Building a Wall that Makes a Home

​You may be disappointed if you are expecting details about to drywall, wood screws and insulation.  This is a post about building a wall that's already been built...what it looks like to build the walls in a house to make a home.  

How the heck do I put a bunch of random stuff together and make it look amazing?

Where I you even start?

Ugh...how do I even know what to buy?

I'm going to do my absolute best to outline a process that has always happened in my head, between just me and the wall, in a way that is helpful.  I believe this is possible for anyone who wants to make their house a home...and create walls that speak volumes about who they are, where they come from and where they're going.  So let's dive in!  

The Basics

  • Decide on a color scheme or inspiration piece. This will be what everything else builds from.
  • Group things in odd numbers (this is not a hard and fast rule, but a good place to start)
  • Collect a mix of small and large items
  • Incorporate different shapes (squares, rectangles, circles…things that have no real shape at all)
  • Include fun, unexpected textures
  • Consider shelving, especially if the wall is large.

Putting it All Together

It’s time to start building! First things first. Set everything out where you can see it. I mean it…line the floor of the room with all the pieces you have and step back. Look at all of them…and look at the wall.  Decide how much wall space you need to fill.

Start with Inspiration:  Begin with your inspiration piece. It’s the cornerstone you’ll build on. In this particular space, my inspiration piece was the mirror. I knew that this mirror had to go on this wall and it needed friends to hang out with!  So, I stepped back, accessed what I had, accessed the wall and put the mirror on the outer edge of the space to build a cascade of fun elements out to the left of it. Once the mirror was in place, I could begin exploring the next piece. 

One Piece at a Time:  From here, you’ll follow the same process. Step back, look at what you have and build one building block at a time. You’ll want to start with your larger pieces and save the smaller items to fill in the gaps or round out the big picture. I knew I wanted to stick with the top line of the couch for my baseline, so I went with the next biggest item I had and placed it beside the mirror, just above the couch. And it went from there! Each time I place something, I take that step back. One thing that’s super important: Always consider the next step. Always be thinking:  If I put that there, what will come next?  Make this your mantra.  You can totally do this! 

If I put that there, what will come next? Make this your mantra!

Make Mistakes:  Here’s the thing…I have to redo things sometimes. Sometimes there are extra holes behind things on the walls because I had to pull my nail out and try again! It’s ok! Give yourself grace and keep at it. No one has ever looked at one of my walls and said anything about a few extra holes…all they see is the spectacular finished product. Mistakes are part of the process. And one more tip: If you feel overwhelmed, walk away! Take a break…go for a walk, have a cup of something yummy to sip, eat some dark chocolate (my personal favorite option) and get some space from it. You’ll come back with fresh eyes and it will start to come together. I promise.

The Finishing Touches

Ok. You’ve got all your crucial pieces in place, but you see a few gaps here and there. This is where those small, unique and unexpected elements come into play. Tuck those things in between things, beside things and at the bottom of things. You’ll also want to consider what’s happening in the rest of the room. For example, I knew I wanted some pillows on the couch and a little plant on the table, so I put those things in place in order to see the whole picture as it started to come together. The wall is not separate from the rest of the space, it all dances and smiles in unison!

I’ll let you in on a little secret. When I design a space, I think in terms of arches and cascades. If you look at the walls I design, you can see that there’s one of two options: a steady climb to a summit and a nice decent back down the other side (can you tell I’m a bit of a backpacking fanatic? It's about the journey to the summit!) This decent usually flows into the furniture or other elements below the wall feature. My other go-to is a lovely cascade from a wall feature with all the other pieces trailing off from there. This really helps me to be intentional about where things are being placed and always consider the big picture. I hope it helps you too!

I’ll leave you with one last thought…keep it simple. There have been so many times that I’ve added that extra piece on the wall or another spot in the room and regretted it. Go with your first instinct and trust yourself. You’re better at this than you think you are! Simple is always better…and we all have our own brand of simple. Own yours!

You Did It!

Now comes the celebration! Invite your friends and family over so you can all ooohhh and ahhhh over your masterpiece! It’s magical when it all comes together and you feel proud of the home that you’ve built. You literally can build a wall that makes a home. And here’s the super fun part: You can change it any time! It’s an ever evolving process that can beautifully adjust to your taste or your season of life. As long as you’ve got these basics, you can’t go wrong!

Share the walls you’ve built with me! I’m dying to see what you’ve created! And don't forget your manta....

If I place that one piece there, where will the next piece go?

Happy Building!

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