Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Live and Let Dine

Work on the living/dining room continues.  We're learning some of the challenges of living in a smaller market which in this case means fewer fabric and trim retailers and varieties available.  I looked and looked for something to add a bit of color or texture to the Ikea curtain panels, but haven't yet found anything.  I just know there are sources here I don't yet know about.  I hung them anyway.

Despite the weirdo distortion of this panorama, it is starting to look like real grown ups live here.  Look HERE for photos from "before."

I also repainted all the curtain rods with Rustoleum Metallic Universal in their oil-rubbed bronze color.  It coordinates nicely with the wood tones as well as the new door hardware and the ceiling fan we brought with us from the old house (and my house before that... I love that thing).  I hung them at the ceiling and when I put the curtains up, the room instantly looked and felt taller.  YEY!

We still have the yucky ceiling texture, but have mostly stopped noticing it.

We hung the TV (finally) and put some art on that wall.  I made cozies for the cords, but we agree the extension cord cover looks like an megalodon umbilicus.  I'm not sure that an megalodon umbilicus is any worse than an orange extension cord... at least it's funny.  When we build shelves for that wall we'll include a place for the DVD, speaker, Roku, etc., but for now they sit on and around a little step stool.  Still an improvement over the TV and everything else on the floor.

Yeah, yeah a megalodon probably doesn't have an umbilicus. 

And most dramatically, we hung some art on the big, empty wall adjacent the stairs.  We decided to do a "gallery" of all our black/white/grey/off-white pieces to accomplish two things:

1) Clumping several of our small framed things together will give the impression of a bigger piece which makes more sense on that big wall.

2) We can add to it over time if we wish.  There's already an empty frame hanging, because I can't find the antique book page that is going to go in there.

 In order to minimize wall damage I laid them out on a canvas drop cloth on the floor in front of the wall they'd hang on.

picture_layout gallery_layout
Betty tries to tell me that she would also make a lovely pet profile while staring at her dearly departed brother, Dave.

At first I laid them out above and below a horizontal base line.  While I liked it, I thought the predominately horizontal look didn't do anything to give some height to the room which doesn't have particularly tall ceilings (about 7' 10.5").  I also thought the three-dimensional dog profile at the bottom was distracting.

picture_layout gallery_layout
A nice feature of this collection is that most of the pieces were gifts to one of us and several were handmade in some form or another.

Next, I tried to arrange them a bit more vertically.  I took photos of each of the arrangements I found satisfying so I could compare them side by side and so I could remember how I'd had them.  This one wasn't quite wide enough considering that wall is, uh, lots of feet wide.

picture_layout gallery_layout
Another feature that makes it pleasing to me is that none of the pet silhouettes are "looking" out of the grouping except Dave who is looking at Pearl (lower left).  I blame my years on the Glencoe High School yearbook staff for that predilection.

I finally decided on this configuration.  A little taller than the first and a little wider than the second.  Even though I measured its overall height, the spaces between the frames, the wall above the chairs, etc., I think that it's hung just a little too high.  I'd be thrilled if the whole thing were five or so inches lower.  But... I'm not going to go through it.  I mean, there are 19 nails holding up those frames.  Ugh.  We already have a frame to add (just nothing in it) that will lower the center and we can add more as they come along.


  1. The place is really looking great! I'm going to have to come out and see all the changes in person. It's looking so cozy and homey with a touch of college by the t.v. :)

  2. Looking good!
    I learned a great trick for hanging groups of pictures that might come in handy one day. It takes a little more time but you get to see the configuration on the wall first.
    Trace the outside of each frame onto brown craft paper and cut each one out. Mark where the top of the hanging wire or hanger is so the nail position is easy to determine. Then with double-stick tape you can put the cut-outs on the wall and move them around at will. When you've settled on an arrangement you simple hammer your nail right through the paper, pull it off the wall and hang your picture. Isn't that cool? Doesn't it make you want to do it all over again?

    1. NoooOOO! I've seen that, but it would have required me to have put on clothes and leave the property.

  3. Oh Those pictures will be just fine once you add more to the bottom. Remember that pic of Betty and Delia you shared with me? That would be a fab addition since it is silhouettey!

    You so smart to paint curtain rods. I painted some cup hooks and thought it was an accomplishment.

    Love how it is all coming together!

    1. Thanks!

      I'll have to see how that pic translates to black and white since that's our thing in this grouping.

      If it sits still long enough, I'll paint it, lady.

  4. Oh, I like the final lay out. Looks nice and has lots of space to expand, should you collect more stuffs. I like how Betty tried to help, too :) Silly girl.

  5. I hope we'll expand it and I think Betty is looking forward to helping with that, too. Like she does.


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