November-December 2016 | WALL OF INSPIRATION

WALL OF INSPIRATION
WALL OF INSPIRATIONWALL OF INSPIRATIONWALL OF INSPIRATIONWALL OF INSPIRATIONWALL OF INSPIRATION

RIGHT AT HOME

WALL OF INSPIRATION

Steve and Laura Zimmerman established a new tradition in their Windhurst Manor villa by transforming one of its walls into a showcase of holiday spirit and nostalgia

When Laura and I got engaged, we moved out of Ocean City and into our villa in Windhurst Manor, a small community in Millville in the spring of 2013. Laura had just retired, and we were looking for a low-maintenance home in tax-free Delaware. 

As the home was brand-new, it meant a fresh start for home décor. I constructed a feature wall in the living room with two shelves, beaded board and molding, which was a perfect slate for creative displays and artwork. This became “the wall,” which has evolved into a showcase for 4-5 seasonal displays each year. At first, it began quite simply, with a few pieces of artwork, vases, flowers and ribbon. With each passing display, it’s become an outlet for our creative side to run wild. 

Many months before Christmas, we begin brainstorming for ideas of what we hope will make a fun, creative and interesting theme around which to decorate. Then begins the hunt to find statement pieces, props, canvases and other assorted signs and objects to reflect the theme. We enjoy the challenge of finding unique items and have a great time shopping for “just the right stuff.” Lighting, wreaths and beautiful ribbon (I am a ribbon salesman, after all) are always incorporated as part of the finishing touches. 

When Laura and I got engaged, we moved out of Ocean City and into our villa in Windhurst Manor, a small community in Millville in the spring of 2013. Laura had just retired, and we were looking for a low-maintenance home in tax-free Delaware. 

As the home was brand-new, it meant a fresh start for home décor. I constructed a feature wall in the living room with two shelves, beaded board and molding, which was a perfect slate for creative displays and artwork. This became “the wall,” which has evolved into a showcase for 4-5 seasonal displays each year. At first, it began quite simply, with a few pieces of artwork, vases, flowers and ribbon. With each passing display, it’s become an outlet for our creative side to run wild. 

Many months before Christmas, we begin brainstorming for ideas of what we hope will make a fun, creative and interesting theme around which to decorate. Then begins the hunt to find statement pieces, props, canvases and other assorted signs and objects to reflect the theme. We enjoy the challenge of finding unique items and have a great time shopping for “just the right stuff.” Lighting, wreaths and beautiful ribbon (I am a ribbon salesman, after all) are always incorporated as part of the finishing touches. 

The entire decorating process usually takes a weekend, plus another week to tweak the design so that it’s just right. Our first year in the home, we had a Santa Claus theme, playing off of the fact that I play Santa Claus at our family’s flower shop in Dover each November. 

The following year’s theme was “Nutcrackers,” as Laura had amassed a small collection of them over the years. In 2015, the theme was “A Nostalgic Christmas,” which featured many of our childhood toys, such as a Lionel train, ice skates, fire truck, rocking horse, dolls, sled and tree ornaments.

In addition to Christmas walls, we also create winter walls, which are scaled-down versions of the Christmas wall. To continue the theme, we stage smaller vignettes in other parts of the house.

Our Halloween walls go up earlier each year and are great fun, as they include skeletons, witches, haunted houses and pumpkins lit with flameless candles and orange twinkly lights. This spring’s wall encompassed baskets and containers overflowing with flowers; birdhouses, planters, gardening tools and signs were also incorporated.

It seems that each wall gets increasingly elaborate, such that we now need to inventory our supplies, props and collections, so we know where they are stored in our overstuffed attic. It’s a lot of work, but we think it’s worth it. We hope that you do, too.


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