Reader Questions

Reader Q; Adding Visual Interest to "The Big Hole"

February 28, 2007

A question came in last night from reader Jody. See if you can give her a hand with her project, it’s a pretty cool one, so I’m sure you will have some ideas…

Reader Q; Adding Visual Interest to "The Big Hole"
“I am stumped and thought you might be able to help. We are going to cut a hole in our kitchen wall that will peer into the living room. Instead of having a big empty hole, I would like to put some sort of decorative piece in the hole that will allow me to see through to the other side, but be visually interesting. I found the attached image (above) and would love something like the wooden circles in the window area. West Elm has some new wood headboards that I thought I could use. I’ll just buy a twin size headboard and cut it down to the size I need and have the contractors place it in the window when they cut the hole in the wall. Do you have any idea where I might buy something like this or is this something I would get custom made?”

Reader Q; Adding Visual Interest to "The Big Hole"Jody, your West Elm idea is a great one. I love that you’re thinking of different ways to use a single item, it’s exciting! I don’t know which West Elm headboard you’re thinking of, but I’m willing to guess that it’s the octagon headboard (above) because it best resembles the honeycomb pattern you like so much in the image you sent in. In addition to West Elm, I suggest hitting a local salvage yard, show them the image you love and see if they have anything that may suit your needs. You could also use a wood screen, there are lots of them out there sold at those imported furniture dealers on the web. Cut and paint a wood screen and affix two on the wall to give it a ‘shutter’ effect so you can open and close it, or leave it closed, the holes in the pattern will allow the light in. Of course, you can also have something custom built for the space, but I’m sure you already thought about that. Sounds fun – I have to see some ‘after’ photos!

Anyone else have some creative ideas for Jody?

(2nd image from west elm, 1st image unknown)


  • Reply Heather February 28, 2007 at 9:59 pm

    You could also have this fabricated in iron and just hang it from the top of the opening. You can buy prefabricated iron shapes and have a local welder fasten them together for you. King Architectural Metals sells what seems like a million different prefabricated shapes. They have several different sized circles and lots of clean modern shapes in addition to the typical ornate things you might associate with wrought iron. You can see them online at I researched them for a project that never came to fruition but their prices seemed very reasonable.

  • Reply Erin T February 28, 2007 at 10:03 pm

    I second the salvage yard idea – you might find a treasure that would work perfectly.
    What size is the opening going to be? There is a geometric wall panel at Pier 1 that is 30″ x 30″. Click my name for the link to the panel.

  • Reply becky February 28, 2007 at 10:13 pm

    I know I saw a fabulous thing like this made out of wooden circles and dowels on a blog recently. It looked really expensive but it was actually a cheap DIY project the blogger described.

    I’ve read so many blogs lately I can’t remember which one it was in – it was basically a circle, then a vertical dowel, then circle. Oh, I have to find it, it was one of those things where I linked from a blog’s bloglist to another to another – does this sound familiar Holly? I think it was a man, it was painted white, and it was perhaps where a banister should be???

  • Reply ironstef February 28, 2007 at 11:08 pm

    You could use the inner hoop from embrodery hoops. Stick ’em all together in whatever pattern you want and paint them. It would be cheap and easy construction, and I think having a bunch of different size circles would be pretty…now I wanna do it!

  • Reply becky February 28, 2007 at 11:18 pm

    OK, I still can’t find it, but I did find this while looking:

    check out the black circles in Kelly Hoppen’s apt in the style files.

    I’m also envisioning some sort of metal sticks with oversized glass beads placed up and down them, each a few inches apart but randomly placed. You could do this with all white, or metallic slender bars with different colored glass beads. Maybe even with clear fishing wire secured to be very taut either horizontaly or vertically with the beads spaced out in an interesting way?

    This question has really awakened my brain today – I’m envious of the potential in this project you have!


  • Reply becky February 28, 2007 at 11:42 pm

    Holly, please delete my first comment – I found it!
    it’s on Happy Mundane from August 9!

  • Reply decor8 March 1, 2007 at 2:08 am

    Oh I love all these ideas ladies. Yeah, I’m dying to know more about the size of Jody’s cut out opening too. Maybe she’ll comment soon. I tried emailing her but haven’t heard back yet. She may be out sawing that headboard apart!!! :)

  • Reply Blandwagon March 1, 2007 at 2:41 am

    Driftwood is very big at the moment. You could arrange a series of driftwood pieces (or longish straightish dry branches) vertically (or horizontally) inside a dressed wood frame and use that the fill the space.

  • Reply Jody March 1, 2007 at 4:01 am

    Jody here! I can’t tell you how excited I was to see my question posted and how even *more* excited I am after reading all of your wonderfully creative suggestions. I was planning on going to bed, but now I’m sure I’ll be up another few hours online exploring your ideas. I love the DIY project, the Pier One idea, the iron–all of them! I don’t have the exact size yet, but I think it will probably be around 2′ x 3′. Holly, I’ll let you know how the project progresses. Thank you so much everyone!!

  • Reply lusummers March 1, 2007 at 11:33 am

    just to add to all the other (miles better) ideas, i wondered about using a precut wooden panel usually used as radiator covers. the one i’ve got in my head is slightly morrocan in style, but the holes are quite small, which may or may not be what you’re after. but very inexpensive – food for thought anyway!

  • Reply decor8 March 1, 2007 at 6:00 pm

    good tip, lusummers – that may work too. I bet jody’s head is spinning from all of this advice. i am totally inspired by this sort of project though, a break from the norm, and like becky said above, it got my juices flowing too.

    jody, thanks for writing in. these reader questions are terrific.

  • Reply Jody March 2, 2007 at 3:58 am

    Definitely spinning–in a really good way. I’m a pretty slow decision maker, so it will probably be a while, but I’ll let you know how it goes. Thanks again!

  • Reply decor8 March 2, 2007 at 4:09 am

    Well Jody, WAIT until you see what I post tomorrow – you will spin NO MORE! :)

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