The Great Hall Collage (Home Tour)

A small house is a great blessing, and we have been surprised by much joy coming from the limited size of our home. I’m not the only one to think a diminutive space is good, too! The popular blog Apartment Therapy regularly features “Small, Cool Places” that make our little cabin a mansion, comparatively, and even Leonardo Da Vinci said “Small rooms or dwellings discipline the mind.” I’ve thought of his quote frequently since living here, and that mental discipline has stretched and improved me many times over during these three years.

In this smallish dwelling, we have just one hallway that twists around from the kitchen, up a few stairs, and leads to the bedroom, linen closet, bathroom and office. This cozy passageway is one of the dearest spots in my home because of the photo project built up on the walls. Inspiration came from a few different sources, but I didn’t really know how to start so I just got some pictures and started nailing them up on the wall.

Collage wall from Pottery Barn, via my pinterest board. I love the different textures on the wall, but I think the clash of black and brown frames is distracting.

source unknown, via my pinterest boards. I love the black frames against white walls with lots of natural wood in the house, just like ours.

When I don’t know how to start something, I either panic and procrastinate forever or jump right in and hope it works out. This hall collage came about because I responded in the second way. Now after three years we have one giant collage that is about 90% done. There are a few empty frames and some empty spots that need frames and artwork. When I look at this, I think I meant to have photos on just one wall, but I had a general idea instead of a specific vision for the project so it ballooned from there. I’m certainly not disappointed with how it turned out.

I left the light buttons on this picture because they are so cool. We turn the lights on and off by pressing round buttons, not flipping switches! This little house has serious quirks, and I love it.

A beautiful thank-you note; The cover of a cult book on prayer; Pictures from Aaron’s homecoming; Take-out cookie fortune: “Your path is arduous but will be amply rewarding”; 1st verse of For the Beauty of the Earth.

artsy cabbage; lots of Van Gogh; pictures from the beach; friends; family; virtus tentamine gaudet; embroidery from my friend J; Mattise goldfish poster; anniversary card; baby ducks; letterpress christmas cards;  honeymoon photography; psalm 51:8; Psalm 91; flowers from the Hillsdale campus.

Wedding pictures; grapes on a card from my friend A; quaking aspens; easter hymn; CS Lewis quote from “The Four Loves” on vulnerability; heartbeat; fake leaf above the door to our bedroom; antique postcards my friend E sent from Paris; college diplomas.

I have learned much about pictures and decorating and arranging in the last few years, so I am really inspired about where this could go in the future. We have a nice mix of art, pictures, quotes and other memorabilia here, and I’m daydreaming about doing this timeline style in another house someday, so the quotes and other art would somehow correspond with what was going on in our life at the same point of the pictures we’re in. I think it would be a really neat testament to God’s faithfulness in our lives, and a tangible illustration that our lives really are God’s artwork always in process.

PS: I will also admit that this post bugs me because it doesn’t feel “real.” I’ve done a fair amount of tweaking since taking these pictures, so I’ll update sometime when it’s “100% done.” Just in time to list the house for sale and remove them all for Realtor staging, you know.

PPS: Did you notice how many photos and cards we have from friends and family here? Those are some of my favorite pieces in our hall, so if you send us something neat it might become a special part of our collage. I’m not begging or anything, just throwing the idea out there for your consideration.

7 thoughts on “The Great Hall Collage (Home Tour)

    • Aaron has anywhere from 12-24 months left in his program, and we want to give ourselves enough time to wait for a good offer so we have to be thinking in terms of listing the house anytime starting as soon as next spring. Without getting disappointed if it takes longer for him to graduate, too. CRAZY!

    • Also, do you agree that this wall could use a little H.K.W. art and/or an artsy DC post card? One of the changes I already made is that your mom sent a lovely wedding thank-you note that got swapped in for something I didn’t like as well.

    • Thanks! And, so.. I was thinking about this in terms of your blog series on using art to bless your family. Is it OK that decorating is one of the ways I do that? At least with this one, I feel like I’m also recording God’s story of our lives. I’ve also decided I have to be more conscious about playing piano just for fun to bless Aaron and guests in our home. It’s easy to feel like the piano is just my office sometimes!

  1. wow! So cool! Have I told you that your most recent Christmas card is one of my decorations in my little apartment? “cast out our sin and enter in / be born in us today” 🙂 I’ve been looking forward to your next card for months now 😉

  2. Abby, this is great! I just realized I didn’t see it before we came out. It really is a lovely hallway. You are so creative. I love it.


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