J-Arts: Part I

If anyone remembers my earlier J-Arts Post a few months ago, I am now happy to say that I have finally completed the front multipurpose room of the Hillel Student Center on campus!! It took a bit longer than expected to get everything together because of all my other school work and social spring festivities. Nevertheless, I am very satisfied with the finished outcome! This was my first real-life project with real clients. No, I was not paid, but gaining experience and being able to create something out of nothing was extremely rewarding.

The first thing I knew had to change was the wall color. Before it was a heinous dark tan color that had several obvious streaks that just looked unprofessional.

See what I mean?

This color gave the room a kind of gloomy feeling, when it really needs to feel open and welcoming to students. I tested about four different hues of creams and pale yellows from Sherwin Williams to see how it looked with the natural light coming throughthe many front windows.


Those long, painful hours of painting paid off!

After the walls dried, I began my search for the other items in the room. There was a very teeny-tiny budget, so I had to be smart about what I bought for this space. One obstacle was the fireplace. It was in VERY bad condition just because the building is so old.

First of all, the two bookshelves were nailed into the bottom and sides of the fireplace (who would do that?!) so those had to go. And the old TV stand, that has been there for about two years with no actual TV, had to be de-mounted from the wall as well. I also cleaned all around and inside of the fireplace. I should have been paid for that part…

I wanted something young and  fresh to go above the fireplace that displayed a little about the student center. Here is I came up with:

These photos are from various activities and functions that Hillel put on over the past couple of years. I played around a bit with different types of frames and collages, but I liked these dark wooden, individual frames the best. They’re fun, while still being structured.  The photos also add a personal touch to the room, which is always important.

Behind the fireplace is a very unorganized storage room. Before, the two side doors did not have any coverings so you could see straight to the room and all the clutter. The white linen curtains makes the room so much cleaner, and nobody wants to see ugly storage.

I also found this dark brown iron fireplace screen on eBay as a finishing touch that tied in with the dark frames.

And the chairs! I love these chairs! I found these in a different room of the building. They were not being used, so I decided to use them. I got them reupholstered with this  fabric:

The fabric is very durable, which is important because so many people come in and out and will be used a lot.

Next challenge was the opposite wall. Before, there were old posters and some students’ artwork from forever ago, so it definitely needed something new. One of my friends, who is actually a Furnishing and Interiors major with me, told me about these wall stickers she saw on Etsy, so I checked it out. I emailed the company from England to see if they could do a city skyline of Jerusalem (Hillel is a Jewish based student center). The first one I ordered was sent to Athens, Greece, so it took a while for it to get here. It turned out really well though!

The metallic silver looks great against the new walls

So that’s that! Next fall, I’m going to do the lounge, which is attached to this room to the left of the fireplace. I have some good ideas for that too so I’ll keep y’all posted!


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