This week, we need some decorating help from our readers! Although we usually come to you with our latest gardening or DIY project, we are in a dilemma with the main wall of the Simple House. So we thought we would turn the tables and ask you for advice.

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The Big Wall, as we now call it. A blank slate ready to be decorated

We  have concentrated so much of our efforts recently on the final details of the construction process, we have yet to come up with a plan for the decor of what we now call the “Big Wall.”

The Big Wall is the main focal point of the open kitchen and living area. It faces west to catch the falling sun over the trees each evening.  The left side will be our dining area, and there will be a large industrial pipe style lighting fixture coming down from the ceiling to hang over the table. Beyond that – the space is wide open.

The Details:

The Big Wall is covered with white shiplap siding, and is awash in light with a bank of 2 lower double window sets, and a triple window bank up top.  As for dimensions – the wall spans 24′ across, and reaches to a height of 22′.

A Few Big Wall Decorating Ideas So Far…

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One thought is to use a rolling ladder like this one to span the large bank of windows. We found this one browsing on-line at rollingladdersanddoors.com 

We have tossed around a few ideas already. One is to hang and place a huge rolling ladder underneath the large windows up top. Not only would it become a focal point, but great for opening and cleaning the windows. 

Another thought is for some type of large sign or wall hanging to span the wall.  We even thought perhaps a series of large black and white farm photos. And we keep thinking and thinking…

So as we sat staring at the wall the other night, we decided we need help figuring this one out! Who better to come to the rescue for ideas than our fantastic followers!

So let the ideas flow! Feel free to comment below with any thoughts that come to mind! You can also feel free to email us thoughts or pictures at thefarm@owgarden.com or comment on our Big Wall post on Facebook. 

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The outside look at the wall.

We will be sure to post the final winning design idea or ideas in a few weeks in one of our Sunday Farm Updates. You can find out more on the house project here – The Simple House Project

Happy Decorating – Jim and Mary.  To receive our Recipes, DIY and Gardening articles each week, sign up to follow the blog via email in the right hand column above, “Like” us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter. You can also check out our new book, Growing Simple, now available on Amazon.com. 



54 thoughts on “A Decorating Dilemma – We Need Your Ideas For This Room!

  • October 2, 2016 at 10:11 pm
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    A large country tin star right below the top windows. Keep it simple.

  • September 30, 2016 at 12:31 pm
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    I love the quilt idea… A handmade heirloom or new.

  • September 29, 2016 at 9:27 am
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    What a bunch of neat ideas! I can envision a huge triangular picture at the peak with your group (family, animals, children, friends, whatever you choose). Coming down from the picture you have vines (or roots) crawling down to little areas of the wall with boxes, shelves or another picture or hanging, to display something of importance to you. There would be multiple areas on the wall. Each showcasing an important event. These could be changed out as new events occur or you could add other areas amongst the vines. (The vines would not be real but they make “stick on” ones that can really look lovely. Symbolizing that these are the things that bind you together. The roots that have solidified and helped you to grow. Kind of like … the tree that binds.

  • September 24, 2016 at 12:15 pm
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    I love the simplicity of the shipboard and the windows. I would do a large barn wood sign with your favorite saying or your blog name in the below the upper windows. Maybe a wooden shelf over each of the lower windows. You could still add the ladder and have it simple.

  • September 23, 2016 at 10:49 pm
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    Wow. We are also in the middle of redoing a house except ours is an old log home. We gutted the place and now are in the process of chinking the logs.I love ideas but wow! Too many is almost overwhelming☺ we also will be moving from a large house to a small one (under a thousand square foot) but our family is growing, not grown and leaving. So there challenge s there. Ideas… The name of your farm on the wall somewhere. Painted onto one of the leftover boards from your dads barn . if you still have any.best wishes. Can’t wait to start my own garden next spring and not have at someone else’s house☺☺ doing it up old world garden style… Yea!

  • September 23, 2016 at 9:06 pm
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    A beautiful old quilt hung horizontally below the upper windows. A country cupboard between the two lower windows for needed storage. A reading bench under each lower window with storage under the benches, and narrow bookcases at each end for the books that make a home. None of this would ruin or take away from the wonderful whiplash siding!

