I knew this day would come.

Friday, October 10, 2008


I guess I should not be surprised.

He is 11 afterall.

I am sure a lot of boys his age are already doing it.

I just hoped he would never even ask the question.  

Then, the other day, out of the blue, Will asked, 

"Mom, when we move into the new house, can I hang posters on my wall?"

 My gasp was audible.  Dave gave me a look.  It wasn't pretty.

You see, until now, our kids rooms have been poster and sticker free. A few years ago, I bought them large bulletin boards that I hung in inconspicuous places (behind the door) for them to display their "stuff."  I thought that would be the solution. Now, Will wants honest to goodness posters of the Astros and Green Day. Yikes...what is a recovering perfectionistic decorating kind of Mom to do?  Dave says I need to let them have some posters. I suggested that all potential posters must go through the MARB (Mom Architectural Review Board) first. Then, we must find an appropriate way to hang them without ruining the walls. Will suggested scotch tape. Harry suggested thumb tacks. Dave's idea was some gummy stuff. I cringed.

Like I am wont to do (not really), I will blame this on my parents (they'll probably get mad though). Growing up, my Dad was in the interior decorating business shall we say. When I was 11, my room was wallpapered in two beautifully coordinating pink and green floral wallpapers.  I remember gorgeous custom window treatments and bedding.  It was dreamy.  There were no posters.  There were no stickers.  Just a beautiful room.

To be fair, I do have a vague memory of a poster or two (Shaun Cassidy, maybe?) MUCH later when we moved and my parents divorced.

Any suggestions for the tasteful display of posters in a pre-teen room?  I think the boys are outnumbering me on this one.


  1. They actually make poster frames - That way the posters could be hung like a picture so they don't like so...unorganized in his room? Go to allposters.com. I am sure you will find an artsy poster that both you and Will approve of. The poster frames can be found at any craft store.

  2. My Husband took my sons side about hanging things on the wall. When he was 5!!! We use tape but since he is only 7 now, I know I will have to repaint the room someday. Good luck!!

  3. Oh they do grow up to fast. I say no to stickers no way! However my sons room at 13 has 5 fatheads on the wall. Of course all sports and nice guys. We made it nice I think it turned out good looking. So that is a thought and they just come right down or you can move them wherever. fathead.com I think they have other stuff to.
    What a new and really fun time coming for Will he is very handsome!

  4. I will cringe when that day comes too! Good luck! Missing you:)

  5. This post cracked me up...my days are coming soon!

    I grew up in a poster-free room, except for the inside of my closet doors!

    How about frames? Get 2-3 coordinating frames and then as he wants to change the posters, he is not doing damage to the walls...just a thought!

    I will be back to hear what everyone else suggests!


  6. Kim,

    You must be reading my mind!!! We just went crazy at Pottery Barn Kids last weekend...new duvet, new rug, new curtains, lamps, etc...only to come home to Paige saying that she can't wait to put up the Jonas Brothers up on her wall !!!

    We are hoping she will forget about it, but if she doesn't, I guess we'll bite the bullet and let her do it. She's a good kid. I know Will is, too!

    Good luck and let me know what you learn : )

  7. Anthony can hang his posters (all athletes) on his closet doors or the back of his door - his walls are full of pictures, shelves, clock, etc; but posters are for the doors (we use scotch tape) - good luck!

  8. I have absolutely no suggestions, but can only offer my commiseration. My 11 year old daughters once Pottery Barn-esk room now displays high school musical and other memorabilia that came out of Teen Beatish type magazines. Ugh... I just keep her door closed and she'll grow out of this soon.

    Good luck! Oh - and I'd go with Dave's gummy stuff; don't know what it's called, but it doesn't leave marks or take paint off walls.

  9. I always make the kids hang stuff in their closets. Walk-in closets are made to hide stuff. Also, you can have them get smaller posters that don't take up tons of room. A tasteful 8 by 10 autographed picture from his favorite sports player might be just the trick to make you both happy? Good luck!

  10. Kim, you can get poster frames at Wal Mart. Then use the 3M hooks to hang them. No marks on the wall.


  11. I feel your pain. I hate clutter stuff like posters and such I have put those cork board wall tiles on Dmitry's wall. They have cork board, chalk board, and metal with magnets. We love them and they are very neat and tidy looking. Ours came from PB teen.

    Good luck.

  12. Oh Kim this is where it starts getting complicated. I do let my boys hang posters to an extent...they have to meet my approval (basically nothing offensive) and then I "suggest" :)where they should be hung. My husband is like Dave in the fact that it is their room and they should be able to make some choices about what goes into it.

