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This last dining room wall… what a pain in the. Well, you know.

No, wait… I don’t think that accurately describes how I felt trying to finish this thing.

Thaaaaat’s more like it.

It took FOREVER to finish. Between losing steam, losing patience, and running out of beer, this damn wall refused to be conquered for the longest time. But, as most things happen in this house, with enough swearing and sanding, my dining room is now 100% painted. I’m taking some detailed step-by-step photos while I finish up the kitchen walls using the same bubble-limiting technique, so I’ll have a full tutorial ready for you in the next couple of weeks.

But finishing this wall also means that it’s finally time to move the furniture back in, and see if my original design plan will look as good in real life as it did in my head.

dining room mood board

First things first: I need to figure out what’s going to hang on this wall. (By the way, for paint and color details, see this post.)

At the start, I was thinking about something abstract, perhaps a little girly, watercolory, and bright, like this print (found on Pinterest, of course). Since everything else in the room is going to be somewhat monochromatic, I thought a big splash of color across the largest wall could break things up.


I eventually managed to track down the original source (tip: using this site helps you do a reverse image search), but don’t see that it’s available for sale. Even if it were, I doubt that I would have been able to get it in the size I need (this wall is begging for something BIG). So, I guess I’m going to have to figure out something myself, which is how this made its way downstairs:

This is a canvas I had in my office closet for a few years (I sometimes pick one up if there is a 50% off sale at one of the craft stores), but it was never painted. I think if I have two of them side by side, the proportions will be just right and eye-catching for the room (this wall is also the farthest corner still visible from my entryway, so I want something that will pull the eye all the way back to this point, consequently making the house appear a tad larger*…).

I am on the hunt for some new inspiration, but I haven’t yet felt that aha moment. One of the things that caught my eye though:

@AliceLaneHome on Instagram

For my dining room, I think this choice would be all wrong, but I’m definitely drawn to it. Open to any suggestions you have as well, of course (keep in mind that almost all of the other elements in the above mood board have stayed the same). Thanks!

*No earthly idea if that’s actually true. But I like to pretend I’m a designer sometimes. #fakeittilyoumakeit

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  1. The dining room looks GREAT! If you’re trying to make the room look larger, a huge mirror on that wall would do the trick. You could find one somewhere like HomeGoods OR you could make one with some trim. Just a thought. Maybe flank it with some funky candle sconces or something? I don’t know…just throwing it out there. If you’re not into the mirror idea, what about a pair (or a trio…threes are always more visually interesting to me) of engineer prints? That’s also a great way to fill up a big wall on the cheap. Good luck!!!

    1. Both good suggestions, thank you! I have been considering threes as well, but these two canvases would be large enough not to need a third, and I’m excited to flex some of the old creative muscles and create my own art. We’ll see! I may test out a big mirror on the opposite wall.

    1. Get out of my head! Ha. The yellow leaf thing DID cross my mind. We’ll see what happens when I put the brush to canvas.

      1. That’s just what I was thinking! The union of your watercolor dress and the tree prints. (I’m stalking my way over here from Calling It Home, by the way.)

        I was imagining somewhere between this:


        and this:


        and maybe a smidge of this:


        1. Beautiful suggestions! Thank you so much for taking the time to provide those links. Definitely into it.

  2. I like the idea of multiple pieces! Subway style art would be cool – 3 pieces, each based around one of your favorite places. Or I’ve seen 4 canvases with the same tree, but each canvas has the leaves changed for a different season. I’m excited to see what you end up choosing! And the room looks awesome! :)

    1. I was just going to suggest that 4 panel idea. The tree in each season would look really cool.

  3. If I were you, I would use the original picture you liked as inspiration to create your own design. I know you have said you’re drawn to “fashion” images, so what if you found two simple silhouettes that you like, and print, trace, and cut them out.

    For the silhouettes themselves, you can find them online, or could even trace them yourself from magazines and blow them up to print. Personally, I’m a fan of close-up images more than a full body silhouette, like this (http://fscomps.fotosearch.com/compc/IMP/IMP002/ingsahe0862.jpg), but obviously you can pick whatever you want!

    Then paint the canvas white (trust me, it looks better than just the unpainted canvas) and use double sided tape to tape them on. Then you can water down some yellow acrylic paint and paint a big blob over the whole thing. You can even water down some white paint and paint dots like in the original image. You might even paint dots on one canvas and another pattern on the other canvas (stripes, chevron, plus signs–whatever!).

    Once you’ve done enough, remove the taped-on silhouette and you’ll be left with a white silhouette. I might even like to go a step further and paint a red accent on the silhouette, like a necklace, scarf, or red lips, but keep it abstract.

    So, I know exactly what I’m picturing, but I’m not sure if I’ve explained it well enough for YOU to picture!

  4. Oh man, do I ever know how you feel with that GIF of the guy breaking the guitar!! If we only all had a place we could go and break things on days like that. It would be very releasing. But the room looks great and I’m pretty sure you’ll figure out the perfect way to decorate it. I like the first pic and I tend to stay away from girly but I’m not a designer so….ya:).

  5. Hello! Funny you should mention my illustration of the girl in the yellow skirt – I do have a huge version of it for sale – I was exhibiting it last year but do have one last print for sale. Let me know if you’d like any further details.

    Gemma x

  6. Decorating can always get a little tricky. I’ve always enjoyed painting on the canvas but I don’t think that I’ll smash my guitar against the wall of I mess up. Yellow or brown leaves would be a nice touch @sarah & @sherill.

  7. I really like the blue you chose. It works very well with the white and provides a simple light to the room.

  8. The room is looking very good. You are a good designer. Planning to apply some of your ideas in my work. Thank you for creativity. ;)