Friday, September 12, 2008

What stays and what goes?

I was hoping to have a personal decorating session with my artist-sister Rachel Anne when she came for Labor Day, but hey, we were too busy eating and catching up with the family, so I had to take matters into my own hands.

Some things were no-brainers, mostly because I really like them, like my prints over the sofa in the family room.

Other things I am keeping just because I love them. And besides, darn it, it took me 10 years to finish embroidering The Lord's Prayer!And my kids' framed artwork in the hall.
Photos are a huge issue. I left tons of framed photos in boxes. What started out as a good idea when we had one or two kids (a picture or two a year of each child) quickly got out of hand around the third or fourth kid. Do the math with that after about 15 years of parenting. Yeah, like I said.

So while I ponder that dilemma, I decided to continue with an idea I started a few years ago - the "Yearbook" wall. This is in our hall. I chose one snapshot that captures a memory for that year. Birth of a child, vacation, etc. Most years it is the family picture we sent out at Christmas. And yes, I'm four years behind on this project, too. Like I said, I'm good at starting things...I will finish this. I will finish this. I will finish this!
So then we move to the breakfast area and things start getting a little less confident. I like all the items I'm using here (mostly grandmother's hand-me-downs). Besides the fact that I am dying to paint this built-in (that is some kind of copper-colored chicken wire on the cabinet doors!), I feel like it's a little blah. Suggestions, please?
Same for this enormous built-in in the dining room. This thing is like 12 feet wide, and yes, that's amber plastic in the cabinet doors. I know you were wondering. Grandma's china is just kind of lost here.
I would post kitchen pictures, but it would take me too long to clear the counters. Let's just say I haven't done much. We had the cabinets painted white when we moved in, so it looks little better than a hospital at this point. Sigh.

The only definite "NO" is this:
Yes, Allie-15 informed me (after I'd put the last nail in the wall, of course) that putting up school/studio pictures is "too Grandma-ish!"

I suppose she's right. They are pictures only a mother (or grandmother) could love.

So I am in the process of collecting photos (I am a lover of snapshots) of all the kids, and I'm going to have them printed in black and white. I have one for everyone except Neal, poor baby. He is underrepresented in the photo department by about a million to one. Once I get them, I'll frame them and replace these "say cheese" pics. One is the photo of Ruthie I posted the other day. Here's one I'm using for Libby-10 that Allie took:Sheesh, for that matter, I should just have the kids take ALL the photos of each other. They're much better at it than I am, and maybe they'll actually get it done.

25 comments:

SavvyEnid@westtexascountrylife said...

Gorgeous!!! I love it! I have been changing few things here as well....Stay safe with Ike..we got about 7 inches up here is west texas yesterday!

Jen said...

I'm not good at taking pictures either. I think the black and white ideas is good...lets see it when its done.

Sandy said...

I have those floral prints above my couch too! Except mine are on canvas and look like oil paintings. One thing I must have done right :-). Your realtor wouldn't let you keep the Lord's Prayer? I think it's really pretty. But then, I have decorating issues of my own :-)

Marian said...

You have a lot of storage! Updating the cabinet door inserts and hardware on both of those built-ins would go a long way. Yeah, paint would probably be nice on the kitchen one. Do those brackets between the upper level and lower level actually support the upper cabinet? If not, is there a way to remove them? Then you wouldn't have the broken-up wall space and the whole thing would look more clean-lined and up-to-date.

Sorry I haven't been around much. =)

Marian said...

(I was assuming that the kitchen cabinet is attached to the wall, but on second glance, maybe not!)

blessedwith5 said...

I would probably take out the amber glass and have it replaced with clear glass. That would show off your priceless people.

As for the chicken wire: maybe spray paint it black - it would tend to disappear that way.

Susanne said...

It's looking goood Katherine. One baby step at a time. If it makes you feel better we just got rid of the amber plastic, yes I said plastic out of the doors or our kitchen cabinets this year after living here for 15 years. We're a little slow. LOL.

I love the snapshot idea.

julie said...

I think it loooks great. I would love to have all those built in cabinets.

Joy said...

I'm impressed! Looks great!