    I personally like the "gummy" stuff it works great...and unfortunately the poster will get switched out from time to time...so the gummy stuff cuts down on the "HOLES IN THE WALL"

    Good luck with that :)

  13. How funny! What about in the closet. Is that bad to say?

  14. Oh Kim, I laugh because both of my boys entered this stage, and I too cringed. I had to just surrender and let them. They're kids/BOYS afterall. My oldest son has ONE poster of GREENDAY in a poster frame (in fact, somewhere on my blog I've got pictures of their gross ol' boy rooms.) My youngest has two posters, of wrestlers, also in frames. I just have learned to keep thier doors shut. The poster frames come in black and I have seen white ones too.

  15. I was thinking poster frames too (Hobby Lobby) Then they can be easily changed out & at least the frames will match!!

    I'd rater have NOTHING than the posters!!

    Ironically, I bought my husband a Chicago Bears poster on ebay a few weeks ago..grown man REALLY wanted it. It is still in the little brown tube..I told him it could go in the "Man Cave" in the basement!!

    Or........like on "King of Queens", I suggested we set the boys up an area in the garage. Complete with Tv & fridge.


    Good Luck :)

  16. i would do the poster frames, although you still have to use nails to hang them.

    I have been thinking of you so much lately and hoping your life gets a little easier.

    I guess you have been so much on my mind that i dreamnt (last night) that you came for a visit and i was so freaked out because my house was so messy and i was so worried what you would think. i could hardly look you in the eye i was so embarrassed. now, how funny is that?

    btw, you are welcome to visit us in kc anytime you want- messy house or not! :-)

  17. I say hang tough. I'm outnumbered and have managed to not allow posters. It's just that they are so...so...ugly.

    Garrett's 12 and only asked once, my look must have said it all. Cole is 10 and continually asks. Not sure why I find them so obnoxious, my parents allowed me to hang them and look at me now...I despise them.

  18. I am so lame, that I actually make my 13 year old lean them against the wall above his hutch/desk. I am with you... I am loathe to look at posters. My kids have dissed me and put them up at times, but since their rooms have been re-painted, they are "no poster zones". My husband couldn't care less about posters, so I am the lone holdout. I just tell them... "look, I just cannot look at them". We DO however, allow all kinds of posters in the garage.
    Will it hurt them in the long run if they remember that their mother nixed posters? I personally don't think so, but maybe I am wrong, and I will be sending my sons to therapy over this. Who knows? I am on your team, though!

  19. I definitely think having the poster framed is the way to go. Also, there are MANY posters for the same person or group so maybe you and Will could find a poster that color coordinates with his room. Hopefully with it framed and matching his room it wouldn't stick out!!
    Good luck!!

  20. Yep....I never let mine tape posters to the wall. I had the poster's framed. I grew up in a house with a perfectionist so no posters for me LOL I didn't care what poster's they hung (no nudity or tasteless posters)but I demanded they were framed. See your not alone : )

  21. Kim,
    You have to read (or listen to on tape) The Last Lecture, by Randy Pausch. You may have heard of him, he died this summer from cancer. He wrote a book for his kids and in it talked about when his mom finally 'allowed' him to decorate his room however he wanted it. He decided to paint it like an elevator I believe (it's been a while since I read the book). Anyway it's about not sweating the small stuff...so to speak and how it made him feel to have a room where he made the decorating choices. It was so funny b/c I could just imagine all of us "selective" people out there cringing at the thougt of allowing our kids so much decorating freedom! You can find more info here
    it really is a great book to read, you'll enjoy it.

  22. Hee hee...I am cracking up!! You are TOO funny! I say let him hang some up! He is such a sweet kid and it is his space. Of course I would make sure that you approve. My 13 year old has never asked for posters, but my 11 year old has had a few. We let him use the "gummy" stuff and they have been moved around and eventually taken down.
    Good luck!!! You WILL survive!;)

  23. I am laughing out loud, because your twin brother Jeff could have written this post too!!!! Your little Ainsley gave herself decorating authority one day and put posters up in her beautiful floral garden... Quickly the grownups in our house found two bulletin boards for her to freely use. This lasted a while... Then it turned into a collage.... Next, came door decorations.... I can happily say she already is out of the phase, and her room is back to the princess garden it was intended to be.... Letting go is so hard!!!

    I love your honesty, humor, your great taste, and your wonderful heart!

    Who has been waiting for an email from someone you and I both are stalking... I am so darn impatient!!

  24. Kim,

    How funny!! Actually, when our oldest son decided that he wanted posters to hang in his room, I did the poster frames. They did come alot better than I thought they would! We have also done the corkboard wall. I really liked this idea as well. Good luck to you!


