...because we all have our motley moments!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Off the Wall

I am not great when it comes to decorating, and since we've moved into our house I have had a terrible time trying to decide what should go on the walls. While reading a magazine the other day I noticed an article about a designer's house, and there was a picture of the wall behind the headboard in her bedroom. She had hung several framed postcards in a nice pattern there, and it looked really neat. As I read the article, it struck me that this particular designer doesn't buy expensive art for her home, but she uses images that she likes, frames them, and they become art.

That was when the lightning bolt hit. When my dear grandmother passed away, we had the opportunity to sort through her belongings. She lived through the Depression, and she kept nearly everything she ever received. In a box in her bedroom I found a treasure trove of the neatest recipe books from the 30's that she must have gotten for buying a certain brand of sugar or baking chocolate, canning jars or other baking products. I have been storing them in a binder to protect them, but when I read this article it dawned on me that those cute little books have been boxed away for far too long. I put three of them into frames, and now every time I walk into the kitchen I get to think of my Grandma. (The booklet titled, "50 Ways to Use Marshmallows, A Household Necessity" always makes me smile!)

We also found a good-sized portion of my Great-Great-Granmother's post card collection, and I can't wait to do something with those, too. There is one card that has a picture of a toddler riding an alligator, taken back in the day when they thought it was OK to do things like that. Once I figure out the perfect place for that one, it is leaving it's protective plastic sleeve and going on the wall for all to see!

So, do you have any non-fine art related ways to decorate your walls? I need some help, and I would love to hear them!


Liz said...

As you well know, almost all of our wall hangings are pictures of our kids. One picture that's in the playroom is just several cards I got at Ikea (an elephant, a zebra, and a gorilla) and put into a simple 3-picture frame. It was cheap and cute. I love the idea of using your grandmother's old stuff that she collected. I don't think you have to spend a lot of money or use "chic" designs - I think it just needs to feel like your home.

Lindsay said...

I can't WAIT to move into my new house so I can decorate it. I LOVE it so much!!! I am not great with other people's styles but I love doing it with what I like.

In our old house we had palm prints in our office. 6 of them were old vintage postcards that I found at a flea market for $2. And then we had to bigger pictures of palm prints that I got off ebay for $5. I just matted and framed it all.

A good friend of mine framed pretty matching scrapbook paper and hung 3 of those over her headboard. It turned out super cute!

I'll think of more things I'm sure. Like right now my mom is decorating with big stocks of cotton taken of my cousin's cotton farm. I've used bamboo before too.

In our rental I have done NOTHING. :(

Donna said...

Great ideas! As you know, I LOVE doing seasonal decorations, but I'm not so good at permanent stuff. It doesn't help that Paul doesn't want holes in the walls (he replastered them himself using window screening - to cover the old cracks in the walls - and drywall mud. They're beautiful and smooth, but plain!
The idea is to use the picture rails to hang our stuff, but you have to buy all the hardware for that online and we just haven't gotten around to it. I'm about to start nailing holes in the wall...shhh...don't tell Paul! ;)

Donna said...

Oh...and I love framing old children's book illustrations. We've been saving a stack of old, falling-apart books for this very purpose for several years. Our kids will outgrow them before we ever get them on the wall! I absolutely adored the ones you did for your little one's room. So cute!

Rachel said...

Liz, I love the pictures of your boys, too, and I can't wait to get this one of yours and mine in the pumpkin patch framed. Family pictures create a warm, loving feeling, I think.

Lindsay, I love the idea of scrapbook paper--were all of the sheets the same, or did they coordinate? Great job on the palm prints, too!

Donna, on the seasonal note, I think that's why I'm noticing our white walls right now so much--the Christmas decorations came down and now it seems really bare in here! The children's book illustrations are fun, and I love being reminded of the stories they're from every time I see them. Our son likes to talk about them, too.

Thanks for your comments today! You always have such great ideas!

Pam said...

Super fun idea! One thing I did a few years ago that was a little different was to decopage (spelling) some calendar art of cats onto cheap plates from Walmart. Happy decorating.

Rachel said...

Pam--I like that, and if I remember correctly, Fawnda did a great tutorial on how to do that with fabric, too. Great idea!