Things My Husband Does: the Martha Stewart edition

by Erika Torres

So with my latest foray into channeling Martha Stewart, such as making my lemon and lime spring wreath and creating a statement mirror using plastic spoons, I think Eric started to get jealous.

Now, remember that we agreed he gets a whole room–the Man Room–to do with whatever he pleases. This is what it looks like on a random morning:

<Pictures have been removed at the request of the husband>

Even though it’s messy, I still believe the man room is the secret to a happy marriage. So I let him do his thing with this room and I just keep the door closed–out of sight, out of mind.

One random day last week, while I was at work, Eric sends me this picture:

For the life of me, I can’t figure out what he’s doing. But I can figure out that he’s painting, and that he’s using the turquoise paint.

“Are you painting the man room?” I ask him. No response. I start to get nervous. Then I get this picture:

Now to put this project of his into context, let me explain. I had mentioned that I wanted a gallery wall on the hallway way at the entrance of our home. And as part of my gallery wall, I wanted to get one of those wooden Letter E’s from a craft store, paint it turquoise and hang it up as part of the gallery.

So that is what I had in mind–small wooden E painted turquoise.

Eric decided he would “surprise” me by just painting the Letter E onto our entrance hallway.

In fact, he was so excited about it, he even took progress pictures because he knew I would want to document it on the blog.

Now, you can’t really tell by the pictures the size of the E. And size really does matter.

Here’s a photo that should give you an idea as to how big this E really is.

That is our front door, next to the E.

Yup, just one giant E right in the entrance of our hallway. And Eric said my gallery can go around the E.

You have to give it to him, his intentions were good.

But seriously, tell me:

What do you think of the E?



Alfred February 21, 2015 - 9:59 pm

At least you allowed him to have a Man Room and put the E sign. He’s one lucky guy.

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IntrigueMe July 13, 2012 - 8:56 pm

Fake it till you make it. Bahahahaha. At least he tried!!

Weekend link love » Frugal Portland July 7, 2012 - 12:08 pm

[…] {Jen’s husband} surprised her with a Martha Stewart project. She’s not sure she loves it, but I do. If I got a surprise like that, it would be damn near impossible to keep from smiling every time I walked by! […]

Crystal July 7, 2012 - 10:01 am

It was nice for him to want to contribute, but no. Be really sweet to him as you paint over it. 😉

Sarah @ TheFrenchWIfe July 6, 2012 - 4:43 am

I really like it!! It will probably look a lot better once there are more stuff around it too!

Vielka July 5, 2012 - 6:44 pm

Hahaha good intentions however I wouldn’t leave it up. It’s one of those things that I would laugh at with my husband but it wouldn’t stay.

Brittany July 5, 2012 - 8:51 am

Oh, my gosh, this made me laugh out loud!! Oh, hubbies and their well-meaningness. While I’ve never had a giant E painted on the wall, I have had some really interesting gifts bought for me.

But, you! You have a giant E on your wall. :oD I can definitely see how you might not like it so much. I would say leave it up, though. If he is THAT proud of it then why take it away from him? Maybe at some point you can laugh about it and appreciate it on some level, because it really IS a pretty silly E.

Jordann @ My Alternate Life July 5, 2012 - 6:24 am

My fiancée has totally done things like that! There was the time he completely rearranged my desk just to be nice. And the time he put up a bunch of paintings in the main room without consulting me…. I think it’s the thought that counts.

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[…] Newlyweds on a Budget – Things My Husband Does, the Martha Stewart Edition […]

B. (Below Her Means) July 4, 2012 - 11:15 am

Classic example of good intentions gone awry. The thought is so, so sweet but the darling needs a stencil. You owe him a nice home-cooked meal for trying to make you happy. 🙂

Shannon July 4, 2012 - 6:58 am

It isn’t perfect and looks odd but the thought is cute as hell. I’m with you on the Type A boat-it looks off:) But oh man, this will be a story that years from now in your perfect home you will look back and laugh on it. Way to be inspired eric! A for Effort!

Kate July 4, 2012 - 6:50 am

I’m not too sure about it, but I’d try taping templates around it of the size pictures you were thinking of hanging as a gallery. It may look really good as the center of the entire gallery–instead of just a giant E painted on the wall! No matter what the final decision is, I think he deserves an “A” for effort!

Christine July 4, 2012 - 4:53 am

I think it is wonderful! Though it isnt perfect it is the work & love behind it. I think if you were to cover it up he would be hurt and would it actually be worth it? If my husband did something similiar to that, if it was perfect of not I would leave it there just to show how much what I was thinking inspired him to do something like that… I say leave it!

Kris @ BalancingMoneyandLife July 3, 2012 - 8:53 pm

Ohhhh… I don’t love it. It would make me crazy! But I do love the sentiment behind it.

My husband decorated our feature walls in our new house with accent designs, but he’s bigger perfectionist than I am, plus he has great taste and talent, so I just looked, went “OK”, and now love every bit of it. 🙂 OTOH, if I painted it… he’d paint over it. He wouldn’t even apologize. 😛

Good luck with the hallway!

Sophie July 3, 2012 - 6:08 pm

I really love it, but I’d be concerned about how your landlord will feel when he/she sees it – my understanding was that renters aren’t allowed to paint at all without permission, let alone something as individual as that? (That’s what my leases have said!). I’d be worried that you could get in trouble / be fined to have it professionally repainted if it’s left up.

sara July 3, 2012 - 5:00 pm

I really think it should stay up. He’s probably proud of it and it’s only one piece of many pieces in a home.