  25. Thanks for the chuckle!

    You'll miss them when they are gone...the kiddos, not the posters.
    Love your blog!

  26. I can't wait to see what you do and I KNOW it will be just perfect!!!

  27. My son is really into poster and has them on one wall right now. I really dont like it and will be making him take them down in the new future. Husband gave him the okay for a few weeks.
    I had a friend who's daughter's room had one wall, that was a huge cork board. She allowed her daughter to hangs thing only on that wall only. It eally didnt look that bad and I always thought it was a cool idea.

  28. My 17-year-old son has posters all over the place in his room. I feel like I determine how the rest of the house is decorated and that it's okay for him to determine what's on the walls in his room. No one who goes in there would EVER think that I had anything to do with the posters so I really don't see it as a reflection on me. Also, as kids get older I think it's important that they feel they have control over some areas of their life.

    All of his posters are taped to the walls. I figure at some point I'll have to repaint the room anyway.

    Good luck! Keep us *posted* on what you decide.

  29. Kim,

    Been there, done that! I, too have a clutter-free, decorated, yet-lived in home. My oldest son (now 18) went through the poster phase. Once he developed a love for snowboarding, skateboarding, etc., he wanted every like poster he could find. My solution was this. The posters had to meet my approval, and then they could only be attached to the back side of his bedroom door (facing in, not facing my hallway) or he could have only one larger type poster on one free wall (that met my approval as well). The way I attached them was in such a way that it would not ruin the walls. I just used velcro. The type that is sticky. That way, the only thing that got ruined was the poster, LOL! I, too started with nice looking bulletin boards, that didn't 'cut' it! This is such a 'boy' thing, however, my daughter, in Kindergarten, just got her first scholastic book order home. And what was in one of her new books? A poster! I said no. I'm not ready for posters in her pottery barn, vintage-look beautiful bedroom! We'll cross that bridge much later. Hope this helps:)

    Renee in WA.

  30. I can totally relate to this post! I also dread the day this question gets asked at our house! In any event, I think I would frame them! Keep us posted!

  31. Let him hang all the posters he wants, but put them in poster frames. You can find them at Target or I am sure anywhere else that sells frames. I ordered a poster sized collage of pictures of my nephews for their bedroom and put the poster in a super cute frame.

  32. Oh heck girl, I must have been looking at your site before you finished this post. LOL, all I saw was, " I knew this day would come". Hee, my boys have done it with tape too, just have to repaint, but I think the frames look much nicer.

  33. This post is hilarious- I would react the exact same way!

    What about a wire cable thingy (loving my technical terms, I know!) with clippy thingies across one wall. I'm sure I've seen this idea somewhere in magazines and such. I'll look to see if I can find a link that perhaps might better show you what the heck I am rambling on about.

  34. OK this is sort of what I had in mind. Whatever you end up doing, good luck! Pre-teens become teenagers.....it likely only gets more complicated! :)


  35. You could try poster frames. They make a poster look surprisingly un-posterlike. Good luck. I know how hard it is to let go and let someone else take over decorating especially in your brand new home. I know you and Will will be able to come to a compromise that suits you both.

    Gin =)

  36. What about a dedicated cork wall? Growing up my dad elminated the posters hanging directly on the walls by taking an area on one of my walls & hanging those cork squares (9 of them) on it. Then, he put a chair rail around the entire square area. It actually ended up looking very stilish. (It had to. He was a home builder & wouldn't have it any other way!)

    Good luck with this one!

  37. I would have to say that my boys never asked for posters on the wall.. or like you I said NO..lol.
    Now KyLee on the other hand.. that is a different story..
    Have fun girly..

  38. Being a pre-teen is hard... let him make his room his own. A place where he finds comfort and relaxation. This is a completely different era now. Don;t you think? I would want my kids to be comfy.

    We dont have any posters on the walls. Yet. Ask me again in 8 years. LOL.

  39. We had the same thing happen-
    So......we took his ALL time FAVORITE posters and had them framed and matted.
    It looks great and the room is so him.
    He is 14 ans still loves those STAR WARS posters...so its all good.

    My daughter just hung hers on the back of her door. I did not see it for a week. :)
    She didn't want to keep the same ones.
    Works for me. :)


  40. I have all of Bryce's in nice frames. Even the poster that Cade drew of himself is in a frame. Just close the door and don't let yourself look!!lol...

  41. ok...you know that I don't have kids yet but I'll give this one a try.

    First, the gummy stuff is great and can be found at Hobby Lobby. Safe for paint and wallpaper.

