Thursday, September 20, 2012

Wall Hangings

In my opinion, photos of family and friends make the best art.    (That is in the Book of Jules.   When this blessed book is published, this sentiment will probably be worded as such: Use family photos and memorabilia while decorating in order to reduce clutter and enjoy and showcase your memories.)

Photos and memories personalize your home, make it look like you live there - instead of like you opened up the Pottery Barn catalog and dove in - and if you like your family and friends, your artwork will make you smile.   It's also rather inexpensive to order prints (or bother your mother and mother-in-law for theirs) and head to just about any store for some frames.   Especially when you compare your snapshots to a Picasso.  

As soon as you walk into our house, the stairs are to your right, and you see this collection climbing the railing and creeping on to the landing wall.   That's what I am talking about today.

Now, if you want to hang photos on a wall, in a grid or along the stairway, or in a haphazard fashion, there are many resources online to assist you.   The problem for me was none of them really showed me how to get exactly what I wanted.  

Thanks to my [at the time] new obsession with Pinterest, I had found examples of how I wanted to hang photos in my stairwell along the inclined stairs, but also on the landing.   My most favorite landing example featured many photos in various sizes, arranged in a sort of mirrored fashion left to right and top to bottom.  Exactly, to the millimeter, spaced apart.   Isn't it pretty?

I wanted to duplicate it exactly, but the wall of our landing wasn't big enough, so I improvised and took out the middle section.  (In some house, at some point in my life, I will do this exactly.  With the S!)  But what made me LOVE this wall so much was the fact that the frames all complimented each other and they were pretty much exactly the same width apart and make straight lines all the way across.   


I was not sure how to tackle the project, so I did what seemed logical in this situation: I called my dad.

Dad can fix just about anything, and he can build just about anything, too.   Basically, if you don't have a widget, he can build you one.   If you have a widget and it's broken, he can fix it.   What I am try to illustrate here, is that  he is very handy to have around for household projects.  I showed him this photo and told him I wanted to replicate the arrangement.   Dad is also an engineer, and about as OCD as I am about things, so he is pretty much the ideal source.

Here's what I got back from my dad

Each picture frame probably has a different distance from the top of the frame to the  point where the nail will be installed.  If you do the template approach, you can mark the template with the location of the nail, and make the nail holes using the template.

The engineering approach is to utilize the laser to set the location of the horizontal and vertical edges of each picture, and then establish the nail location by measuring the off set from the top and vertical edges and moving the laser per the offsets.  The attached EXCEL file gives a step-by-step pictorial explanation 

Y'all.    It is amazing!   I followed it to a T (well, first I bought a laser level) and after much measuring and re-measuring and pencil marks on the backs of the frames, look at what I got!   The angle is a bit weird because it's a small landing in the stairwell, and I had to stand at the top of the stairs to include everything in the shot.   But I am happy with it!    

And in case you wondered, there are a couple photos of my dad in here!

Morals of the story:

  • Family photos as artwork is still my favorite thing
  • My Dad can fix and build anything 
  • Including an OCD photo wall makes a house that much more Jules-like

What's your favorite way to personalize your space?

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