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Last year when I was pregnant with my second child Marlo and agonizing over the tiniest details of her nursery, I remember conducting random word searches on Flickr for inspiration and stumbling across this incredible arrangement of plates on a wall:


CC image courtesy of shareski on Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/shareski/2098598077/

That sounds a little menacing, doesn’t it? PLATES ON A WALL. Like you show up late to a meeting, your skirt accidentally tucked into your pantyhose, and you’re all SORRY! PLATES ON A WALL AGAIN!

That is going to be my excuse for everything now: The plates. On the wall.

I found that photograph and others like it so inspiring that I wanted to decorate one wall of the nursery with a delicate set of pink plates, an idea quickly squashed by my annoyingly logical husband. Breakable plates in an infant’s room? Did I really want to see my child bleed and possibly sever her carotid artery?

I guess there is a reason I keep him around.

So I opted for something much more infant-friendly, or so I thought. My first child Leta was such a sedentary kid and was never interested in outlets or dangerous cords. We never had to child-proof anything with her around because she was much more interested in deciphering letters and words. I mean, there we were at an amusement park waiting to ride a carousel when she turned to me and said, “Can we please go back to the hotel so that I can read my books?”

Is that not the cutest little geek ever?

I found a set of whimsical magnetic flower art that I installed in a dramatic flourish up and over the dresser in the nursery:


The dresser that I intended to use as the changing table, yes. You can probably see where this is going. Your jaw just hit the floor, I know. But you have to understand! If this had been Leta’s nursery she would have stared up at the wall, arms calmly at her side studying the intricate way the flowers seemed to burst forth from the wall! How mathematical!

But Marlo is no Leta. Marlo is very interested in touching and grabbing anything potentially fatal: glasses full of water, our phones, forks at the dinner table. How many times I have had to pry the remote control out of her fingers before she has swallowed it whole. Yummy, yummy channel changer!

And so this is what that section of the nursery looks like now:


Lesson learned: PLATES! ON THE WALL!


Design Inspiration

170 Responses

  1. mommytrout says:

    Wow, that was cool! I also love Kelly Wearstler. Who woulda thunk so much design inspiration and innovation with Plates! On the Wall!

  2. mommytrout says:

    "Now THAT'S a changing table" (you have to say that in the voice of Crocodile Dundee). I actually abandoned the changing table w/ my VERY active and curious 1st child and mastered the art of changing whilst child standing….wish I had flickr 11 years ago, cuz girls, I would post that s*it and y'all would be all "WHAT THE WHAT?!"

  3. Gabriella says:

    Okay, I have 4 kids (three of whom are 2 years old) and even after reading this article I would STILL love to get those flowers. SO PRETTY! :)

  4. AliceAyres says:

    My cat does that, too! We jokingly call her Galileo. So great to know that there are others out there…

  5. tksinclair says:

    Unbelieveable how nasty some people (Lisa E) are. Go AWAY. Go some place else people like Lisa E. If you are not happy here – please, go some place in the world where you will be happy (although I'm guessing you're one of those people who find something miserable in EVERYTHING). Well. Except maybe yourself. Bet you think you're pretty darn special huh?

    Anyway, maybe the post by Heather was a little bit too sophisticated for you. There are places for you…just not here, K?

    Loved the post Heather. I can't tell you how many similar decorating mistakes I've made.

    Oh and I don't make $40k a month!

  6. Diana says:

    Peal and stick wall appliques are AMAZING!!!! So movable you can change the look in no time!!!! Those flowers however are gorgeous!!!!!

  7. PrettyPurpleLilac says:

    Notice that the theme here is that the first child is sweet and calm and the second child is destructo-child. I have those same children. My theory is that if I would have had my daughter first (my second child), I would have decided that parenting was way tooo hard and decide never to do THAT again. Heather, the flowers on the wall were adorable, and hey, at least you have a picture to remember that brief moment in time.

  8. alex says:

    Solution: Place things out of their reach.

    Heather doesn't write advice columns; not her style. She shares stories, experiences and anecdotes and you can take (or not) what you want from them. Or, she'll have to learn to write in a more traditional audience-directed style, which is not her style.

  9. Linda L. says:

    Oh my God what a coincidence! I WAS THINKING THE VERY SAME THING!!!

  10. [...] month or two ago, I blogged about my role in putting together the new relationship between HGTV and Heather Armstrong of [...]

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