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A Closet for the Boys

Talk of the House - A Closet for the BoysI know I probably should be writing about fall decorating, and I know you have probably seen enough of the bedroom for our sons here, but there is one last thing from in there that I’d like to share with you today…

and I sort of “owe” it to you.

If you were reading Talk of the House waaaaay back in February of this year, you may remember that my New Year’s goal for the year was to be more organized. Along with that came a goal of doing one organization project each month and sharing it with you on the first of the following month.  I managed to write about January’s coat closet project on February 1. (And just to let you know, I’ve since replaced the “donations” basket with a “donations” hamper.  It works much better.)

organized coat closet

And then during the first week of March we looked at the master bedroom closet that got all organized and pretty-fied during February.

master bedroom closet organizedAnd then?


I really dropped the ball on that goal; didn’t I??  I did get a little more organization done this year (but not 7 month’s worth of projects though.:() So… I owe you a peek in the closet the boys shared before they moved to Seattle almost two months ago.  I don’t have a before picture, but I will try to explain what we did this summer so that you can picture it in your head.

Their closet is right behind the door there in the photo below.

boys bedroom photographs

It is not huge, but it is a walk-in.  First, all the items had been hanging on plastic hangers, and I replaced them with wooden ones (which did a better job with all their pants.)

boys closet hanging clothes and shoes

There had been a black dresser that you faced when you opened the closet door.  It was used by our youngest son for his folded clothing.  We moved it over to the side and removed one of the rods, which still left enough room for his hanging clothes.

boys closet dresserAll of the boys’shoes had been stuck in a hanging bag on the back of the closet door.  (Well, when they put them there..most of the time they were thrown on the floor in there.)  When the dresser was moved to the side, an empty bookcase was relocated there in the closet and became a great spot for all the shoes.  Size 13 shoes take up a lot of space!:) Wool scarves were put in the small bin on the top shelf.

boys closetThen I purchased storage bins at Target to hold all their miscellaneous things.  (Similar ones available here.)

boys closet storage boxesAnd the tags are simply round pieces of black cardstock with chalk pen writing and tied on with black ribbon.

boys closet storage boxes and clothesThat is all there is to see of their closet. (Remember, it is a tiny space.)  But  I do have a dream of a closet for you to see.  It was the inspiration for our sons’ closet (but we are nowhere near its beauty in our final version.) The shelf of books really makes this one lovely.



Another dream one for the guys…the built in shelves in this one are perfect.

And the last of the dream closets for guys…
And that brings us to the end of the post here on closets.  I only hope our sons are keeping the closet in their new apartment as organized as the one here was.:)
Until next time…
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Gracia @ Gracious Offering - October 23, 2014 - 2:17 am

Kelly, You did a fabulous job organizing your sons’ closet. Love the bookshelf for shoes! Oh, I wish we had walk in closets in all the bedrooms of this old house. Oh well, I’m feeling inspired to at least get my own closet organized, and the hubby’s…that would be a good start! Thanks for the inspiration!
Thank you Gracia. The bookshelf has worked out perfectly (until our middle son gets his own place and needs his bookcase for…books!) Glad I could give you some inspiration here today. Good luck with your closet organization!

Cynde - October 23, 2014 - 6:56 am

I just love your closet ideas. your master is my inspiration for ours, & with fall here & the changing of clothes, this will be my in my project wheelhouse real soon. I’m in a total organization mode too. I also really like the bedroom make over. I have older teen, almost 20’s, & some here too, & it’s time their rooms get make overs too. Thanks for the vision! :-)
Cynde, good luck with your bedroom redos and closet organization. Sounds like you have some major projects to tackle soon! Thank you for the compliments on the spaces in our home.

Arlene@Nanaland - October 23, 2014 - 7:59 am

I worked in my guest room closet yesterday. I was determined to throw out and organize. I did but at the back of my mind I was wondering how long before it gets piled up again!!:) Such is life. I would love to have built in place storage for my walk in closet. So much space is wasted at present. Oh well, maybe one day!
Maybe one day you WILL get that closet you want! I would like to replace the metal shelves in all our closets with wooden ones. Those are my “maybe one day” items.:)

Shelley @ Calypso in the Country - October 23, 2014 - 8:30 am

First of all, I love your hall closet and your master closet makeovers! The red and the photos in your closet make it so personal and so you! LOVE it! You also did an incredible job on the boys’ closet as well. I am always excited to see how people organize their things. The wood shoe shelf is just perfect! You have motivated me to get moving on some more of my closets around here…
Wow, thank you Shelley for your enthusiastic comment! I am glad I could help get you motivated on your closets. Now if someone could just get me started on the one in our daughter’s bedroom. :(

Sue - October 23, 2014 - 9:33 am

I think it looks great Kelly. The hangers really unify the closet and the bookcase is perfect for shoes. And it looks easy enough to actually use.

And don’t feel bad about the organizing posts, I started to do kind of the same thing on my blog about 2 years ago and STILL haven’t finished. I think the projects you’ve shared are all great ~ although now my question is, what are you doing with a great big walk in closet that is probably empty?? lol
You haven’t finished after two years Sue?? Gulp. Maybe I am not as bad off as I thought then. :) I am glad you liked the organization projects. As far as their closet goes, it does have some of their things in it, and I am not planning on adding anything else to it. They do have an opportunity to come home later, so the closet is going to stay as “theirs.”
Thanks for asking!

Sue - October 23, 2014 - 9:36 am

Wow! What beautiful closets! I wish mine looked like that. If they did, I would leave the doors open so everyone could see how nice they are. :)
I love it! How clever you are!

