Need an honest opinion

Why on earth am I turning to the internets for decorating advice?? This isn’t to downplay any of your wonderful skills when it comes to how your home looks… it’s just that I’m persnickety.? But I’ve come to a point where I simply can’t make a decision on my own.? Normally I would turn to my trusty MIL.? Not that my own mother is bad at decorating, but her idea of picture hanging includes 4632 photos of my son and one of a chicken.? (sorry mom)? The trusty husband proposed my idea to the trusty MIL and she was no help.? (sorry MIL)

This is where I need your help.? There was this post way back when where I described our family room.? It was once a lovely room.? A place to sit and relax.? Beautiful furniture.? Cozy.? In the past 2 years this room has gone to shit.? Not so much shit per se, but taken over by a 3 year old.? We did paint the room a year and a half ago.? It is now a light lemon yellow (love it).? The sueded cotton sofa and ottomon are still there, but now we have a giant train table serving as the coffee table.? It is usually the only truly messy room in the house and just a thoroughfare to get from the rest of the house to my office.? The one thing that remains that I’m unsure about is the mural.

Let’s rewind a little.? This is the mural:

Remember the room is now light yellow.

With our recent construction nightmare I was forced to redo some drywall in the family room.? I thought I wouldn’t have enough yellow paint so I went and bought another gallon.? I didn’t need said gallon, but I did so thinking that I would paint over the mural.? Trouble is… I don’t know if I really want to paint over the mural.

Here’s some background on it.? It is painted over where the door to our garage should go.? Just another Dane the Dumbass Previous Homeowner fiasco.? So if we ever want to put the door back in the mural would have to go.? We are considering putting the door in, but it would cost an additional $120 to our already $600+ home repairs (and we really don’t have that kind of extra money laying around).

I painted that mural.? It is a replica of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Tree of Life.? I love Frank Lloyd Wright.? I painted that sucker with a tiny little 1/2″ brush because the wall texture is such that I couldn’t tape it.? It took me 2 years to paint.? I finished it when we repainted the room and when I pulled the tape off the outside edges it pulled off the brown paint and I’m out of brown paint to fix it.? It is smack in the middle of the wall and just as you walk into the room.? The above photo was taken from the doorway into the rest of the house.? (you can see what the room looks like if you watch my first vlog).

Anyway… here’s where I need help.? Should I paint over the mural.? I have this fear that when people walk in and say, “oh wow! who painted that?” they are just being nice when I say I did it.? When in reality they think it sucks and now I’m a loon for painting a 4’x8′ geometric pattern on my wall.

When I say opinion I mean honest opinion.? Seriously.? I would tell you if your ass looked big in those jeans or if that hair cut made you look manish.? Really I would.? It’s not just for your own good, it’s for the good of humanity.? So tell me what you think.? Do you like the mural?? Do you think I should paint over it?? Honesty is the key here people.

As an update, here is a slideshow of photos I took this morning. I don’t plan to paint the whole room again, just over the mural (assuming that Nate the Paint Monkey mixed the paint correctly).

29 Comment

  1. Jenny says: Reply

    I love the mural. I also think the room has not gone to shit. It’s a family room with great pictures, and the toys are wonderful for when we all come over. 🙂 But sweet baby Jesus, two years! The only two things I’ve ever had that kind of patience for is nursing school and getting pregnant (which involved lots of nights when I said, ‘just lay there honey, I’ll take care of it.’)

  2. Rich says: Reply

    I like the mural, and anything that took you two years to create should take you two years to decide to destroy. 🙂 Probably a dumb idea, but maybe you could stick a drop cloth or something with the same wall color over it, live with the solid yellow look for a couple of days and see what it does for you?

  3. Amy says: Reply

    I must say, you are quite talented. BUT….said mural does not seem to “go with” the rest of the decor. I vote PAINT. Sorry Elle!

