Mountain Murals for the City Kids

Last year we bought our first house! 

Then we had a baby 30 days later! 

Our kids started in a new school 3 days after that! 

And Nate officially left his job to work for himself, while I began working as a textile artist! 

Needless to say, our lovable, amazing Bungalow is still at the Before stage in most areas. I mean, I'm just happy I have some Before to live in, let alone renovate, photograph and share. But I'd love to start sharing snippets of our home here, as we get cute vignettes and parts of rooms and eventually rooms with our Tubbsy handprints on them. 

For today, here's our boys' attic bedroom. They are 6 and 3 and have the DREAM bedroom, the cream of the crop of the whole house, minus some low angled ceilings that will cause trouble as they get taller. The room started quite green and it felt really dark up there, even with all the plentiful recessed lighting the previous owners had installed. 



My oldest, who is 6, requested brown walls. So, to brighten it up but still honor his request, I chose a light gray brown for the main color, and decided to do a mural of mountain silhouettes on the wall coming up the stairs. The rest of the walls are pretty short, and the opposite wall has windows and a long term plan of built-ins, so this was the best space for a mural and to add some of that desired "brown" to the room.  


I LOVE this mural for how it adds such interest to a room without being too busy, its reference to nature which all city dwelling humans need reminded of, and how impressive but SIMPLE it is.


We had to add a stair railing to the super steep old attic stairs, and a new divider blocking the stairs. The old divider fell apart soon after moving in, and although I was sad for the friend who took it with him on a fall down the stairs (he was totally fine!) I was glad to have to replace it. The new divider is a little more minimal and a little more kid safe. We have since added a toy stopper along the bottom edge of it, and have plans for a simple baby gate and trim around the top of the stairs.  

The Process

Here's what I did, in case you want to replicate it: You can pick any color at the paint store, find the paint chip card with it's relatives on it, and choose a few from the card to create a gradient. Get a quart of each. I bought 3 colors, mixed 2 of them to make a 4th color, and the 5th was the original base color of the room. I needed to do 2 coats and I only ran out of 1 of the colors because I'd mixed it to make an extra color. 

I freehanded some mountains with chalk, outlined them in the paint colors, and filled them in from lightest to darkest. Even with my miniature helper and at almost 9 months pregnant, I only spent about 4 hours total. I was listening to NPR interviews with Syrian Refugees while I painted, so every time I look at this mural I think of their stories.