Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A Gallery of Sorts

I may have mentioned once or twice that we have tons of picture frames from our old apartment, waiting to be hung up. Although our asymmetrical bedroom arrangement, LOVE project, and other rooms took care of a lot of these, we still had plenty left sitting in the closet. We knew that we eventually wanted to create a gallery wall (similar to the one in our previous office, pictured below).
So, after noting the starkness of Mr. TV, we decided to warm things up again with a fun collection of frames.
The first thing we did, which may not be everyone's cup of tea, was to put an empty frame around our TV. We had an extra one lying around from a picture I had painted in college. So I used some left over grey paint (from our dresser project) to paint and distress it. We secured the empty frame to the wall around the TV to make it blend in with the rest of the gallery wall.
Next, we assembled our motley crew of pictures/frames. After reading YHL's blog post on the subject, we decided the easiest way to hang up the frames was to do a mock up with newspaper imitations. So I laid out each frame on the newspaper, traced around it, cut out the newspaper and taped it to the wall. (rocket science!)
This way we could play around with the arrangement and decide what we liked best, without any extra holes in the wall. When we found an arrangement that suited us, we began to hang the pictures.
Nick measured the back of each frame and figured out exactly how far and deep in the frame the nail would hang.
Then he used these measurements to make an "x-marks-the-spot" on each piece of newspaper. 
He nailed the picture hook directly through the newspaper, into the wall.
Let me tell you, this is our first experience with this method of picture hanging, and we are definitely converts. It was so easy and there were very little mistakes to be had.
After we got all the pictures up on the wall, we ripped off the newspaper and had a complete gallery wall. (Well, almost complete- note that little piece of newspaper in the bottom right corner- we need one more frame from IKEA to complete the look, but we know exactly the proportions of the frame so we put it into the mix anyway.)
Since we previously had nothing on the walls in this room, the gallery wall is quite an improvement. The different color and size frames give it a collected-over-time-look that we love.
If you're wondering what is actually in the frames, I'd be happy to share. There's nothing too exciting; just little things that are special to us. For example, we framed a fortune from a Chinese fortune cookie that we've been holding onto for 2 years, a picture Nick painted in elementary school, my vintage elephant print from the flea market, Ms. Lou, Nick's pilot's license, a picture of our first dance, and our college diplomas. We added some filler pieces too that can easily be changed out when something more meaningful comes along. Plus, since we stopped at the top of the TV there's always room for some upward-frame-mobility in the future...
Here's a picture of the new gallery wall and how it fits in with the rest of the room. As you can see, things are coming along up here and this is quickly becoming one of our favorite rooms in the apartment.
*note: the TV is not actually off-center in the frame, it's just the angle from which I'm taking these pictures! 

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