I recently expressed to Himself how unsettled I was in our new home as we’d still not finished putting up pictures, despite having moved over 6 months ago. This being the first home we have chosen together, I’ve been engaging in discussions of what will go where. When he joined me in our previous home, I offered to make changes so he could put up some of his own pictures and, after he’d selected, framed and hung some of his work, we also discussed which of my pictures he wasn’t keen on – these getting moved into my study, so what appeared on the walls in our shared space was pleasing to us both.

Nevertheless, after moving here, I was slightly horrified when he expressed that he’d be entirely comfortable to have absolutely nothing on the walls at all … I’ll be honest, it threw me into a bit of a tail spin, because I don’t feel it’s home until my pictures are up on the walls. With further discussion, it transpired that he was willing to compromise, but felt the amount of artwork I hang on the walls to be too much. So, we’re now in the process of selecting what to hang and what to put away and I’m having to curb my impatience.

In my office, I have free reign – except for it being where I’ll see my coaching clients, so thought has to be given to the appropriateness of what is hung there too. As a result, some artworks have been hung, but more remain leaning against the wall while those tricky decisions are made.

What makes this all much harder is that my artwork mostly comes with an emotional connection. In style, I’ve a decided preference towards watercolour and drawing – for example, I’ve a watercolour rendition of the Tuscan countryside bought from a pavement artist in Florence, a pastel drawing of my grandmother, a couple of prints by artist friend Jenny Barron who produces wonderfully detailed watercolours (some still life and some with a more surrealistic bent), and a watercolour of Egyptian dhows painted by family friend and long-time artist Valerie Brinton (now sadly no longer with us). There’s a small lino-cut of Volterra (a walled hilltop Tuscan town) and a large lithograph of my father’s old private school in Cheltenham, as well as two large nudes which we’re both fond of, but are difficult to locate in case of giving offence.

I’ve also got a small collection of Spanish porcelain figures from Lladro, a pair of Balinese wood carvings and a large Buddha, which is a pretty good demonstration that, in terms of ambience, my style is mix ‘n match – things I’ve picked up from here ‘n there, mixed in with things I’ve inherited or which have a family connection. While I want things to work together, I don’t pursue one set style. But one thing is for sure, minimalist I am not …

Despite being a photographer, the only photos of mine on display are family snaps. Himself has printed and framed a few, but has yet to decide where he’d like them displayed. I’ve taken a bit of a break from finalising the decision while I sort out my knee problem, but once that’s done … I’ll be champing at the bit to get out the hammer and picture hooks to get this job finished once and for all.

What do you display on the walls of your home — photos, posters, artwork, nothing? How do you choose what to display? Is there a particular mood you’re trying to create?

© Debra Carey, 2020

19 thoughts on “Wall-to-wall

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  1. I feel seen. Not so much art work, per se, but a long time ago the Times did a series of film posters, which I appropriated from the aged P. Some poster frames from B&Q and I had some pics for the stairs and hall. These were an early casualty of married life… The walls are starting to feel a bit cramped, not helped by a rediscovery of some pics I bought with birthday money when I was 18 and then forgot about when I went to Uni…Oops.

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  2. OK, I have a difficult time deciding what to put on the walls. I sort of understand Himself’s approach to it. However, like you, what we have hanging on our walls has to have meaning for me– or I’d feel inauthentic. And I couldn’t live like that, so it has taken us years to find exactly the right thing to put on our walls. And here’s the thing, when we’ve agreed on what to put up, we’re happy as two bugs in a rug. It’s a process, that’s what I’ve learned about artwork on the walls.

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  3. My walls in my living room are all framed pieces of my daughters artwork, one for each year of pre school and elementary. My front hallway has mainly photos that I’ve taken (flowers) my dining nook has pictures that my husband and I painted at a paint and sip event. My bedroom has a combo of my photos and a few actual photos of my daughter. Over my vanity I have a bunch of notes from my daughter that just make me happy. And I hang a few necklaces that are too long for the area I keep my jewelry.

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  4. We lived in our apartment eleven years before we put the pictures up. They sat in boxes in the living room during that time. Inertia is the only explanation I have.

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  5. We have a mix of all kinds of things on the wall. The hallway has family pictures, the living room has a sports tribute wall and the rest of the house is a jumble.

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  6. Ha ha David, I noticed the change in style (‘cos of it being my thing) but managed not to comment ☺️

    I know I’m terribly impatient on the subject, so am working at reining it in. He’s safe all the while I’m on crutches though 😂


  7. Janet, oooh a sports tribute wall – I’m missing one of those. I shall have to point out to Himself how lucky he is to be able to avoid pictures of rugby players 😂

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  8. Alien, it’s so easy to do. I think that’s why I’m in such a hurry to get it done. Or that’s what I tell myself anyway 😀

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  9. LA, your wall decor sounds perfectly personal. I’ve never heard of a paint & sip event – just as well as, despite being from a family of talented artists, I’m better positioned as an appreciator! 😀

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  10. I suspect I’m a tad spooked by the knowledge that the one home I didn’t hang my wall decor was the one where I was living when my ex & I split up. It was my “dream home” but never felt like it. I’m working hard at applying the reins … ☺️

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  11. I used to be like you, wanting pictures on the walls to make the abode feel more like home. As I’ve gotten older though, I have discovered those same pictures are making me feel a little claustrophobic.

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  12. Hello GJ, how interesting. I’ve been looking at the tiny home movement with great interest. I wonder if a time will come when I feel the same. Himself would probably be delighted – although getting him to pare down his camera kit might be another matter 😂 Nice to see you here 🙂

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  13. Dave, si sorry I missed this.
    Your system sounds like a good one … but then I would think so! 😊Himself may not agree. We don’t have a garden so I can’t even ship him out there …

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