In our new home I have a large recessed wall in our family room that for months puzzled me on what I could do to decorate it. At first I thought built-ins would look great but absolutely not in our budget. For about five minutes I thought maybe I could do it with the help of my dad, but then got exhausted just thinking about it. So I copped out with the minimum of hanging three perfectly spaced pictures and tried to fill the unbalanced space with a mirror, lamp, chair, and plant. The result was not ideal.
For months it remained neglected, and irked me every day (along with all the other areas of my home that I have procrastinated decorating.)
Eventually, I adopted an old rust colored stained armoire from my mom that I repainted white with grey stripes. This was the anchor piece that started me in a new direction (first step out of my comfort zone).
With a new outlook and some inspiring help from my sister Heather and Pinterest, I decided to do a frame collage wall. I knew this was going to continue me on my journey outside of my comfort zone because I am a very simple, traditional, matchy-matchy style in home decorating. The idea of a collage of various frames, sizes and items starts to make me twitch. But I went for it and decided to take it step by step and simply make decisions along the way that I liked and reflected my taste.
My first step was researching different collage styles done by others to see what I was most drawn too. Cue Pinterest (Pinterest is cued a lot in this entire process). But first let me show you my sister Heather’s wall. She is an artistic and decorating genius!
Her style is much more eclectic then mine and as much as I love her wall I knew I could not think of or do a collage collection like this. I went the more simple, traditional route—simple being the operative word.
These were my favorites:
Clocks, letters, cursive phrases, similar but now exact frames—I started to see a vision of my preference and style. Next I needed a basic format to work with the frames I already had. I wanted this to be an almost no cost project. I liked ones with even horizontal and vertical lines the best.
In the middle of this process I decided I wanted a large round rustic clock to hang above my armoire. I tried a few selections and this colorful choice connected with me. (A second step outside of my comfort zone.)
Now came the tricky part. Finding the right placement with the items I had for the space available and making it look aesthetically pleasing. Cue Pinterest again. There were many helpful tips on hanging frames, and I tried them all.
With some big papers I traced the shapes of all the items I wanted to hang. Then I taped them to the wall in the general arrangement I envisioned. With some adjustments here and there, I made my decision.
When I traced the frames with the paper I made a hole where the nail went. With the papers still on the wall, I hammered in the nails, then tore down the papers. It sort of worked. Two of my frames have the double hook in the back so that was challenging. The best trick to get those right was to use masking tape to measure out the distance and combine that with the traced paper placement. (side note: the trick of laying the frames on a large piece or wax paper and tracing them with the nail holes marked was not the best way for me.)
Before I hung up the frames I spray painted one glossy black to match the other back ones. I turned a gold frame turquoise with some spray paint and distressed it (final step outside of my comfort zone). And to add a little more color variation I painted a black one grey.
In the end I am happy with my wall. It was a learning, growing, and rewarding process. Some people may have different suggestions or opinions on where everything should be placed, but like a piece of art this is an expression of my choices and what I think looks good. Bottom line: I no longer have a big, blank wall!
See my entire Pinterest board “Frame Collage Wall” for more helpful photos and ideas.