What I Decided for the Wall Above Our Couch

posted by Andrea | 12/5/2012

A few weeks ago, I posed the question, “How should I decorate my living room wall?”

I was honestly hoping for just a few pieces of advice and a few creative ideas — but over the course of that weekend, I received almost 100 comments and several more emails/facebook messages/etc. — all FULL of creative ideas!

Here’s what the wall looked like before — so I obviously needed all the help I could get :)

I was super excited with all the feedback…  the only problem was that since I thought most of the ideas were fabulous, I was once again left wondering what to do.

I knew I wanted to included at least one large family picture — and I knew I didn’t want a huge “cluttery” looking collage full of frames.

I liked the idea of hanging a large door or window horizontally — but I didn’t have a huge door or window… and I didn’t feel like looking for one!

So after thinking through all your amazingly creative ideas, I decided that instead of using an old door/window I could use several pieces of distressed wood (which we just so happened to have sitting around after our kitchen renovation!)

And it worked…

Here’s a closer view.

Dave and I are thrilled with how the project turned out! 

I’m also thrilled that it will be really easy to change/rearrange items on this wooden board without putting a bunch of extra holes in the wall.

The whole project was SO simple — the most difficult part was actually hanging the finished product on the wall and making sure everything was level.

If you’re interested in creating something similar, here’s what I did:

1. I cut several pieces of wood flooring to roughly 66″ in length.

The only reason I decided on 66″ is because it looked good over our couch and because it would easily accomodate at least one large family picture. The finished product is approximately 66″ wide x 36″ tall.

Also, I used a hand saw because I didn’t want the cuts to look perfect or the boards to be exactly the same length.

2. I stained and lacquered the board to match our wood flooring.

I used one (heavy) coat of stain and 3 thin coats of polyurethane (sanding in between each coat). The board honestly looks like we just cut a chunk right out of the middle of our kitchen floor!

3. I attached the borads together from the back side.

I used 2 additional pieces of wood flooring to screw all the boards together. Then I attached another board to the top, which is how it hangs on the wall (see next step).

4. I hung the board on the wall.

Since we used old tongue-and-groove flooring for this project, we simply screwed one piece of wood flooring on the back of our board with the “groove” side facing down (see picture above), and then screwed another piece of flooring to the wall with the “tongue” side up. Then, all we had to do was drop the groove into the tongue and our board was securely attached to the wall.

And since it’s not screwed directly to the wall, we can slide the entire wooded unit left and right to make sure it’s always centered on our couch.

 

5. I added pictures and decorations.

This was the fun part — especially since I don’t have to worry about patching nail holes in our old plaster walls if I change my mind!

I went with one large family picture (24″ x 20″), two smaller pictures (8″ x 10″), a small wreath, and two small metal stars.

Then I added vinyl wall words, “Children hold our hands for a while, our hearts forever.” 

I thought that phrase was very fitting considering the family picture I used… and since it’s just vinyl letters, I can easily remove the whole thing whenever I change my mind!

So after almost two years staring at a huge blank wall, I FINALLY have something hung above our couch! 

Thanks SOOOO much for all your ideas and inspiration. Not only did you inspire the project above our couch, I also “stole” a few ideas for other places around our house!

Also, thanks to Modern Photographics for the fabulous family pictures — and thanks to Dave for putting up with my crazy ideas (you should have seen his face when I asked what he thought about hanging wood flooring on the wall!)

It sure feels good to have this project crossed off my to-do list.

Here’s one more before and after look :)

I’m in the (very long) process of shopping for new lamps and lamp shades… but did you notice that my ugly yellow chairs have new slip covers?

I LOVE how they turned out :)

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34 comments

  1. Beth

    12/05/2012

    Where did you get the slip covers! They don’t look like slip covers, they look like the chairs have been professionally upholstered. I love them and would like to see if I can get some similar for my chairs!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Beth — I’m afraid you won’t find these slip covers anywhere because I had them custom made specifically for my chairs by a woman who does this for a living (which is why they look like professional upholstery!)

    I purchased the fabric from JoAnn’s to match our kitchen/living room.

    It was quite expensive, but not nearly as expensive as buying new chairs, and considering we only paid $35 for the actual chairs, it was WELL worth the expense to have the slip covers professionally done!

    [Reply]

  2. Shelly

    12/05/2012

    Love the new sign, you can even change it out for the seasons or holidays with various wreaths or wording.

    [Reply]

  3. anastasia

    12/05/2012

    wow!!!!!! i love it!!!!!!|
    how do you actually hang the frames on the wood? and the vinyl stickers do they peel off easily?
    great job.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks! The pictures are just hung with nails — just like you’d hang them on the wall; and the vinyl letters can be removed by using a blow dryer to warm them and then peel them off. However, once you peel them off, you can’t put them back on again.

    [Reply]

    anastasia Reply:

    thank you andrea!!!!!

