Note: This is the second post in a series on home decorating. Read Home Sweet Decorated Home for some great decorating principles.
Let’s start with a disclaimer:
I fully understand that lots and lots of people use their horizontal surfaces for holding cute and useful stuff. I use mine for plants and unopened mail. So, when I talking about decorating, I mean walls. Just to clear that up.
Now, on to what to hang.
Here’s the deal about being an adult. You, from time to time, get to do what you want. This is one of those times. Hang up what you think is beautiful, funny, lovely, makes you happy, and generally looks like “you”.
I have a soffit in my kitchen and on it is hung my cheese grater collection. Yes, I hung cheese graders using tiny nails and museum wax. (amazing stuff by the way) My dad asked where I got the idea I said “What else would I have put up there?” He said “Most people go with paint.”
With that being said, here are a few idea for you from my house:
- Shelves with hooks
- Shelves without hooks
- A quilted wall hanging
- A vase (it has a little hole in it and is meant to be hung)
- A wreath (red berries)
- Tin signs
- A window frame from a 6 paned window
- Wooden Skis
- Baskets (yes, hung on the wall for decoration)
Here are a couple of places for you to start looking for things if you need some “stuff:”
Thrift and resale shops. I am lucky enough to have several resale shops in my town. I have found quite a few lovely things at very reasonable prices that are hanging in my home as I type. However, just like anything you buy used, you may need to so some searching.
Craigslist. I have never purchased any decor from Craigslist but have seen quite a few items in good condition and at reasonable prices. Plus you can shop in your pajamas.
Art Crawls. This is a generic term for when a bunch of artists get together and have “open houses” at their studios all at the same time. Many will have discounted pieces for sale or will have special offers just for the event. Even if you don’t buy a thing, it’s fun to look and see what is being created in your community. Fair warning, sometimes there is a small charge to attend them which covers the advertising for the event.
Craft Fairs. This depends on your taste and the person or organization running the event but there can be some really amazing things for sale at craft fairs. More often than not it will be more folk art than traditional art but a person never knows until they go. I love the quilted wall hanging of sheep I bought this fall. It makes me smile every time I pass it. Here again, there is sometimes a fee to attend.
Your camera. An 8×10 at Walgreens is $3. Sometimes they even give out codes for free 8x10s! That and a yard sale frame for a buck and you have winner. My bathroom has pictures of the Florida Cyprus swamp that I took myself.
A Vacation. I no longer buy t-shirts and key chains. Who needs them? When I go on vacation I look for a piece of art I can hang in my house. I sometimes spend more than I intend but see memories every day. This past spring break I bought a ceramic bowl that sits on a shelf in my bedroom. A few years ago a bought an original watercolor of the Tetons. I love them both.
Your family and friends. Do they have a craft? Would they make you something? Have you asked if you could buy one of their pieces? Most folks who craft love the process as much as the end product and would be happy to make you something if you bought the supplies.
Your kid’s stuff. My mom saved a poem I wrote in second grade. I framed it and hung it up. A kid drew me a card with 19 faces on it. Framed it. They are only little (or big) once. Put the memories under glass.
Kohls and Hobby Lobby. Both have sales that make their wall decor reasonable. Never pay full price at either place.
Keep in mind, the mess that is my house was years in the making and I have a whole bedroom that has nothing hung in it. I took everything down and repainted and have not felt the muse to hang things back up yet. When it feels right, I will know and so will you when you give yourself permission to do so.
Go, shop. And stay tuned for more on framing and hanging