Lori Lucas - October 23, 2014 - 9:38 am

While the closet is wonderful, and the other closets you showed are super, I couldn’t help but think of your two sons moving to Seattle. Yikes!! One of my three sons moved to Omaha (from our home in Oklahoma) last month, for his first big job and while I was happy for him, I was so sad for me. :) I feel that way for you too. It is so hard for momma’s to let go of their children, but moms and sons have that very special bond! I hope it is not a permanent move for your sons (or MINE!!), but a move of growing and starting a new life (till they can get back our way)! Still love every one of your posts. Lori Lucas
Lori you are so very thoughtful to think of me and our sons’ move. It has been a little hard, but we Skype on Sunday evenings. So it is like visitiing with them face to face. Like you, I hope the move is not a permanent one. Our children seem to return to home for awhile every few years. I don’t know if that will be the case this time for the oldest one, but he wanted to live on the West Coast, and this is his dream. So I am happy for him (and hope to visit him at some point out there. :) )

Jaybird - October 23, 2014 - 9:58 am

The closet looks GREAT!!!! If they are anything like my two boys, it will look that way until they have been home for 5 minutes :^)
My two are long since grown, but their wives assure me that nothing much has changed :^)
Blessings to you,
You are so right! It won’t take our middle child 5 minutes to give a space a real “lived in” look. LOL How funny about what your daughters-in-law say. :) Thank you for the compliments about our sons’ closet.

Kris {Driven by Decor} - October 23, 2014 - 10:12 am

Organized closets make me so happy and since none of mine are at the moment, I’ll live vicariously through yours. Love!
You go right ahead and live through ours then, Kris! :)

Garden, Home and Party - October 23, 2014 - 12:16 pm

You did a beautiful job with the closet. I love wooden hangers and purchased them for our closets when they were super reasonably priced at Costco. I later returned my blouses to plastic hangers since they took up less space and my closet tends to be forever crowded. I love the bins on top (from Target) and will have to look for some for my closet. Thanks for the inspiration to get going on my closet this fall.
I sure wish we had a Costco near us. I bet their prices are great. The wooden hangers in the boys’ closet here came from Target when they, too, were on sale. The bins up top hold quite a bit of “stuff” and it has helped to disguise the mess up there! I hope your closet organization is successful, Karen.

Jayne - October 23, 2014 - 1:58 pm

Oh how I can relate to the size 13 shoe! My son’s big toe is as big as his foot was when he was born. That just blows my mind. The closet looks great! Love the bookcase for holding the shoes! I wish my sons’ closet was that big. When we built the house, we were planning on having 2 children, just not two at one time. (twins) So, we only built 2 bedrooms with small closets that aren’t walk in. You just stand there and look into them. Then son with size 13 feet came into our world! Sharing a bedroom is one thing but a very small closet is another. Small children’s clothes are one thing, but adult clothes are another! Not to mention the shoes! And size 13! Well one does wear size 10.5. haha
How funny…our other son wears a 10.5! :)

Louvina - October 23, 2014 - 6:10 pm

What a nice closet for your sons! Gets me motivated to work in closets again. It’s a job that can be overwhelming if you pull out everything at once. I try to do a third at a time. When the guys come home they will be so surprised at the nifty changes you have made!! Hope they get to come home for the holidays!! Which will be here before we know!
Yes, it can be overwhelming. So you are smart to tackle it a little at a time Louvina. The guys have already seen the closet nicely organized. This was a summer project that I never got around to doing a post on. (Better late than never, right?) I just hope their closet in Seattle is somewhat organized. My middle did say the closet in their apartment was big enough to be a room. So that sounds pretty nice to me!

Kim @ Vintage Pretties - October 23, 2014 - 7:46 pm

I love it! I don’t know why, but a well-organized and nicely done closet makes me happy. The matching wood hangers and storage boxes really pull it all together.
Organization makes me happy because it makes it easy to put things away…which speeds up clean up time…which gives me more free time (whatever THAT is! :) )Perhaps that is why it makes you happy too, Kim.

Dawn - October 23, 2014 - 9:45 pm


The boy’s closet looks really nice. The inspiration look very nice too but they are all bigger so I really think you did a great job with the space you had to work with. We have built two personal houses in 14 years and I have to say the closets are never big enough. Thanks for sharing!
Thanks Dawn. I think the size of our closets is pretty good. I would just like MORE closets. If I were building again, I would put in a closet that is solely for linens, and I would build a “party pantry” to house trays, serving platters, etc. as part of the kitchen. Maybe one day…:)

Debra - October 29, 2014 - 11:52 pm

Oh, closet organization! Thanks for the inspires. I need to tackle our son’s as well.

Project Design: Gallery Wall Revealed… (you have to promise not to laugh)

yellow and black linens

I could just start this post with a ta da…and show you the finished gallery wall.  And you would laugh, shake your head, and say..

Girl, you need therapy.

And then we would all go on our merry way and that would be…

the end

But no.  You are not getting off that easy.:) (And do not even think about scrolling to the bottom of this post to see before you read the story here today.) Misery loves company, and I am going to drag you through this torturous creative process right along with my crazy brain.  So get ready…

bedroom wall for gallery

That wall in the boys’ bedroom has been bare for about a year.  I would see it, walk right by it, and think….I really need to put something on that wall. Deep down inside I knew there was a reason it was undressed.

I was avoiding it.

I can do vignettes on tabletops, cabinets, and shelves ’til the cows come home.  (Just look at my classroom for proof.) But walls?  They scare me to death.  You see, there were all these wonderful inspirational images of walls out there – all adorned with art mixed with vintage items and other really great things…

like bicycle seats…

pbteen gallery

and plates with sailing ships and framed letters.

apartment therapy boys room gallery

And I knew I had to bust out of my classic straight rows of black and white photography in simple frames. Why do you think I find ginghams and plaids so attractive…hmm? Such lovely evenly spaced straight lines. Anyway, what better place to go a little wild than in a room shared by guys, right?  So…full of fear of the unknown, the walls were left empty until I got a shove an invitation from Cindy and Mary Ann to see if I would like to participate in their gallery wall project. Who wouldn’t want to join in with their talented group???

