First, thank you guys a million for taking the survey in the last post and for voting! I’ve been reading through the survey responses and I’m so inspired by your ideas and feeling some serious freedom and excitement for the future. I’ll explain it all in a post soon where I tell you what my takeaways were, but just wanted to say THANKS! — for the epic feedback, and your hilarious responses to question #5.
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I used to feel handcuffed by “the rules.” When we were first starting to fix up our house, I devoured decorating how-to books and considered any rules I read to be The Law Which Shall Not Be Broken Without Swift and Severe Punishment.
As if the moment I chose the Wrong Light Fixture, a decorating SWAT team would storm through the front door, arrest me and take away all my fabric swatches. It sounds silly, but I was driven by two things:
1. Hard-wired desire to make everybody happy. (Which would just result in a house with no perspective or personality, so who even really wants that?)
2. Hard-and-fast belief that decorating was black and white. There was a Correct Choice and an Incorrect Choice, and nothing in between, and it was my job to break down the code and check the right box.
This blog has been a journey away from that perspective and toward freedom. I still have my own decorating rules (and you can read them here) but it all comes down to decorating with what you love. Because it’s your house, and what does anyone else know? (This would have saved me infinite grief in the harrowing tale of my kitchen remodel.)
One of The Rules I took away during that stage was that you are not “supposed to” decorate with family photos in common areas. Save them for the bedrooms. I internalized and obeyed that rule for a long time, until I decided to rebel like William Wallace, cry “FREEEEEDOMMMMMM!!!” on horseback with my fist to the sky, and start decorating with what we love because we live here.
Remember the photo grid wall in my living room?
This was my first major departure from that rule and just one of many steps toward finding joy and freedom in fixing up my home.
And part of that freedom is the willingness to just try things. Maybe they’ll work, and maybe they won’t, and being that this is not brain surgery, decorating mistakes tend to result in very few casualties and/or deaths. So sometimes I just like to try things and see what happens.
And that’s what happened here, with this little mini-gallery wall (of family photos! Gasp!) that I just threw up on the little partial wall between my kitchen and breakfast nook.
I just always felt like that little wall wanted to be something more, you know?
Soooo I have this teeeeny hoarding problem. When I see a picture frame for about 50 cents at a yard sale, I just buy it. Do not pass go, do not even worry if it’s cute, just take it and run! So I gathered up my giant picture frame collection, measured out the size of the wall (and the lightswitch placement) onto the floor with masking tape, then laid out my frames until they felt even and balanced.
It kinda looked like a chalk outline a la CSI, right? (I didn’t even clean off my countertops for y’all. I’m so sorry: I had precisely one nap time to do this whole thing. Pretend like it was messy only in that one portion of the counter that’s visible, and spotless everywhere else.)
Hanging the frames actually went really quickly with the help of the handy-dandy frame-hanging tool, which is basically the most valuable thing Andy and I ever created together. Except the kids.
The photos are all just some faves of the kiddos, a couple from our honeymoon/wedding, plus a couple little printables I whipped up in photoshop.
Aaaaand I’m about to wave my freak flag high, but that top printable? It’s our family rule: Everybody Love Everybody. I KNOW. SO CHEESY. We started it in jest, but now if you ask Weston what’s the family rule, he’ll tell ya: “Everybody love everybody!” Covers all the bases, right? Be nice. The end. I think Andy got that from a Will Ferrell movie.
(If you want that printable, it’s yours! Grab it here.)
The other printable is this one — the words are from a Bible verse that says, “And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” You can download that one here.
So basically, it’s a wall of wisdom from Will Ferrell and Jesus. That’s eclectic.
Here’s the thing: I’m not really sure how I feel about the wall yet. ?? I’m not really married to the whole idea yet. You know what I am married to? Andy. And he doesn’t like it. (Doesn’t like to have to look where he’s reaching when he goes to flip a lightswitch.) It’s an annoyingly valid complaint.
So we decided to live with it for a bit, try it on, feel it out, and see if it stays. Maybe it won’t, and it’ll just be this weird thing I tried once, but what is there to lose? Like I said: very few people will die as a result of this.
By the way, this post is part of series about Decorating with Pictures over at Kristen Duke Photography. She has a giveaway going on today too, so you can hop over and enter, then check out the other ideas for displaying photos!
Here’s what I want to know from you! Do you decorate with photos in your common areas? Are you a rule-follower? What project have you been putting off because you’re not sure you’ll like the end result? (Go try it! See what happens!)