  • September 23, 2016 at 5:04 pm
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    Large art piece made out of wood……..Keep it simple..

  • September 23, 2016 at 4:34 pm
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    I agree about run stone in the center of the wall , install a vent-less gas fireplace unit…. with hearth and mantel heat when needed and nice ambience with the fire on a chilly night….. Then Flank both sides sides with a built in shelving on the right with the sliding ladder for a reading nook and the other side done the same , not necessarily needing another sliding ladder…for displaying as well ..Maybe The Dining room table , .would be more efficient use of space in this floor plan, if it was placed across from the kitchen by the stair case… more accessible to the kitchen for serving etc, thus having a harvest style kitchen and dining cluster….or is the area not large enough ?.the rest of the space for a great room with conversation area as well as a reading nook … you know that comfy chair with a lamp and table…. …COZIER spaces. Love seat with a couple accent chairs small table or just 2 chairs and table…. , Simply a gorgeous home .by the way..

  • September 23, 2016 at 4:12 pm
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    Have you thought of white Christmas lights as accents or as stars? I know I would do that. Even as an outline. Might be too simple but I think it would do it all. (After bookshelves etc 😊)

  • September 23, 2016 at 4:11 pm
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    The ladder would help. Idea for the future if not now, wall clings. My Mother has an issue with dust and breathing. So we are limited on things that are dust catchers. Pictures, cloth, eco are out, so we apply clings. They are like window clings but designed to not damage painted surfaces.

  • September 23, 2016 at 3:24 pm
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    Picture a tree trunk between the two double windows that spreads its limbs and foliage above them on both sides and into the ceiling and apposing walls for several feet, the light fixture could be ‘hanging from a branch’ as a birdhouse or feeder. Your living space becomes and outdoor (but indoor) living space with a panoramic view through your two double windows… I see now Mike Burns had the same sort of vision… using prefab half columns for the trunk would add 3D, other materials could be used to create the canopy over some of the ‘living space’… would be a lot of artsy work though…

    • September 24, 2016 at 2:29 am
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      Just what I was thinking. No matter what is decided on tie it all together with open tree work.

  • September 23, 2016 at 1:40 pm
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    The white ship lap is beautiful but the Windows need a bit more emphasis. Maybe just paint the interior window trim a different color. Very simply this would help define the wall and help define your lovely windows. After that, I like the ladder and maybe some smaller farm-themed “art” quilts.

  • September 23, 2016 at 1:28 pm
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    An oak tree mural covering the entire wall would be stunning.

  • September 23, 2016 at 1:26 pm
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    I see a tree painted in the center branching out for your family tree, using pictures or just painted info. Yes the ladder is a wonderful idea and actually an attached rolling ladder will allow the availability of adding info, cleaning etc. Higher up, quilts and the old farm implements tucked in such as an old sewing machine wheel near a quilt. You could paint a road from behind the tree off to the left or right with a little garden and attach a hoe. one handle of a push plow etc Beautiful home and anxious to see the finished results.

  • September 23, 2016 at 12:52 pm
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    I like the quilt idea, but I would PAINT quilt blocks across the wall between the lower and upper windows. It won’t collect dust like a canvas or shelves and comes in any color(s) you choose. Several farms in our area paint quilts on the outside of their barns. It is quite charming and there are so many designs to choose from.

  • September 23, 2016 at 12:49 pm
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    That big white wall your looking to fix up? Why not under the top set of windows a small to medium sided half round gallery with live plants that could be accessed by a sturdy ladder at watering time and a couple of pendant swags on either side. Some tall specimen plants in each corner. maybe a couple can lights in the upper corners. uplighting behind the floor plants and seating and window treatments for the lower area in the center?

  • September 23, 2016 at 12:39 pm
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    I think I’m the odd one out here, but I look at that wall and find it perfect just the way it is. It’s clean and uncluttered, and those gorgeous windows into the outdoors are the perfect art. Doesn’t get much simpler than that!

  • September 23, 2016 at 12:34 pm
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    Interior Designer here and my two cents is the ladder and shelving would cover too much of the burlap and natural look of your home. I think your idea of black and white photos of the farm is awesome. And someone said maybe your favorite saying somewhere around there. Thanks for sharing all your awesome ideas!