I had to do it.  I just had to. It was the motivation I needed.

So I began to gather photos and diplomas,

elements for gallery walland I bought letters at Hobby Lobby (because I knew a creative gallery wall had to have letters.):)

IMG_7938Then, the biggie started…the frames.  That is probably not how most people approach gallery walls.  Most people probably know what pictures or things they want to include in an arrangement.  Not me.  The frames were dictating my arrangement.  I knew that, with the exception of the diplomas, I could reprint any of the photographs in any size I wanted, and I also knew I had like a zillion of the simple black frames I like (available here) in assorted sizes.  I hoard frames.  Truly.  So I took the advice of so many of you, and traced off paper the size and shape of the letters and a bunch of the frames.  Then I took Jayne’s advice and played around with arrangements, took pictures of them, and tried to see which one I liked the best.

I started big and bold like Susan told me to do in her comment. (The empty space there is for an extra letter needed from Hobby Lobby.)

gallery wall paper 1

This looked waaaay too busy to me. It made me feel very nervous.  So I tried it without photos over that small locker table.

gallery wall paper 2I didn’t love it.  Now remember I am seeing the other side of the room as well…the side with all the millions of books on the bookshelves and the desk with its six baskets of sports equipment hanging above it and the bulletin board with all its photos on it.  I started getting worried that I wasn’t going to love anything, and I began to feel a little frustrated.

So I took down the paper for the small frames, thinking if I limited the choices to two sizes rather than three, it would be better. A third version was then taped up there on the wall (with a spot at the top for another initial.)

gallery wall paper 3But I still didn’t love it…and the whole room – with all its many things on the other walls – was still making me nervous.  I decided perhaps I should change out some of the things on the other walls, so they would be less busy.  Bye-bye yellow board with #72 on it.  (It looked a little too young for our twenty-something year old sons anyway.) A calm black and white photo of the tower from our oldest son’s college replaced it.

dresser basket

Then it was bye-bye black bulletin board with all its photos on it. It was replaced with a graduation photo of our younger son.

desk with basket of sports gear

desk in boys bedroom with basket of sports gear

Better – but I still wasn’t loving the gallery wall. I stood there thinking and thinking.  And then, like the Grinch, who stood with his feet ice cold in the snow, I got an idea – and awful idea…

Don’t laugh.

You promised not to laugh.

gallery wall paper 4Yep.  I’m afraid so.  Nice straight rows with evenly spaced photos.  Epic fail here.:( I just couldn’t do the whole creative eclectic thing, but oh my goodness how much better it felt in there with those 6 photos…balancing the 6 baskets over the desk. The symmetry gods were smiling on me once again even if I did fail at trying to branch out to something different.

I did manage to get a little brave…

I went around the corner.  :)

gallery wall paper 5

Now we can say ta-da.   You have made it to the reveal, and I am sure you are ready to send me to therapy because I just can’t help myself.  As my sister says, “You like what you like.”  Plain and simple.

And here is what I ended up liking for the finished project.  (Hallelujah it’s finished!:))

gallery wall in cornerI will say that nailing those pictures up was the least damaging way I have ever hung photos. The paper worked like a charm for nail placement, and out of all the photos I put up, there were only 2 that I had to make one additional hole for. Pretty good considering how straight they needed to be from two different angles.  That wall has had a lot of abuse – from oars and life preservers hung there to a real deal bicycle suspended on it. So it was good to not damage it any more than it has already suffered through.

gallery wall cornerI did bravely extend the photos further down the wall some as well.

boys bedroom photographsSo what happened to those diplomas I had out to go in the arrangement?  I framed them, and they are hung across from the bookshelves as you come in the door.  I still need to have a mat made for the Emory diploma and a larger one for the Mercer one.

college diplomas

And that, my sweet readers, is how the plain Jane gallery wall came to live in our sons’ room.  Now if you want to see some really beautiful ones, check out all the finished walls in the links after the project badge below. I know they will be gorgeous.:)

Project Design

classic casual home blog logo

Design Chic blog logo

Design Indulgence blog logo

Driven by Decor blog logo

5th and State blog logo

Gwen Moss blog logo

Most Lovely Things blog logo

Rough Luxe blog logoA big thank you to Cindy from Rough Luxe and Mary Ann from Classic Casual Home for coming up with the gallery wall project for us to do, to the designers/bloggers in this group for their words of encouragement (even though my wall certainly does not look creative), and to you readers who make time to visit here.  I appreciate all of you.:)

coffee cupHope your week is off to a great start!

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Stacey - October 20, 2014 - 9:07 am

No laughing from me! You’ve got that down to an art and nothing could be more classic. Smart move I’d say.
Thank you Stacey. I appreciate the compliment!

sherry hart - October 20, 2014 - 9:14 am

Girl I have to laugh because I think you arrived at the perfect solution…..the end result appeals to me also and you know what? You stayed true to your style which is important. So be proud!
Yes, I did stay true to the style that is running rampant in this house. One day, perhaps I will jump ship and go for something different. This just happened to work well in that space. I am so glad you liked it Sherry. (Your wall was gorgeous and a great mix of classic and contemporary btw!)

classic • casual • home - October 20, 2014 - 9:16 am

I LOVE this. It’s personal and calming. The mats lightening things up…and I like the cool narrow frames. Beautiful. What are you going to do with those letters now?
Thank you so much for your compliment Mary Ann. It turned out much more simple than I had envisioned, and if that had been the only wall with something on it in that room, I think I would have been more daring. Just too many things going on in there to add to the mix. Your wall(s), however, were absolutely perfect!
Thank you again for inviting me to participate with all of the talented people on this project. I was delighted to be included.
p.s. The letters will probably go back to the store, but I am still thinking about using them someplace else…just not sure yet.

