Our entry table from the old house naturally landed right next to the front door of the new house too. It has lived there since day one without much second thought. Until recently.

Just for fun we moved it to a new spot and ended up liking it there more. It wasn’t a major relocation. It just sorta “drifted” down the hallway a bit.

The new spot seems to suit it better for some reason. It’s probably a combination of these 3 things:

  1. It moved from an unpainted rough looking space to a painted area that feels more polished.
  2. Visions of the previous owners’ furniture linger in our minds (they had a console there too).
  3. It was waaay too small to balance out the built-ins on the other side of the future dining room.

The only dilemma we had about the shift was how to center the table. You can actually see in the pic above that it hugs one door frame pretty closely while leaving lots of extra space on the other side (see below).

After looking at it in a bunch of different places on that wall (centered, cheated a little, totally flush on the left, etc) we opted for this “off-center” wall placement because of how it looked from the kitchen – the view we’d be seeing it from most often. See? Looks perfectly centered through the kitchen doorway. Warning: ugly paneling alert.

Of course now we can’t just recreate the same symmetrical frame arrangement above it like we had in our first house because it’ll look crazy crooked. But who wants a house clone anyway? Not this guy (points to self with thumbs). So we’ve hatched a new frame plan to finish off this little vestibule area. Yes, I just said vestibule. 500 points to me.

We’re actually thinking we might go crazy and fill the walls with white frames of all different sizes & shapes for a mixed-and-matched-collected-over-time vibe. We figured taking the collection nearly floor to ceiling will help address the negative space next to the console, while also creating an awesome gallery for personal photos, kid art, old maps, favorite fortune cookie fortunes, and everything else we love to slap in a frame. It’ll almost be like wallpaper since the arrangement will be so dense.

You know, kinda like this and this and this. But different because those pics are probably full of real (read: expensive) art and most of ours will be DIY & Etsy & images from old calendars. You know, the whole champagne taste on a root beer budget debacle (I’m a soda guy, just go with it, ok?). And speaking of saving loot, fortunately we already have tons of white frames sitting around just waiting to be hung. See them all leaning against the wall in the guest room?

Oh and as for what will go where it once lived near the front door in the future dining room, we’re keeping an eye on cragislist for a bigger more proportionate cabinet or buffet for that zone. Details to come when we find “the one.”

Psst- Ack- we just learned that Facebook changed everyone’s options. Grrr. So if you’re not getting our posts in your feed anymore, simply scroll down to the bottom of your Facebook Home Page and click “Edit Options” and then choose “Show Posts From All Friends And Family” instead of just those people you interact with most often. Leave it to Facebook to keep us on our toes…


  1. says

    The reason I knew John wrote this post and not Sherry (aside from the posted by John at the top) is because there was no Reason #4: The console now sits next to the ceramic dog. Clearly that is another reason it is happier in the new location. ;)

  2. says

    Your idea to transform the former dining room to an office and make the {unused} extra living room into a dining room is GENIUS! We are in an older house and have a formal living room and a family room and we just don’t have a use for both rooms. We have tried to make both spaces work, but it seems pointless to have two similar rooms – I was going through your archives last night and saw the idea and convinced the husband that it would be amazing in our house…. so it’s this weeks project to move rooms around! Thanks for the fabulous inspiration :)

    • says

      It is one of the things that always strike me (from Germany) as “funny” about American homes – why have two pretty much identical spaces of which one is basically just for show and one for actual use… Guess we had that over here too, way back when, but nowadays space is just to expensive for that kinf od “luxury” – we just paid around $ 95.000 for 6.000 square feet of land (and that was a really good deal)

  3. says

    I have this same situation- an “offset” piece of furniture so that it will be centered in the view of a double doorway. I had always wondered how the Youngsters would tackle the problem and am relieved to learn that I was right to just go with it!

  4. danielle says

    ohh i can’t wait to see all the white frames up. I am on the hunt for a console table (hopefully something goodwill that i can redo) for my basement – down there is a tv family area and a play area for the kids but at the bottom of the stairs is a blank wall that i want to put a little table and hang a bunch of white frames above. i have already started collecting them. i had painted that wall with magnetic paint when we moved in so i hope to hang the frames alone (no glass) and hang the kids art work and other pics etc inside the frames with magnets. i hope it comes out nice.

  5. says

    could you use a tall coat rack there? Or would you do something like that closer to the front door? I love the salon wall idea. Maybe if you had the coat rack there it would draw you further into the house before putting your things down…anyway, looks great! :-)

    • says

      Hey Lauryn,

      Good suggestion! But see that door next to the wall in the first pic (with the console before we moved it)? That’s a coat closet, so we don’t need a coat rack thanks to that! We’re hoping a wall full o’ frames will create some nice interest and a smidge of balance without feeling too “perfectly planned.” We’re definitely going for the haphazard, mixed & matched look. We shall see how it goes!


  6. Georgia says

    The console looks great in its new location, and I love the dense frames as wall covering idea. I just did that on part of a wall in my living room–floor to ceiling frames with family photos in white mats–and I really love it.

