Sunday, January 29, 2012

Help Me Decorate?

After putting it off way way way too long, I've been painting the living room.

Maybe part of the reason I put it off was because I knew I'd have to "decorate" it then.

Some of you are very artsy and gifted in this area. I am not. So, I put it to you, dear creative readers, what would you put on this empty wall?

Emily said, "Big family pictures in country frames," which I like but I want more ideas to choose from.Here's Jenny on the right and her friend and second cousin Dolly on the left posing like cool teenagers, just for perspective. They are not permanent fixtures. Neither is Dolly's bag of dress-up clothes there toward the left.

Just fyi--the wall is now a light yellow called Lemon Souffle. All the doors and woodwork will soon be the same white as on the lower right. Most of the furniture is a blue plaid. I like red accents.

This is a 100-year-old farmhouse, just so you know, and I am not really into trendy stuff like little pictures of steaming coffee cups. I like wall words, kind of, as long as it's not just one mysterious word like, "PERSPECTIVE." I'd like something that looks at home there and won't be out of style next month. Something cheerful.

I'd be open to a narrow sofa/console table as long as it didn't have terribly fragile/valuable things on top, because it would get crashed into in this household, we know that. The door to the outside is just off the picture, to the right.

Links and pictures would be great, even stuff on Pinterest.

So, what would YOU put there?

Quote of the Day:
"Is it possible to keep a beautiful home and still be a nice person?
--my friend Judy R.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Well, first of all I think Lemon Souffle is really pretty. And I am sorry, but I would go with the Family pictures in country frames, too. :)

  3. I'm with Cara in liking the color(s) and going with the family pictures in country frames, accented by cool little things positioned just so around them, but with the doing of that I am no help! :)

  4. Here are a few things I've pinned that I think you might like too :)

    Giant scrabble letters spelling "HOME":

    Philippians 4:6 in cool fonts and with a simple drawing:

    A bench (where you can sit and put on or pull off shoes) and a rack above:

    "HOME" spelled in large letters that have been decoupaged with maps:
    You could use maps from places you've lived :)

    Oh, and either of the "HOME" wall art could be combined with the family photos for a great look :)

    As you can see, I spend waaaay too much time on Pinterest :)

  5. Do you have any artists in the house? I think a border with fruits of the spirit would be nice. You could make that really pretty and what a great daily reminder.

  6. Hi Dorcus,
    Isn't freshening up and re-decorating fun?

    I'm loving the yellow/white color combination. Perfect for a farmhouse.

    Although I love the idea of displaying photos (especially since I've seen your family photos and they are so creative and beautiful) I'd add a little more fun to the wall :)

    -Put up 4 or 5 white floating different sized shelves at varying heights

    -Hang 1-3 pictures around/in between

    -Lean larger photo frames, even overlapping, on larger shelves

    -Add a small silk greenery plant and a pretty candle-holder on the smaller shelves

    -Hang a wooden or vinyl 'word/inspiration' above all of it

    This will give a nice combination of greenery, photos, script & candlelight/fragrance(a flame-less candle would work will there)

    Then add a small dropped-leaf table, sofa table or writing desk underneath with a pretty tablecover, flower arrangement and small frames on top.

    I have a photo of a similar arrangement in my home if you'd like to see it.

    Frames/Words....Target or Ross
    Signs/Candles/Greenery...Real Deals
    Shelves...Home Depot

    Hope this helps!
    I know you have many helping hands and fun ideas from your daughters, but if you like, I'd love to give you a hand. I love decorating (especially on a budget) ;)

    **Happy Decorating!!**

  7. I'd hang a beautiful quilt there, or even make a quick patchwork one of fabric that I love that ties all the colors together. I think fabric art has power and presence that small things don't. . .but they don't demand attention to little details the way pictures do (if that makes sense). I have large swaths of wall in my living room, and this is my plan for those walls :)

  8. if you like "word" things you should try Geneva's Creations"

    course you may know the Skrivseths already :)

  9. I'm a new reader (who also happens to live in a 100 plus year old house.) How about an old rustic window frame (with or without the glass) and then use a coordinating ribbon to hang a "twiggy" wreath in front of the window. I like the look of a collection of things, so I might add a small shelf to the side with a fake plant (I'd kill a real one) a candle and a cut-out word like "Family" or "Prayer" or "Smile." Or if you want to keep it simpler a bible verse that you apply to the wall under the frame would be neat too.

