Anniversary Art

As of Monday, John and I have been married for seven years. Or a hand and two fingers, as Clara likes to joke (“what’s seven?… A HAND AND TWO FINGERS!” *maniacal laughter*).

As you can imagine, when you get married on 7/7/07, your seventh anniversary feels like a special one. The golden birthday of anniversaries, if you will. We went to Hawaii for our fifth anniversary, and have always thought we’d end up going somewhere awesome for our seventh (Australia is the ultimate dream – maybe for our tenth – but for lucky seven we were thinking about somewhere in the Caribbean). But as this summer approached we realized the last thing we wanted to do was load everyone up on an airplane. We’re definitely still adjusting to life with two kids, so we decided to save some of our trip money for next year when we’ll hopefully feel more settled/brave/wanderlusty, and we bought a painting with the rest of it.

At $850 it was a HUGE splurge for us, but we figured getting a painting that we both loved (of the beach no less) as an anniversary gift to ourselves was sort of a nod to taking a vacation without loading up the pack & play and pacing the aisle of the plane waiting for someone to fall asleep. And we hope to have it forever. Heck, maybe it’ll hang on the walls of Clara’s house someday.

It’s a 30 x 30″ painting by Teil Duncan, whom we’ve been giant geeky fans of for a while. We resisted our initial instinct to get a smaller (less expensive) print, and decided that our first large original painting would be the best seventh anniversary present we could think of. And when it arrived, it was even more glorious in person than it was online. We had it up on the wall in about five minutes. Really, these photos can’t capture half the magic of an in-person stare-session.

It looks great next to our blue front door, and it’s one of those scenes that you can look at for hours.

Every time I walk by I notice something else. We even caught Clara admiring it (“I like that pink chair! We need a pink beach chair!”) and Teddy’s eyes catch it over my shoulder when I carry him up the stairs sometimes. Burger hasn’t shown any interest yet, but there’s still time…

The funny thing about hanging it in our foyer is that we realized we have two other paintings in there too.

Remember these smaller ones by our friend Lesli? They all have those soft blues and bright whites that make them feel related, but not too matchy. And they’re all of things we love: the beach, John’s Granny’s house, and Burgdorf Goodman himself.

You might remember that we originally hung our Samantha French print in the hall next to the door, so we carried that into the office and held it up over the desk. We actually tried our anniversary painting there first, but ended up liking it better in the hall, so that switch was pretty simple to make. It’s nice to have some art on that wall of the office too.

While hanging that over the desk, we realized we have a few more small paintings on the shelves in there (one of our last house, one of a pear that I found for $4 at an estate sale, one of two bees from Etsy). We always hoped to slowly amass some “real” art, so it’s nice to realize that over time you can inch up the ol’ collection, both with inexpensive finds and a splurge or two, and suddenly you have a hand and two fingers worth of it.

And of course we have all of Clara’s creations on the cork board over her desk. Priceless.

I think no matter how easy you know nail holes are to spackle (so easy! we’ve done it a thousand times!) there’s this instinct in a new house or a freshly painted room to hold off on hanging art for a while. I don’t know what that phenomenon is (Nail Hole Neurosis?) but we definitely aren’t immune. This is a very real issue people. Just kidding, but really, it took us TEN MONTHS to add some nail holes after painting our bedroom!

It’s weird that we hold back on the whole art-hanging thing when we know how much it can take a room from house to home (our bedroom feels 100% more us than it did with blank walls). I’m certainly inspired to get some stuff hung in our upstairs hallway and a few other walls of our bedroom now. What the heck are we waiting for?

And to all of you other 7/7 anniversary peeps, hope it was a happy one!


  1. says

    What a beautiful piece! The colors are perfect! I think I heard through the Chihuahua grapevine that Burger dreamily looks at it when you’re not around but pretends not to be interested when you are. It’s a Napoleon complex, our Toy Fox Terrier had it too. ;-)

    Now I’m off to check out the link to the artist. We’re redoing our living room and I’m all over new decor right now!

  2. Joy says

    Happiest of golden anniversaries to you both!

    And thanks for affirming that it’s okay to put holes in the wall. I do it all of the time I sometimes wonder if I’m too wall-art-happy.

  3. Amanda says

    If it makes you feel any better, despite how much as I love art, it has taken me TWO YEARS to finally really start hanging some stuff up and decorating my house. Needless to say, the bare walls have been driving me crazy, but when you’re a new homeowner, the process of decorating can be daunting. I’m having fun now though becuase I have a better idea of what I want.

    This is a beautiful piece – enjoy! :)

  4. says

    Interesting that all the art you’re choosing seems to have a cool aqua-blue color motif going on. It really brightens the rooms and I can see how these paintings and prints would put you in a good mood instantly. I think art is a great anniversary present – my husband and I are artists and have been making pieces for each other since we met. :) Happy anniversary!

  5. Lisa says

    Love the painting, I sawit on her website – love that it’s called “Stay Awhile” – it looks perfect in your foyer.

    Happy Anniversary!

    • says

      Yes, we loved the name too! Her paintings sell out so fast I wondered if we’d ever get one, and it was just there waiting for us one day when we checked. Everything about it was screaming our name.


  6. Amy says

    That’s a beautiful painting! I hope you had a great anniversary! 7/7 has always been a special day for me – it’s not my anniversary, it’s my birthday! And would you believe it, I was born at 7:07pm! So you could say that 7 has always been my lucky number! :)

    • Alissa says

      My grandmother was a big fan of 7. Even though it wasn’t her birthday, she celebrated July 7 every year and had a big party when her 77th birthday arrived. Her license plate was CS7077 – randomly assigned! When she passed away on December 17, 2007 I reminded my mom that she had to go out with some 7s; we all laughed and agreed that’s definitely what she would have wanted. :)

    • mribaro says

      Me too! I was born on 7/7/1970 – I like to point out that on the 7/7/1977 I celebrated my 7th birthday :)

    • Pam the Goatherd says

      My Mom’s birthday is 7/7/37. She turned 70 on 7/7/07 and I told her she had reached perfection!

      I love the new painting! It definitely looks like a vacation. If I were you I’d probably sit on the stairs and stare at it whenever I was stressed.

    • Kati says

      I’m thrilled to add that that my son was born on 7/7/14 at 7:37 a.m., weighing 7 lbs and 12 oz. 7s are so special to us now, too!

  7. Olivia says

    Happy anniversary! Hope you had a lovely day! (Quick typo alert: “I think no matter how easy you know nail holes are So spackle…”)

  8. says

    My sister and her husband went to Italy for their 10th anniversary… the summer of their 12th anniversary. Sometimes the timing just isn’t ideal! But they still had a blast and knew their kids were having fun at home with grandmothers.
    Congratulations, you guys! We’re rolling up to anniversary 3 in less than a month. So fun!