    I think his room should be the place to freely express himself. You can always keep the door shut if you don't "love" something that the boys choose. That phase will come next anyway, right?

    Good Luck, Michelle

  42. Too funny! I finally let my teenage daughter put posters on walls not visible from the doorway. :)


  43. stand firm mamma
    no posters.
    hey , it could even chant like "mommie dearest" ....no more wire hangers, no more wire hangers-just substitute with no more posters!

    we are a confirmed no poster house here too, nope, not a one....well, on the back of their doors or inside their walkin closets...sorry girls.
    i tell my 12 year old, just start a list of all the things you want to do in your grown up house & then go for it when you're making the payments.
    guess that blows whatever great fun mom image i had going!

    i know you can do it kim....stay strong! :)

  44. I let my 12 year old step-daughter have a part of the room (a wall that was out of the way) to rotate a few posters at a time. That way the walls weren't entirely plastered! Good luck! :)

  45. Scan the posters and use a projection system aimed at the ceiling when they go to bed at night :)

  46. As the mother of three I was violently opposed to any wall decoration the two oldest wanted-by the time the youngest asked it just didn't seem that important. I think because my response was whatever it became a non issue.

  47. I'd vote for giving an inch on the posters so you can stand your ground on bigger teen issues to come. ;^)

    Ikea sells some wire hanging systems-- wire attaches to the wall and posters can be clamped to the wire which allows for easy poster changes. You can get very inexpensive plastic poster frames that also allow for quick and easy changes. One small nail in the wall and, actually, you can use an even smaller but much stronger sewing machine needle and the hole left in the wall is much smaller.

    My mother created her dream bedroom for me. Pink floral everything. I was about 12 and it was perfection for my mother and hideous for me. I covered it completely with posters and to this day pink floral makes me twitchy. Posters are about exploring who you are, what you stand for, where you want to go, what you support, what you dream, what you want to dream. They're about fitting in and standing out. They're about putting your own individual stamp on your space. They need to be something a kid can hang up on their own and change on their own so the child feels s/he has ownership.

    It's just one more step in the process of becoming the unique and wonderful person you raised him to be. Give him a little space and he won't have to strain too hard to assert his independence. Think of it as a way to let him try his wings within the safety of the nest so when he's ready to go he'll be able to soar, knowing you support him, trust him and believe in him. Yes, I'm reading a lot into posters-- it's been that sort of a week.

  48. My 7 year old wants them also. I just can't stomach putting posters on the wall either. I actually said no the first time he asked and it hasn't come up since. I dread the day it does again!

  49. The Container Store used to sell a cork tape that had a sticky side that was like Post-it sticky. Sticky enough to stick to the wall, but not sticky enough to ruin a wall when taken off. I don't know if they still sell it or not, I'm long past those poster days, but I'm sure in a few years we'll be doing it again!!

  50. Laughing!!! Oh it is so hard, I read DiJo's post and my girls are just now growning out of it. I just recently took down a Highschool musical poster when we moved in a Pottery Barn rug and desk....
    I am a perfectionist also and having a small house it is SO hard for me to let them express themselves in their way (within reason of course). God has done SO MUCH humbling in me through my kids, especially as they get older. I want them to be who "I" want them to be and forget God designed them with other things in mind. Jordan is now 16 and could care less what is on his walls so it will go away....
    In case you haven't heard of it (and you probably have) museum putty is WONDERFUL. I use it all the time and it doesnt leave marks. You can find it at The Container Store.

  51. I agree with a lot of the other bloggers. Framing the posters is a great idea. It's a win-win for both of you..plus can also change them out as his taste changes.


  52. Ikea makes some cool poster frames....which may help ; )

  53. Our rule in our new house, where we moved when we were about Will's age, was "inside the closet or on the closet door only" You'd be amazed at how many "Teen Beat" pages both sides of a carefully laid out closet door can hold!!! Oh, and don't forget the often neglected closet ceiling, too!!! tee-hee-hee
    Good Luck!

  54. I used to hang posters on the inside on my wardrobe doors so that they could be shut away[unless you've got the type that slide open and closed]

    But I think you can buy poster frame sort of things, just like a big picture frame then you can just hang them from the picture rail as normal [well at least you can buy those in the uk!]

