December 8, 2012

Welcome to Saturday's Favorite Thing post!  I'm so Dickens Village from last Saturday is featured on my blogging friend Claudia's Favorite Thing Saturday sure to check it out here !

I'm going off the ranch today, and not posting a Christmas favorite thing.  There are already so many beautiful holiday things on display at Mockingbird Hill Cottage today that I thought I'd go a different direction.  I've been wanting to share these photos on here for a long time and never had quite the right opportunity, so today is the day!  See the picture below?  I cut this picture out of a Pottery Barn catalog over a year ago and carried it around with me--it was my 'inspiration picture' that I hoped to one day re-create in my living room.  This past March my husband was out of town for a long weekend (diy tip #1: projects like this are best done when husbands are gone...) and while I was browsing in my favorite antiques shop I came across a magnificent old sailor's trunk.  I can't explain it but that trunk was MEANT for my house--I could feel it in my bones!  And once I wrestled it into the car and then into my living room, it was time for action.  I called my girlfriend, who came over with a pitcher of Pimm's cup cocktails (diy tip #2:  pitchers of Pimm's cup really liven up the work!) 

I do not live on a Pottery Barn budget.  Some days, I have to stretch to be on a Target budget.  So I couldn't go out and purchase anything (except the trunk) for my new wall so I went house raiding--a table from my solarium, a lamp from my library, and some frames that were currently sitting in a closet waiting for just the right moment.  I had ordered a wall art quote a few months before, and I had spent my birthday money on an eye-stopping mirror shaped like a ship's wheel.  Somehow, it started to all take shape...
photo from Pottery Barn wall decor ideas page

Here's how it all came together....empty wall first.  The two pictures are of  Falkland Castle and Urquhart Castle (on Loch Ness) from a trip to Scotland a few years ago.  They had hung on the wall with a small round table beneath them, with two of my dining room chairs flanking the table.  It was a desultory grouping.

Next came the hanging of the mirror.  (diy tip #3:  too much Pimm's cup makes hanging heavy mirrors straight kind of hard....)

Next came the placement of this great quote by Mark Twain.  I know it's not a quote that everyone would choose to have in their living room, but my husband and I love to travel and I wanted this wall to reflect us and our adventures, and not be a cookie cutter decorated space.   Don't you love how the bronze ship just gleams?

The trunk that started it all...I am not going to show you the interior of the trunk on this post, but will save it for another day.  Trust me, this trunk is so cool!  It's a sailor's trunk from the mid-1800's, and the note on the trunk indicates it's from a small sailing village north of Boston.  My ancestors are from.....a small sailing village north of Boston.  How could I possibly not buy this trunk, right?!

Sorry about the sheet on the sofa...(diy tip #4:  too much Pimm's cup makes remembering to stage your photos a little more difficult...).  The lantern is from Pottery Barn...I'm allowed one little splurge, right?

And finally, the big reveal!  Here is how my inspiration wall looked at the end of the night.  All the photos are my own travel photos to Scotland, England and Greece.  The model ship is my husband's (I went to his office and 'borrowed' it while he was gone!), it's a copy of the Constitution, which we toured on our trip to Boston last year.  I assembled the chair from a box ( and found the great basket that sits underneath the table at Pier 1.  It holds my travel books and journals.

So there you have it....a photo and a trunk that started a total wall re-do.  Every morning when I come in to my living room I love it all over again!  I hope you enjoyed this peek at my favorite wall and have a great weekend!


  1. Very nice-- that mirror is really impressive!

  2. Your wall is lovely and I adore your chest - sounds like it's truly a treasure chest! Can't wait to see the inside - how wonderful to find a note on it/in it.

    Happy weekend!

  3. Martha, you did great. I love the clock up there and that trunk has lovely patina. I have no PB budget either. I usually buy one or two small items from our Outlet sometimes. Visiting from MHC, Olive

  4. What a clever idea. You did a wonderful job.

  5. You did such a great job! You've used the inspiration photo but made everything truly your own, reflecting your interests and passions! Bravo.

    And yes, I find I can do the best DIY when Don is out of town or at least in NYC for the day!

    Thanks so much for joining in this week, my friend.


  6. Love the wall. It's perfectly put together. The trunk is a beauty!

  7. It looks wonderful.
    Pottery Barn is great for inspiration, but I always wonder who goes in and buys a whole PB room at a time.
    That Mark Twain quote is one of my favorites.

  8. This mirror makes an amazing change. It looks great!
    I just read about your tragic loss and send my condolences to you.
    I also watched the Waltons in my teens, and rewached all the episodes with my husband over the last two years.
    Merry Christmas to you.