December 10, 2013

Filling Up the Big, Bad Wall

This is a little story about how I finally filled up the huge blank wall in Family Room.  If you are a long time reader I'm hoping you don't remember this terrible situation we started with.

Way back when I tried to fill this wall with a gallery of photos, but the whole thing felt really cluttered and messy.  Back when we remodeled the Family Room we added the wainscoting to try to fill up the wall better.  It helped, but we still had a pretty huge blank wall to deal with.

I have been searching for months to find just the right thing.  Since the  focal point of the room is our sexy new fireplace on the opposite side I didn't want to compete with it by putting too much in there.

I looked for months for a pair of long and skinny abstract paintings that could add a little color, but with the very long length of this wall I just couldn't find anything big enough to fill the space that wouldn't be too tall.

Finally one day I found a little inspiration in my cell phone.  While flipping through family photos that made me smile, I realized that I wanted to feature a lot more of them through out the house.  And where better to hang pics of the family than the Family Room, right?  I didn't want to create a messy gallery again though, so I played around in InDesign until I found a shape and layout I was happy with.  I measured the exact length and height of the wall, as well as the furniture in front of it.  Once I decided that I liked the line of squares, I used the dimensions of these Ikea frames to get the layout just right.

I even placed in the images that I wanted to use to get a feel for composition and balance.  I sent all my photos to Costco to get printed, because if you guys didn't know, Costco prints 12" x 12" prints for just $2.99!  Seriously, compared to every other place I found that charges you to print a poster size and requires you trim the image down to 12 x 12, they not only print this perfect square size but they do it in just one hour, and they look awesome.  Seriously, Costco doesn't know I exist so they're certainly not paying me to say that, I just wanted to tell you all about this amazing deal. 

And then it was go time.  I started by pinning up the paper lining to get the perfect height and width.

 I rocked the four foot level and pencil while my little preschool paparazzi took blurry photos.

As my little trouble machines get bigger, keeping things from getting broken in my house is getting more and more difficult.  I knew I needed something really strong and sturdy to hang these frames, so I whent with 3M picture hanging strips to keep them firmy attached to the wall.   So far so good...

Get that bubble exactly in the middle.

And press firmly for 60 seconds to get that frame to stick.

And just when I got the last one up, in a perfect little level row, this happened.

Pictures go boom.  It was like we were being attacked, two of them went crashing down within 30 seconds of each other.  The wood cracked, the glass shattered, the lamp crashed.  I swept up the adorable little feet in the room and came back with shoes and the vacuum.   I have no idea why the malfunction occurred.  I used twice the number of strips than required by the weight, and held each frame firmly against the wall for twice as long as the instructions recommended.  My wall was clean and flat.... I'm at a loss.  I also lost out in $40 worth of frames thankyouverymuch3M. 

But I rebounded and came back from Ikea with 2 more frames.  This time I installed the provided wire hangers on the back, being careful to place them in the same space on each frame.

This time I got the advice of my friendly Home Depot associate who recomended Deco Screws- which are sort of a screw/anchor/picture hanger in one. They twist in easily with a screw driver and provide a nice safe edge for the picture hanger.  

But I added a set of mounting strips to the back of each frame just incase to keep it firmly against the wall, and my little home distroyers safe.

And finally, here's the wall finally sporting a little artwork.

Oh yeah, did I mention we got a fancy new ottoman to replace the old brown one that didn't fit the room in either size or color?  The Hubs came home from HomeGoods with it one day, and I fell in love with him all over again.  That's right, he was at HomeGoods by himself and came home with a goregous, stone leather, bronze studded ottoman.  Back off ladies, he's mine.

 It was tricky to get the perfect combination of photos that meant something special to us, but had variations of composition and balance.  I didn't want them all to be photos of us just smiling at the camera.  I'm so happy with how they turned out though.  Each of these photos represent an great moment in our little family's life, and whenever I look at these I can feel the moment like it was yesterday.  *tear*

 Tiny little feet...


Sure, I still need a new end table and lamp that fits the space better, but I finally have something up on the wall.  This calls for a celebration.  Good thing for me the wine bar and wet bar are just steps away.



  1. We ordered a long dark sectional a couple weeks ago and I'm wondering what might work behind. This looks great!

  2. Looks so great! Is the ottoman also storage? i've been looking everywhere for a large storage ottoman and they are hard to find!

    1. The ottoman is storage- and it even has a little tray insert to keep the storage organized. It's the perfect blanket/toy/remote holder. One of the Hub's top 10 moments for sure.

  3. Despite your road bump, these look great! And you've got a little photographer on your hands, too -- even if it's fuzzy, he got you in the picture! :-)

    Erin @ The Great Indoors