February 8, 2009

Met Monday goes smart

Happy Met Monday!! Once again, thanks to Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for hosting this fun event :-)

Kelly @ JAX Decor & Design
The June 2008 issue of Met Home features the top 100 designs of the year. The top designs include bees, bikes, and beers – and of course, home design and architecture too. When you think about it, design is all around us and inspires us in many ways. It’s about much more than how we decorate our homes – it’s about our lifestyles and the things that we use and touch and see and feel every day.

The space I was planning to share with you for this Met Monday isn’t quite finished. So rather than rushing to get it done, I decided to share a different design metamorphosis with you this week. It’s a bit “outside the box”, but it’s about a design that I consider to be a unique piece of art… stick with me and you'll see why :-)

This is a wall in my office:
As I mentioned in a previous post, it was inspired by a room I saw on Rate My Space. It was also inspired in part by one of my watches – the Swatch GE 162 (from the spring-summer 2005 collection):

I was attracted to these designs because they both reminded me of this:

That’s a close-up of a Numeric Blue panel from a smart fortwo. The June 2008 issue of Metropolitan Home named the smart fortwo the #4 design of the year:

We have two smart cars – one is an all-black convertible, the other
was a silver & blue coupe. And that’s the subject of my Met Monday post…

The smart fortwo was first introduced in Europe in 1998. It was a collaboration between Swatch and Mercedes Benz – hence the sm- in the name. I don’t know for sure, but the -art must stand for just that – art.

The fortwo eventually made its way to North America in late 2004 when the little cars started popping up on the roads in Canada.

I had to have one. I dragged hubby to the nearest Mercedes dealer to take a look at the fortwo in person. That was December 2004. In March 2005, we decided to buy one. Weeehoooo!!!!

With all the options to choose from, it took forever to select our fortwo. We decided on a pulse with star blue metallic panels, silver tridion, panoramic glass roof, and heated seats. That last one was a no-brainer – there’s nothing like having a hot tush when it’s -30 outside!! And the pulse comes with shifter paddles right on the steering wheel, which is super-cool.

We ordered our smart in April 2005. Six months later (yes, SIX MONTHS), our little blue & silver smart finally arrived. It was a l-o-n-g wait, but so worth it – the smart is the most fun car EVER!!! We named our new smart "squish". It's just what smart owners do!! :-)

Even before our smart hit the assembly line in France, I set out on a mission – to get a set of the absolute BEST smart car panels out there. They’re called Numeric Blue – they’re turquoise and covered in numbers and letters and are totally funky and I HAD TO HAVE THEM!!!!! I’ll spare you the details of all the dead ends that I hit along the way. Suffice to say, I sent e-mails all over the world – Canada, Sweden, England, Germany, Australia, Burkina Faso...

In July 2007, I finally found a guy in Guernsey, UK with a set of Numeric Blue panels for sale. Then I waited for him to send them to me. And waited. And waited. And waited some more. I waited till October 2008 – over a year – for those panels. And when they finally arrived, I was beside myself with excitement 8-)

I zipped over to the post office in our little pick-up truck to pick them up. They came in two big – but light – boxes. Somebody helped me get the first box out to the truck (I was blocking the doorway with my big box, so he couldn’t get out till I was out of the way!!). I went back in and handled the second box by myself. I guess the adrenaline was pumping!!

I brought the boxes home and carried them up to the front porch – which was when I decided I needed to take some pics to record this momentous occasion!! (Who knew you could ship a car across the ocean in a couple of cardboard boxes, eh?!)

Then I put the boxes in the hallway and pulled everything out:

Then I piled up the bubble wrap by the door and contemplated what the heck I was going to do with it all:

And then I put all the panels in a completely logical place – hubby's office!!

Believe it or not, it only took hubby a few hours to change our smart from this…

Into this:

Pretty cool metamorphosis, don’t you think?! :-)

When I had just about lost hope that I would ever own these beautiful panels, I found other ways to bring similar designs into my life with my Swatch and my office walls. Which goes back to what I said at the beginning of this metamorphosis... design is all around us and inspires us in so many different ways :-) It can be in anything from a song to a flower to a car, and you never know when or where you'll find it!!

Now, to see more designs that may inspire you, drive on over to Between Naps on the Porch!!


Kat said...

That is really neat! I wish they made those panels for rabbits tee hee. Mine is red and DH hates it. I do try to take inspiration from unusual places, but you my dear take the cake! Great post. Kathy

Anonymous said...

Hi Kelly! I'm blown away! This is amazing! That wall is great and the little car! Oh, my goodness. You're good!
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Karla said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Karla said...

I ADORE your office walls! I would love to have a room just like it! And the car - awesome! :)


Confessions of a Plate Addict said...

I actually lived in France for a year...2000-2001... and someone in my town had a Smart car. It never ceased to amaze me when I saw it parked on the street! I love the way you transformed yours! I had no idea you could order panels to change the cool is that???...Debbie

Anonymous said...

Oh, Victoria, I'm totally flattered you would want to copy some of my photos for a before and after. Yes, you certainly may! I truly hope my little room will convince someone to paint over the old dark paneling! You've made my night! Thank you, Dear One.
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Anonymous said...

Wow, I'm totally impressed with your persistence and your patience. It really does look great on that cool car! We saw these cars in London a few years back and my husband was intrigued...

xinex said...

Wow! How cool is that? Cute little car!...Christine

Mrs B said...

Hi Kelly, I have never seen anything like that in my part of the totally cool and funky, just so cute! I loved reading your story how you got the body parts posted to you, just amazing and demonstrates how sheer determination can get the design you really want.
I must also comment on your office wall. Absolutely fantastic as well as the design on the nursery wall on an earlier post. How did you do it? I dont think I have seen it in Australia. Another decorating idea to put into my files.
Always looking forward to both Victoria's and your posts everyday!
Mrs B

Lynda said...

That is amazing and waaaaay kewl!! I've never seen anything like it!

Cass @ That Old House said...

Haha! Fabulous makeover of a Smart Car! They are SO adorable. Thanks! -- Cass

French Cupboard said...

That is really cool. I have only seen one of those smart cars in my area but it definitely does not look that cool. I assume they just have the stock colors. How fun for you and I bet you get all the looks. Steve -French Cupboard

Mom in High Heels said...

You are hilarious. I live in Europe (and I lived here when the Smart was introduced) and I absolutely love them. It cracks me up when I park my Volvo XC90 next to one. It would take like 2.5 Smarts to be the same length as my car. With gas around $5-6/gallon over here, I know why they are so popular. You need a sticker on the back that reads "Actual Size" I love how you got your panels in the mail! That is awesome.

Rechelle ~Walnuthaven Cottage~ said...


Anonymous said...

I pass a smart dealership daily and I find these litte cars intriguing. You have shown us a whole new world! Panels to decorate your car! Who would have thought.

Kathy b

santamaker said...

My goodness, look at that little car, it has it's own change of clothes! Soooo cool.
I love the office wall. I think it was on Divine Design. You did a great job on it.

Tamara Jansen said...

Very cool car :)

Unknown said...

How cool, thanks so much for sharing that. I love the wall in your office, if I ever get an office, I'll want something to inspire creativity like that. With 4 kids, I'm unlikely to ever get a Smart Car, but I think they're really cool.
Thanks for visiting my blog today and joining me on my journey to bedroom beauty.

Maria Killam said...

Those panels are fabulous. Smart cars are the only cars that seem to be this much fun!

Paul Anater said...

Excellent story and what a cool transformation of your car. I've seen those numeric panels on the road in Europe and always wondered how all of that worked. Now I know. Thank you!

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