  • September 23, 2016 at 12:14 pm
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    You could always contact Joanna Gaines (Fixer Upper on HGTV). Her style, especially for farmhouses is breathtaking! When I watch what she does to a room it makes me feel like, “If I lived there, I would never want to leave that room!”

  • September 23, 2016 at 12:01 pm
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    The ladder has some appeal but I agree with the comment above that as you age you’ll want less to dust or climb. I have severe problems that have developed with my feet and legs due to a back injurie 50 years ago. I’d go with a large quilt or two or three depending on how they hang on that wall. Wash every year or two. Colorful and certainly country. For me I’d hang them on poles on pullies that could lower them for me. I do have to look for things like that. I hope you never have such problems but you will hopefully live to age well and it will change what you can do with different spaces. I still have old things around that take dusting and I love all my stuff. For youth I love the idea of cubbies or long shelves of interesting things and the ladder for reaching them and cleaning the windows.

  • September 23, 2016 at 11:38 am
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    Will you be adding any window treatments? ie. curtains, valance of some sort, shutters??? That would help “fill” the space. Then it could more accurately be determined the scale of what space remained. The only con to the ladder is that it would take up floor space. If the house is smaller, sometimes floor space is valuable. As you age, it wouldn’t be as appealing. That said, I do love them though:) Oh dilemmas. Not knowing exactly what sort of things you would or would not bring into your home style-wise, my only other thought is that whatever you decide to put up there will require dusting. I’m probably not a ton of help, but congrats on being in and to this point:)

  • September 23, 2016 at 11:22 am
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    One or two shelves running across the wal above the lower Windows for books with the library ladder that would give acces not only to the book shelves but as you had suggested give acces to the upper windows .inthe middle between the windows have photos of the progress of the farm . This could be an electronic display to share when you have visitors! I would love to visit!
    So happy to receive your blogs each week.
    Sue in Los Angeles

  • September 23, 2016 at 11:11 am
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    I do like the library shelves with rolling ladder, in keeping with your farmhouse style. It would bring warmth and personality to your big room and as mentioned can include seasonal decoration. I have two beautiful wooden pulleys, previously used in an old warehouse, to donate for your shelves if you go with the farm implement idea.

  • September 23, 2016 at 11:00 am
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    I’m going to vote just the ladder – it won’t fill the space visually as you are hoping. Besides, how often (really) will you wash the upper windows? Putting a ladder whose only purpose is that will label you OCD – LOL. I was going to post pictures, but I don’t see how, so… above the lower windows I would put a simple board with the lower edge curved, painted the same color as the walls. Are you going to do curtains? Drawbacks would be good. A buffet / sideboard on the wall for dining room storage would be nice too, especially if it were farmhouse or rustic. It would need to be to scale for the space. I really like the idea of antique farm equipment (they’d have to be pretty large, like a horse drawn plow) on the wall above the lower windows. One of the pictures was of an old ladder painted distressed white, with objects hung from it (drying herbs, etc.) and things like plates or whatever you like above it. Those are my ideas. Hope you like at least one. 🙂

  • September 23, 2016 at 10:54 am
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    Love the ladder idea but not the boxes that cover the shiplap. How about a ladder with open shelving. Mount the shelves using iron pipes and place them to accommodate your signs/pictures/farm equipment. The spacing would not but uniform but dictated by the size of your items. Bonus points for ease of construction. Most of the time would come in the planning of the placement of the shelves.

  • September 23, 2016 at 10:44 am
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    Love the ladder idea but might not use the boxes which cover the shiplap. Open shelving using iron pipes as the mounting would look great.You could then design them to your specs leaving a few large spaces for bigger pictures/signs/farm equipment etc. This combines all of your thoughts. Bonus – it is easy to do.

  • September 23, 2016 at 10:30 am
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    I love the idea of the ladder underneath the large windows with 2 or 3 quilts/ country blankets draped over the rungs of the ladder for interest. On the either sides of the ladder over the lower Windows, I would hang oxen yolks with rustic boxes directly below filled with dried flowers and grasses.