Cassandra @ Tripping Around The Sun said...

I loved the prints over the sofa. I loved everything you kept. Looks great. The built ins mostly need the plastic chicken wire stuff replaced with glass. Then paint might can wait.
And black and white snap shots are my absolute most fave.
See...you just needed to believe in yourself. Your home looks wonderful.

katherine said...

i loooooove the b&w photo idea! i appreciate "artsy" things like that. and, i love the framed arty by the kids (probably for the same reason!). unfortunately, i don't have any ideas for your built-ins. good luck!

-katherine from senor elefante

Beck said...

I would change the hardware on the built-in thingy - updating hardware makes a big difference FAST!

Randall said...

Everything looks great - I love all of the great family photos!

Jen @ Rolling Through Looneyville said...

The yearbook wall is out? Seriously? I'm 26 and thought that was a cute thing to do... *sigh* I'm just counting the days til my kids are the ones telling me what's cool and what's not.

I'm currently having the same issues... we have tons of pictures but a new house and weird walls. I haven't the slightest idea as to where things should go.

Jamie @ Purposeful Pursuit said...

I love black and white snapshots! My kids are much better picture takers than me as well.

I can't be too much help with the whole decorating thing...I get so overwhelmed with the choices.

Jill said...

I love the snapshot idea. I think it captures personalities much better than school pics.

Kristin said...

I think it looks good! What about painting the wall behind the built ins - maybe a bold color like red or a pumpkin color - then you could mount some of your china plates in those square sections. I agree to change the hardware, but who I am to talk - we've lived here three years and still have the same yucky cabinet door knobs. This gives me inspiration though!

Lori - Queen of Dirty Laundry said...

I'm WAY behind on reading posts, so here are my belated suggestions.

For the kitchen built-in, is the chicken wire removable? If so, you could take it out and staple fabric in from the back for a pop of color. That's something you could do TODAY is you wanted, without having to figure out how to install glass.

I love your silver/pewter/whatever platters and plates, but they're sort of disappearing. Do you have a wall where you could hang them in a grouping instead? You Then you could display some lighter-colored items on the hutch that would stand out more.

As for the dining room built-in, ditto on the fabric inserts. Oh, unless you want to be able to see inside. In that case, I'd take out the amber and leave it empty until you can get glass in there.

I've also seen some people use wallpaper or even scrapbook paper to liven up the backs of built-ins or shelves. I'll e-mail you a couple of sites I love.

LOVE the idea of BW photos of the kids. They're gorgeous!

Lori - Queen of Dirty Laundry said...

Yes, I can spell but NO, I can't parent and comment at the same time.

Please forgive my typos!

Rachel Anne said...

You really don't need me anymore. With all the great advice here, I'll just take my paint swatches and curl up in a little fetal ball!

Just kidding, of COURSE!

Your house is looking GREAT, btw. I love what you've done without me. Besides, I would just distract you from the tasks at hand by making quesadillas. The b&w pictures are incredible, and you've inspired me to re-think my walls. I need some good pics of the kids and fam up there...bye bye cheesy Olan Mills Church Directory "portraits", I never liked you anyway.

Keep posting pics...I love it!

Dimple Queen said...

OK...I am NOT an interior decorator by any stretch of the means, BUT I LOVE the black and white photos!!! Those are a MUST!

Henley on the Horn said...

I love your yearbook wall! That is the best idea. I am going to have to copy you! And where do you have their artwork framed? Do you frame it without a mat? I loved your gallery! Great ideas from another mama of 5!

Qtpies7 said...

I must be very Grandma-ish because I have 10x13 pics of each kid on my wall. They are all lined up in a row, 7 nice big pics. I stop at the senior picture. I am debating on putting my son's military pic in over his senior picture when he gets that taken, but otherwise I don't plan to change things.

prettywithribbons said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
prettywithribbons said...

One idea for the hutch is to paint the areas of the wall that show - it would make the items stand out. In the dining room, have you thought of an area rug to define the eating area? I put all of my pictures up on a narrow shelf that ran the length of the hallway, and added other little pictures as well. Makes it a little different. Best wishes with everything...