  4. mom says: Reply

    First let me clear my good name here. I have one collage of my grandson (made by you) and one family photo (also given by you) in my two main areas of the house. Yes, they’re treasured and so is the one of you in the hall, but… 4632? I love my home and that’s whats important. If you love the mural… keep it. I’m swinging with the majority though and vote paint it. (Just cause it’s time for a change!)

  5. Tricia says: Reply

    I like it, but to be honest I don’t remember it when I was there in June. Which is good – if it was really hideous I would have discussed it with Michael after leaving your house. (We loved visiting you BTW – turned out to be the best part of our trip … watch for the thank you note which is still in my desk. I’m good like that. No manners.) But my brain has turned to mommy mush so probably what really happened is that I said that I liked it (and really did) and I think you should keep it. But if it was so cool, I would have remember it right?

    But like I said, I like it, so I would keep it. It’s art! Can you come paint something in my house?

  6. Lena says: Reply

    Keep the mural. It doesn’t matter that the rest of the room has toys all over it – you are parents to 3-year-old … 3-year-olds have lots of stuff! It’s a mix of who you are … the mural and the trains.

    If you are still on the fence after polling the internets, try Rich’s idea and see if you can stand looking at the wall without the mural.

  7. Sandy says: Reply

    You painted that? What an amazing job you did!

    I love Frank Lloyd Wright, but in my honest opinion, the mural has seen its day. I’m much more for movable/replaceable art. But as you can sort of see from my various home pics and the silly vlog, I’m certainly no decorator. I hate shopping for that kind of stuff, I hate painting, and I hate dusting. So there you have it.

    That said, don’t expect to take back your living room from toys until your son enters kindergarten. Then you can sort of have your living room back. I had mine back for a year or two and have now again lost it to baby toys.

  8. Michelle Ketchum says: Reply

    What about painting over about 75% of it? You would still have a piece of it and you could make it look more like a picture hanging on the wall.

  9. I like it. In the photo it looks like a big stained glass window.

  10. Neelie says: Reply

    I say paint over it or reduce it – it does overwhelm the room. It is an amazing piece of work, but a lot of art is temporary (think of all the chalk art) just like life.

  11. I like Frank. I like the mural…I actually like how it draws you eye in. I’m an artist, Elle. I’d paint the whole damn wall like that.

  12. kim says: Reply

    I also, thought it was stained glass.

    I think it is time to paint over it. I appreciate all the time and talent, honest. I must say that I don’t think it will “fit” with the new paint color, you may see it as something “old” in your new room.

    best of luck, please post a new vlog when done, I love to see your creativity.

  13. I think the mural is very cool. I’m a FLW fan too but even if I wasn’t, I love unique things that make a space your own. So if you love it, who cares what anyone else thinks.

  14. DebiP says: Reply

    I can see being ‘over it’ but still loving it…for me I think if the room was taking over a new look I would either paint over it all or transform it into a smaller painting size.

    Elle…you are such a funny gal…love ya

  15. Maggie says: Reply

    When I got my first apartment my aunt gave me a kitchen table and chairs. I spent a long time (not years… but a long time) painting that table. It has so many layers — I primed it, painted the gold base coat, washed in a brown finish to tone down the gold, and hand painted a fleur de lis pattern around the edge. If I can say so myself, it’s beautiful. Seriously. Like the type of thing people would pay money for.

    But I still have it. And it’s soooo time to let it go. So I know how you feel. You feel a little over it all, but how can you let something you worked so hard and still appreciate/like go?

    The first time I saw a picture of your mural, I thought it was stunning. I think you did a wonderful job, especially now that I know it’s a textured wall. And I think that Tricia’s comment about not remembering it is important. It looks massive and terribly attention-getting centered in a photo like that. But if Tricia doesn’t remember it specifically, that means it’s not overwhelming and it fits in.

    I say keep it. When you’re ready to get rid of it you’ll know. Just like I’ll know when I’m ready to get a new table.

