Thrifty Craft Thursday: Depersonalizing the Dining Room
By now it’s no secret that we’re considering a move in the near future. For those of you that have made that same voyage, you know part of the process is “depersonalizing” your space. Which….MAN!….is that hard! You live in a house for years, working to make it your home a little more each day. Reversing that momentum is definitely a “process”. I’m sure we aren’t the only ones with children’s artwork stuck to the walls with Scotch Tape in places so prominent you’d think they were works of Van Gogh. And surely, some of you also have a 5 X 7 or two of your artists sweet little faces, tucked away in perfectly chosen frames and displayed in spaces where they are often seen. So much of what we do day-to-day, creates a home that essentially represents us. So in preparing for this house to become another family’s home, we’ve been trying to replace a few of the things that overtly stake our claim, with more neutral images.
When we moved into this house (“many moons” ago now), that deep wine color was a very popular choice for dining room color. Like many others, I loved it. It became our wall color. In addition, we used casing molding and created large frames on one of the empty walls, basically creating built-in “picture frames”. Can you guess what filled those larger than life picture frames? 🙂 Sepia toned photos of Our Chickens, of course! Girls in one, boys in the other.
In the process of depersonalizing, these photos were the first thing staring me down. But hmmmm, what should I replace them with? I didn’t want to spend a lot of money of artwork that was just neutral, throwing something up there just to be there. Know what I mean? While walking to the elementary school one spring afternoon, the inspiration came. At the end of the cul-de-sac, right next to the school is a home that had sat empty for awhile. As I approached from a distance, the expanse of lawn looked BEAUTIFUL! Yellow bursts of sunshine lay like carpet in the green spring grass. Dandelions! Dandelions were everywhere! Forget for a moment that most of us consider them a nuisance plant, and feel the bright, uplifting, happy spot of color that they are. I had it. Yup, those plants most suburbians work so hard to keep out of their lush green lawns was about to become the focal point of the dining room.
Once I’d decided on what to hang in the first built-in frame, I scratched my head, pondering what to place in the second. Then it came to me…the other end of the spectrum. Still the dandelion, and absolutely stunning in its own right, but in seed stage. As children we LOVED to pick them, and blooooowwww their seeds to kingdom come. As home-owning adults, we cringe watching children do this, knowing they are only helping to spread the seed those neighbors are going to spend lots of time (and resources) in an effort to weed back out. But really. When was the last time you stopped to really look at a dandelion in seed stage? So amazing. So delicate. So very intricate in design. To top it off, I learned dandelions are, among other things, symbolic of healing, clarity, vitality, and new beginnings. It felt perfect. So there! I had it. Two spaces, two photo ideas. All that was left was to take the pictures!
I didn’t take an intentional before picture, but I found an old one taken during one of the Chicken’s birthdays.
Dining Room before:
Dining Room After:
We simply carried the cheery color from the kitchen, into the dining room. And there, on the wall are my dandelions. 🙂 Anyone with a camera can do the same thing, and get them printed (often 2 for $5.00 at Walgreens!). If you’re using a simple point and shoot camera or your phone, you can always utilize free online photo editing software to help doctor up the clarity and color of your photos (I sometimes use PicMonkey). The only thing I’d do differently about the photos if I were doing them all over again, is to capture photos of the exact same plant, in effect documenting the complete life-cycle of that particular plant. It didn’t occur to me to do so until it was too late, and the first dandelion I’d photographed was long gone. Of course another one, (with dandelions, there’s always another one), willingly stepped-up in it’s place and so, I obliged him a portrait.
Here’s a close-up of the Dandelion Photos: