Monday, October 22, 2012

Our Frame Wall

This is the reason I didn't get caught up on posts over the weekend.  Leave it to me to become completely wrapped up in another project before finishing others (aka blogging about Ireland).
It started off simple enough.  Last weekend I decided that I want to put up picture frames around the mirror above our bar. I stopped in Marshalls and picked up three frames.  Friday, I emailed my SIL for her input and then after rapid emails back and forth, by the end of the day I decided that I was going to transform the wall over our couch into a frame wall.
Ben had plans to go to a concert Friday night, and I was supposed to pick up the new foster at midnight, so I thought, what a better way to keep myself occupied than to work on the frame wall.  Thus, Friday night I trekked around town to three different TJ Maxx stores (one nice thing about Chicago; there's so many of these!), two Marshalls, HomeGoods, JoAnn Fabric and Target.
There was no rhyme or reason to what I bought, other than I like it.  I figured, the more I buy, the more I have to work with and that I'd be bound to come up with some kind of layout I liked for the frame wall.  Thus, I bought bags and bags of frames.
Unfortunately, unloading them from the car into the guest bedroom was as far as I got on Friday night.  Saturday morning, I woke up determined to complete this project.  To start, I measured my wall space.  The only place I had large enough to work on my design was the living room floor.  Thus, I used making tape to create my "wall" on the floor so I'd know the space I was working with.
Unlike frame walls I found on Pinterest, I already had a large frame above my couch to start with.  (I think I may have mentioned this before, but it was free.  It's from Z-Galleria and we literally found it in the trash (well not literally in the trash, but it was in Ben's alley) when we were moving him into our first apartment together.  It still has the price tag, $225, on it!). But I digress.  We wanted to keep the "art" and add to it.
And so began the game of musical frames. I probably spent about an hour or so working to find a layout I liked.  I wanted to keep non-frame items on opposite sides.  I didn't want a bulldog picture next to the bulldog sign, etc. Rotate this frame horizontally, fill that gap there, etc.  This was what the layout ended up looking like:
Then it was time to fill in the pictures. Deciding on which pictures to print was proved to be a time-consuming task.. With Ben's help, we selected at least one picture from every city/trip this year (Trip 1: Amsterdam, Paris, Barcelona and London; Trip 2: Ireland) and of course, some of Oscar. I am so excited to finally have a spot to showcase some of our travels!
Next came transplant time. Actually putting stuff up on the wall. I started by centering the large frame on the wall (I realized it used to be slightly off center).  From there, I worked outwards. I used the above pictures of each side (taken on my phone) as a reference to determine how far to space out the frames. Because of the nature of the variety of frames and hodge-podge of the wall itself, I wasn't pressured to have items in an exact spot, which was nice.
My tools to accomplish the physical hanging of items were: pencil, tape measure, level, hammer, frame hanging "clip" with nail.  I used the pencil to mark out rough locations by tracing the top two corners of the frame and use that as my basis to measure out where the nail needed to be to support the frame (One thing to note is that while shopping for frames I made sure they all already had a spot to hang them from).
 Every step was a kind of "roll with the punches" type decision. I ended up ditching the baby frames (used at our wedding reception). I am very happy to say that I am SO pleased with the end product!! It was worth the time and effort that went into this project. The only problem now is that I find our couch so inviting I don't want to get off of it :O)
Finally, the climax of this post.  The before and after pictures.  Are you ready?!

and after!
 Another before...
and after!
The only thing left now is to convince Ben to get rid of that old TV stand to the left.
Ben put Oscar's dog bed on there so that Oscar can be level with us. Well guess what,
 Oscar already gets on the couch anyways!
Let's talk about cost, shall we?
For the right side below, everything was a new purchase.  The total cost for the four frames and signs was $53. (You can't really see it, but the sign with the heart is from 1 Corinthians 13:4 -7). 

 We had received the bulldog sign as a wedding gift.  All of the frames are new (I relocated my DIY button "H" from our bathroom) and the "All you need is love...and a dog" sign was a gift from my dear friend MT! The left side cost approximately $50 (for the five frames).  

In addition to the items on the wall, I also couldn't resist the chevron pillows I found ($16.99 each).  Pillows are the perfect added touch to spruce up home decor. All of the items used were purchased at TJ Maxx, Marshalls or HomeGoods. The grand total spent was $135; which was well worth it. 
There you have it. My frame wall.


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