  16. Lauri says: Reply

    I say keep it…. I think it is pretty and is visually interesting and adds light to the room

  17. Joel413 says: Reply

    I’m a bit of a FLW freak (dragged wifey to Taliesen West first time in Scottsdale), and I have a small FLW clock given to me when I left my last place of employ.

    That room has turned into the playroom, FLW is not my idea of playroom decor, but then again neither is a wine fridge (excuse me, chocolate fridge). My feeling is that room has been taken over by a 3-year-old, and being the parent of a 3-year-old even the room we try to keep 3-year-old-free never truly is.

    Also a note about paint. When we touched up the previous house I went ot the factory store to get more paint, they had it on file.. it was too light when put on my wall. Home Depot and Lowes did the laser thing with a sample of the original paint one was even lighter when dry the other too dark. End of story? We repainted the entire house.. or in your case the whole room.

    So here’s my suggestion. Leave it until you put the door in, cut it out, insert door, keep mural in garage to sell at next garage sale for $25! I buy it and put it in my garage.

    P.S. I replaced a door last weekend, plan to do another next month. So I’ll be an expert!

  18. Joel413 says: Reply

    Note. wifey was fiancee when I dragged her to Taliesen West… and she still married me.

  19. Autnie G says: Reply

    Like everything else, a time comes and it’s time for a change. I say go for it and paint.

  20. Heidi says: Reply

    I like all the comments. Especially Joels idea of keeping it until you can afford to insert a door.
    Truthfully it’s not my cup of tea. But my house wouldn’t be yours either. But, I think you may be still attached and aren’t quite ready. Plus I think Joel is correct and the paint prob won’t match exact and you’ll have to paint the room.
    I’m thinking of rearranging the furniture instead. The mural does bring so much light and life into the room which is nice. I would not put any furniture in front of it so that it is “showcased” more. Try different ways of pushing the things around and perhaps that will be enough for you until you’re ready for the install of the garage door.
    And, I think you’re really talented! 🙂

  21. Jenny says: Reply

    ohhh, addendum to my first post.

    If you are wanting something new, but feeling antsy because of the time invested, then let it go. Take a great picture of it to hang on the fridge.

    My Mom is the QUEEN of “But I spent money on it, therefore it should last forever.” We sat on broken bar stools for YEARS because of this.

  22. Rhonda says: Reply

    I say paint! Its a beautiful mural, but I’m excited to see what you will do with it next. Besides, it will bug you until you paint it.

  23. Kathou says: Reply

    I would paint over it, change is always good. If you really like it, I would paint one on a canvas where you can keep it on your bookshelf or move it to another room. You can always move a painting but a wall is a little harder :o)

  24. Martha says: Reply

    I say keep it. It is original and it lightens up the room, I thought it was a stained glass window too.

  25. I say it is time for a change. as interesting as it is, it doesn’t “go” (imo). I would say, clean up around it and take a really artsy picture to preserve the memory since it has sentimental value and then paint over it! I love the yellow! Nice, bright, cheerful – maybe you could paint of get something large with fun colors that you would be excited about putting in that place.

  26. Jenni says: Reply

    I think the mural is a beautiful piece of art, and am quite impressed that you painted it! However, in the picture, it does appear to overwhelm the room a bit. It might be nice to have something smaller on that wall that compliments the couch and new lemon yellow color.

  27. Joel413 says: Reply

    Thinking about this a bit more, I have two words:

    Chalkboard Paint

    That way the 3 year old and Mom can have fun chalking together inside all winter long! Use some “Prang” and really brighten up the room. Get tired of it, was it off and do somethig new!

  28. kate says: Reply

    I vote to do the whole wall with the mural. Expand! Put some chalkboard paint inside part of it! Add color! Fuse it with Mondrian.

    Do what makes you happy.

  29. […] want to thank the multitudes of you who helped with the mural decision.? It really was a tough one for me.? Change is always difficult and even more so when you put […]

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