Tuesday, October 6, 2009

I'm so happy, I could spit.

Well, that may be a bit of an exaggeration, knowing how I detest body fluids. But I am very pleased with myself.


You can see in this picture that I have many blank, empty, LARGE walls in my living room. Actually, in my entire house, but that is not the point. The living room is where we hold our weekly vespers program, it's the first room you see when you walk into my house. And it's bare. I can't use the excuse that I'm still settling in, because we've lived here for 3 1/2 years. I'm just design-challenged.
But I finally decided to do something about it. It all started with this stack of frames:

Five of them I found at Goodwill for $.98 each. They had some 70s flower photos in them. Ugh. The bright orange and green ones used to hold alphabet cards that spelled the twins' names in their nursery. They've been sitting in my closet since the boys moved to their "big boy" room. So what am I going to do with all these odd frames? Spray paint them, of course! They turned out to be exactly the same size, even though the styles were slightly different.
So now I have a bunch of black frames. What do I do next? Wait for a few weeks for inspiration to strike, that's what. Finally I decided to do a patch of botanical prints. Problem was, I couldn't find any. I found a few free ones online, but our color printer got fried by some lightning the other night, and I didn't really want the hassle of printing them somewhere else. So I looked at Barnes & Noble for a botanical print book instead, you know, the coffee table kind.
No such luck. They didn't have anything to mention. Bummer. I looked around online for some books, but when you can't really look inside to see, I wans't going to risk not getting the full-size prints I needed for this project.
But today was my lucky day. I went out while Filipe was home on a conference call, and on my way to Borders, decided to stop by Half Price Books first. I went over to the Gardening section, and SCORE! found a reference book of wild flowers of America, with 400 full-color, full-page prints! Oh, I was in heaven. And better yet, the book was only $7.98!
The hard part was choosing which prints to use, although I suppose I can switch them out at will.
Anyways, I used a scalpel (yes, we have those around here) to cut out the pages I wanted, used one of the backings of the frame as a template to cut the picture to size, and got everyone lined up.
I took the pictures downstairs, got a big sheet of paper (really it was four sheets haphazardly taped together) and laid the frames out in their grid. I spaced the frames, measuring and squaring carefully, then traced around each frame. I then measured and marked where each of the hanging thingies goes. I found this method on this blog and it really worked well for me.

I then taped the paper grid to the wall, using a level to make sure it was all good.

That was the end of the hard part. Now I just tapped in my nails where I had marks, and hung my frames. They came out even! I was so excited.


And now I'm in the process of rearranging the furniture in the living room. I just can't leave well enough alone. But I am happy with this project because it was very difficult finding large art to go on this wall, and because this project was so awesomely cheap-- a grand total of $15.68. Can't beat that, folks.

And now I've finished rearranging the furniture, so here's a view of the room now:

looking from the dining room....


looking from the front door....

Yes, I think I'm one step closer to that homey living room I'm going for. Now I need some valances or something, maybe. And a few end tables. And maybe another soft chair. Yeah, that ought to do it.



DIY Day @ ASPTL
 
I'm also participating in Transformation Thursday on The Shabby Chic Cottage

Shanty 2 Chic

21 comments:

Olivia said...

I love it! What a great idea! I was thinking of using some smaller prints to put around a larger one in my office at work, but haven't yet.

The Tulip Lady said...

VERY NICE!!! How is it when fixing up one part of the room it makes the other parts seem lacking in some way. Always happens that way.

Jessy, Greg, Grace, Jack, Nora, and Lexi said...

Fawn! That's looks fabulous. I love the paper/hanging technique!

Jeremy, Jennie, Caleb, and Noah said...

You are so stinking creative! I am going to have to start stealing some of your ideas because I am seriously lacking in the decorating department =)

Jessica @ This Blessed Life said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog and your sweet comment! I am SO jealous of the fireplace in your living room! In my next house.... :)

Kim G said...

WOW! That looks amazing! I'd never seen the large paper stencil before. Looks easier than the painter's tape I use to get my visual.

Nancy said...

I love how you did this project for very little $$$. The prints are beautiful! You did a great job!

Nancy

Maureen said...

They look terrific! Botanical prints are real classics. I have some rose prints that I received as gifts 25 years ago and I still love them!

Leanne said...

They looks so good. I love botanical prints. They never go out of style. And black spray paint is my favorite thing ever. Stop over and see the candlestick I painted, black, of course. I'm painting a mirror black today.

Angie said...

Looks awesome! I have been meaning to do this with some books I bought at a yard sale. I love botanical prints! They are so timeless.

shannon said...

Great transformation. I love it, and it totally dresses up the room.

Tammy@InStitches said...

They look really good !

Deanna said...

LOVE the new look!

I hung my collage exactly the same way a couple of years ago. It works really well. :)

Carolyn @ My Backyard Eden said...

Wow! That looks great! I;ve tried to hang up three in a row, and it was a huge headache. Thanks for the great template idea!

Rosie said...

It looks so pretty! And that drawing paper grid idea...SO GREAT! I would have agonized over the placement, not to mention, filled my wall with holes. Thanks for the easy tip.
rosie

cindy@cottage instincts said...

What a terrifically awesome idea! Love how it turned out, and I really like how you rearranged your furniture. The room looks comfy and cozy. :O)
peace, cindy

Beth@The Stories of A to Z said...

Glad you didn't spit because, well...ew. But I can see why you are so happy! It looks great. Nicely done.

Shanty 2 Chic said...

I love botanicals! Good thinking... Perfect addition to the wall:) Way to go! Thanks for linking up!
~Whitney

The DIY Show Off said...

That looks great! I love a photo wall full of botanicals - I want to have one too! :)

Roeshel

Shabby Addict said...

That looks great! What a difference it makes! Totally makes the room look homey and settled ; ) Great idea.

Fawn Hamilton said...

Ok seriously??!!??
Your name is Fawn and you live in San Antonio??!!
Freaking out here. ;)
Guess what my name is! Now guess where I live. :)
Too weird!!
Just found your blog tonight...linked over from Shanty2Chic.