Jenny Martin - October 20, 2014 - 9:22 am

Wow! The room and the gallery wall look great!!! Good Job!
You stress too much!!! LOL
Really, it all came together and looks great!!
I am glad you like it Jenny. Yes, I do stress too much – because I overthink every darn thing! LOL I am just happy to have it all done. Hallelujah!

Marty@A Stroll Thru Life - October 20, 2014 - 9:26 am

I used to do all kinds of gallery walls and loved it, now like you, they just seem so busy. I love your simple and straight forward gallery. Perfect.
So do we get less tolerant of “busy” as we get older Marty? I don’t really think that is the case, since I don’t know that I have ever been a fan of busy on walls in any of our home. Just wondering. Thank you for taking the time to stop by and leaving your kind compliment.

Donnamae - October 20, 2014 - 9:27 am

Don’t you think for a minute that your gallery wall isn’t creative! If you like it…and it sure looks great from my perspective…then what’s the problem? Your sister is right…you like what you like! Now, the wall in my guest room is bare…I could use some help!
Thank you Donnamae! I guess the problem is that I have overused those frames here, and I don’t seem to be able to find anything I like as well. Maybe it is time for a new house. :) LOL You can easily do your guest room wall with these frames and some photos. This kind of gallery wall is easy…just collect multiple identical frames to start with.

Karen - October 20, 2014 - 9:28 am

The only reason I am laughing is because I can relate so well. Thanks for making me feel like I am not the only one that feels that way. I love it. It turned out great!
So I am not alone? Hallelujah! Thank you for the compliment on the project Karen. I am so glad you loved how it turned out.

Marnie - October 20, 2014 - 9:35 am

I totally agree — You like what you like — a girl after my own heart. Some gallery walls can be too busy. This one is just right. As Sherry said, you stayed true to your style. Bravo!
Yes, I was true to my style…and it probably fit a space for twentysomething year old guys better than the more creative ones I have seen. I am glad you like the finished arrangement Marnie.

Kris {Driven by Decor} - October 20, 2014 - 9:40 am

Epic fail? No way – it was the perfect solution for your tricky space! Nothing “plain Jane” about this wall – it turned out beautifully!!
Goodness – thank you Kris! I appreciate your compliment on the space. I adored the mix on your home office gallery wall, and it has given me food for thought as we are in the midst of redoing a room for my home office. Thank you for stopping by. :)

Jayne - October 20, 2014 - 9:51 am

All smiles and a little giggling. Not at you, but because I would have done the exact same thing! Lol I love to look at all the creativeness on other’s walls, but it’s just not me. I love what you did! I call it simply elegant. I feel honored I could help. Thank you so much for the link back to my blog. :)
Simply elegant – I’ll happily take those terms! Thank you. And thank you for your great suggestion Jayne. I was more than happy to link to your blog!

Gail - October 20, 2014 - 9:56 am

Hi Kelly: I can so relate to you and your hesitation to go anywhere other than what you are familiar with…… and my walls reflect it. However, you are braver and more decisive and much more creative than I have ever been so….. bravos to you all around. You stayed true to yourself. And congratulations to you for raising such wonderful sons who have made it through college. A true feat! Side note: I love the colors you have chosen for the room! So classic and smart! I do have to say that I did love those letters! Hopefully you can find a place for them somewhere:-)) Blessings
What sweet words. Thank you so much Gail! Yes, finishing college was a wonderful accomplishment for the boys, and law school is the next step for the younger one. I am hanging on to the letters for a little bit to see if I can come up with a place to use them. (They were half price so it would be a shame to not find a place for them. :) )

Lisa - October 20, 2014 - 10:05 am

Heheee, but it looks so good! You know what you like. Maybe you can hang the letters above the bins over the desk? Or move the bins up to make room for the letters? It would bring in a little something special for your sons. Regardless, this room has a good vibe.
I don’t think I am going to put another thing in their room now. I have a couple of other spaces that need much attention here, so perhaps I can find a spot in one of them for the letters. I am glad you like the room Lisa!

Cheri - October 20, 2014 - 10:15 am

I did not laugh but I did smile and I agree with your sister, you like what you like. I actually have some pictures put on a wall in our living room just like you did, they are black and white too. Then I do have a two “small” gallery walls, one in our hall with empty frames and one in our Grandchildren’s room. So you go with what works for you. Nicely done.
So you have the best of both worlds in your house! Thank you for stopping by and leaving your encouraging words Cheri. I appreciate it!

cindy hattersley - October 20, 2014 - 10:27 am

I totally get your mindset! You did what looks best. Now the only thing I would have done differently is I would have put multiple holes in the walls, hung the whole thing, and then did what you did!! Don’t ever underestimate your talent you know what looks good and what works!! I love the other simple changes you made in the room as well. Thank you so much for joining us. I know how busy you must be at this time of year!!
I have been known to tear up a wall or two with multiple holes on many occasions Cindy. This time,however, I just happen to have found a way to not inflict more pain on that wall. I will definitely do the paper trick again the next time I am hanging pictures. Loved both of YOUR walls. And I appreciate your inviting me along on this journey. It has been fun!

Barbara (WA) - October 20, 2014 - 10:40 am

I totally understand and I think the end result is perfect!
Thank you Barbara!

Dee - October 20, 2014 - 10:56 am

It looks great and I TOTALLY get it! I have this huge wall in my great room that we call “the wall of death”. I love the gallery walls…in someone else’s house. I love symmetry and cohesiveness and simply can’t do anything else in my own home or it makes me twitch. I will do the exact same thing when I get photos printed.
Thank you for understanding! The wall of death sounds scary. LOL We must be symmetry sisters!

