Thursday, 24 October 2013

Memory Tree

I once read that the architect John Pawson likes his houses so minimal and clutter free, he doesn’t even allow family photos, his wife has to keep them in a drawer. This is very much not my style. We seem to never stop accumulating ‘stuff’ most of it is tat but some things look cool and have meaning and those are the things I want to keep, at least for a little while. I think this is even more the case with children. The problem is how to display all the pictures, postcards, trinkets and photos. I’m a huge fan of pin boards (the bigger the better) but wanted to do something less workaday for my youngest daughter Dorothy’s bedroom. I originally got the idea of painting a big tree on a wall from a coffee shop in Spitalfields in London. Theirs was dark brown, much more stylized than ours and didn’t have the hooks and clips but it was a big tree painted on a wall nonetheless. 

My two eldest daughters helped, Edith (not in the photos) and Mary. It was great fun to do and only took about 5 hours.

Here’s how we did it.
First Edith sketched out the main trunk and branches of the tree directly onto the wall using a really soft pencil (5B) which made it easy to rub out any mistakes.
Next Mary and I took over, we drew in all the smaller branches and twigs.
Once that was done I placed post it notes where I thought we’d probably want to hang things. The post it notes helped to get the spacing of the cup hooks right.

I indicated where a cup hook was going with a circle.

We painted the tree in using artists' brushes and emulsion paint (Farrow and Ball Old White). To minimise smudging we started with the twigs and worked inwards.

Nearly finished


Because my walls are soft and nothing we were hanging from the hooks was going to be heavy we just screwed the cup hooks directly into the wall and added small bulldog clips where necessary.

                           Job done!


  1. My daughter loves it, Pascale. What a lovely idea! We'll be following your blog for ideas and inspiration. Thank you!

    1. Thank you for your very kind comment and have a go !

  2. Its beautiful I have to say. And the storage jars are a really cool idea.

    1. I'm so inept with technology I may have already sent a reply ! Thank you for your lovely comment. The tree is tricky if you're not artistic, but the jars are easy to do and genuinely really useful.

  3. Great idea and such a nice color for the tree!!

    1. Thank you. I thought a neutral-ish colour that wasn't too dark was a good idea as I didn't wanted the trunk and branches to dominate the things we'd chosen to hang from it.