Monday, April 25, 2011

One Thing Leads to Another

Gallery walls aren't exactly big news or even anything new - heck, my grandmother had one in her family room going back as long as I can remember - probably installed in the 60s or early 70s. But I had a big wall to fill and was tired of looking at pictures sitting around and propped up against stuff so I got over my fear of commitment and started hanging some stuff.

I think part of my hesitation was that I'm really not in love with any of this art, except the two small oil paintings which my Dad painted when he was a teen, but it goes with the Pottery Barn look of the rest of the room and the mix of gold, antique white with gold and natural frames goes with some of the other elements in the room - the oiled bronze curtain rod, lamp, cabinet hardware and ceiling fan, wrought iron on the chairs, antique brass door knob, and some other gold and white and gold frames, so for now it was the easiest solution. I'd like to update and modernize the entire room but there are so many other things on my list I don't see it happening any time soon, so for now I'm working with what I have.

I started out by laying the frames out on the rug to get an arrangement I liked. In addition to the similarly toned frames most of the pictures are architectural in nature with a few landscapes and the one woman, but her colors are similar to the two Italian-looking prints so I think it still works. I also threw in a gold glittery key (Christmas ornament from WalMart) to fill in some space.

Once I had an arrangement I liked, I made newspaper templates - usually I just eyeball it and do pretty well that way with smaller arrangements (I did the mirror and plates over my dresser by eye) but this was the most complex arrangment I've tried so I decided to actually measure and plan. I layed each frame on a piece of paper and just roughly cut around it, it wasn't exact or straight. I hung it on the wall, trying to keep the straight edges at the top and where I needed the frame to line up with another. I didn't bother with templates for the smaller pieces, figuring I could eyeball those once the big stuff was hung. I measured down from the top of the frame to the wire and then measured on the paper and marked an "X" - I use picture hooks rather than nails, so I just made sure I put the bottom of the hook at the "X" and not the nail.

I hammered everything in and carefully tore the paper away and hung everything. To do the key I just used small finishing nails in between some of the details. If you look carefully you can see them, but they're not immediately obvious.

I used this technique in my old bathroom to hang a small washboard and at work to hang a bunch of old saws  - nothing has ever fallen off but if you have kids you may want to look for a better way to attach stuff.

So once I had everything in place I rearranged a bit on the console table, which is currently covered because the Furry Ones have scratched it all to heck and refinishing it is also low on the list. Again, I think it works for the current style of the room which I call early Pottery Barn meets Tuscan villa.

Now, as far as the "one thing leads to another" - what I've worked very hard to hide in the above photos is the corner of the room to the left. My old stereo system is there - yes, I've had it since college, yes, it is huge, no I'm not so old as to have ever owned an 8-track. But it works and I don't have time to convert everything to digital so there you have it. You can see a small bit of it in the below photo. 

It was angled in the corner, but the Boy Cat kept jumping down behind it so I had to pull it out for him to get out and after a few times of doing that I just left it all askew. So while I was prettying this side of the room I decided to pull it out altogether and put a chair in that corner. Then I added the iron tree on the side wall (I'm working on my family's genealogy so I have an idea to personalize that, when I get around to it). Then I added an old baker's rack I was planning to use outside this summer, but I think I like it there for now so I tossed some stuff on the shelves that show and will add some stuff to the lower shelves, when I get around to it.

So, I'm really happy with how this side of the room has turned out. And I can't show you the other side right now.

I'm linking up to DIYbyDesign's Swing into Spring Party. Come take a look at all the great ideas for spring.

1 comment:

Courtney ~ French Country Cottage said...

Your wall looks lovely. I love the softness it has.

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