  • September 23, 2016 at 10:29 am
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    The wall is so beautiful with the white shiplap. In my eyes, I see a large, elegant branch with the leaves still on. I would have it spray painted in a fine layer of metal, with the colors of fall that are closest to its natural colors. Of course not every leaf, but an overall color. You could work with the copper colors that are closest to its original colors or whatever you find pleasing. Hopefully this branch would be from one of the trees on your property.
    This would allow the shiplap to still be visible and you would have brought some of your beautiful surroundings into your home. You could place it across the center of the wall in between the upper and lower windows so that it flows horizontally across the wall. Congratulations on your beautiful home and farm!

  • September 23, 2016 at 10:23 am
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    I sent a pin to your pinterest boards. I love the ladder idea, with books on the walls, but the pin is for a sleeping loft. I am picturing a loft by the upper windows. Imagine a bird’s eye view of the sunset! Try this
    https://www.pinterest.com/pin/513903007449191218/

  • September 23, 2016 at 10:06 am
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    I like the idea of continuing the efficiency of the home and making it somewhat of a library wall. I love the ladder idea and I agree with Elaine Marchant above that changing out décor seasonally would be fun. Everyone has books and photo albums and they are hard to find spots for without a library of sorts. (which I sadly don’t have). Can’t wait to see what you come up with.

  • September 23, 2016 at 10:00 am
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    A huge tree with limbs around and through the windows. This should be a kind of tree that your house is made from. Then you hang black and white photos to make it a “family tree.” A true focal point and topic of interest to all. An artist could do it or you could do it yourself.

  • September 23, 2016 at 9:54 am
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    I would incorporate old quilts some way. I love hanging them like art. Hangers with shelves would give a place to put farm artifacts, dried flowers, etc. I love the rolling ladder idea!

  • September 23, 2016 at 9:46 am
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    Your new house looks nice and reminds me of my in-laws’ lake cabin. One lovely decorative touch my mother-in-law added recently might be a good idea for your wall. She walked around the property one morning after a rainy night and saw all these different mushrooms springing up. She took snapshots of them (fairly close-up) and then printed them in different sizes (and in color), framed them (also in different page orientations — some portrait and some landscape) and hung them on a large staircase wall that had previously been empty. Above them she printed and framed a poem about nature that talks about the growth and change that happens around us all the time and the peace that contemplating it can bring. This tied all the images together very nicely.

    Since yours is a “farm house”, maybe your photos can be of things you grow and animals you have around instead, but I think the general approach would apply well.

  • September 23, 2016 at 9:40 am
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    Since you aren’t going to put book shelves, how about one of those quilt blocks, or a quilt.

  • September 23, 2016 at 9:34 am
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    I don’t like the ladder on the wall, it is not the right room for a library look, I think a large iron sun dial type clock smack in the middle with some farm implements to both sides would be perfect, you then carry your farm into your home. With those nice windows and light I would get a couple of iron plant stands and place under each window and put your favorite plants/herbs etc…., then between the two lower window I would put a sign with your favorite saying, or sign with you name and date established or some other meaningful plaque saying, maybe some piece of reclaimed wood that has some meaning to your family. Another idea would be to put shelves along the bottom wall under lower windows that would span the wall, open shelves then you could put your canning equipment, cookbooks, mason jars etc… it would be easily to access and they would look great and give it an old world kitchen feel and all your stuff would be ready to take and use, you could even put in a desk area to work by the windows.

  • September 23, 2016 at 9:31 am
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    I love the idea of the ladder and boxes. and or shelves. It could be made into a library, farm equipment display dried grasses and flowers and would give you the option to change it out for the seasons or just for a change once n a while. It would making it easy to clean and open the windows as mentioned as well as keeping the boxes etc dusted.

