Thursday, July 29, 2010

"What Were They Thinking Thursday" - Knick Knack Patty Out of Wack

We all have junk, some more than others, that we think is really cool. We try to display our junk to make it look less junky but it usually just turns out looking like junk on a shelf. There is an artful way to display your junk that will fool everyone into thinking it's priceless.

Rule #1
If you collect something, it should be displayed in a thoughtful way. Not just stacked on a shelf.

Rule #2
You don't have to display the entire collection. Pick out some of your favorite pieces and put the rest away.

This would've looked okay if they didn't have so many! Looks like a wall of weapons!
These dollys can't come out to play because they are jam packed into a very out of place Curio cabinet.
Rule #3
Keep it clean. Collections and knick knacks tend to attract a lot of dust. Make sure to keep it clean and looking it's best.

Rule #4
Use your collections as art pieces in a room, and sticking them in one of those house shaped cube shelf thingys doesn't count!

Do they all come alive at night?
The right way:

This is amazing! Taking what most people think of as junk and displaying in way that looks very intentional and becomes a piece of art.
When displaying knick knacks, try grouping them by color. Again, it looks very intentional.
Very cool groupings by color, however there is way too much stuff on these shelves and they are sagging in the middle.

A great way to bring interest to your shelves is by displaying all things white, especially if your shelves are painted a fun color like these red ones.
Remember less is more. