Chalk Talk

I am beginning to think that if you live in a house with children (or a visionary husband) you need to make good use of chalkboard paint. Granted, chalkboard painted surfaces are cropping up everywhere these days, but there’s a reason for that. Perhaps a few of these examples would prove useful around your house. I know they would in mine.

I am already visualizing my home school room even though Salem just rounded age 2! It never too early to prepare, right? I love these Erasable Labels from Martha Stewart. If Salem had his way, they would all be labeled “drum sticks”.

If you haven’t already visited Jones Design Company blog, pour yourself a cup of hot tea and brace yourself for a dose of inspiration like you’ve never seen before. In a word Emily is brilliant. I recently told her that if one could have a blog “mentor” she would be it for me. This is a wall in her home office. I could see Clark and I scribbling lyrics all over that space. Here are a couple of other examples of fun with chalkboard paint.

Image via image via Milk and Honey Home

This table by Design Sponge got my wheels spinning for this weekend’s Unfinished Projects Party. I just re-inherited a hideous cabinet that I lent to Christyn. It is an eyesore in my foyer, and I can’t stand to leave it there looking like something better suited for the Pit of Despair.

Try Benjamin Moore Studio Finish Chalkboard Paint

…or if you’re in a more colorful mood, check out Hudson Color Chalkboard Paint, and paint ’til your heart’s content!


“Wonder” Wall

Forgive the Oasis reference…. blame it on the day job!

I visited a Nona’s bakery here in town not long ago. Wow! A confectioner’s dream and a postpartum body’s worst nightmare. What impressed me more than the rows and rows of impeccably decorated cakes was the sense that you walked into a little piece of family history. On the far wall hung this simple and yet sentimental display …

Nona after all means “grandma” in Italian. (We affectionately call my mother, “Nona”, and I think it is only fitting.)

While I was home for Thanksgiving, I couldn’t help but admire my mother-in-laws memory gallery. I’ve always wanted to make one, and after seeing hers, I think this will be a perfect New Years project to get me through those cold winter months.

This gallery spanned nearly floor to ceiling… too large to fit into one snapshot. (And yes, that is my sweetheart in the chin pose sporting his band uniform. He IS going to kill me for this!)

I’ve begun to do a little research in planning to create my own gallery wall. Design Sponge delivers winning suggestions for projects like this and all things DIY. You can check out their “Best of Wall Galleries” post for inspiration. But here is an example of a gallery wall collage that has caught my eye.

Julie Holloway from Milk and Honey Home blog let me use this image. She’s done a great job of varying the shapes, sizes, and colors of her gallery pieces while finding that perfect balance between too uniform and too “busy”.

I love the idea of mixing and matching different shapes and ornate pieces, grouping them together with an interesting clock, and couple of wall sconces or even some framed fabric swatches to add to the appeal.  However, I can already see that if I’m not careful, this could spin out of control and end up looking more like the community announcement board at your local coffee shop complete with the sad lost pet flyer and the lone Mary Kay consultant business card. There are loads of online tutorials such as the Picture Wall Company to help you create the perfect picture collage while avoiding visual chaos. Design Formula’s blog offers valuable tips on arranging your picture gallery in such a way to make it easy on the eye. Here are a few of their examples and suggestions…



I love this diagram for creating a staircase wall collage. I’ve always wanted to make one. Too bad I don’t have stairs. Perhaps you would let me come to your house and design one?


This holiday, you may inevitably have to endure your Great Uncle Henry’s corny jokes or other one of your father’s Republican rants. You may already be considering where to carefully stash the hideous lamp your mother found on ebay that she thought would look perfect in your entrance way for quick retrieval upon her visiting arrival. Before you resort to spiking your egg nog to get through the holiday, try to pause and consider the family characters that you would feature in your wall gallery, and how if any one of these people had made a different choice of where to go or who to marry, things may have turned out very differently for you. There may not even be a you!!

Stick that in your egg nog and drink it!