Jamie’s Tall Wall Dilemma

Remember how I told you the words “I’ve got a room that could use a little lovin” are like the opposite of kryptonite to me? Well, John and Sherry over at Young House Love blogged about one of their reader’s design dilemmas last week, and then titled the post: “Ideas Anyone?”.

Young House Love Design Dilemma

So, of course, I couldn’t resist playing around with the photo (Jamie)  submitted to them! Here it is:

Young House Love Reader Dilemma

Jamie’s letter read:

We have this huge blank wall that has an awkward vent & our doorbell in weird spots, along with 2 doorways and an off-center vault in the ceiling! Fun, fun. I can’t really put any furniture on the wall, so I’m trying to figure out how to decorate it so that is kid/pet-friendly and not too spendy. You can see in the photos we have warmish gray walls, medium-toned wood floors, and lots of black & white accents. Thanks in advance! 


Ok. What if Jamie and her hubby removed the little half-round table (that’s currently sitting on the left side of the sofa) and brought in a long, slender console table up against the wall in question:

Young House Love | Jamie Design Dilemma

Maybe one that only has two legs so that it doesn’t stick out into the room very far…kind of like this:

Two Legs Console Table


And then to help break up the massive expanse of drywall on that wall, what if they panelled or planked it with wood, and then repainted it the same color as the rest of the room again. Then, to help disguise the vent (and visually break up the wall even more) what if they laid one long plank horizontally from one side of the room to the other? They could cut out a hole for the vent cover, and even paint it the same color as the rest of the wall…kind of like this:

YHL wall idea 1

I also suggested using some rustic beams (they could be real or faux) along the wall where it meets the ceiling because I like the way it ties together with the tone of the floor. And I forgot to do it in my mock up, but the doorbell could get painted the same color as the wall, too.

Idea #2 involves installing a wood-planked ceiling…

YHL wall idea 2

(Why not, right?) 😀

…and idea #3 is similar to idea #1 except instead of a warm gray-painted horizontal plank, I added a long rustic wood plank:

YHL wall idea 3

Again, they could cut a hole for the vent and paint it a similar brown color so that it *sort of* disappears, and they could paint the doorbell the same color as the wall, too.

As for the art and accessories below the horizontal plank- I just quickly popped a variety of things in there, but the sky’s the limit when it comes to they could do there. For me, this challenge was more about trying to figure out a way to “bring down” the lower part of the wall to a more human scale so that it would be easier to decorate however they want. Hence, the horizontal plank! :-)

Anywho, those are just the first few things that sprang to mind when I was playing around with Jamie’s pic. If you’d like to throw out some suggestions for her to read/see, head on over to John and Sherry’s post to join in on the fun!

PS- Interested in learning how to create inspiration photos like the ones in this post? Click here: Room Makeover class. :-)

…and for more pics between posts, join me over on Twitter, Facebook and/or Instagram!

Instagram Pic_Lettered_Cottage

Annie Sloan Coco Side Table Makeover
Kathy's Wood-Walled Bathroom

Have posts from The Lettered Cottage sent right to your INBOX!


  1. Carol says

    Hi Layla. Love what you’ve done. Did you try the planks horizontally? Just thought it might play down the wall height. Whatever you choose will look fabulous.

  2. Kris says

    I like numbers one and three. Since I live in an older house with low ceilings, I love the lofty look of a vaulted ceiling, and the beams are just the right touch to make the scale more intimate without being too heavy.

    I LOVE that you are using real homes with real design dilemmas and showing (affordable!) solutions. Keep ’em coming!

  3. Tiff says

    That PB Tivoli console table is at the top of my wish list for a very similar wall that I have. Gratifying to know I’m on the same track as the pros!!

  4. Brooke says

    Where oh where do we find old beams? Layla, would you tell us what kind of new wood you would use, how thick etc? I have the same wall.

    My mother lives in a house built with all old posts and beams from barns in northern WI but I can’t steal her beams. :) Her barn is 30 years old.

  5. Steve says

    These look great. My home has a very similar wall except the peak is centered instead of being to one side. I have the sofa along that wall, and solved the problem fairly well with a pair of watercolors over the sofa, which measure about 4 1/2 high. They fill the space pretty well.

    I wish I could afford to put wood on the ceiling like you did in the second example, that would look really cool in my home!

  6. Maaike says

    I LOVE option number 3!!! Layla, I am so impressed with your design skills – I looked at that wall and was just stymied. :)

  7. says

    I saw this over at YHL last week and was a little stumped. I had a hard time envisioning anything. I love your ideas!! Especially, number 2.

  8. Maryjane says

    Wow. You’re amazing! …All I can say is pick my presto please! I definitely have a room that needs some loving – and I’m trying to love it as I try to figure out what to do with it.

    I have no idea how to arrange my living room (never had a corner fireplace, patio doors, and angles all in one room before! Plus I need space for the kitty tree and I can’t cover up the baseboard heaters). The added challenge is its an apartment, but I’m allowed to paint. The bonus is I’m starting fresh so the furniture can be whatever I want – I want to pick pieces that could be used in future spaces.

    I wish I was your neighbour so I could say “I’m not even going to disguise it; I have a room that needs some loving Layla, please help!”

    But this is so awesome. I’m sure Jamie will be SO grateful that you looked at this photo. Layla, you are so talented.

    :) Maryjane

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>