Friday, August 15, 2014

Embellishing the Family

It's been a little over 15 months since we moved into our new house. In the past I've hung nearly everything I own on the walls, but after 16 years in the last house and having had to apply a lot of spackle before we left, I have been very reluctant to put nails in these fresh new walls. Very reluctant.

In our upstairs hallway, on a wall that never saw sunshine, I had hung oh, I don't know, 25? framed pictures of our family. The brilliant Colorado sunshine blesses us over 325 days of the year, so I am very careful of what I hang on walls that get that bright light.

It was a gallery look and everybody loved it. But by the time we moved and had filled every hole with spackle, that wall looked like it had a case of albino measles and I felt kind of bad about that. (although the new owners wasted no time repainting the entire house, so I didn't feel bad for long)

Here at the new place I did finally hang the kids on the wall, all 15 of them (that's 3 born to us, 3 who married in, and 9 grandchildren) in one frame. Minimalistic, you could say.  I am liking the simpler look. (note: one more grandchild is expected to be born early next year!)

But the other day I decided they were just kinda floating in space, unattached and lacking in style, or something.

My friend Loraine  introduced me to the idea of these self-adhesive wall stencils. She said one of her daughters had used them and they were great. Unhappily,  they live entirely too faraway from us, so I was not able to get a personal demonstration of how these stencils work.  

I have decorated our home for years with painted designs, using acrylic paints, sponges, and stencils. When I shattered my shoulder in 2008, I ended up with a shoulder replacement  and  some permanent loss of range of motion.  Painting stencils on walls became really difficult.

Loraine suggested I might like to use these adhesive stencils. They aren't expensive and can even be removed with the help of a hair dryer if I decide I don't like it.

I finally got brave last December and bought a stencil to use in our hallway above a coat rack. This was my first experience with the  new method.

Kathy and Friends redecorated one of the Bible study rooms at our previous church, using these same kind of stencils.  I love the clean lines and scriptural messages so easily applied to the walls.

I found this stencil at Michaels (but you can also find them at Target, and probably JoAnn's and Hobby Lobby). This one cost me something like $15. They are not hard to apply. Just read the directions carefully and be sure to grab a level from your hubby's workshop, and some masking tape.

In a matter of minutes, the project was complete and if I do say so myself, the kids look better for the effort!

I have one more tip, that may sound kind of silly, but it worked well for me:  

If you're into taking "before" and "after" pictures, like I am, one way to make sure your camera distance is the same for both pictures is to take your "before" photo, then step out of your shoes leaving them exactly where they were when you took the picture. When you come back later to take the "after" shot, just step back into your shoes and voila'! 

Well, it's close to the same! (smile)


  1. Well, that just looks great and I LOVE the lettering. I have done some of it at Hubby's office and it has lasted beautifully. I may use some in our new house, but that's a ways down the road for now.

    Our new house is going to be so open that I'm losing so much wall space and I don't know how I'm going to hang everything I want to hang. I probably won't. My designer said I will have to pick and choose. Ugh!

    I did not remember that you had had shoulder replacement. Oh, my! I've had shoulder surgery to repair a frayed tendon and that was tough enough.

    Happy weekend!

  2. One thing about the newer homes is how open they are. We love that openness and yet not only is it hard to hang everything we want on the decreased amount of wall space, but we have to re-think the placement of furniture. The placement of furniture is also affected by larger windows.

    We have had the wide plantation shutters installed in our last 3 houses, and I love them, but opening windows is complicated when we have to swing open a shutter to get the to windows. If the window sills are lower than a lamp table or a couch, it's very problematic.

    One smart thing we have done in was to have electric outlets installed in the floor of our home in the family room so we can plug in lamps that are beside couches that are out in the middle of the room. Of course, that meant I had to give serious thought to where I would be positioning a couch or lamp table so the outlet could be under those pieces of furniture, and not out in plain sight.

    I don't know if you will have a stair case anywhere in your new home, but one thing that is so helpful is to have an electric outlet somewhere in the middle of the stair case (on a wall, perhaps on the landing if you have one), so you can more easily plug in the vacuum cleaner while doing the steps. I have done that in more than one house and been glad I did.

    We have had many corporate transfers all across the country during our marriage, and over half of those moves have been to new houses, so these tips about electric outlets, in particular, have been learned the hard way.

    I am excited for you and this process of watching your new home develop.

  3. This looks very pretty, Barbara. My daughter-in-law has used adhesive wall stencils in her home and in her pre-school classroom. I used floral ones in my grand daughter's room in our home.

    I do know what you mean about lack of wall space in homes! Even though the house we are in was built in 1996, it has a very open floor plan. It is almost twice the size of the house we owned in Brooklyn, yet less furniture fits in it! Luckily, the prior owner also had floor sockets installed in a few areas and installed a central vacuum system. That helps!

  4. Hi Barbara, thanks for visiting my blog. I love the word art that's so easy to apply. I have a few around my home, and just put up a new one the other day. Your home is lovely, thanks for sharing it. ~ Abby