    [I often read your blog but I dont think I've commented before - your kids are so cute and your blog really confirmed my thoughts about adopting from china - although obviously not for many years yet - I'm only 19! It's something I really want to do when I'm older]

    Emily x

  55. I know exactly how you are feeling! My daughter was "in love" with Derek Jeter and actually made collages of lots of pictures of him and the yankees including articles when he was injured, etc. we found really nice black poster frames at hobby lobby to use. They looked great and were very easy to hang. Good luck! Kim

  56. I hear you! Hate the post thing too! It is part of growing up. We all did it! Poor thing. I feel your pain.


  57. How could you say "no" to that face? His eyes are captivating! I think poster frames would be the best option. Then he could change out the posters every so often and you could "control" how many he puts up. Probably not the freedom he is looking for though! Can't we just keep them little...then there are no room decorating issues.

  58. I'm laughing out loud! When I was 13, my pretty pink walls were covered in Michael Jordan posters. So just be glad it's Will and not Kate! =)

  59. mmm...from a Mama of 4 young adults.....go with the flow girl ; )
    there are worse thingsthan posters....just check for suitability ; )
    i walked intoeldest daughters room one day....she must have been 14, shock horror, she had written lirics all over her beautiful wooden wardrobe ; (
    i was furious.
    She will be 23 and is adorable....
    just hang on in there for the ride!!!

  60. I have 10 year old and he's into posters too. He loves his Fathead sports players. They are great and can be repositioned and moved when necessary. He has a few inexpensive posters and we used the gummy stuff. I like it better than poster frames because we have no holes in the walls (that makes me cringe!) My husband and I agree that, since we are blessed with great, easy going kids, we would not sweat the small stuff and allow them some freedom to decorate as they choose...within reason! Remember, before too long your little guy will be off to college decorating dorm walls with posters! Good luck!

  61. Um, here is one of those places it's totally worthwhile giving up some control. Posters on the wall don't matter in the grand scheme of things, and wouldn't you prefer that form of self-expressions to piercings, tattoos, and even less desirable activities. Kids who can express themselves at home don't need to do it elsewhere. The rest of the house is yours to be pristeen and tasteful, but please give the kids their rooms. You won't regret it. Promise.

    On another subject, please read this blog and pray for this family whose daughter is undergoing a third liver transplant: http://moreena.typepad.com/

  62. Hi Kim! The picture of Will is so handsome, what gorgeous, dreamy eyes he has!! ;)
    I'm not a big poster lover at all and I don't remember having them when I was younger, I probably did, but don't remember.....BUT I do remember being SO IN LOVE with Shaun Cassidy!!! Talk about dreamy!! LOL
    For being someone who likes her house "just so", I can appreciate the whole dreaded posters thing. HOWEVER, our entire home is pretty much a reflection of me, yes, our family too, but I am the one that decorates and is able to "express" myself in that way. I want my boys rooms to be a place where THEY are able to express themselves in a small way and be comfortable in "their" surroundings and decorate however makes them happy. (I'm just talking about minor things, posters, bulletin boards, pictures, mementos, etc...and the rest of the room looking "nice") I want our whole home to feel like a "sanctuary", but their rooms to be their special place. I would limit it to one area/wall and even to a certain number...if they want a different one, they have to take another down, etc. I've not had this situation yet, but this is just what I think and how I'd handle it. They grow and change so quickly and it's such a important time of acceptance and expression for them as boys and as long as you're not hosting a Homearama anytime soon, I'd go for it! :)
    Good luck and I hope you are having a great weekend!!

  63. My niece is quite a tom boy and wanted a poster of the Chicago Cubs and a band (don't remember which one). My sister got niece wooden frames from Pottery Barn (hers were in white). Then she went online and found "vintage" prints of the Cubs logo and a poster that had been "painted" of the band so it was a bit less "loud". Frankie (Francesca) loved them - it was the perfect compromise. Good luck!!!


  64. You're at the point where you just have to let them. You can keep the rest of your rooms decorated the way you want to.

  65. Ikea makes something like preppy pink crocodile showed the link to. I would suggest that or the poster frames. Miss you and good luck...my time is coming...times 3!

  66. I have poster frames. There is one hole in the wall, yet they can be changed whenever the mood strikes. I usually find them at Michael's for 40% off.

  67. I love the pumpkin farm pictures in the first post...what beautiful shots! That is one of my top favorite annual traditions.

    I second the notion of frames. Nothing that needs to be expensive, but when my son (and husband) pushed for a GB Packers and Tiger Woods poster in his room, I ran out and bought very simple frames so they looked more coordinated on the wall. Although I admit I hung them on the wall you can't see when standing in the door so it's not the first thing noticed.

    Good luck! Growing up is hard!

  68. Oh I would feel the same way- But I guess in the big picture a poster or two (displayed in a tasteful manner:)is by no means the worse thing. Ikea does have some cute frames and hangers as does PB Kids.
    Good Luck - just close the door when you have guests over:)


Thank you for your kindness.