The Port Room

It took me a few years to collect the pieces of art I wanted to use for a gallery wall in our guest room ~ the Port Room.

We call it the Port Room, because it has a ship theme. And, the Port Room was originally the place where I stored our family history ~ especially information about the ships that brought our ancestors to America.

The Port Room is where I sleep with the kids when they are sick or have bad dreams and it’s where the kids have sleepovers. It’s the room where we take pictures with Santa during our annual Christmas party. It’s where we put the last table for Bunco or 500. And, as you can see, the bed in the Port Room is the only bed Sonny is allowed to be on.

Port Room

I had a few things in mind for the pieces for the Port Room gallery wall:

  • Recycling: I wanted to find all the pieces at thrift stores
  • Theme: All the pictures needed to feature a boat or ship
  • Organic: I wanted collection to look curated – not planned. The frames could be any color, the art could be any style – but nothing matchy-matchy.
  • Consensus: Each piece needed to get a thumbs up from the kids. No matter how eclectic, if it made us happy, we bought it.

Combining all the different pieces was a little tricky – it was a little like putting together a giant puzzle. Whew!

It’s great to finally see all the art on the wall.

Ship Art 3
The pieces have character – scratches, imperfections, and age. I wanted the gallery to look collected and not too perfect. Something’s got to distract the eye from that TV, right?
This jute-roped frame is my favorite…
Ship Art 2
The 70’s boat picture I mentioned finding in a post this summer (below) actually turned into a keeper. It makes us chuckle – and I decided it added some fun and humor to the collection.
Ship art 1
Johnny loves the ships.
Along with art, we’ve found some models for the room. I usually hit them with a few sharp streams of water to clean them up a bit. A few needed a little TLC and we’ve discovered that toothpicks come in very handy when you need to repair a model ship!
Port Room 1
It’s hard to find a ship in a bottle that doesn’t look to cheesy, but PJ is fascinated by them, so I tucked a few around the room.
Of course, many of the books are about sailing, history, and adventure.
Port Room 2
There are two built-in bookshelves in this room (sorry I didn’t realize I didn’t get a wide shot until I started writing this post!).  They flank a pocket door leading into the laundry room. Each shelf contains different genres of books: history, fiction, and dog books.
The carafe and glasses are for water – a nice consideration for overnight guests.
The dresser was from my grandma Hazel. It was a beat-up maple before I sprayed it with a glossy black paint. The wooden boxes hold ticket stubs and campaign buttons. I make a concerted effort to have a few treasure chests throughout the house.
Port Room 4
I had the framers push the drywall back to create this space over the bed. It creates an illusionary yet functional headboard for the Queen bed.
The ledge is six inches deep.
The sconces are from Ballard Design.
Port Room 5
It’s great having the Port Room right next to the laundry room. The white noise of the washer and dryer have lulled many of our guests to sleep!

Still growing...

Jennifer Ebeling
Jennifer Ebeling is a proud Minnesotan and U of MN alumni. Gooooooo Gophers! Each week, Jennifer produces and hosts Still Growing - a gardening podcast dedicated to helping you and your garden grow. The show is an in-depth interview format. Guests featured on the show share a passion for gardening and include authors, bloggers, professional gardeners, etc. Listeners and guests of the show can join the Still Growing community on Facebook. It's a place to ask questions, share garden stories, interact with great guests featured on the show, and continue to grow and learn. Jennifer and her husband Philip have four children, a big golden lab named Sonny, and live in lovely Maple Grove, Minnesota. P.S. When she's not teaching her four kids a new card game - or teaching them how to drive a car - Jennifer loves inspiring individuals and groups to maximize and personalize their home & garden.
Jennifer Ebeling
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  1. Alys Milner on April 10, 2014 at 5:13 pm

    What a lovely room. I enjoyed your fresh approach to the gallery wall. That must have taken some time to find all the different pieces on the wall.

    Your dog is adorable. (PS found you on Google +)

  2. Three Seasons on February 14, 2017 at 11:10 am

    […] our guest room in the basement (aka the Port Room), I’ve finally curated enough ship art to create the gallery I’ve always envisioned for […]

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