Monday, March 26, 2012

Arranging Pictures

Hello  again.   When you think about  framing and putting together a grouping of pictures,  how hard can it be to hang a few pictures???? Let’s see Uummm,  tape measure,  hammer,  nails,  picture hooks?

Well,  you would think  if you could get the nails reasonably straight and in line,  everything would miraculously come together . . . wrong !

To display a successful picture gallery or family photos, you definitely need to do a little planning and a little measuring. They need to have a defined shape or flow. Otherwise, they can appear haphazard and contribute more to clutter than the decor. Here are a few suggestions for picture galleries. . . .

The master decorator Candice Olson uses “The Perfect Picture Wall” it  is a complete system for hanging 10 picture frames.   You can also add additional frames if you have a larger area to cover.    It uses a revolutionary template  allowing you to determine placement, height and character of frames all without measuring and before the first hook is ever entered into your wall. The easy to use templates safely adhere to any surface allowing you to “Pre-View” what the frames will look like prior to hanging them.

The templates also have a unique leveling system,  so that all frames will be accurately positioned and level every time. The “Pre-View” templates can be moved multiple times to different locations, above a buffet or couch, around a corner or up the stairs until you are completely satisfied with the location. Apply in just moments what formerly took hours of tedious trial and error! You only need a hammer, everything else is included. This system is dah bomb!

 ( family photo collection)

 For precise positioning ,  conventional wisdom suggests that pictures be hung at eye level.  This notion is a fine starting point,  but hardly definitive.  There are many good reasons to hang pieces above or below a standard height.  In any setting,  you will need to react to the architecture and the furniture;  you will also need to follow your instincts.  A few inches’ shift in a hanging arrangement can affect the tone of an entire room:  Move the pictures over a sofa or chair down a bit;  the area will become more cohesive,  cozy,  and inviting. Hang several over a desk – they’ll provide a refreshing view when you look up from your work.  Learn to trust yourself.  If it feels right,  don’t be afraid to do something a little different.

“The Perfect Picture Wall”

I love this grouping!!!

Emphasize a hallway by running a series of photos.

When it’s time to hang your art,  use the method that provides the most stability.  It’s usually best to use two picture hangers,  so pictures don’t swing or tilt.

HGTV’s designer Genevieve Gorder

More options from “ The Perfect Picture Wall

To view their  full catalog of wonderful ideas go here.


One more essential consideration is restraint.  You’ll want to leave some blank wall space in a room so the eye can rest;  what’s not there will allow you to appreciate what is.



Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Our Kitchen Redesign part II

So let’s get caught up folks - before our kitchen island redesign,  our island previously had a lot of painted drywall and not much pizzazz.  Today I will reveal our ( just about) finished island.  If you would like to get caught up even more.  Please visit my previous posts on our kitchen redesign part I here,  and renovation hammer here.

(kitchen island before)

kitchen island 12 24 007

Our home is still very much a work-in-progress. Luckily one of my favorite color combinations is black and white.  Since it’s not in the budget to replace our existing cabinets,  they will remain a timeless clean white.  Our island will be a elegant smokey black! Robert will give our existing cabinets a fresh look.  Using larger crown moldings along the top,  and enclose the space above cabinets for a continues line up to the ceiling. At a later date we’ll change out the stone on the island, and buy a few more stainless appliances to finish off this room.

We accented the island with inexpensive beadboard, casings, and paint Ralph Lauren’s “Black Truffle” smokey black paint.

( newly finished island )

 finished island 001

Finished side profile with new coordinated electrical outlet.

finished island 011

We plan to remove the existing cabinet above the stove,  modify the two cabinets on either side to half the size that they are currently.   This will give us ample storage, stretching the space above the stove area visually, and leave plenty of room for our new hood and vintage subway tile backsplash. I can’t wait to say “bah bye” to our current travertine backsplash. Sorry about the blurry photos friends, our travertine floor really isn’t pink,  although it looks like it is! :-)

(kitchen below waiting for decor changes)

via aurora kitchen before 017

More on our dining room reno soon.

Don’t forget ya’ll,  I’m giving away one of my handmade burlap Easter bunnies! Swing on over to The Old Painted Cottage to enter, and give Jennifer “props” for her wonderful giveaways. Good luck to everyone!


Monday, March 19, 2012

Our Dining Room

What would you do when the your local meteorologist is forecasting heavy rain for the entire weekend??? 

WEEELL . . . .   ya know what we did??? 

Seen below is our dining room,  in all it’s “getting ready for changes” glory!  Lately,  I cannot get enough of  the vintage industrial vibe.  We snagged this (leaning against the wall) great old sign at a local antique store that was going out of business,  for not too much cha-chinggg$$$. It reads “ATL”short for Atlanta, “DIN” short for diner,  “Great” for great food. I thought what a “feast” for the eyes!

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Above our retro sign I plan to use a pair of these heavenly filament sconces from Restoration Hardware,  if I don’t change my mind during our redecorating.

restoration scone (source)

A nice addition to any room,  inexpensive and expressive is millwork (molding).  Ever since my husband purchased his new fancy chop saw he’s been getting his grove on . . .

The two windows seen below in our dining room,  he will be injecting the decorative trim moldings.

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Here’s a closer look at my vision.  The two windows with the black frames are what I’m aiming for.  If your not a fan of black,  you could use light gray? Or white?



To Start,  I plan to punch up these windows by using nicely sized moldings.

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Here’s a little trick . . .  to create a picture frame like molding,  we will glue two pieces together to create a thicker profile.

dining windows, meter, silverplate dish 012

Our finished piece will have a nice picture frame like profile,   and will be 5 1/4” wide.

dining windows, meter, silverplate dish 013

Clamp and allow to dry.

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First piece of molding going up . . .

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Use finish nails to hang and a countersink punch,  sick miter honey!!!

dining windows, meter, silverplate dish 015

The first piece installed,  woo hoo!

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You can’t beat the beauty of millwork,  big style, don’t you agree? The two windows set us back a “whapping” $68.00! 

dining windows, meter, silverplate dish 023 windows 001

These window frames will be complemented with Ralph Lauren’s “black truffle” paint soon.

Oh, did I mention I’m giving away one of my handmade Easter bunnies!  Swing on over to The Old Painted Cottage to enter,  and give Jennifer props for her wonderful giveaways. Good luck to everyone!

Burlap Bunny