Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The big wall

I am terribly excited about this home project because it's more than two years in the making!

It even showed up in my 101 in 1,001 list:

#72 Decide how to decorate big wall in kitchen and do it.

We have this big old blank wall in the main room that includes our kitchen, dining area and desk space. There is no furniture in the vicinity, unless you count the railing of the spiral staircase that leads downstairs, so it really is a blank wall. I think single pieces of art would get a little lost in the space, with the exception of one of those gigantic murals. (I considered those but could never make a decision - and it probably wouldn't be practical wherever we lived next.)


Also, as I mentioned a long time ago, this paint looks wildly different depending on the time of day: anywhere from buttery gold to canary yellow. I like it best in the morning's natural light, when it's more muted.

Earlier this year, I decided a gallery wall might be the best option, so I started collecting frames in various sizes and thinking about what artwork I'd like to include. My first inclination was to enlarge lots of photos of our friends and family, but there are lots of other spaces around our home where those photos take center stage. I decided to choose bright pieces that, in most cases, connect to some of our favorite places. (More on this in a moment.)

Over the weekend, I decided to take action!

I thought I would have an impossible time organizing the frames before hanging them up, but the arrangement came together pretty quickly. The internet was very helpful in guiding me through this process. I think poster paper is the recommended medium for the preparation, but I used quilting batting from a big old roll I have. I drew the corners of each frame on the batting and marked where the nail would go:

(Also, I rarely stage Wish in photos. He just always lurks around because he's mildly curious about what could possibly be diverting our attention away from him.)

Then I tacked the batting on the wall and hammered in the nails. I hung the frames, assessed the arrangement, and made a few more adjustments - two inches higher here, an inch to the left there.

And voila!

I love the color it brings to the wall. There's room for the collection to grow - I tried adding a horizontal 11x14 frame in the lower right corner, but decided I liked the oval-ish thing going on right now.

Forgive the glare and the bored animal.
Emily at Em for Marvelous just did a similar project, and I liked reading about where she got the pieces she chose, so here are my details:

Clockwise from far lower left: a print of the Colorado flag, one of our favorite sunsets from Orcas Island, an old Twin Cities Marathon poster, a print from Seattle's Pike Place Market, a New Yorker cover filled with cartoons of dogs wearing clothes (the obvious outlier in the "favorite places" display), a notecard of a house either from Orcas Island or Half Moon Bay, a square print of a rural Vermont scene, a photo I took at Clingman's Dome in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and another Orcas Island print. Over the year, I picked up frames whenever I saw one deeply discounted, mostly at Joann Fabrics and Target. My favorite frame story is the one holding the New Yorker cover, which I picked up for a dollar at a garage sale and spraypainted black.

However a project like this turns out, I learned that it becomes exponentially more fun when the finished product includes pieces that makes you grin when you walk by it. Check #72 off the list!

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