Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Think Outside The Box.


Today I thought I would do an intro piece for my post on wall hangings. Later I am going to delve into techniques and tricks for decorating your wall space. I'll go into more detail about how to get it right, and give you a handful of good hints for figuring it out in your home. But that's not for today.... 

When we moved into this house, I knew I was going to have get creative. Especially with the walls.

This house is almost twice the size of our last home, and there is about 100x more blank wall space. In our last home, being a 1900s antique house, almost every single wall had either a gorgeous leaded glass window, a doorway with extravagant wood molding, or a beautiful solid wood door. There was just about zero space or need for any wall art. I had a few spots to fill and that was about it.

Enter this house. Built in the last 20 years, with MUCH fewer windows, no fancy moldings or doors. That left a heck of a lot of wall space that cried out to be filled!

I knew I was going to have to get creative with my dollars and hands in order to fill the walls and add some personality into the very boring architecture. Seeing as I had just a small handful of pieces in my arsenal already. Most of which were mirrors (small spaces=lots of mirrors!).

I have already filled a good chunk of the walls, as you have seen in prior posts. Lots of painted canvas, printables, a gallery wall (which is still empty!), DIY sunbursts, and DIY chalkboards. Not to mention all the many mirrors (I am slightly obsessed with the amazing qualities of mirrors in a home). Besides all those things, here are two new ideas that I have recently used in our almost-finished family room.

I was trying to figure out how to fill the three narrow walls in the family room. We painted the room (well, 3 out of the 4 walls so far) a lovely gray and we have also finished the industrial wall unit. Between those two elements, there is a lot of texture and darker tones. With the walls, wood, & steel. So I knew I wanted to stick to white frames. I wanted all of the pieces on the wall to tie in together, and seeing as I did the gallery frames in white, and the chalkboard in white, it was a no-brainer.

But what to put in the frames....hmmm. I mulled it over a while and one day I just opened up Ebay on my computer and started looking around. Here is where I ended up.

Don't mind the huge white ottoman in the middle of the room there. We haven't gotten around to putting it in the basement yet.


And grrrrr, I see that the frames are slightly askew in this shot. BA! I hate that. I fixed it, but apparently AFTER I took the photo. Oh well.

Moving on! Let's start with this set of pieces here.


Oh I just love them. I knew I wanted something yellow to add a shot of color to the very neutral wall/shelving unit. After some browsing of different ideas I had rolling around in my head, I ended up searching "yellow nautical maps" on ebay and this is one of the sets that came up. I loved it right away because of a)how bright and graphic they are, and b)they are of Lake George NY! Moderately close to me, and a family vacation spot as well. I also loved how large they are. I am going to talk about scale tomorrow, but I wanted something substantial for this wall because of the large shelving unit right next to it, as well as the large window. I also knew I wasn't going to be putting any furniture in that space, so I wanted to make sure the wall pieces would suffice. Perfect, perfect, PERFECT. Know what's just as perfect??

That's right folks. I picked up all four maps (technically they are one long map), for a grand total of $17. SEVENTEEN!!! You saw how big they are right? How bright? How completely terrific?? Yup. I almost cried. What was just as good was that those lovely white frames were on a huge sale at Michaels and I paid under $10 a piece for them. So for all four framed maps, it was under $60. Something like $55. SCORE.

Look at the lovely detail. I really like how they are worn, a little riped and faded a bit too. Totally adds character and life to them. Plus they are just the most perfect shot of yellow for the space.

I made sure they were hung just high enough so that little children wouldn't knock into them accidentally. Yet they are still low enough to take care of needing any furniture on the wall. LOVE.

Here is an example of some of the ones you can find on Ebay on a daily basis. This one (there are lots like this) is a bit more subdued in color, but definitely gorgeous.

Up next is a set of four vintage National Geographic ads from the '50s that I stumbled upon. Again, I was on the lookout for a splash of yellow. I also wanted to add some black & white to help tie in the industrial/modern feel. The camera theme is running high in the room now, which I am totally digging. A couple '50s cameras on the shelving, and now four Kodak ads. There are two more, but they are for the unpainted wall, so you'll see those later. These are my favorite two though. GRRrrr with the slight crookedness!!

I love the vintage look, slightly yellowed and faded. I also think it's pretty neat that they all say Rochester, NY on the bottom (which you can't see here). Being that we are in Rochester and all, it is fun that they found their way back "home".


These were also a steal. I paid $2.99 each for them, and since they were from the same seller, I only paid the shipping for one. Woohoo! This is one of the other ones I picked up. I have no idea why it says sold for 5.99, since it was 2.99, but whatev. There is one more, another yellow one, that will hang with this one. The four frames were $5 a piece. So the total was $37 for all four framed pieces.

So. Point being. You can decorate your walls with unique, fun pieces for CHEAP! No one else has these exact sets and I love that. I love how unique the nautical maps are. I love that I didn't just pick them up at Target or wherever. They are one of a kind and completely cool. Take a look around Ebay, there are SO many great things that you can use to give your home personality. Vintage ads and maps ALLLLL over the place.

I'll be back soon with a whole bunch more advice on wall hangings, so watch out!

1 comment:

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