I was joking with Lainey that when it came time for her to move out of her loft that getting everything packed up was going to probably create a packing supplies shortage in Dallas and that the ordeal was probably going to require some therapy. Strangely, she gave me a half puzzled, half “wtf?” look in response. I laughed and explained that she and her hub had really lived in this space and had created “layers” together displaying this life. This comment led to a discussion about how really living in home (especially with someone who loves estate sale-ing) means that you end creating “layers” on the walls, shelves, and tables.
All too often we want to decorate a bare wall or fill an empty room all at once, so we buy the boxed set of frames, decorative mirrors, crosses, etc. instead of letting a collection or the room’s decor grow organically. While a store bought collection in a box may look pretty hanging on your wall, there’s no story or memory behind each piece.
Building a collection one or two pieces at time, takes time and that can mean empty walls and space. I truly believe if you take the approach of layering, building as you go, you can create spaces that are comfortable as you live in them. My living room wall is a good (imo) example of letting your decor grow organically and layering new pieces over the old. When I first moved in, I only had the large mirror hanging on the wall, a floor lamp and my Hitchcock-style chairs decorating a large wall in my living room. Later, I added the mirror table I made and that gave me a space to put a picture frame and other trinkets I had lying around.
Then I found these awesome sconces at an estate sale with Lainey. That particular day was an awesome day of sale-ing. We hit the jackpot with the sconces house and I just remember laughing a lot and feeling so lucky to have a friend like Lainey. Anyways, I decided to hang the sconces in between the mirror and my armoire because the space was small. On the other side I hung a metal “E” that I found one day shopping with my mom. I wanted it to balance out the scones. I wanted it to look intentional, not like I just randomly put stuff up there. (Sorry for the bad photo)
Later, when I brought back the furniture from my aunt and uncle’s, I had to do some rearranging. I moved the chairs and the mirror table (which is for sale, if interested, $65) and placed the buffet I bought at another estate sale under the mirror. I also had my aunt’s vintage luggage and a hat box that I could put under the sconces. On the other side of the mirror, I hung a painting of peaches that a great-great aunt or cousin painted.
I also had a couple of plates I had from my aunt and a plate from my great-grandmother that I inherited when I was a teenager. I decided to place the three plates in between the mirror and picture and staggered them so I’d have the option to add more if I came across any plates that I liked. That’s part of the layering process, putting this in places where they look good by themselves but you can always add later.
The current result is a wall decorated not just with things, but with memories and life.
While I prefer the wall as it is now over when I had just moved in, I never felt that the wall wasn’t complete (nor do I feel it is quite done). My home is ever-growing and changing, it is a constant work in progress. And when I move into my next home in two years (fingers-crossed!), the process starts all over again!