The Pictures on the Wall

In the old house, it took us until the very last month we lived in it, so about 18 months into living in the home, for us to finally hang up some pictures. We did this with the idea of staging in our minds, not for sentimental reasons. In general, all of our photos were sitting on the floor in the places they were to be hung, at some point, once we’d finished other projects in the room, but obviously we sold the house and never got around to finishing all the projects stored away in our brains. It’s sort of depressing that we had all of our art just sitting on bookshelves, are leaned up against the wall waiting to be hung. Le sigh.

So in this house, I made a very firm resolution to not wait 18 months to hang our family pictures and art. THIS time, I was going to hang up those pictures as soon as we got in the house!

Three months later, I’ve finally done it! This is very unfinished, but it’s a start and I’m always amazed at how art can make a home look instantly lived-in.

I decided to focus my attention on an area that will probably remain relatively unchanged while we live here. Since the main floor will be rearranged once the basement is done, my options were limited.

KaBlam! Blank canvas:

Hanging Art on a blank wall

I couldn’t really get a good picture of the space (although now that I think about it, I probably could have stood on the kitchen island and gotten a better shot… perspective…) but basically we have this giant wall leading down to the basement and it was just calling my name. It was saying, “Jen. JEN! Gallery wall. It’ll be sooo good!”

Well, what the wall wants, the wall gets. She’s a feisty, persuasive type of wall.

I didn’t really have a plan. I just grabbed a bunch of pictures, laid them out on the ground in a formation I thought was compatible with the angle of the stairs and then thought, “Whelp, here goes nothing.”


One thing I did find helpful was this little sheet of paper that came with a frame I purchased for one of the photos. I actually used it for a couple of the frames because many of them are just 8×10 frames in various styles. If the picture had a different setup for hanging, I drew it in by hand on the sheet and used it as an alternative template. Then, I hammered the nail in where the template said it needed to go and voilà! Success!



I didn’t have to buy anything for this wall. It was all stuff that we already had sitting around that just needed to be hung. I printed out the vintage camera solely because I had an even number of hanging pictures up until that point… and I have a thing for odd numbers. Seriously.

The Paris painting I bought from a street vendor when I was in Paris when I studied abroad in college. The house picture I bought on Etsy three years ago. It was originally a gift for my mom, but I liked it so much I bought one for us too.


And these beautiful people are one-of-kind. Obviously.

I’m not sure why we look so washed out in the upper family picture.

Pssst- If you’re looking for a family photographer in Minnesota, make sure you check out La Caturra Photography. She’s a friend of mine from high school and she does a great job!



You can also see the second painting from the Parisian street vendor (below the picture of the three kiddos) and then, finally, a giant painting I bought at a thrift store for $7 about a week before I hung this wall. I really like most of the painting, I don’t love all of the painting (was the fence actually necessary? No, I don’t think it was). However, for now, it looks really nice amidst the rest and it’s a great size.


Here’s what it looks like from my kitchen island. I fully intend on switching these in and out as we grow in this house. Considering I hung up a grand total of about 10 pictures in the last house, and there are nine in this compilation alone, I’d say I’m well on my way to breaking my previous record!

What all have you been up to? I read somewhere that the gallery wall is on its way “out”. Thoughts? Do you neglect to hang up pictures until the very last moment? Or is it the first thing you do when you move in somewhere?




It Continues…

It’s Thursday.

It’s rainy.

Let’s talk kitchen inspiration! Who doesn’t love a good design collaboration on a dreary day?? We’re still two weeks away from closing (Saint Joseph pray for us!) but we’re hopeful that everything goes well and this baby will be ours to love and cherish!

As far as what we will be working with… allow me to illuminate the situation. Here’s the kitchen as it is now (please forgive the bad photo quality).

Kitchen 3

Holy laminate, Batman.

The kitchen is attached to the dining room, as well as has a connection to part of the enormous living room in the front of the house (we’ll talk about that at a later date). The door to the side of the house is also connected here. This picture doesn’t really do it justice. It’s a great space… but needs a lot of tender loving care. The cabinets are in great shape but apart from that… it’s just not really our style in here.

Kitchen 2

It doesn’t really look like it from the pictures, but it just feels super sterile in there. I’m all about a clean kitchen, but I also think there is something to be said about incorporating different colors, textures, and patterns into a space to make it feel warm and lived-in.

The best part about the kitchen is this guy:

Kitchen 1

Boom! Eat-in kitchen area! Complete with great window to look out into the backyard. I’ve got plans for this space. Lots and lots of plans. Plans that do no include floor-to-ceiling laminate.

But if I’m being honest, because the kitchen is generally in really good shape, it’s not on our spend-money-now priority list. Updating this guy is going to be down the road a bit while we save for new appliances, built-ins, light fixtures, new flooring, new counter tops etc.

