November 16, 2012

V is for...

Back in October as I was scrolling through all my favorite blogs in my reader, I came to a screeching halt when another Richmond blogger (shout out to Richmond Thrifter!) was talking about a huge collection of metal industrial marquee letters she'd come across at an antique shop just outside the city lines. When she said they were selling for $39 a pop, I practically got in the car that same moment.

The place she was talking about, Class and Trash, was a pretty amazing antique shop filled to the gills (two stories and outside) with industrial vintage finds. I know this because the day after reading Richmond Thrifter's blog post, I trucked it out there to score a couple of those big metal letters for our own home!

I was impressed with how many larger scale and industrial items — like trunks, baskets, bins, chalkboards and old carts were there, and felt my heart started beating fast like it did when we visited the Tobacco Barn antique mall during our trip to Asheville, NC earlier this year. Because I had a mission for the day to get a giant letter V, I skipped over much everything to get to them before closing, so I'm itching to get back to the place to look around more. Although that could prove to be dangerous.

I saw the wall of metal letters straight away and grabbed the largest size V they had there. There were multiples of many of the letters and I think they are hand fabricated, so they will probably stock more.

Tim and I have been looking for a big letter V sign to hang in the house since it represents Vidra, Tim's last name and what will become my last name in June (yay!). This one was great in that it carries a ton of industrial and vintage-feeling charm.

I also fell in love with this curved arrow sign and snagged that before heading back home too:


They had all sorts of other big symbols too, like the @ and & figures. I thought those could be cool if a couple wanted to have 2 letters with the ampersand in-between for a wedding and then hang in the house later on and also thought the @ would be cool for companies with a big Twitter following to have on display in their office space. The possibilities are endless, but I needed to stay focused and not go too crazy. We'll save that for another trip back.

Once I got the V and the arrow home, we'd been letting them hang out in the house over the past month while we decided where they should ultimately live. The arrow has been and still is hanging out very happily in our little mudroom nook atop the white hutch:

And we just got around to finding a place for and hanging the V on our wall. We decided we wanted to put it in a pretty central location in the house and loved how perfectly it seemed to fill the wall space in our family room where we previously had a Virginia fishing map hanging. We'd been feeling like the map was a little small for this space, so are thrilled to fill it with the V and find a new home for the map.

The metal letters from Class and Trash are very lightweight because they are fabricated from thin sheets of metal and are hollow on the inside. This is great, but also proved to challenge us for ideas on how to actually hang this big V on the wall. We thought about drilling small holes in one side and hanging it from command strips or hooks and we even thought about installing a small wall mounted shelf to let the V just rest on.

Then Tim came up with the genius idea we ended up using — Velcro. Yes, this sounded very scary to me at first too. The thought of Velcro-ing this guy up on the wall left all sorts of horror stories in the making conjuring up in my head. Then all of those feelings went away we found this Velcro at the local hardware store:

It's industrial strength, adheres to most surfaces, good for indoor and outdoor use and water resistant. Each Velco pack came with 2 sets, so we went with 3 packs to make sure this V wasn't going to budge. We just wiped down the side of the V we wanted to be the back and stuck one half of each velcro strip evenly along key points in the backing.

Frequent breaks to see what was happening on The Walking Dead were required:

Once each of the velcro strips were in place, Tim firmly adhered the opposite side of the strips right onto the 1st half he'd stuck on, moving/rubbing them around a little for the most bonded fit:

He did it this way so we wouldn't have to measure or align anything by sticking one side of the strips to the wall first. After everything was in place, Tim peeled off the Velcro backings and literally stuck this big V to the wall:


It's been a week since we got the V up in it's new home and it hasn't moved — it's pretty amazing. We like the idea that we can peel the V off the wall if we need to clean it or move it and that we didn't need to drill any holes in the back of the metal.

Now that it's up and in such a prominent location, we've had a couple people ask what the V stands for. Since it isn't as obvious that is stands for Vidra as we'd hoped, Tim and I have had fun coming up with other random V words we can toss out without skipping a beat when the question comes up to leave folks scratching their heads even further before spilling the beans (Virginia, Victory, Venison, Vaseline...).

What've you got? We'd love an ongoing list.

If you're near the Richmond area, Class and Trash was such a fun place to stop by and one we'd recommend if you're passing through. I'm sure they've got more of these letters on hand if you wanted to call ahead and reserve one for yourself!


  1. I am so jealous!! I would have been rummaging around those letters, too! The V looks great on the wall! Industrial Velcro - who knew?!

  2. vamoose, vinegar, vagina, vertigo, velcro, vermouth, vixen.......i could go on.....lots and lots of "v" words out there! love your new letter V!

    1. Ha Pamela we have already used one of those "V" words! Thanks for stopping by!

  3. I love Class & Trash! I've only been once, but I'll be SO excited to go back one of these days when I live in a larger space that I can decorate more. I was enamored by so much of the furniture they had & all of the possibilities for refinishing. And the V is fantastic! :)

    1. We are also looking forward to a return visit! Thanks so much for stopping by!

  4. Love, love, love those industrial letters! I've used the Velcro for hanging things as well! Mostly because we are renting our house here in Alaska and I really want my deposit back so I'm trying to not put holes in the wall :)

    1. Angie we certainly understand that! It was nice when Mary moved back from NYC and got her deposit back!

  5. I'm curious about the velcro too- I'm also a renter, and I think it would be a great solution for putting things on the walls (I tried those 3M hooks, but they came crashing down in the middle of the night after about a year, terrifying me and my roommate.)

    Do the velcro strips leave marks on the wall? Are they easy to remove?

    1. Well we have not taking ours down so not sure about leaving marks and hopefully nothing comes crashing down!

  6. Mary,

    I think it's great that you're taking pics of Tim while he's doing his handyman stuff around the house. Joey just remodeled my kitchen and bath, and I like to sneak up on him for photos (I just posted a few on FB the other day). Then I usually hit him up for a video clip or two. I call him "Mr. Fixit". I think I started doing these videos when he was cooking in my kitchen one day. So now, even though he's doing a video on remodeling, his sign off phrase is, "See you in the kitchen!" Too funny.


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