LBC Teacher July 3, 2012 - 3:31 pm

I don’t like it…but I think you should leave it there. It’s sweet and he put a lot of effort into it. You don’t own the home, so it’s not like you’ll live there forever. And it’s a good story. I say try to fix the edges and then leave it as a reminder that life isn’t perfect but you can find joy and happiness in things that don’t turn out how you expect.

Leah @ The Miracle Journal July 3, 2012 - 3:18 pm

I think it’s completely and totally awesome!! He put so much love into it. 🙂

Mysti July 3, 2012 - 3:03 pm

Very sweet gesture….but not quite the look I think you had in mind. I am not feeling the love of the “E”. Sorry.

Can you show him a picture of what you had in mind, and maybe he will get re-inspired?

j.mill July 3, 2012 - 2:19 pm

Ooof. Reminds me of the time my Mr. tried to make an Alfredo dinner out of a brick of cream cheese.

Basically the same wife principles can be implemented: “Oh thanks, honey! You really got the ball rolling here. Let me take over from here and see how we can make this work.”

I’m not a big fan of the large E. Gallery walls work when items are on a similar scale even if they aren’t the same shape or dimensions. It also creates a more natural effect when items aren’t curated around the odd-man-out (i.e. keep non-framed items out of the center of the bunch).


Sweet Mama M July 3, 2012 - 2:08 pm

Ooooh I feel really mean saying this but I’m not digging it at all. His heart was in the right place but the execution is just not right and the rough edges would drive this Type A personality up the wall!

April July 3, 2012 - 1:45 pm

I agree that a gallery wall would be great in the entry, a wooden E painted in what ever color would be awesome. I love the fact that your husband was so inspired to tackle this project and surprise you with it. That alone is worth millions!!! My Husband and I have been together for over 20 years and those inspired moments do become far and few between over the years….enjoy it while you have it 🙂 Our children (teens) are very keen on what goes well here and there and appreciate a well designed home. Here’s to the next generation of DIY’ers!

With that said, I think the E needs to be painted over as painful as that might be for the “artist” and start anew.

Wonderful website – thanks for all that you share!

Reply July 3, 2012 - 1:34 pm

That’s a sweet gesture, Eric! I can tell he tried so hard and he was so proud! That’s a sweet hubs you have there, seriously. As far as whether or not to keep it lol maybe he can do another one in his man cave??? I would seriously chuckle every time I saw it though. If it was my hubby I would probably paint over it since he didn’t leave me much room for the gallery wall but I’d give him a nice pat on the back for a good effort lol.

Kathleen @ Frugal Portland July 3, 2012 - 12:21 pm

I love love love love love it. The thought, the execution, all of it. How can you not be happy when you walk by?

Margie July 3, 2012 - 12:16 pm

I’m a newbie to your blog (been reading for awhile but never commented!)… got to say that I love the THOUGHT but don’t love the final look. I think your hubs deserves a big kiss/hug and thank you . . . and then put a paint brush in his hand and ask him to cover it up! LOL! Sounds like something my hubs would do. . . I’m still trying to convince him that a big surf board hanging in our kitchen isn’t the kind of “beachy vibe” I’m going for in our home decor!

Ana July 3, 2012 - 10:02 am

Awwww that’s very sweet of him to try to surprise you and even take pictures of the process. But I’m not feeling it either. 🙁

Anne @ Unique Gifter July 3, 2012 - 9:26 am

Use a sharpie or similar to outline it and it should look pretty awesome.
I think it’s neat… plus you can tell the story to everyone of how it got there. It’s amazing what things people gravitate towards in a house.

Nichole July 3, 2012 - 8:40 am

Preface: I am a perfectionist.

It was very nice of him to do that… however, the edges need smoothed out and the proportion of the top part to the bottom part are off. Once the edges are smoothed out, I’d have to give it a week or two before deciding if I could live with it… But a great job for free hand!

newlywedsonabudget July 3, 2012 - 8:56 am

FINALLY! Someone who sees it my way! Not only that, but I just think it’s kind of cheesy to have one GIANT E right there.

Teacher Girl July 3, 2012 - 8:34 am

Aw! The thought behind this is so sweet! And I think if you put things up around the “E,” it would look much more incorporated into your home design 😉

jobo July 3, 2012 - 7:55 am

ok I LOVE the E!!!!!!! he did an awesome job with it! Do YOU like it??

newlywedsonabudget July 3, 2012 - 8:55 am

no I don’t!!! and i am so shocked that everybody thinks it’s cool! haha
I think it’s so cheesy to have one giant E in the middle of our hallway!

justrealhappy July 3, 2012 - 7:13 am

Hahhhahahahha! I love you Erika.

Matthew Allen July 3, 2012 - 7:08 am

I love the giant E, but more importantly the thought put behind it. I think he should be rewarded accordingly, if ya know what I mean!

I can just imagine what my wife would do to me if I pulled a stunt like that – and it’s not the reward I am imagining for your husband.

Michelle July 3, 2012 - 6:17 am

I think it looks good!

Army Amy* July 3, 2012 - 6:08 am

Did he do it free hand? That’s pretty impressive! It is large and painted on the wall… but I have zero style, so I’m not the one to ask.*


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