Until we’re ready to take on the kitchen redo, I have been drawing some great ideas from really amazing spaces out there on the web. I just wanted to share a couple of my favs with you.

Like this one. First of all, if you don’t know this about me. I L.O.V.E. white cabinets. I know everyone says they’ll go out of style but man, I just love how clean and modern white cabinets look. But what I really love about this kitchen is that chalkboard wall! First, it’s huge. Second, what an amazing way to incorporate your children, your schedule, art, creativity etc. all in one space. Not quite sure how we’ll implement this in our own kitchen, but I’m determined to figure it out. And you know what they say, where there’s a will, there’s a way. There is no “try”, there is only “do”.

Symmetrical Space

We’re hoping to add something like this into that nook. We love that it’s simple, but has wonderful warm textures. I love the rustic wood table (and the amazing legs!), coupled with the warm pillows mixed in with the soft white/cream benches and walls. Don’t you just want to sit down and spend time there? It’s pretty amazing.

Another great photo to inspire is this guy:

Large banquette + curved entrance

Again, it’s the sleek lines of the white benches and walls. Plus that jaw-dropping chunky table and really fun pillows. I vote yes. Just yes.

I also love the idea of incorporating some open shelving in the space. Whether that means shelves near the ceiling that houses all of our cookbooks or shelves to display some of our dishes and decorate items I do know yet, but I like the look of open shelving in the kitchen. Right now all of the cabinets are solid doored, and I think if we open some of it up it’ll make the kitchen look a little more breezy. Luckily there are two pretty sizable windows in the kitchen so it keeps light streaming in, making it a pretty bright space.

What’s been inspiring you lately? Have any last-minute plans before it gets really cold? In Minnesota here it’s supposed to rain most of the weekend and be around 50 degrees. Definitely feels like we’ve left summer far behind us.





Remodelers Showcase… and some awesome shopping

Last weekend was the Remodelers Showcase edition of the Parade of Homes. A friend of mine and I went a-hunting for some great ideas for our houses (closing is coming up!). Since we both own houses in Minneapolis, we wanted to see what others had done with the challenges (and blessings) of owning an older home.

We were not disappointed! It’s wonderful to be able to pin things on Pinterest and tab inspiration photos is some of my design books, but actually seeing things in person really lights a fire. It’s all “Ooo I could this” and “Wow, our rooms are set up just like this, I bet we could something like this!” Also, can we just talk about how every time I see a claw-foot tub in a bathroom I just want to break out the bubbles and relax in it for hours? Guilty.


Love me some cubbies! I also love me some green trench coat… but stealing is illegal so I’ll have to go get my own. Priorities. Also, since we need to completely redo the railings and stairs, I loved the way the made the rungs for the banister white while matching the handrail with the wood from the stairs. I am also thinking we might need to have a fabric runner for our stairs after they’ve been stripped of there lovely orangey shagginess, but we will see.

BUT the real fun part of the weekend was going through Hunt & Gather in Minneapolis. For those of you who love a little antique shopping. You’ll love this place. The prices aren’t particularly cheap, but the stuff they have is really awesome. I even walked away with a couple of things… but more on that later.

Let the yummy details follow!


First of all, the sheer amount of various lettering is out-of-control. They have wood letters. Paper letters. Plastic letters. Vinyl letters in a wide array of color. Chunky light-up letters. I mean seriously, the list goes on and on and on. I found one giant orange “O” that needed to come home with us… but at almost $40, I left it because we have nowhere to store it at the moment. Until next time “O”… until next time.

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I may or may not have laughed out loud when I saw this table of (mainly presidents but there might have been a Caesar or two) busts. Mama needs some white ceramic busts for bookshelves. Maybe I need to start thrift shopping for impressive historical biographies to accompany them. Anybody have any suggestions? Speaking of bookshelves…


So much awesomeness- so little time. They even had a super ancient Bible, complete with fantastic chunky gold clasp and large imprinted gold cross. You know, the kind you see on TV sets being used as a prop. Again, pricey, bust no less awesome.

Then there was this:

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And my bunny slippers ran for cover.

This might be someones idea of decorative genius… but I just kind of wanted to cry. Maybe if you gave it a cute little nickname like “Goober” or something.

I also found this and let out an audible “Awwww”:

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Did anyone else have this movie as a kid??? I L.O.V.E.D. it! I’m still sort of sorry it didn’t come home with me.

So that was how I spent my Saturday afternoon last week. Has anyone else been to Hunt & Gather? Do you have any go-to places for awesome antiques or thrift items? Anybody else feel like that fish probably was the bully on the playground?