DIY: Hook It Up…But Not Forever: Guest Post by Meg Gardner

Our guest today is Meg Gardner from the blog Loving Albany.  Meg is the mother of three boys, and, brace yourselves, her house is all white!  It’s all white and it works.  Meg’s house is a stunner, and you can get a peek here at Houzz.  She’s sharing with us today her most recent project: a temporary solution for hanging photos and kids’ art–without wrecking the white walls!


I have three boys aged 9, 7 and 4.  They like to sleep in the same room.  Until recently.  I had to kick the oldest out one night for being too silly at bedtime.  He never looked back.

Which was great.  Except for this.

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He took his new room seriously.  Old toddler comforter?  Be still my heart.  Random stuffies and favorite hats?  Awww.  Taped picture on the wall?!?  I can’t take it.

So we helped him sort things out with a trip to IKEA.

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But those taped pictures were multiplying….

…just as this showed up in my email.

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I subscribe to emails.  It’s an amazing site filled with inspiration and ideas for your house.  From décor to organization – real life, actual, fulfilled projects in people’s homes, as opposed to the Pinterest fails that exist repeatedly in my life.

When I saw this photo, I got inspired.

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My goal was to give him a way to hang the pictures without anything being too permanent.  It’s his room to decorate, but his tastes will change.  And so might his bedroom.  We have a couple more rooms on the 3rd floor, which may be more appealing as he reaches his teenage years.

A Teenager???

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I grabbed a 1×2 piece of clear pine wood at Home Depot and asked them to cut it to size (cuts are free).  I stopped at DeSerres for the Bulldog clips and Michaels for the screw-in hooks, which happened to be white!  Score!

And after contemplating how long he will actually occupy this new bedroom, I decided to use Command Strips instead of screws to attach the wood to the wall.  This package of 4 strips holds a picture frame weighing up to 16 lbs.  Bingo.

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I asked him to help me put it all together and got about 5 minutes of painting.

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After 2 coats and letting it cure overnight, I got to drilling.  Measuring and drilling.  Measuring, calculating, re-measuring, re-calculating.  And measuring one last time before drilling.

Which turned into this.

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The wood almost blends into the wall, letting the pictures shine.

And now for my favorite, the before and after.

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photo 9


I love walking up the stairs and sneaking a peek into his room now.  If only he’d make the bed…!!!


Guest Post: Meg Gardner Blogging for Away

Our guest post today is from Meg Gardner, who is an American living in Toronto and the blogger behind Loving Albany.  Here is the story of how her blog got started.


It happened with the third child. I couldn’t do it anymore.  My dad passed the phone to my mom and she said, “So, what was that…how are things?” and I lost it.  I could not have the same conversation twice.  So, then I blogged.

I’m Meg. I’m a mother of three boys. And I blog so that I don’t have to talk to my mom.

Actually….I blog so that I can talk to my mom. And my dad.

Three little kids biting my ankles (sometimes literally) make it hard to talk on the phone with my parents back home in Wisconsin. It’s hard in the morning during breakfast. Harder when my toddler is napping. Hard again during snack time after school. And forget dinner time. Then it’s bath, book, bed…whoops! Forgot to call.


So I started to blog. The first post went up and I emailed the link.

The phone rang. “I love the costumes! How much candy did they get?” I had enough time to answer my mother before someone started fighting. Success!  Phone passed to dad. “He really looks like a penguin!”  I didn’t have to repeat the story of how George’s Halloween costume was a penguin or that it was passed down from his cousin…he already knew because he had read the blog post.  And he saw the smiles!

Before I could say, “Yes, it was great, and everyone’s gorging themselves on sugar,” chaos erupted and the phone call ended. But it worked. We shared our what’s-going-on-around-here-today moment with our far away family.  Without high school ex-boyfriends on Facebook watching.  Or emails with huge attachments downloading.  And no disappointment on the other end of the phone.

Since then, it’s taken off.  First tooth, first lost tooth, painting a bedroom, going on vacation, birthdays, half-birthdays, changing the kitchen, school starting, graduating kindergarten.

That was a good one.

Over the past year, mom and dad have seen it all. Including our new guest bedroom.



And I don’t have to tell the story twice.