Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Photo Wall

photo wall

Yes, I know it's cliche, but there is nothing I love more than seeing family photos hung up on a stairwell . It is something that really separates a house from a home, being able to see who lives there and where they have been. My children especially enjoy this, seeing old photos of themselves as babies and photos of some of our favorite vacations. It makes everyone linger on the landing and take their time going up and down the stairs. While it has been popularized by retailers like Pottery Barn ,for instance, making it almost a little to common for my liking, there is something still very retro about it that I love. The tradition of it all.

I have wanted to do it for sometime but I'll admit, it was quite intimidating even for me. This is coming from someone who has hung more pictures and filled more holes than a professional picture hanger. The thing about it that worried me the most was the actual layout but little did I know the most difficult and time consuming part was the selection of the pictures. We had thousands to choose from and I at least had to make sure that the kids had "equal time" if you know what I mean. After hours of reminiscing over old photos in boxes and on the computer, I made my selections. I had some of the photos I selected reprinted in black and white and waited impatiently for them to arrive so I could get started.

Once you get over that hurdle, you have to select the frames. This would have been an expensive endeavor but luckily, I had collected many frames over the years. To give the wall cohesiveness and still give it interested, I decided to keep it neutral and spay paint the frames a combination of off-white and black and I cheated and bought some wood frames at Pottery barn. :) Every once in a while they'll have 20% off so hold off until then if you can. Craft stores are a good source for frames too. I stuck mostly with white mattes because my walls are white. (note: Mattes make the finished look more professional and you can buy them precut in the size you need at the craft store.) Now with the pictures framed and ready to go, it's time to hang.

When you get to this point I say just go for it. Start by laying out all of your pictures to see what you have. When I hang a grouping, I have found that the best place to start is in the middle and work your way out. I like pictures hung at eye level but in a stairway some of them will be higher and that's ok. You can measure the spaces in between but I just did it by eye. I didn't want it to look too perfect because this is really just a starting point. There will be many more pictures added over time. Remember if you make a mistake all you have to do is fill a hole, no big deal. (hint: I use LIGHTWEIGHT spackling, patch -n-paint to be exact.) Once everything is hung make sure the pictures are straight using a small level and then put some double sided 3m tape behind the picture to hold it in place.

If you have wanted to do something like this, get started by selecting some photos and I promise that will get you motivated to get it done. It was so worth all of the effort to see it completed and know that our treasured photos were not wasting away in a box somewhere but are now out for us to enjoy every day.

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