  10. Hello Dorcas
    I got to meet and cook for your son Ben this weekend at EBI. I follow and get inspired by your stories and knew Ben was at bible school but didn't know which one and when I got there I asked Stephanie our daughter which also is attending EBI and asked if Ben Smucker is here and she pointed him out and I noted a teenager rolling his eyes when I introduced myself due to reading his mother's stories. It was a fun and great weekend and God Bless you Dorcas Ruth and Elvin Martin

  11. I love family pictures, here is a link that may help. This dishes above the frames are a great touch! Have fun with whatever you decide.

  12. ASD said:
    I'm a great one for letting things evolve. We've moved around a bit, so I've had lots of walls to paint and decorate. I like to gather up my favorite things and ideas, then let them "percolate" for bit and see what suggests itself. Once you get it all painted, I would guess that one day you'll walk in to the room and know exactly what should be on that wall: family photos, an art piece, a great old quilt, whatever....

  13. I think it would be great to put scripture on the walls. I know you can get wall letter or phrase stickers, so that you don't have to paint it and you can take it off.

    I also love it when people put up colorful old plates on the walls. One summer, my mom and I were going to make mosaic coasters, and we went to Goodwill and bought old plates and smashed them up. All but one yellow and orange plate, that is, because I thought it was beautiful and decided to save it until the day that I have a bright red kitchen and I can hang up plates on the walls as art. :) So maybe you can try garage sales or thrift stores and find some old mismatched brightly colored plates to hang up!

    I would give you Pinterest ideas, but I'm trying to stay off Pinterest, because it sucks me in and I can't get off of it! :)

  14. THANK YOU, everyone! This is great fun. (One area of my life where I like to be told what to do.)

  15. Ruth Martin--I'm glad you introduced yourself to Ben, despite the eye-rolling on his part! Bless you for helping at EBI!


    I hope this link's really kinda cool, but would only work if you were lucky enough to have a fairly large blank space on a wall. Which it looks like you do!

    One thing about it is that it can be done pretty inexpensively.

    Better yet, it can be done with the help of various children, which would make it sort of more least, if you're a bit sentimental.

    Best of all, it can be EASILY updated as time goes by, so it isn't likely to become outdated. Just switch out what is on it.

    I like it, anyway =) You might, too!

  17. P.S.

    Oh, and scroll all the way down, there are lots of pics and instructions and stuff. OK, I'm done.


  18. I'm for the simple and practical first. Unique is closely intertwined.

    So since this is by the door, why not a tall mirrored coat and hat storage seat piece of furniture? Antique would reflect the age of the house. Not only would guests appreciate it but the occupants could take a quick glance in the mirror before opening the door.

    Start with that. It would swallow a big piece of the space. I'm with ASD in letting things evolve from there.
    Lavender Lou

  19. Dorcas Byler2/02/2012 5:27 AM

    Just a thought from someone else who struggles about what to put on the wall. Family pictures would do that well. Another idea--What is something that you and your family like? From your writings--a few ideas--the ocean, the river, Kenya. Maybe a nice seascape or a Kenyan piece of artwork. Whatever you do--don't put up something with no meaning just so you have something on the wall.
    Our painting of a cotton field by an artist in the town we lived in in SC given by the church in SC before we left is a perfect example. It may mean nothing to most people, but means a whole lot to me.

  20. Dorcas Byler2/02/2012 5:30 AM

    I should have edited my comment better. Just before --"Family pictures do that well."--I meant to add, but it got deleted--I like for the things in my home to tell people something about us.

  21. I love Dorcas' idea of something from Kenya. Do you (or Amy) have a great photo of Kenya that you could blow up into something huge? I also like the old window frame idea, but then I always love them in every one else's house and know inside they don't fit me at all. Going with the old country farmhouse look and combining that with something you love is going to be the thing that has the most staying power. Otherwise you will be tired of it in a few months or a year. Thinking of your fabric love .... any heirloom quilts that have meaning to you (and hopefully have red accents). I love the yellow / white, but also think that adding some brown, rustic wood something (maybe the photo frames if you go with that or a bench) would give a nod to the age of the house. Look around on Pottery Barn's website a bit and you will see what I mean. They create that look even w/o it being old.

  22. Ok, a few links:
    This is to show you the kind of wood I was trying to describe. I think it makes a lighter room look grounded.

    I like these candles sconces (can't think of the correct word for this kind) ... like a huge Kenyan image, wall sconces, and ...

    I think this is cool. The maps and the archictural frames / shelf / candles. It's simple, easy breezy, not fussy, and yet super attractive. And it could be significant if you chose maps of places you've lived, visited, dream of visiting ....... I'm pretty sure this is my favorite option. :)

    Oh, and I always adore these enormous clocks (although this is quite a different vibe from some of the other things here). And I really wish these pictures would show up bigger.


    How about a collage of family pictures?