A year ago, our living room held normal things like couches and our TV. It also had a great big blank wall that I had never quite managed to conquer, so last November I tried my hand at putting up a gallery wall of family Disney photos using a collection of secondhand frames and photos I had printed at home.
The results…well, I wouldn’t say disastrous so let’s just go with “not what I had hoped for”.
The gallery wall was pretty short lived. The pictures constantly went wonky, the filter I had used to make all of the photos look uniform ended up looking cheap and sun-bleached, and the whole thing wasn’t large enough to make an impact on that wall. So I took it down and revealed a thousand tiny (and not so tiny) holes that had been created during my redecoration attempt. Sigh.
Some months later, we converted the living room to the playroom, moved the couches to Eva’s bedroom, and moved Eva in with us. It’s been a great move and the room feels much better now that we’re using our largest space for the kids, but that giant wall continued to haunt me.
I wanted to put up some really cute kid art a la Pinterest…you know, nice framed Scandinavian prints or something…but I was very much not looking forward to putting a whole new series of holes in the wall. Plus, I have a finicky history when it comes to art and we have no less than thirty framed prints in storage (none of which felt right for this space). Sigh again.
Ultimately, we left the wall blank for a while and I would sit at my desk and glare at the holes and think about how dumb I was to attempt the gallery wall. So, one night I pulled out a box of Eva’s old art projects and began to hang them up using washi tape, just so I didn’t have to look at the holes a minute longer. I figured this would be a good temporary solution until I got my artistic vision solidified.
Funny thing –
When Eva woke up and saw her art on the wall the next morning, she was ecstatic. Ecstatic. You would have thought she was having a gallery opening in Manhattan. She got right to work creating new pieces for display (really messy stuff) and I had a moment of internal panic because she was going to want me to stick all sorts of crap on our wall.
Two things learned: (1) no art I could ever buy and hang up would make me as happy as Eva is when we hang her projects up on the wall and (2) I underestimated my kid’s internal curator. As she finished art, she’d bring it to the wall and consider where it should hang. At least 94% of the time, she made the decision on her own that she didn’t want it hung with the rest and took her art to the fridge instead. So when she does have something she really wants to hang, I know that it’s important to her and it goes up. I don’t always like it and I do surf Pinterest every now and then for those lovely kid art prints, but I’m happy that she’s found a space in our small house to really call her own.
Of course, her brother has started fingerpainting and I’m not looking forward to future family committee meetings on art installation. We need more walls…