salon wall : steps two & three, hanging & collecting

Welcome back! If you missed Step One, check it out here.

In the past, I've been the gal to just look at the wall, hammer in a nail, and hang that puppy. But this article from the lategreat Cottage Living convinced me that there's a grown up way (i.e., mature) to properly present a hodgepodge collection.

I had a total blast with this part, believe it or not, so let's get right down to it. I think you'll appreciate how wise it is to take the time for this step.

Choosing your collection 
You'll want to gather the pieces you plan to hang. There should be some sort of theme---frame color or shade, subject, etc. See more on that here. I purchased a number of frames from Ikea a few weeks back, so my collection is comprised of empty frames (until this evening!). Thus, I found my theme in the frames themselves. All silver, white, and dark brown. I made a few changes as I'll explain below, but overall I kept with this theme.

Changes: consider using different sorts of objects. I started with all square/rectangular frames but quickly saw that this was unappealing; they were too similar to be of interest. I added a red frame with a Michael O'Brien commissioned painting, a broken red clock that formerly hung in our basement 1970's bar area (now deceased), and two frames from our dining room that hang from ribbon. So instead of all squares and rectangles, I now have a circle and a few triangles thrown in there. 

In addition to framed photos, I put in an antique engagement postcard we received for the occassion from close family friends, a framed prayer from my Grandma Shedd's house (a good 50+ years old), a bunch of old latches I found while cleaning out the basement, a printout of a vintage Christmas postcard, and two tickets from a Punch Bros. concert Hawk and I attended.

A word about the subjects. Since I started with the frames, I didn't really decide on all the subject matter until after the layout was set. I kept the color scheme fairly consistent to our living room and to the season. I plan to swap out the fabric and Christmas postcard, as well as one of the Santa Mac photos, when the Christmas season ends in mid-January. 

Hanging your collection* 
Everything I'm offering here, I drew from this article. After collecting, the women prepared to hang their items by first tracing them on a consistent-colored paper. I chose to use the plethora of paper grocery bags we had around (see the above photo). Cheap, a great way to reuse. Then, simply hang them with painters tape on the wall.

Here's the great thing about this method. Had I just hung the art without planning in this way, I would have ended up with this arrangement:
Boring, right! See that little rainbow affect? Ugh. Nauseating. 

For my second try, I attempted to undo the rainbow and keep things a little uneven, but this was not much of an improvement:

At this point I saw that I needed another shape involved to offset the lamp and add some interest to the arrangement. See the clock-shape at the top center?
I also added a few more frames and allowed for a very slight but almost unnoticeable curve upwards in the center rather than that extreme and obvious version in the previous two tries.

By this time I concluded that I didn't want it symmetrical, so I tried this:
Not bad, but I didn't love it.

This was my last attempt, and I'm very pleased with this one. I think the final result is still a little different, but this gives you the idea.
Now, to properly appreciate the change this wall makes, imagine that the wine bar is 24" to the left, that mirror hangs over it, and there's nothing else on the wall. For the last two years. How did we ever feel like home with such a big, blank blah wall? All I can say is that it has really made a difference having things up.

Come Monday, I'll show you the final result and highlight a few of the fun pieces that made it in.

Thanks for following along! Let us know if you do one, or if you already have one up! We'd love to show it off.

Have a wonderful weekend, friends. We are celebrating Ace's first birthday with a small, laid-back gathering and taking it easy overall.


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