Design Chic - October 20, 2014 - 11:19 am

We understand completely…we’re definitely symmetry girls and just love the clean and organized feel of the entire room. I have to admit, we have waaaay more that two additional nail holes behind our images. We can never move…
Symmetry girls unite! :) “We can never move”…totally LOVE that! (and it is sooo very true) Loved your symmetrical arrangement with the gorgeous gold frames by the way!

Carolyn - October 20, 2014 - 11:24 am

Well, I did smile a little. Some people just love symmetry and others like asymmetry. It makes perfect sense that as a math teacher you would have to have even symmetry. What you didn’t say is how much time it takes to measure it all and space it and level it on the wall in your multiple tries. I know, because I worked on that this past Friday. We had guests coming for the weekend and I wanted to get the box of pictures hung that had been sitting there since we moved in mid-July. They had to go up the stairwell. My husband had offered to help but he was working outside. I had spent most of the day cleaning and spiffing. It was a gorgeous fall day here in the mountains and I was fuming that I wasn’t spending it outside. So I had a bit of a bad attitude, but was determined to get it done. I had made my templates so it was just a matter of figuring out the spacing, and so I measured and taped, and moved and re-measured, trying to hold a long flat ruler with one hand and the tape measurer in another and slap the paper and tape in place. Didn’t want to mark the walls with pencil because it’s hard to get off the rough hand-hewn log wall, nor did I want to put in a nail until I was sure. It wasn’t easy because I was following the angle of the stairs and making sure the pictures were at a level you could view as you walked up or down. It took some calculating (hanging pictures always involves math and fractions, no wonder you like it!) but I finally got them where I liked them. Then I got hubby to come nail the nails. And there were only four equal-sized frames! LOL. I feel your pain :-).
I had not thought how the math teacher in me must be affecting my love for symmetry. That is probably true! I hate to admit this, but I did not measure very much of it. I cut out the shapes, and then just started eyeballing it. I did start with the one on the bottom middle and worked from there. If you did a staircase, you did a MAJOR project. What a challenge!

Cheryl - October 20, 2014 - 11:24 am

I have to confess: I laughed. 😀

But..I laughed because I can imagine your conundrum as you have been challenged to this creative project (and everyone is watching!) and you want to be true to your style and your loves.

I can relate to this. Not the “everyone is watching” part, but the “needing to be true to your style” part. I love so many styles of decorating and I read a lot of decorating blogs and glean a lot of useful ideas. But when it comes right down to my home, I can’t get away from colonial. I just can’t. Whether it’s “in style” or not, it’s what I love and what feels right.

So there you go. I laughed with you, not at you!

Keep doing what you’re doing. You’re good at it!
Shame on you for laughing!LOL Yes, I am sure part of the frustration was the “everyone is watching” aspect of it. Staying true to your style seems to be harder and harder lately because I, like you, do love so many different styles as well. Thank you for the very sweet compliment!

Leslie Harris aka Gwen Moss - October 20, 2014 - 11:30 am

Kelly I was thinking about your wall this morning, wondering what you decided! BTW-that bit of craziness with all the cutting and moving paper and changing your mind? That is SO me. I was laughing (who doesn’t need therapy?) and reading and loved how you shared your process. Oh and the final decision? Love it. You found the perfect way to go around that corner using the symmetry that you love too. It’s a fabulous room!
Really? Well we can go to therapy together and perhaps they will give us 2 for the price of one (since we have the same symptoms and all, you know.) :) I really appreciate your compliments on the room and wall. Your project turned out beautifully…and I liked it so much I am strongly considering using botanical prints here again. (Since I have hoarded them and a whole bunch of frames I had specifically for them. :) )

Susan - October 20, 2014 - 11:33 am

This is my kind of gallery wall! Thank you for showing us your creative process~
You are quite welcome Susan! Thank you for following along with the craziness!

Barb - October 20, 2014 - 11:34 am

Gallery walls with lots of “stuff” are nice, but to me, your style is so much more personal. You can really focus on the pictures and appreciate the beauty (and memories) each one holds.
Many are busy, and some do display personal things that tell a story, but when photographs are included in any of them (including ours) you are right, they are personal. I included my very favorite photos of our sons in this one, so it is fun to look at for me. Thank you for your comment Barb. :)

Louvina - October 20, 2014 - 12:02 pm

I like the final KellyGal Touch!! Just right— for your home. I do like the wooden letters so the toned down one I was liking also. I think it is a wonderful skill to know what feels right for you– and you have that special talent. Often times I don’t know what I want and have a terrible time deciding– and usually I ” overdo” it. I need to learn and like ” less is more” and to KISS! Keep it simple sweetie! ( not stupid!;) Getting my Fall On here in mid-FL. Now send down some of that cooler air, please! And some colored leaves, too?
It IS often difficult to know exactly what you want. (My daughter’s decision on her college major is a prime example of that! :) ) I am glad you are able to do some fall decorating. Hope your daughter is recovering well and taking it easy with a boot on. If I could send you cooler air I would, and I have not seen any beautifully colored leaves around here. Our dogwoods have not even taken on the red color that they so often do at this time of year. Our crazy winter last year may have something to do with that.

Kathy P. - October 20, 2014 - 12:02 pm

What is that color on the boys’ wall? Really like it.
Kathy, I believe that one is Lyndhurst Timber – a Valspar paint from Lowes. I used Benjamin Moore’s Brandon Beige on many of the interior walls, but the Lyndhurst Timber is a little darker, and that room is a little darker, so I am pretty sure it was the Lowes paint.

Kathy - October 20, 2014 - 12:24 pm

I like it! I flows with the rest of your house. There is nothing wrong with symmetry. I do love all of your black and white photos. What is funny is that you felt you should do something different….but you went with what is “you”. You go, girl!
I am glad you liked it Kathy. I know there is nothing wrong with symmetry, but sometimes you just want to try something different. I think this was a case of it not being the place for “something different” – too many other very busy spaces in that room. Perhaps a hallway is a better place for that kind of gallery wall in this house….oh no…another idea!

