible. You see, I was a designer in an earlier life. Albeit a failed one, in the sense that I never managed to make any money from designing. I had to start Orchid Digitals to keep body and soul together.
Anyways, coming back to designing our words… The idea was for the alphabet wall decor project to look like… well, artistic graffiti. I twisted the fonts into strange shapes and ended up with the final designs shown below. Take a moment to see if you can figure out what the words mean. And click here if you want the answers to the puzzle.
• Selecting The Material For the Artwork to Come Alive: The next step was to carve these designs into a material having at least half an inch of depth. Wood was the obvious first choice. But then, I settled for a 10 mm thick sheet of sunboard (also known as foam sheet). Sunboard is a soft, easy to cut material. It has a rigid and flat finish. Most importantly, it is extremely light in weight. So all I had to do was use two-sided tape to fix the finished letters onto the wall.
• Breathing Life into The Artwork: We cut out the letters out of sunboard sheets using our in-house CNC router. Light pastel shades were used to color the letters for the wall decor. I used three or four shades to color all the words, as I did not want too much of a rainbow effect. Finally the words were fixed on the wall using a strong 2 sided adhesive tape. And that’s it. Our personalised letter wall decor was done!
• Pink Attack
• Girl Power
• Papa’s Girl
• Ooh La La
• Creative Chaos
• Cute as a Button
• Sweet Dreams
• Topsy Turvy
• Bungee Girl
• High IQ Zone
• Swimming With the Sharks
While we could give you some quirky interior decoration ideas for your kids’ room, interior designing isn’t really our forte. At Orchid Digitals, we provide mostly commercial printing services. And this is why this ‘3D Wall Mural’ project does not really figure in our service portfolio.
But since this was such a novel idea, I felt that it had to be featured in our ‘Interesting Projects’ section. And in case you are wondering, an interior design idea like this does not really cost much to be turned into a dream. Get your designs and materials (wood, acrylic, sunboard, etc.) and we’ll gladly cut out the same for you. Click on this page to get in touch with us.
As children, we all dream of acquiring superpowers. And that wish came true for me. When my daughter laid eyes on her newly decorated wall I became her…. ‘Super Dad.’ All I gotta do now, is get rid of my middle-aged paunch and find myself a cape! 🙂
So what do you think of this home decor idea? Do let me know in the comments section below. Cheers!