A blog about the restoration, remodel and renovation of a 1929 Chicago-style brick bungalow

Wall Decor

Some of the walls in our house are really barren, like in the guest room and one wall in the TV room. Other spots are empty but have restrictions, like long and narrow, so I’ve been trying to keep an eye out for interesting wall decor.

Earlier in the summer, we were at Elkhorn Flea Market near Lake Geneva, WI (the next one is THIS WEEKEND people — it’s going to be perfect weather!) and I found the vintage Danish piece you see below. Pete wasn’t crazy about it but I thought it was cool and would fill one of our needs. It was in a frame that was kind of “meh” and mounted on an off-white laminate board. I think that’s what turned him off the most. When we got it home we thought about mounting it to something else, but once it was off the laminate, we thought, “Hmmm, why not just hang it like it is?” So that’s what we did, and it fills this empty long and narrow spot in our living room perfectly.

If you notice the birds have a little teal color to them which matches our wall color. I’m not one who buys art to match the living room sofa or wall color, but the wall color helps bring out the color in the birds a little. Happy accident.

Sometimes it helps to do a little “shopping” in your own house, too. We had some small prints that we bought at an art fair in Evanston a long time ago. I had them hanging in the hallway between the bathroom and guest bedroom for the longest time but I felt they were overlooked there so I decided to move them next to our grandfather clock in the dining room. I like that they’re so small and the clock is so big.

Of course, magazines are also a great way to spark ideas for your own home. A long time ago I had torn out a page in a magazine (I can’t remember which one) that showed a bedroom wall covered in vintage mirrors, which I really liked. I keep file folders with various ideas (a luddite’s Pinterest, I guess, but this was before Pinterest!) and I occasionally flip through them, so when we did our master bedroom remodel I decided to do the same mirror thing.

I kept an eye out for cheap mirrors at flea markets and antique shops. I didn’t care if the mirror part was in good shape (that kept the price down) — it was more about either the shape or the mirror frame. After I had collected a few I measured the wall area I needed to fill and arranged the mirrors within those measurements on the floor so I could see the spaces I still needed to fill.

I wrote down the measurements of those empty spaces and put them in the Notes section of my iPhone so that I had it with me wherever we went. I finally found the last piece of the puzzle in an antique store in my dad’s hometown in southern Illinois which made me happy.

I might add a little something to the wall, either in the upper left or right, but for the most part this is done and adds a lot of interest for not a lot of money.


  1. Sharon on August 10, 2012 at 1:19 pm


    BTW, I really like all your colorful walls. Such a refreshing change from so many all-white interiors popular these days.

    • denise on August 10, 2012 at 1:59 pm

      Thanks Sharon! Yeah, I did the white walls in our previous house when I first moved in, to kind of wipe the slate clean. It can look nice but I found when we had all our woodwork refinished on the first floor here, the color and warmth of the wood really came out with color on the walls rather than the stark contrast of white walls.

  2. Bonnie on August 12, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    Ooh! That Danish vintage piece (the tree with birds) is perfect for that spot. That is exactly the kind of piece that makes a home your own. It is so unique. You can’t buy that at Potter Barn!

  3. Bonnie on August 12, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    I meant Pottery Barn.

    • denise on August 18, 2012 at 9:16 pm

      Don’t you hate that?! 🙂 (I know what you meant.)

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