Trisha - October 20, 2014 - 12:29 pm

I think it looks great, Kelly! It just depends on your personal taste and preference when it comes to creating gallery walls. In the end, it’s all about what makes you happy!
Trisha, you are so right. It does depend on what makes you happy. I would have been very unhappy with the other style in there…especially when the boys are home with all their “stuff” that makes that room even MORE busy. Thank you for your sweet words!

Becky in 'Bama - October 20, 2014 - 2:25 pm

Like it a lot. The pattern of ‘squares’ is uniformly repeated from the black and white checked pillow as well as the pattern of the curtains. My kind of design thought process. I applaud you for eliminating the bulletin board and yellow numbered jersey. The room now gives way to a more mature young man with a bit of whimsy in the sports baskets. AND not a pair of horns/antlers in sight. ‘Applause!!’
You read my mind Becky! I thought of the repeat in the gingham too. In fact, my husband said, “Just put another row of photos on the top; color every other mat red, and you would have a great checkerboard pattern.” Ha ha. I agree that it is more mature and fitting for our guys now. I know you are sad horns and antlers didn’t make their way into the room. :) LOL

Garden, Home and Party - October 20, 2014 - 3:30 pm

I promised not to laugh, and I’m not laughing at you, I’m laughing with you. You are so wise to hang what you love and how you like it hung. I believe that is the only way we can love our homes. The gallery you did looks amazing and I like the other pieces you added to the room. I think staying within your comfort zone is highly underrated. I love it.
Okay…you can laugh with me Karen. Everywhere you look people say, “Get out of your comfort zone..Stretch yourself.” I hope you are right about staying in it being underrated. I have the same problem when it comes to shopping for clothes. My wardrobe has almost no patterns in any of the fabrics (except for checks…imagine that!) I did buy a polka dot blouse yesterday (…but it may get returned. LOL)
Thank you for the encouraging words about the room. (I am happy that it is finished!)

DiAnne - October 20, 2014 - 5:11 pm

I meant to make this comment a few posts ago and just didn’t get around to it. When I go to the framer he knows exactly what I want no matter if it is art or photos. I always get white matt and black frame. I taught art for many years and I have always thought all art or photos need is black/white/glass. I think the art or photos should stand by themselves without much “help”. Makes me crazy when someone frames a wonderful piece of art with triple, colorful mats to try to pull out every color. Just me though.
Love the yellow and black on the bed.
Great post!
The simplicity of a black frame does make the art the focus. I think people often like to showcase frames as well…sometimes the frames themselves set the tone…think ornate gold. I just happen to love black and white to begin with and black and white photography. So it makes perfect sense to me to frame it in that…plus it fits well with our home.
Glad you enjoyed the post!

Maria White - October 20, 2014 - 5:27 pm

I smiled…and I laughed…and I’m still smiling and shaking my head. All good thoughts here. Nothing evil or mean. At least you went thru the process!!!! I so understand. That is why I’m holding off on the gallery wall that my clutter-free husband wants. Gasp. I can’t believe he wants one. Not even sure where it will go. But we are collecting the pictures. Sigh. You did a GREAT job. And I love it. It works in your home. And will keep you sane too. :)
Yes, at least I went through the process, Maria. And truly if it were the only wall in the room with something on it, I would do it very differently, but there are way too many other things in there competing for attention. I had to rein it in! Your husband may turn out like me – THINKing he wants a wall like that, and then when he sees it up, completely change his mind. :) Good luck!

Dawn - October 20, 2014 - 5:32 pm

Oh Kelly,

I like you just the way you are symmetrical and all. The gallery wall you did looks just fine to me. What about the “J” and “W” letters? I love them. Could you still use them some where else or are they going back to the store?
Aw…thank you Dawn! I tried the letters in a couple of places in the boys’ bedroom, but it looked too cluttered to me, so I am thinking on it before I return them. They were on sale half price, so I am hoping I can find a spot for them.

Jill - October 20, 2014 - 6:25 pm

I laughed, but I totally get it. I’m so bad at picturing how things will look and making decisions. I love how it turned out though. It’s so “you.” Hehe!
Very funny Jill! Thank you for totally getting it. :)

Sandy - October 20, 2014 - 8:46 pm

First of all, where was I in August? I missed your classroom. Luckily I could go back for the views. Awesome classroom and I really liked the go arounds the classroom doors. Sharing that idea with my friends still in the classroom. You made a hit with the black and white photos in your gallery. I am copying your gallery plan in our guest room.
Well, where WERE you in August, Sandy?! LOL Thank you for sharing the ideas with your friends. And thank you for the compliments about the gallery wall! You go right ahead and copy all you want. :)

debra @ 5th and state - October 20, 2014 - 10:53 pm

kelly, i love your sense of humor and that true to oneself spirit!

i was actually liking how it looked with the paper up there but really truly loved your final choice, and how you simplified the other walls.
revel in your TA DA moment!!
Thanks Debra! I am glad you liked the final arrangement. The TA DA is more for the darn thing being finished than for how it looks! It’s one more thing I can check off the eternally long to-do list. :) (Loved your shop’s very Ralph Lauren-ish beautiful gallery wall BTW) Thank you so much for stopping by.

Colleen - October 21, 2014 - 12:40 am

Well I certainly had a good chuckle., because I would probably have done the same thing. I have been known to spend a whole day rearranging furniture in a room (for which I enlist/bribe the help of my sons, just to put it all back in the same place afterwards. Now when I ask for help they run a mile.

But, hey! I get to clean under the couch properly :-)

I agree with your sister, you love what you love, and I love your final design, it works in the room.
Oh dear. I have done the same thing too with furniture arranging. We just get tired of the same old thing after awhile, but when we rearrange we remember why we had it the way we did. It worked! (Yes, it does allow you to vacuum in previously covered places when you move all the furniture around. :) Good thinking! )
Thank you for the compliments on the room, and thank you for stopping by the blog!

