Friday, April 17, 2015

Heirlooms in the Garage? Why Not?

So, I thought I'd update you on how the whole garage-mudroom thing has been working for us since we had it built last fall.

I love it! LOVE LOVE LOVE it!

It is wonderful to have this gorgeous, orderly wall of built-ins greet me multiple times a day. Each "locker" has ample room for multiple coats, and all of our baskets aren't even full yet.

I was hoping to improve the value of the house, and I think the project accomplishes that. The built-ins are more than we need, but I wanted to make sure it would appeal to a larger family if we sell our house at some point down the road.

Realistically, I need to tell you that the SHOES still make their way inside and onto the kitchen floor, but I'm happy they have a "home" in the garage. For sports equipment and dog paraphernalia alone, this mudroom rocks.

Earlier this week I decided to put three framed pictures on the wall. One is a watercolor my mom painted in high school of her family's home (now a bread store in Morgantown, WV). The next is a Mary Engelbreit print that reminds me of her because she had the same print (but smaller) taped to our fridge when I was growing up. The third is watercolor still life my mom painted shortly after she and my dad got married. I have the white pitcher depicted here in my dining room.

It might seem weird to have such meaningful items hanging in our garage. It might also seem that they could get damaged being so close to the elements. But two of these have been languishing in various unfinished basements over our last three moves, while the flower print was hanging in our out of the way guest room. Moving them to the garage means I see them multiple times every day and get to enjoy them! I don't think that anything will happen to them, but it it does, I will have seen them more in the past week than I did in the previous decade.

My own mom modeled this for me.

That lady was making gallery walls before any of us knew they were called gallery walls. Our front hallway was a mix of mirrors, large and small, expensive and cheap. Our tiny powder room served as a gallery for framed sepia-toned family pictures of grand parents and great grandparents in old fashioned suits and white dresses. She joked that maybe it was a little offensive to have family heirlooms surrounding a toilet, but the truth is, because she took them out of albums and hung them on the walls, I saw those photos multiple times every single day, I knew who was in them, and they  became much more a part of my childhood than they would have had they been anywhere else in our old farmhouse. Now a few of those photos are on on display here in my office, still part of my daily life.

I've been feeling pretty overwhelmed about hanging (or not hanging!) artwork on the walls in this house. I tell myself that I should paint first, and then I just put it off...again. I just can't seem to make decisions, and the sheer volume is daunting. So I'm glad I was able to quickly put something up, in the garage of all places, that makes me smile.


Gigi said...

We are in the process of looking for a house and one of my criteria has been a mud room. But after I read your initial post about this project, I've re-thought that "need." And as for the artwork where you can see it? Brilliant. That's exactly where it needs to be.

Erin said...

Your garage looks great!!! Love it all!!! And I looked at your mom's water color and am wondering if that is now New Day Bakery! I am a WVU grad and spent 3 years living in the "South Park" area of Morgantown. I walked by this shop daily on my way to campus!

Greta @gfunkified said...

I love it! And I drool over that mudroom every time I see it.

Alison said...

I love your mudroom. I love that you hung those heirlooms in there.

katrynka said...

I am a blog reader, same as you, but I looked it up on Google Images, and it sure looks like it to me!!! Very cool!!

Anna Whiston-Donaldson said...

@Erin and @Katrynka-- Yep! That's my grandparents' house. I knew every nook and cranny. So much exploring and so many great memories there!

julie gardner said...

Love it.

We don't have a mudroom but I find myself wanting to redecorate all my bathrooms now.


Anonymous said...

Yes! I have my favorite art and photos hanging in the family room and bathroom. I don't care if they look out of place--it didn't make sense to stick them in guest rooms or the rarely used living room. I'm glad I'm not alone in that philosophy!

Emma B said...

Woah! I've been reading your blog for years, but I did not realize your family was from Morgantown. I live there, and know exactly where that house is (yummmmmy bread and pizza). Small world!