  • September 23, 2016 at 9:31 am
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    I think you’re on the right track with shelves. You will get functional vertical storage (think: books, farm photos, games, wine bottles, canned goods) and you could build in window seats/benches below the windows to add seating and enjoy the view (picture relaxing against pillows and watching the sunset). When my husband and I built bookshelves and a windowseat on a wall in our front room, we were afraid using the standard full seat depth for our windowseat would take away too much floor space, so we simply constructed it less deep. It worked out very well. Another thing we noticed after our construction is the shelves frame the window nicely, making the view beyond like a beautiful picture. Because it’s nicely “framed,” no curtains are necessary, just a sunshade to pull down if the sun comes in at the wrong angle. Something else to consider: if shelving all the way up would make the wall too imposing, perhaps shelving up to the ceiling line and then hanging old farm implements on the wall space above (I like Jane’s idea). Have fun with your project! (By the way, thanks for an informative and enjoyable website! I’m a home gardener and find it very helpful.)
    Jess Keller

  • September 23, 2016 at 9:28 am
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    Put pots on pulleys and grow stuff if you Have enough growing light. Tomatoes and cucumbers in winter. Pull down with pulley to water.

  • September 23, 2016 at 9:27 am
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    I like the idea of large black and white prints. I’d start taking pictures of the farm and hang them there. That is what this is all about after all. A favorite phrase or verse in the center is also a good idea.

  • September 23, 2016 at 9:26 am
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    I would run stone up and down the wall between the windows with a hearth at the bottom. Then set a source of heat at the base but let it be rustic to keep with the theme of your “Simple Home”. Although I must say there is nothing “Simple” about your home. It is absolutely beautiful!!! Also I would run a mantel across the hearth at the top to set your most prized treasures on. Just not sure how high up you should go with stone! Love the informative articles you send. Keep up the good work! Debbie

  • September 23, 2016 at 9:13 am
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    I like your idea of the ladder on the wall. You can use the wall boxes to place pictures, jugs, dolls, the ideas are endless. You can still use old farm implements from pegs, old irons, cotton weights and come Christmas you could go wild.

    • September 23, 2016 at 11:09 am
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      I’m with you on the ease and convenience of the ladder. I think it should be more “rustic” than the picture, though. Maybe whitewashed?

  • September 23, 2016 at 9:13 am
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    Because we are book lovers, if I put up a rolling library ladder, I would also need the bookcase, and a book case that tall would be a dream come true. I have a similar space in my house and I have been thinking of recreating a section of the Bayeaux Tapestry to hang across the span, which would be fun as the famous tapestry is not very tall but is very long. the other thing I think would be fun, and could be done in an industrial manner to match your light fixture, would be a catwalk across the end. Possibly wide enough for a small chair so you could sit up on the perch and look out the upper windows. Definitely would be a fun coffee and magazine spot.

  • September 23, 2016 at 9:00 am
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    What is your favorite saying, and embellish it.

  • September 23, 2016 at 8:50 am
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    Possibly some small quilts that have Ohio background?

  • September 23, 2016 at 8:37 am
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    Love the ladder idea.. How about a family tree..paint a tree in the midst of the two lower windows with the branches extending outward and go to town finding pictures of both sides of the family..with maybe a small history attached..visitors and family can use the ladder to explore their (your) family history..great for future generations. Just a thought. If you don’t want family there, do a collage of different authors, painters, or people who have made a difference in your life.

  • September 23, 2016 at 8:31 am
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    Jane beat me to the punch – old farm implements!

  • September 23, 2016 at 8:21 am
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    I love these kind of projects. Closely looking at the wall reminded me of a tree. Have a professional paint an elaborate tree with the trunk between to two lower windows and branches spreading throughout the wall. The tree can be painted with or without leaves. Add the roller ladder you thought of and it would be like a ladder to the upper branches. Scatter photographs of family or nature throughout the wall. Thus you have a family tree.

    • September 24, 2016 at 11:52 am
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      There have been a lot of great ideas here. I like the idea of the ladder, having shelves for books etc. yet as you get older there is the concern about the climbing up. So then I liked the idea of the seating at the bottom windows with some kind of cabinets for books etc. that you wouldn’t have to be dusting. I really love the idea of the quilt look you could have different ones to chance with the seasons. The family tree idea is also good. My first thought was of a big macrame` wall hanging; there are a lot of different ideas on Pinterest. I know it was really popular in the 70’s and it is coming back again. If you know how to do something like that yourself or quilt yourself it would be nice to be able to show it off in an open space like that. Looking forward to seeing what decide to do. I love what you guys have done and are doing with your place.

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