This wall taunts me. It's a huge expanse of textured drywall with n-o-t-h-i-n-g on it. Seriously, have a look:
The three photos on the right were hung the first week we moved in when the furniture was arranged in a completely different (and really awful) way. I know they look ridiculous over in the corner, all by their lonesome, but I just never moved them. (However! They do give you a good idea of the scale we're looking at.) (Also, I had just cleaned up all the toys and done a major toy edit. You can never, ever see this much of my living room carpet if Claire is awake. Heaven help me when Charlotte becomes mobile and there are a PAIR of them.)
I have been working on a vision of a sort of photo collage for this wall, with bits of artwork or odd, meaningful items hung with the photos, but it's taking me a really long time to collect the items and figure out how to arrange them.
This is my inspiration for the wall:
I like how the format is free form and not perfectly symmetrical and also allows for unframed items. My goal for this wall is to have it be highly personal, very us, and a joy to look at every day. We spend a lot of time in this room. I want photos, artwork and personal mementos. Maybe a small shadowbox even. I also really liked how the addition of the metal letter lets objects start to come AWAY from the wall for a more three dimensional look. With a wall this big I think I can get away with more dramatic items than I could in, say, a hallway that you have to walk past every day. I am definitely going to make use of one or three of those brackets to bring small photos away from the wall an inch or two. I'd also like to incorporate a round clock if I can find one I like, but I am slowly discovering that damn, they make a lot of ugly clocks these days. But even with all the things I like about it, I'm really concerned about this ending up looking cluttery and distracting since I am normally the kind of person that hangs things with perfect symmetry. This is a big change from normal for me.
One thing I have been struggling with is whether to do frames or canvas gallery wraps for the photos. I have thought about this too much. I have pros and cons. Here, let me share my overthinking with you.
Pro: I can change the photos as often as I'd like!
Con: I will probably not change them very often because I am lazy. Perhaps negates the 'pro.'
Pro: I already have eight frames that match each other that I can steal from other rooms and re-purpose for this wall. The wall might be almost FREE! I like free.
Con: That means I'll have to buy new frames for the rooms that I stole from. Plus, maybe I'll want different sizes than what I have already and I don't like being boxed in.
Pro: Don't have to buy frames and mats!
Con: Canvas wraps are a decidedly different look. Not sure I want a whole wall of them in my living room. They feel less formal and while this is not a formal room I an old fashioned and I kind of like mats and frames.
Pro: Canvas wraps are cheaper than a print plus frame plus mat.
Con: I can't change the wrap. Once I have it, it's mine forever. Would be expensive to change the wall and then I have to find a new home for the displaced wrap. if I did this a couple of times I would have a closet full of discarded wraps.
Pro: Canvas wraps require almost zero work on my part. Order and hang! Done!
Con: I have all of those frames already and they're free...All new canvas wraps are not free.
Con: I lack the Photoshop skilz to edit my photos so there is a black border on the wraps and people's heads aren't cut off.
If you are still reading I think the obvious choice is to go for frames. Right? Frames? I'm going to try and re-purpose as many of the frames I already own, but I think I will still have to buy a couple. Buying a couple will still keep the cost pretty low though. As for the rooms I'm stealing them from, I'm going to rethink what goes in THOSE rooms in the first place and start over in them. They only have frames on the wall because when we moved in we sort of threw things up just to get started. The rooms I'm stealing frames from are by no means finished, decor-wise.
So! Now all I need to do is collect a bunch of awesome stuff so I can figure out how to arrange it. Here is what I have to hang so far:
This totally rad letter "S" that I got on Etsy for $42 shipped. I am not certain that's a great deal but I didn't have to climb any bulding or walk through a dump or garage sale to find it, so I was cool with paying $42. It's about 13" high and 11" wide.
I love the giant metal letter that is reclaimed from building signage in my inspiration pic, and I've long-since wanted a giant S in our house somewhere anyway. Anthropologie used to sell giant letters but they were something stupid like $100. It looks like they've spray-painted the one up top with a high gloss red and I want to do that too. Maybe navy or a deep, inky, eggplant color. Or maybe chocolate or coral? Haven't decided yet.
This is not something I'm hanging, but is just a sample color palette I think would work in my room
This is kind of pretty, right? My curtains are more of a kelly green and my walls are a bit lighter yellow, but I think coral and grey might look nice in this room. Maybe I should spray paint the letter S coral? Hmmm. I am definitely on the lookout for things that fit within this palette though. Not sold 100%, but looking.
Family Print from Nella Designs (11x17)
See that kick-ass red Swingline stapler? From Office Space? Until I took this picture I kind of forgot that this stapler was a Moderate Topic Of Discord while we were dating. Chris and I went on our first date in April, 2004. By the time we got to my birthday in January, 2005 we were pretty serious. I was thinking that I was going to get some kind of really amazing birthday present from him. Perhaps jewelry! Perhaps an engagement ring, even! Imagine my surprise when he took me out for a very nice dinner and presented me with this lovely bit of office supply with a pop culture twist.
Yes, a stapler. For my birthday. You're making the same face that I did in 2005, aren't you?
In his defense, we had recently been on an Office Space kick and were making a lot of jokes about it at the time and he happened to see the stapler online somewhere and thought I would like it. Which, I did like it but not for a birthday present.
He maintains that as long as I liked it, he is in the clear and it was a good present.
Various photos of Claire from my kick-ass photographer, Angela Majerus. (I have a TON to choose from and it is impossible to pick my favorites. I've been dithering on this for more than two years.)
We'll throw in a baby photo of Charlotte since we have some, but I am hesitant to do more than one as she will only get cuter as she gets older (obviously) and I don't want to junk up the wall with smooshy newborn photos.
Oh, who am I kidding? I LOVE SMOOSHY NEWBORN PHOTOS. Choosing one will be hard, but I think it's this one:
I would like to do some handprints of the girls on little canvases. I went to Jo-Ann last week and they had the 5x5 canvases for $5 and they were 50% off. I got three (in case I screw one up) and a bottle of pink paint for $1 but maybe I should do a chocolate color. Or navy? Or something else?
Here are some things I've been eyeing but haven't decided on, because I want to get a better idea for how this is shaping up size and color wise before I buy more.
So, yeah. Lots of oddball ideas plus a few others that are still half-baked and rolling around in my head. I think I need about 5 more items (whether they're photos, art, a clock, something else totally random) before I start playing around with how to arrange them, so if you have any suggestions or favorite things you've bought recently I am all ears. I wish I had some decent Photoshop skills so I could take little thumbnails of each of these and play around with them on the bigger picture of the room to see, quickly, how it's all shaping up. (There's an idea for a dot-com. Anyone invent that kind of thing yet?)
Man. Decorating is tough. I mean, I have thought about this wall a lot, guys. A WHOLE LOT. I can see why some people hire this out. This is just one wall in one room. I still have the entire rest of the house to do. There are many, many walls after this one. (Prefer not to think about that just quite yet.)
(Also, I bet if you hire it out it does not take an entire year. Hmmmm.)