October 26, 2010

Mural, mural, on the wall...

When it comes to decorating our home, I could go on, and on, and on… it’s my favorite part of being Susie Homemaker.  (See the “Perfuming the pig” post for proof positive – I’d rather paint than clean!)  And here and there on this little blog I’d like to share some of the things I do to accomplish it.  And so we begin with this:  once upon a time, long, long, ago, I wanted to do some daring, splashy, bold things with paint in my home, not just with wall color, but in other ways.  I had it all pictured in my mind, but out of fear of making mistakes, I had always held back and played it safe.   It wasn’t until it was time to change our son Scott’s room from that of a toddler to a “big boy” room that I broke free from my fear.  And as sometimes happens when one breaks free, I went full force!  A week or so later, there was a six foot cowboy on my son’s wall, with a vibrant blue background.  The other walls were a soft green to keep the spotlight on Tex.  I didn’t draw him myself, but used an iron-on mural kit to get the lines up, then brought life to the giant coloring book with bold paint colors.  I even added glitter to the moon.
When our twin boys came along, I gave them a little splash of their own by painting their names on the walls above their respective cribs.  Not on a plaque, but right on the walls.  It wasn’t big, but it was personal.  With twin babies in the house, names were about all I had time to paint!
Superman Zach realizes he's in the wrong crib
Having outgrown that house, we built a larger one.  This time, my boldness unleashed and fears conquered, I abandoned the iron-on plan and drew and painted a mural for the then toddling twosome (yes, with glitter on the moon and stars!)

Our older son had left behind the cowboy phase and had moved on to SpongeBob SquarePants as his desired room theme.  I took his bedspread with me to pick out paint chips, and three colors and some painter’s tape later I created this mural, having seen a similar project done on canvas.

And in our school room, I painted a simple large rectangle with chalkboard paint, which my father trimmed out to create our own custom chalkboard.

We moved out of state a couple years ago, and I have spent that time changing the color of just about every room in this house.  (More on my color choices another day.)  No murals yet, but I’m thinking about an undersea one for our finished basement in the kids’ play area.  In the meanwhile, I’ve been playing with paint on some beautiful furniture we were given by a sweet and generous friend of my mom’s.  All it needed was a little something to soften the look and tie it in with my penchant for girliness.

That ol’ cowboy all those years ago helped me move past my fears and do what I had wanted to all along – bring life to my home with the unexpected.  I decorate in a very personal way, and hope to share some tidbits about that in the coming days.  Your home is just that – yours.  Make it a place you love to be, and that your family loves too.  Maybe for you that’s painting hearts on your daughter’s  dresser.  Or perhaps your son loves trucks and needs one driving across his wall.  Don’t waste time over-thinking these bold moves.  Just go for it!  For those of you who are concerned about that nasty anti-decorating word “re-sale”, I humbly point out that up in New York there are two houses successfully sold, one with Tex riding along on a wall and the names “Zachary” and “Daniel” left for posterity, and one with a campfire scene, a vivid geometric pattern, and a semi-permanent chalkboard adorning its walls.  Don’t let fear or practicality stop you from doing anything that brings a little joy to your family and your home.
Don’t worry about your art skills either.  There are lots of options to get around that if they’re lacking.  And if you’re adept at drawing and painting, you have no excuse not to be making use of that in your home!  If you make a mistake, it’s easy to try, try, again.  Be bold and fearless.  The possibilities are endless…


  1. love this, you can't worry about resale...especially when it comes to kid's rooms, my 3 yr. old monkey of a daughter lives in a bright blue and green jungle :)

  2. How cute! I'd love to see a picture of that!

  3. You are right! The Lord gives us a short time here on earth. Why limit the joy and fun it can hold?! Make mud pies! Paint a "Tex!" Make time to laugh and play!