30 Jun My Solution for a Challenging Wall Space
In August 2012 we made the big move from Minneapolis to the suburbs. Josh and I knew we wanted to start a family at some point and the home we had at the time was just not conducive for family life, with the master bedroom upstairs, away from the two small bedrooms on the first floor. I loved living in the city, so it took a lot of convincing from Josh to get me to consider a home in Chanhassen!
I really enjoyed decorating the rooms in our new home and spent a decent amount of time finding wall art that best fit my style without breaking the bank. I pretty much had everything figured out within a few months. That is, everything but my entryway hall. This hall/foyer begins at our front door and while the office and the dining room are both to the right, the left is a very long expanse of wall. I’m serious – 19 feet of uninterrupted wall space. While this long hall is great for Chase riding his Mickey Mouse airplane back and forth between the great room and front door, or for playing with his remote control car, there is a huge wall space to fill. Add in the high ceilings and decorating just got super tricky.
I spent hours on Pinterest trying to find inspiration. At one point I tried a 16 x 48 canvas print of a beach in Maui on the wall – Josh had taken it during one of our vacations to Hawaii and it’s beautiful; however, it looked a bit ridiculous and lost with so much empty space surrounding it. So for over two years I pretty much had nothing on my awkward wall space. This really bugged me since this is one of the first areas that you see when you enter our front door.
When I decorated for Chase’s first birthday party I ended up placing a long banner on the wall to display all of his first year milestone pictures. This actually turned out great and the hallway was the perfect spot! I am embarrassed to admit that I kept that DIY birthday banner up for almost a year. I’m not going to lie, I enjoyed looking at the pictures, but I think the real reason I left it up is because I had no other ideas and I figured the banner was better than going back to an empty wall.
I searched and searched Pinterest for ideas and unfortunately wasn’t very successful. The beautiful design concepts just weren’t practical for an area traversed constantly by an on-the-go toddler. A number of pins showed entryways with built-in benches and coat racks – we already had a similar setup in our mudroom, so this option was useless. Other pinners suggested trying to fill the space with a long, narrow entryway table with expensive knick-knacks or fancy lamps placed on them. Sure, these spaces looked amazing, but they just weren’t practical for our family. All I could picture was Chase splitting open his head on the corner of the table while simultaneously shattering the nicely staged lamp into a million pieces.
I was beginning to think that my wall would remain bare forever when I finally came across an idea on Pinterest that I thought might work: a collage of large family photos arranged in a pattern of three across and three down. This idea was perfect! I could go through all of our family pictures, starting with our wedding, and choose my favorites to use in the collage. After measuring the wall, I decided to start out with an arrangement of five across and three down. I narrowed it down to my favorite 15 pictures, which was harder than it sounds! And now I finally appreciate the length of the hallway, since there’s even room to add more photos as time goes on. Down the road as the kids get older I may even choose completely different pictures to mix things up.
Initially I planned on using canvas, but then someone suggested that it would be less expensive to just buy frames at IKEA and have prints made at Costco. That is definitely a great option, but ultimately I decided to bite the bullet and had all of the photos transferred to canvas. I researched a number of online sites that sell customizable wall art and decided to order through Canvas on Demand. They run sales quite frequently. (It’s kind of like shopping at Kohl’s or Macy’s – never buy anything at full price without a discount!) I ordered their Premium Canvas Wraps in the 20 x 16 size which were 75% off at that time. While the Premium Wraps are usually a bit more expensive than the traditional canvas wraps, they have a warp-resistant frame, professionally closed backs, and pre-installed hardware, and that was the product with the best sale! I should note that were packaged really well and they arrived in great condition.
Overall, I am thrilled with how my wall turned out! The example I had seen on Pinterest was done with black and white photos, but I decided to go with color, with the space and wall color I was working with. Chase points to his pictures and wants me to tell him the story of where they were taken and what we were doing. And I often find myself looking at the pictures even though I have seen them a zillion times.
Do you have any fun, toddler-friendly ideas for entryway wall décor? If so, I’d love to see them!