You should put something really great here

Oh, how I smiled wryly to myself when I came across this photo last week:

{via Murray Mitchell}

You see, this is exactly what I think every time I walk into my living room. I present to you, Decorating Dilemma #1…

{Decorator’s Notebook}

Don’t get me wrong, I like this room a lot but I do spend an unnatural amount of time staring at that blank wall above the sofa debating what I can put there that’s going to look really great. At the moment I have this picture up as a stop gap, but I think it actually makes things worse.

{Decorator’s Notebook}

Again, I like the British Isles print well enough, although I liked it a whole lot more when I first bought it, before the world and his wife had one. It doesn’t evoke the loathing of the ubiquitous Keep Calm and Carry On print just yet, but I fear it may not be long before I have to relegate this to the back of a cupboard until such a time as I own a house with a downstairs loo. Basically, it’s too small, it’s in the wrong place and it just looks rubbish on that wall.

So, I need your help. At the moment, the options I’m mulling over are as follows, but I’m not convinced any of them are quite right.

{via Sanctuary}

OPTION 1: vintage mirror wall

It’s become one of those styling clichés but I do still like this idea. And what’s more, I already have eight perfectly nice frameless mirrors sitting in the understairs cupboard waiting for me to make up my mind and do something with them. But do we think this has been done to death? Will I make holes all over my lovely smooth plaster only go off the idea the very next week?

{Sue Knight}

OPTION 2: invest in an artwork

In an ideal world, this would be my top choice. I once styled a house with several works by Twickenham based painter Sue Knight and loved her light, airy landscapes mixing collage and oils. The problem is of course, the price tag. If I wait until I can afford something of the style and scale I really love, that wall’s going to be blank forever. Which brings us neatly on to…

{Oh Happy Day}

OPTION 3: paint it myself

I found this great tutorial on painting your own abstract canvases but I can’t help thinking it’s not going to be that easy. Knowing me, I’d get it looking passable but wouldn’t be able to stop tinkering and end up spoiling it all at the last minute. And of course, there’s the whole time factor to think about.

Never. Going. To. Happen.

{Lotta Agaton}

OPTION 4: create a display shelf

There’s something quite appealing about this – possibly the fact that I wouldn’t have to commit to any particular arrangement and could tinker to my heart’s content. Also, the way my building was carved up when it was converted means my flat doesn’t have a fireplace or alcoves so I don’t have those natural display areas you’d usually have in a Victorian home and could do with somewhere to put out my bits and pieces.


{Decorator’s Notebook}

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  1. says

    Here are my votes:
    1. Mirrors – it would bring some more light into that corner.
    2. Display shelf – you’re a decorator, you are going to want to make changes and rearrange

  2. celestria says

    1. I like the mirrors too, but they are not very “Feng shui”.

    2. Paint stripes either in the height or in the width, the size and the colours you like best.

    3. Stick up a lovely wlallpaper : you do that so well !

  3. Amy says

    I vote Display Shelf. You won’t be tied down to flat artwork and as it’ll be ever changing you’ll never get sick of it. I really want one myself! But don’t have the right spot at the mo…might be time for me to redecorate myself…

    • Decorator's Notebook says

      Those mirrors are REALLY heavy though – I’d be a bit worried about a flimsy little shelf holding up. Dilemma!

  4. says

    oh brilliant! defo the scary Excorcist-style writing in the last picture. That’s so funny. If you’re interested in doing you own canvas MyFavouriteAndMyBest has had some good posts on that very thing recently x

  5. Decorator's Notebook says

    Ha ha, my friend – that wasn’t intended as an option but I’m glad you appreciate my marvellous MS Paint skills!

  6. says

    My vote goes to the display shelf. I have one, I love it. I got a white floating shelf from Dwell (don’t know if they still do them) and they actually hold a surprising amount of weight so the mirror display shelf could well be an option.

  7. says

    what about buying some lovely fabric and stretching it over a canvas? that way its cheap, and easy to change when you get sick of it…… I’d love to see something bold and bright in warm colours to contrast against all the neutrals.

    What about a bright marimekko print?

  8. says

    oooh how exciting! I’d go for a display shelf…….with colourful items. you can change it whenever the mood takes you then. let us know what you decide =)

  9. Caroline says

    You should put a giant vintage wooden window from an old barn or kitchen overlook. White chipped paint or light brown to pop off the white walls and the rustic looking frame to sit above the sofa. I hope that doesnt sound like jibberish..


  1. […] This reminds me of how much I want a Moroccan wedding blanket for my bed. If I’m not mistaken, the paper butterfly collage is by Cissy Cook, although I like her White Collection best, especially the little fan design. Perhaps I could have a go at recreating one of those for that spot above my sofa? […]

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