downstairs {before & after}

This post is especially for all the ladies my mom works with. It seems like I am driving a few of them crazy with not posting what I was doing with all those pieces of wood. There was also a request to see the chalkboard painted walls a while back. So ladies, here you go….

Now I am fully aware that many of you looking at this probably aren’t a fan of my ‘style’ – no biggie. My mom is an interior designer and I drive her nuts at times with all the rules I break and random things I do. She has been known to tell me that everything in my house matches because nothing matches! My philosophy on decorating your home is you should do what you love and what you want to look at. I think the Pottery Barn style is beautiful, but it just isn’t me (though I have a lot of family built furniture straight out of the catalogs!). As I am sure my home isn’t many of you. The black paint is chalkboard paint. I drew a tree in the entry with chalk and on the other side I write notes to the boys, record their height, etc. There is a vintage style growth chart mounted on the wall so we can keep track of changing stature – the boys measure themselves all the time. I had to drywall the walls to make them smooth before painting – which was nuts and a lot of hard work on my part. The wall leading up the stairs is covered in cork flooring with notes that record funny things my kids say. I conned Chris into building the fake fireplace (those are the wood pieces inside it). On my new fireplace mantle I purposefully placed things that make me smile: vintage stamps spelling my last name, retro pop bottles, a brownie camera, a post-it note with a drawing by Biggest Brother showing how much he loves me, an old farmhouse pitcher, fresh flowers and a vintage juice cup filled with pencils. Why pencils? Pencils represent so much to me: creativity, order, vivid color, symmetry, organization…not to mention one of the greatest movie lines ever : “I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils…” I would love a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils! Anyone know the movie that is from?

And finally, a massive gallery wrap canvas of our shoe picture. This may not be a picture many of you would enlarge and hang from your mantle, but I LOVE IT. The boots are the same ones Chris has had since high school. For a lot of people when they think of Chris – these boots come to mind. My shoes…a bit of girl, vintage and modern together. Biggest Brother’s shoes are falling apart, stuff stuck in the velcro and just beat up from lots of outdoor play. Big Brother’s boots are who he is at this age as well. Littlest Brother’s shoes are the first pair we bought when we found out we were pregnant with our oldest…they have been passed down to every son in the house. And finally, my first purchase knowing a girl would join our family. Every shoe on the picture brings back a flood of memories about that person – that is why it is a massive canvas in my living room. A bit random and maybe odd, but that fits us pretty well 🙂

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