    On an unrelated note, I have a dilemma I’d like your opinion on, should you ever care to address it. I have a beloved family member who sometimes gives us large pieces of “artwork” as gifts, most recently a 24″ x 36″ framed homemade collage that she spent a lot of time on. Most of it is not to our taste, but we don’t want to hurt her feelings. I found a place for the collage on a wall in a little-used room that can’t be seen from the hall, but I cringed hanging it up at all. Any advice?
    (Writing under an alias so she never sees this. :)

    • says

      That’s always a tough situation! We actually don’t get given much home stuff (I guess people figure that we have that covered- hah) but we always believe in thoroughly thanking the person, displaying the item the next few times they visit (even if it’s not out the rest of the time) and then donating it after a while – just because life’s too short to have anything that you don’t love in your house. But it’s a really hard thing to deal with. Does anyone else have advice for “Georgia”?


    • Hayley says

      The way I think of it is this. If I gave someone something they didn’t like, I would never ask, ‘where’s that giant furry cushion I bought you that I thought you would like?’. So from an awkardness point of view, I don’t think it’s an issue, because people would never comment on it. (Unless they are just rude and demanding people, but I don’t mind being rude back to them!).

      I do know what you mean that it makes you feel bad, but seeing it all the time will remind you of that negative feeling. I have decided to remove everything from my house that has negative feelings attached to it – even it was a present, or expensive. The hat that I thought looked great for weddings until I saw the photos? Gone. The expensive shoe rack that never quite lived up to it’s claims of organizing your entire life in one go? Gone.

      But, as Sherry said, be sure to give heartfelt thanks for the gesture and the work they put in.

      Or another option – anyway changing the frame, or rearranging the contents slightly could help it’s appearance? I was once given a framed poem, and although it didn’t match my decor, the sentiment was nice. I re-matted and framed it, and when my friend saw it, she said, ‘love what you’ve done with that!’

    • says

      Any way to keep a “section” of the artwork and frame that a bit smaller? Not sure what the overall picture looks like but if a part of it has some visual interest- what about cutting it down to a manageable 8 x10 frame and displaying it somewhere?

      And if they see it later on and ask- you can say that you really prefer smaller artwork and they might get the hint. Or get you something you can store away in a more manageable way.

    • kim says

      I would always go with the honestly route. Just tell her that you love her work but that you have a vision for your home decor and it’s not in your vision. And that you would prefer the art piece to go to someone’s home were it will shine on there wall space and not look out of place.

    • says

      My friends gave me a collage for my 21st birthday. It was perfect when I was in college but when my decor tastes grew up a bit I took a photo of it (and all the sweet messages on the back, put the photos in an album and used the frame for something else.

    • Lindsay says

      I completely understand! My mother-in-law gave us a LARGE 3-D picture for Christmas. I really hate it but it will be up in the house next time she comes to visit. It’s easier for us because we live far away from our families and I know she will only be here one or two weeks out of the year. I will put it up this next time and then after that probably donate it. It’s always important to be gracious and thankful for a gift, but don’t over-thank out of nervousness because you might confuse the person and get something similar again in the future! :)

    • Emily says

      My friends have a big collage like that and they put cabinet hardware (handles) on it and used it for a tray for their daughter (for art projects and eating in front of the tv). It bears mentioning that it is covered with plastic, not glass. At least that way, you can store it out of the way and pull it out when they come over and it would have some functionality, too.

    • lauren says

      I am in the same boat… a friend gave us some pictures that she LOVED and had framed for us… we think they’re borderline creepy… In our last place we had a small wall to hang them. But now that we’ve purchased a place I just don’t have the heart to put them up. I can’t stand them! So I guess my advice would be to hang them for a little while if you can… but if not, tell them you’ve been trying to figure out where to place them and just can’t!

    • Stacy says

      Also, when donating the gift, consider donating to a charity of some sort of relevance to the artist(maybe a school for young artists?). This may make him or her feel more special than if you said you donated it to Goodwill* or a garage sale.

      *This is not to say Goodwill does not have treasures because we KNOW they do!

    • Lisa says

      My husband and I gave my brother-in-law (a Yankees fan) some Yankees wall art (ticket stubs from all World Series wins) figuring he would love it. My sister-in-law is however a Red Sox fan (read: ultimate rivarly). So while there is Red Sox memorabilia in their living room the Yankees memorabilia never made it up on the walls. They may just be waiting to finish off a man cave in the basement but instead, my husband and I (uninsulted) took the hint and decided it may not have been the best gift ever, as previously thought. Again, uninsulted.

      By putting it up for a short time you may inadvertantly feed into a, “well they liked it so I’ll keep gifting along the same lines” idea instead of nipping it politely from the get-go.

  7. says

    So..uh..instead of frames, I thought you guys were going to say you were going to put a small chair on the other side of the dog. You know. So you can pet it and stuff. Of course, that’s my solution to every off balance wall we have in the house- I just throw a chair against a wall and call it a day.

    • says

      Ahhhhh- don’t ask. We’re still waiting for our ReStore pickup for all those doors/fans, and then we have to hang some frames to get them outta there so we can start. Oh and we have to go mattress hunting today or tomorrow. Yikes!


  8. Beatriz says

    Love how you guys seem to take your existing furniture and make it look new and repurposed in this house.

    Do you have any ideas on what sort of entry table you will put in the “dining room”. ……if at all?

    • says

      We’re thinking we’ll find a larger more to-scale piece from craigslist (probably a buffet or cabinet instead of a console for more hidden storage that’ll come in handy for the nearby dining table).


  9. Bob says

    “But different because those pics are probably full of real (read: expensive) art…”

    Come on, guys! “Real” art need not be expensive. This perpetuates the myth that art is inaccessible to most people and that’s just not true.

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