    [Reply]

  4. Cammy@Serentipity

    12/05/2012

    What a brilliant (and beautiful) solution! And I just happen to have some old fence boards in my garage. :)

    [Reply]

  5. Holly F.

    12/05/2012

    I absolutely love it! What a beautiful and creative solution. :-)

    [Reply]

  6. Nuria

    12/05/2012

    What a beautiful phrase!!!!

    [Reply]

  7. Sue

    12/05/2012

    Absolutely perfect! Simply perfect! As with everything, well done.

    [Reply]

  8. susie

    12/05/2012

    I love the wood look! I will have to keep this in mind when i sell our piano.

    [Reply]

  9. Gina

    12/05/2012

    Love your picture!!! I want to make one…

    [Reply]

  10. Julie

    12/05/2012

    Love it! What a great idea!

    [Reply]

  11. Verity

    12/05/2012

    This is a great idea!! I’m going to remember it and maybe steal it for our next house!

    I love how it creates a large picture and message out of several small ones!

    Very well done!

    [Reply]

  12. Lisa

    12/05/2012

    Beautiful where is your tree would love to see pictures

    [Reply]

  13. Andrea Urban

    12/05/2012

    I must say, the tongue and groove hanger idea is simply BRILLIANT!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Andrea — my dad was actually the person who thought of using the tongue and groove flooring to hang the unit on the wall — so I can’t take all the credit :)

    This idea could also work well for hanging a large wooden headboard on the wall above a bed, or any other very heavy, but flat artwork!

    [Reply]

  14. Jenny C.

    12/05/2012

    Andrea, I totally LOVE it!!! It turned out so beautiful :-) You have such a knack for creating something out of nothing (you know what I mean!). Great job!

    [Reply]

  15. Doreen@househoneys

    12/05/2012

    Awesome! I love the size, the color and the material you used. I also love the phrase! Just perfect.

    [Reply]

  16. Michele

    12/05/2012

    I absolutely LOVE it!!!!! :)

    [Reply]

  17. Dallas

    12/05/2012

    wow, that looks AMAZING!! so creative!

    [Reply]

  18. karen davis

    12/05/2012

    Love the Board/Picture above the couch, and thank u so much for the directions!! Karen

    [Reply]

  19. Martha Lawson

    12/05/2012

    Love, love it!! Been wanting something new over my couch – my have to “borrow” your idea!!

    [Reply]

  20. Autumn Beach

    12/05/2012

    So fun to see what you decided! It looks awesome! Totally warms up the space – and so does your “new” chair! Love that, too! Just add decorator to your long list of many talents. :)

    [Reply]

  21. Yarelis

    12/06/2012

    I love it, Andrea. It looks great!

    [Reply]

  22. Heart and Haven

    12/06/2012

    This turned out beautifully! I just LOVE the quote you found, fits perfectly with the pictures displayed.

    [Reply]

  23. Kalyn Brooke | Creative Savings

    12/07/2012

    This look fabulous, Andrea! It’s truly gorgeous and so reflects your style. I want to do my living room in a beach theme, and I’m thinking of using this idea with some driftwood, netting, and starfish. I can totally envision it.

    [Reply]

  24. Amanda

    12/09/2012

    Fantastic idea! I have the same problem so a similar idea might work for me too! Thanks for sharing x

    [Reply]

  25. Madely

    02/02/2013

    Your living room looks inviting and quaint, I would say this is a spin on farmhouse modern, I absolutely love the idea, you have inspired me to do a version of it. Im so glad that Doitonadime spread the word about you….keep em coming!

    [Reply]

  26. Letitia

    07/09/2013

    Hi! I have enjoyed reading about your home! Everything is beautiful! What is the color on your living room walls? Do you have any suggestions for good, neutral paint colors? Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks! Here’s a post where I talk all about our paint colors: http://andreadekker.com/our-favorite-farmhouse-paint-colors/

    [Reply]

  27. Stacie Kaltz

    09/23/2013

    Hi Andrea,

    I have been thinking of re upholstering one of our family room chairs. I love what a great job you did with those in your family room. You stated they were slip covers, where did you find one that fit so well? Or did you re upholster them yourself or have them done by someone else?

    Love the new landscaping!!!! :-)

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Stacie! We totally love how our living room turned out — and we LOVE LOVE LOVE our slip covered Craigslist bargain chairs!

    We did pay to have them professional slip covered by a local lady in town. If you live in West MI, I can give you her name and number. I thought about trying to do them myself, but upholstery fabric is pretty expensive and I knew I would kick myself if I wasted fabric because I messed up.

    I’m so glad I had a professional do it — they look perfect and most people don’t even believe they are slip covered. We ended up doing 3 chairs total — all with the same fabric and I think the TOTAL cost was less than $500 (chairs, labor and fabric). So since there’s no way you can buy 3 brand new chairs for that price (and I love the small scale and older style) I feel pretty good about that choice.

    [Reply]

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