From Hate to Love

I love this wall.

I used to hate it.  It was completely awkward and is the main wall in our downstairs area, it’s just a wall island with a closet and some kitchen cabinets on the other side.

You can kind of see the wall in this photo behind the toile sofa before I moved it to the corner of the room.

Here’s another photo–the wall I’m talking about is there on the left.  That’s Kimba and Jen in the background. At first it was a walk through wall and I never knew how to treat it.

Once I moved the sofa I had to relocate the tv and the armoire that housed it.

It drove me to insanity because I couldn’t stand to see it’s 1980s underbelly innards of the tv sticking out of the back.  And this is the view from the front door.  I could have put a plant there or something but the desk with chair wasn’t working next to it either and I was avoiding something my husband had gently been mentioning for ages.  A new tv.  And I knew that would be the answer to our issues.

So, we agreed to buy a new tv with cash.  And also cancel our cable for 10 months–long enough to cover the price of the tv and cleanse ourselves from our addiction to the Food Network. My husband and I both have a slight obsession with Jamie Oliver, my husband loves it when he cooks outside, I want his rustic kitchen.

I knew for ages I wanted a sailfish and I thought he be the perfect solution to take the attention away from a huge black, ugly, tv.  Not to mention, easily cover those two poorly placed boxes of doorbell chimes and whatever else that’s up there on the wall.  It just happened that we got the tv, fish and four sets of elk antlers on the same evening.   And, yes, the fish is a real, vintage, taxidermied fish from 1968.  But these days you can get beautiful replica fish that look just as realistic.

See how I measured for the tv and fish?  I knew how high and wide the television was.  And I knew the length of the sailfish.  But it’s hard to measure a sailfish and buying him was one of the riskiest things I’ve done in our home.

The most awkward, annoying, bothersome wall in our home has now become a feature wall with my signature piece.   I love it when that happens.  And it only took 18 months.

Related Posts::

A discussion at Apartment Therapy about what to do with an inherited mounted fish.

Why I bought a stuffed mounted fish

Alternatives to moving the cable outlet :: how we put a tv on a wall with no way to install a cable box

Moving Furniture :: The Number One Decorating Fix

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  1. A brilliant solution! That is a pretty wall, now. I also really like the chairs that you have flanking the television.

  2. WOW girl, you can take HATE and make it into LOVE, better than anyone I have ever seen! Those chairs are dreamy!

  3. my favorite wall too!
    the saffron velvet with the turquoise in your fishy just slay me.

    no pun intended.

  4. Umm, how on earth did you get the dog to pose while Napoleon was on the screen.

    That photo has made my day. Which already at 9:18am has been an eternity.
    :) thanks.

    P.S. Did you see the photo with us and the other sweet Relevant girls? That Gypsy Baby stole the cuteness though!

  5. Do you know what I love most about this post? That you have Napoleon Dynamite playing on the new t.v. GOSH! ; )

    And how brilliant is it that y’all cancelled cable for a few months in order to be able to enjoy it better later?

  6. Ha, only 18 months!! What a turn around, literally, making it a feature wall. That fish is crazy fabulous! Janell

  7. I want those chairs!

  8. Nice change up! I totally know what you mean. My entertainment cabinet has to be set catty corner… it drives me bonkers sometimes

  9. totally off topic, but i have to tell you i love jamie oliver too! i was in bath, england in september and my husband and i ate at one of his restaurants. my FAVORITE meal the entire trip (and that’s including a trip to a gordon ramsey restaurant!!). :o)

  10. I have a hate/hate relationship with my entertainment wall. I jokingly call it my arch nemesis and we battle it out once a week, as I move things around to try to make it work. My husband has given up hope that I will ever be happy with it. Your transition from hate to love gives me hope :) Now, the real question is: Where can I find a fish?

  11. I love it when a decorating dilemma works itself out! I must say, one of the best features of that wall, in my mind, is Napoleon. How can one go wrong with him? Now, I’m off to work on my nunchuck skills…..

  12. Ya know Nester, I’ve had the same problem in every house I’ve ever lived in. My entire married life has been to make do or buy used. It use to frustrate me more than it does now. The other day my husband gave me the best compliment. He said that he was amazed at my gift for using what we had to solve whatever need has come up. It made me feel so good. And it’s more satifying to creatively solve a problem than to run to the store.

  13. Me thinks I need a deep sea fishing trip soon! :)

    And Napoleon…..*shaking head*…. :)


  14. did you paint your armoire? if you did, could you possibly tell me the paint color you used?? i have a similiar armoire i am getting ready to paint, and i am loving that blue color.

  15. Ok this sentence struck me like lightening: “I knew for ages I wanted a sailfish and I thought he be the perfect solution to take the attention away from a huge black, ugly, tv. ” Our big black tv (and a computer table) drive me nuts in our LR. As the computer table is necessary for our homeschooling, and the tv is needed for movie watching (no cable here either!) I want to find a way to take the attention away from those things… hmmm….. I am not very good at this stuff… I might have to browse your blog for some ideas!

  16. We canceled our cable about 7 yrs ago, and the only time I’ve regretted it is when Monday Night Football moved to ESPN. The wall looks terrific! Love how your sailfish hides the door chimes. Thanks for sharing.

  17. Is that Napoleon Dynamite? :D

    Very fun wall.

  18. I love your new wall, and I also love that you have Napoleon Dynamite on. How fitting with voting tomorrow. I wish I could ‘Vote for Pedro.” :)

  19. It looks so sleek – and it’s a nice accent to your sailfish ;)

    We have a related issue. We’ve tried different arrangements for our 1959 living room/dinning room which is pretty much a box with door. The most functional arrangement has the flat panel TV sitting on a low loooooong dresser we use as an entertainment unit.