Kathy - October 21, 2014 - 6:35 am

I think the gallery wall looks fabulous! I love the bedding too.

Thank you Kathy! (The bedding was such a bargain, I couldn’t resist it. :) )

Mary - October 21, 2014 - 2:43 pm

I love it!! It’s very classy looking—clean streamlined and the black pictures go with the black in the room. I wouldn’t change a thing. And hooray for you staying true to your style.
Mary, thank you very much for the compliments on the gallery wall. I am glad you liked all of it!

Charlene - October 21, 2014 - 9:56 pm

Kelly – it looks great! I am so like you when it comes to walls! It seems like such a huge commitment to nail something up on them, when it really isn’t. Your gallery wall looks great and I love how it wraps around the corner. The photo you used of the first bedroom gallery wall from PBTeen….what is the name of the bedding used? I clicked on the image and got the bedroom furniture without any link to the bedding. Was wondering if you had any idea? Thanks so much for your blog – it is always my favorite! I welcome each new post!
You are so kind Charlene! Thank you. The PBTeen bedding is the Harrison Quilt (shown here: ) They do not show it as still available on their site, but it is available from a couple of sellers on Ebay right now.

Cindy - October 22, 2014 - 8:53 am

Hi Kelly, I am not surprised at all, you know what works for you. I was more surprised when you showed us all the gallery walls…you don’t do busy. (Neither do I, I can’t relax)
One thing I didn’t feel good about, the diplomas. You don’t have balance, one side is heavy then you have the other side with 2 pictures. I would like to see the diplomas over in the corner where the baskets are. Mimic the bed wall. Just a suggestion.
As always thanks for sharing your beautiful home.
PS I love the black and yellow.

Cindy - October 22, 2014 - 3:04 pm

I wanted to make a correction to my earlier post, I was talking about the two black and white prints beside the door. Realized later they weren’t the diplomas. ooops
I thought you were probably talking about the ones to the right of the door. I have not really shown you where the diplomas are, but I love your idea. :) I will move those 2 photos to over by the desk like you suggested (this weekend.) Now I need to find a place for the photo of our son that is currently there, and I do want to use it because it is one of my most favorite pictures of him. :) (The domino effect again!) I might move one of the diplomas down and sandwich the photo between both of the diplomas because that area is separate – kind of like a tiny hallway into the room.
Thanks again for the suggestion Cindy!

Special Places from Dungan-Nequette

Crabtree living room and kitchen Dungan Nequettesource

Another weekend is upon us.  Did this week fly by or what??? I thought we were just talking about staying at The Point in the Adirondacks. Goodness.  Well,  I have a few more lake houses and another design firm to share with you today.  Raise your hand if you have seen the work of Dungan-Nequette?  Their projects have been featured in many publications, so you may have seen some of these.  The kitchen above is inside the home pictured below.

Crabtree exterior Dungan Nequettesource

It is located on Lake Martin in Alabama and was designed by Dungan-Nequette.  Don’t you just love that rustic board and batten with stone exterior?  The interior seems to go in a more modern direction.

Dungan Nequette Crabtree on Lake Martinsource

Here is another lake house for which they did design work.  I believe they added on to an existing home there for this one.  It is nicknamed Seven Sticks for the seven pine trees that were removed for the addition.  They “honored”those trees by using seven telephone poles to support the new part of the home.

Tubb Lakehouse exterior Dungan Nequettesource

The decor in this new room is not exactly my style, but isn’t the view of the lake there magnificent?? All those windows! It was featured in Southern Living magazine, and you can read more about the house here if you would like.

Tubb Lakehouse living area Dungan Nequettesource

Here is another rustic but refined building designed by Dungan-Nequette.  This is the Springhouse Restaurant at Lake Martin.

Springhouse restaurant Lake Martinsource

A giant stone fireplace is at the center of the 10,000 sq. ft. facility.

rustic interior Springhouse restaurantsource

And just for fun, here is a look at their dessert menu.:)

Springhouse restaurant dessert menusource

Lake houses are not the only things this design firm dreams up.  Here is one of the beautiful farmhouses in their porfolio.  This one started from a very small and simple bunkhouse on the property. (You can read more about it here in a Southern Living article.)

Marsh farmhouse exterior  Dungan Nequettesource

Again we see another rustic room adorned with many rough boards. (I am loving the plaid on those chairs!)

Marsh farmhouse living area  Dungan Nequettesource

Now this is a porch. Doesn’t it look so peaceful? Just hand me a glass of sweet tea.:)

Marsh farmhouse porchsource

One more farmhouse designed by Dungan-Nequette you just have to see.

Bodnar Barn exterior  Dungan Nequettesource

This very unique one was featured in Garden and Gun in April, 2009.  A 100 year old barn was taken apart and moved from Pennsylvania to Alabama, and the family hired someone from Pennsylvania to oversee the reconstruction.

Bodnar kitchen area with yellow cabinetssource

The entire house is heated by the large Russian Stove in the center of the great room below, and many of the decorations in the house were found on site (like the wagon frame suspended above the kitchen.) Love the swing suspended there near the fireplace!

Bodnar Barn living area Dungan Nequettesource

Pretty neat, huh?  Before I leave you today, let me share with you a little history on this design firm. Dungan-Nequette started out doing architectural projects working out of a small sunroom.   They grew and grew, and after a period of time (and many more projects) they started Tracery Interiors to provide consistency between the interior spaces and the architectural details of their buildings. It made sense that the two should mesh.   Then these creative folks somehow got into designing advertisements, graphic design,and websites, (very creative people)  and their branding company, The G Brand was born.  And that catches you up to where they are today.

