These walls can talk, so have them tell a kick-ass tale of glory and adventure

Posted on June 2, 2015

These walls can talk, so have them tell a kick-ass tale of glory and adventure

We all have that friend. You drop by his place to grab a beer before heading to the ballgame. It’s a fine place. He’s got an obscenely large television and a new sectional sofa. But, something alarms you. It’s his walls. They are utterly, embarrassingly bare.

“Just move in?” you ask.

“No,” he responds.

“Packing up to leave?”


“Got a drug problem?”


“Are you a psychopath?”


“There’s nothing on your damn walls. It’s very upsetting. It feels like a serial killer lives here. Or a vagabond. Has another human ever seen this place and returned?”

When you were in college, a room with a bed sufficed. As an adult, you need a home. That home should have a feel. That feel should reflect your personality. If you have nothing on your walls, it screams: the guy living here is problematic. You know, it’s like Rustin Cohle’s apartment from True Detective.

Don’t be creepy. Use your walls to tell your story. Here are a few gentlemanly suggestions on how:

1. Create gallery walls

We take pictures of notable places and great exploits. We hang them in clusters of varying frames. They call this gallery-style. It helps us relive memories. It also starts conversations. “Oh, you’ve been to Istanbul?” she remarks. “Why yes” we say, “did you know they got bowling there? And great Asian waffles?”

G@H: Gallery Photo Walls
G@H: Gallery Photo Walls

2. Mount a shelf

As an alternative to gallery walls, consider a picture ledge. It doesn’t require as much measuring and leveling but achieves a similar effect. It also allows for easy swapping. Just hiked Rocky Mountain National Park? Add a shot of that breathtaking vista in place of the baby gorilla photo. Actually, nevermind. Baby gorillas are the best.

G@H: Picture Ledge
G@H: Picture Ledge

3. Collect unique posters

Not a photographer? Keep an eye out for interesting posters. We especially enjoy old propaganda posters. We got this one at the Imperial War Museum in London. It hangs in our kitchen and provides sound advice even during this period of relative peace.

G@H:Potato Pete & Doctor Carrot Poster
G@H:Van Gogh Museum Poster

4. Transform a photo into a painting

We can’t paint—not even by numbers. We can Photoshop, however. A couple of mouse clicks transforms a snapshot into a work of art. This is the Black Church in Brasov, Romania. It is our magnum opus.

G@H:Brasov, Romania
G@H: The Chicago Dinner

5. Hang maps

Maps inspire imagination. We bought this map that used to hang in a classroom for $100 on When we have parties, people stare at it for hours and wish that they were somewhere else in the world. It’s kind of a party killer.
G@H:Bring Elementary School Home with a Hanging Wall Map of the World
G@H:Hanging Classroom Map of the World

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