    Problem is…the back of the TV faces out our front picture window.

    It’s been about 18 months now.
    Perhaps a solution is in gestation for us, too!

  20. You have great skills! You provide a wonderful example of combining loveliness with masculinity and reality. I can almost hear the sound of burping when I see the pictures of your boys hanging out! (Oh wait- that was coming from my house!) It’s also nice to see that you don’t really hide the importance of the TV in most homes. Almost all of us watch it almost every day, so why are we always trying to pretend that we don’t? By the way, does the fish have a name?

  21. It is fabulous! And I couldn’t help but smile that Napoleon Dynamite is on the television! LOL

  22. Virginia Mom says:

    I must be the last person on earth to be without a huge flat-panel LCD or Plasma TV. I’m fighting it with everything I’ve got. I have watched designers from all walks try to make them less intrusive, less imposing and less OOGLY. I still love a home without any Big Idiot Box at all, but until God makes our men love reading by the fire on Monday nights instead of head-bashing, grunting, trash-talking football, we must try to camouflage these hideous black plastic rectangles somehow. (Okay, I’ll admit I like to watch Rehab Addict and House Crashers, but at least I don’t paint myself and throw things at the screen.) You have done well, Nester! The intrusion is barely noticeable beneath that magnificent sailfish. Lovely wall!

  23. I need to know where you got, and I don’t even know what it’s called, but the turquoise stand next to the chair in the first picture. I’ve seen it floating through your house and I love it! Or at least what they’re called so I could find one.

    • ahh, yes, the garden stool! That one is from One Kings Lane–{search those words in my search box in the sidebar if you aren’t famililliar with them–they are a flash sale site} but I have another from a chain store and now I see them all the time at Home Goods/TJ Maxx they are $25-150 depending on where you find them.

  24. I LOVE your sail fish. My husband actually had one he caught before I met him and I could kick myself for making him get rid of it. They say hindsight is better than foresight. What an incredible find. Enjoy him (her?)

  25. We love Jamie Oliver too!
    Love your sailfish…everything looks so clean and simple….love it.

  26. I love that you hide your doorbell box, I do as well!

  27. I love your new wall!
    I’m also very impressed that you canceled your cable for 10 months – great idea! I wish I could somehow convince my husband to do the same!!!

    • buy him a new tv–maybe then he’ll like the idea what with Netfilx and hulu?! And FYI, we actually have cable now, it’s Hockey season and there’s a game on EVERY NITE. Oh well.

  28. Very, very, very nice! I never thought I would like the look of a sailfish, but this looks spectacular. Great idea with a terrific outcome. Congratulations on finally getting it finished the way you wnat it!

  29. I love that fish! I love that real people need time to figure out how to work with their homes. That wall looks great!

  30. I absolutely love the look of this wall! It has an awesome color scheme! I long for my own home to decorate. Someday!

    • Melissa, don’t wait!! You don’t need your “own home” to decorate, just a wall~ this house isn’t ours, we are renting…and even if we were buying, it wouldn’t be paid off and technically, not ours either!

      Go forth and decorate! Don’t wait!

  31. Carolyn Tucker says:

    Needless to say, I love your home. BUT, more importantly, I love that Napoleon Dynamite was on your TV when you took the picture of your love/hate wall. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read your blog and felt like I was listening to myself talk. I think we could be friends.

  32. That was “flippin sweet” (in the words of Napoleon Dynamite!).

  33. The whole thing is just too die for! I love it, love it, love it!
    GOTTA find me one of those fish!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  34. Thank you for this! I have a HUGE blank wall in my dining room. My hubby has his 75 gallon fish tank in that space and it’s big and black. I’m not a fan, especially when it needs cleaned (such a mess). It’s so hard to find things to go with it… maybe we need a sailfish… maybe an orca will fit better though! No lie, it’s like 14′ long and 12′ tall. I want a hutch, but what would become of the tank???? Your fish gave me some hope and ideas though. Thank you!

  35. Melissa Huey says:

    So the fish definitely takes the attention away from the TV. When you made the comment about wanting the fish and maybe he would take the attention away from the TV, I thought to myself thinking back to the first pic, “There is a TV on that wall??” All I could remember was the fish!

  36. It looks great – but now we need to see the view from your front door. :o)

  37. Okay, you know what struck me most? When you said you cancelled your cable to save up for the TV!! Wow, that is impressive. Today, few people think that way…very impressive and I am glad to hear your include that in your post! More people need to recognize that and we would not be in such a state of economic decline.
    I hope you do not mind that tangent. I love all your decorating! Beautiful post.

  38. oops…sorry I did not sign in….I am ‘anonymous’… ;)

  39. If I post my I-don’t-know-what-to-do-with-you wall, will you give me ideas to fill it!? Ha :) Just kidding. Sort of….

  40. OMG – that dog is absolutely gorgeous! The perfect accessory to any beautifully imperfect home…

  41. Hi,

    I LOVE your sailfish and think it might just be the perfect solution to how to “hide” the TV in my apartment. I have been looking around online and havent found a sailfish that seem as nice as yours (coloring ect). Can you suggest where to purchase a sailfish like yours? Also, what a normal price range is?

    Thank you so much!

  42. I NEED HELP! My boyfriend and I just closed on our first home Dec 28. I have this one accent wall in our living room that has me completely stumped! It’s painted a dark red and compliments the kitchen counter wall painted the same color. We already have a built in entertainment center in the living room so we can’t use it for the tv… we’ll prob put the couch there (once we get one)… I don’t know what to paint it or if I should consider a design such as wallpaper…. please help! I really like whites, grays and maybe even a little yellow here or there….

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