Bodnar home Dungan Nequettesource

I think I have overdosed you on rustic rooms and buildings for a little while.  Next week we will venture in a different direction, and fingers crossed, I get the gallery wall project finished this weekend to show you on Monday. I hope your weekend is filled with a visit to a lake, a dinner at a great restaurant (delicious dessert included!), or a peaceful autumn ride through the countryside (maybe even a hayride?):)

Until next time…

a signature

classic • casual • home - October 17, 2014 - 10:03 pm

This was so much fun… and inspirational. I love the warmth. I saw Garden and Gun for the first time last year at our friends house (he’s an architect in Florida and knew I would like it).

I’m excited to see your gallery wall. Have a great weekend!!
Garden and Gun is a great magazine with such a wide range of topics. I think there is something in it for every member of my family! I usually love any of the food related articles. :)
Hope your weekend was a good one.

Vicki - October 17, 2014 - 10:36 pm

Oh my goodness, that barn is awesome. How much fun would that be to decorate it seasonally? That’s neat to learn that these creative people are behind Tracery Interiors- I admire their whole aesthetic. Looking forward to having a delicious dessert this weekend, per your suggestion. :) Hope you have a wonderful weekend!
I agree – that barn would be wonderful for decorating for holidays. Can’t you just picture a huge Christmas tree there? Hope you had a delicious dessert (and ate some for me as well!)

Gracia @ Gracious Offering - October 18, 2014 - 1:10 am

Kelly, How fun to see the remodeled barn from Garden and Gun! I’d never heard of that publication! I was thinking that the barn house would be so awesome for a Christmas party…all that open space! Always enjoy the interiors you feature. Happy weekend to you!
Oh you need to find a copy of Garden and Gun, Gracia! You will enjoy it (but it has a very Southern vibe.) Wouldn’t it be fun to decorate that barn for Christmas!!

Katrina Cantler - October 18, 2014 - 8:50 am

My granddaughter Emery is going to flip out when I show her that swing in the house! My daughter and SIL used to make fun of me when I kept messing up and referring to their Garden and Gun magazines as ‘that Guns and Roses magazine”.
Have a great fall weekend, Kelly!
I think like Emery. A swing inside a house would be such a fun thing to have. “Guns and Roses”…hilarious!!
Hope your weekend was a fun one Katrina. :)

Arlene@Nanaland - October 18, 2014 - 9:33 am

These rustic houses remind me of Fairy Tale houses…would not mind owning one myself!!
I think I could be forced into living in one of them too, Arlene. That one with all the windows overlooking the lake would be my choice.

judy - October 18, 2014 - 11:11 am

now you’re talking about my neck of the woods….Lake Martin! i don’t recognize the 1st house you featured but you can bet i’ll be looking for it next spring/summer when we’re at the lake…and the restaurant? i don’t recall hearing about it and i think it’s because it’s on the Alex City “side” of the lake…i’m going to have a go there soon!

what a gorgeous day here…since Auburn is off this weekend we’re going to get out and enjoy this weather…maybe even ride up toward Alex City
YES..most definitely your neck of the woods! You should search for that home AND the restaurant. I hope you enjoyed your weekend even if it didn’t involve Auburn football. LOL

Garden, Home and Party - October 18, 2014 - 4:55 pm

I loved the exterior of the first home, and the location. But the farmhouse was my favorite for interior design. Maybe I could have the farmhouse moved to the lake…would that make it a lake house or is there more than location to the architecture of each home? You always give us the best eye candy.
I hope you’re having a good weekend and that your wall gallery is going up as we speak. :-)
Hmmm…good question. I’ve always thought of “farmhouse” really as a style and “lakehouse” as a location. Who knows? I guess it would be a farmhouse styled lake house. :)
Hope you enjoyed your weekend!

Sue - October 18, 2014 - 6:46 pm

Thanks again for showing us some wonderful places. I can’t wait to see the gallery wall. Have a wonderful weekend!
I am happy you liked all the homes, Sue. Our weekend was busy but productive! :)

Marianne in Mo. - October 18, 2014 - 10:26 pm

Love these pics! The one with the windows with the peaked end was a dream view to me!
We are touring a bit of the south this week, visiting our daughter and family in Texas, seeing San Antonio, New Orleans and stops along the way towards home. Beautiful weather so far, and went to a pumpkin Patch with the G.K’ s, then daughter and I went junking and antiquing!
That certainly was a dream view!! Sounds like you are having a great trip and going to many places Marianne. Hope you found something wonderful to buy at the antique shops.
Happy traveling!

Dawn - October 19, 2014 - 11:26 am


Thank you for the information, eye candy and inspiration. I love it all, as usual. My favorite is that last barn. What an inspiring story and beauty that barn is. This weekend has been full of Homecoming activities , shopping, cleaning and organizing while keeping up with sports, grades and entertaining. I can’t wait to see your gallery wall.
I am glad you read the story with the barn. It was such a creative project from start to finish. You had one busy busy weekend Dawn. Hope next weekend is more relaxing for you. (My next one is my busy one.)

Terri Hoke - October 19, 2014 - 6:57 pm

Love looking at all your beautiful decorating! My question is this: Did you make the sign/canvas in your sons’ room with the 72 on it? My son is playing football this year, coincidentally 72 is his jersey number, :) and I would love to make one for him. Are there instructions on this site of how you made it or where you bought it?

Thanks! :)
Hi Terri!
I am so happy you enjoy seeing all the rooms on the blog. I “sort of” made that sign from the boys’ room (it is going to live somewhere else soon…I hope.) It was a square metal chalkboard from Pottery Barn Kids. It was red at one point, but I painted it yellow, and used a black “chalk pen” to write the 72 on it. I imagine the same thing could be done though with a canvas – paint it yellow and use the black chalk pen to write on it. It would have a rougher texture, but I think it would still work the same way. Very easy.

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