Tuesday, February 08, 2011

how to cover a large bare wall

A little background before we start:
We have a large, bare wall in our family room.  There are no windows, doors, or tall pieces of furniture to break it up.  In the past, we have had two medium sized pictures on this wall, centered above the sofa.  Now here's where it gets tricky, and I may do a whole separate post about this at some point so I won't go crazy with details now, but- we rearrange the furniture in the family room twice a year. 

I don't know if you're as big a fan of rearranging furniture as I am, but I feel like even if you're not, I might be able to convert you.  We have a winter arrangement and a summer arrangement and, while I cannot take credit for this genius idea, I plan to use it forevermore. 

So, the problem with the wall was that the pictures were only centered over the sofa for half the year and the other half they just looked oddly out of place. 

Our goal for this project was to create a large, asymmetrical arrangement on the wall that would look equally pleasing over sofa or love seat, centered or off center.  And away we go....

We bought a large, silver framed mirror at Ikea to anchor the arrangement.  We hung it first and you will notice the red blanket on the floor, standing in for the mirror as we worked. 

The we started collecting smaller silver frames in a variety of sizes.  We had success at Target, Marshall's, and Walmart.  Target was the most expensive, but had a larger selection.  We got a couple of $3 frames at Walmart that are some of my favorites. 

We moved the frames around on the floor like a live Tetris game until we had an arrangement that looked right.  We also bought more frames than we needed initially, as we weren't sure how many it would take to fill the space.  We ended up using 10 and I returned the rest. 

 Saturday afternoon, we took a trip to Paper Source.  They have rows and rows of lovely patterned papers and we spent a while looking for our favorites.  We ended up purchasing four large sheets and they all happened to be wrapping paper.  The sheets are 19 1/2" by 27", so we knew we could use one sheet for several frames.  Total paper cost: $12.50. 

I cut the squares of paper while Steve put them in the frames.  We ended up having plenty of paper left, but were happy we chose four different patterns so that we didn't have to repeat them too often. 

Next we got out the hammer, nails, and step stool and we tried to recreate our floor arrangement on the wall.  Getting each picture straight was probably the hardest part, but once we had done a couple, things started moving much faster.  We hung the frames closest to the mirror first and worked out from there. 

One of my initial thoughts for this project was that it would be fun to change out the pictures in the frames every once in a while.  I had grand ideas of making them all red and green in December, or of doing a series of silhouettes. 

Now that I've experienced how long it took to hang them, I am a little more reluctant to take any of them down.  However I'm sure I'll forget all about that by next Christmas and be more than willing to take on the project. 
We are super pleased with how the project turned out and it makes the family room look very finished.  I think that no wall is safe, now that we've gained some momentum. 

Let's meet up tomorrow for some Valentine's day treat recipes!

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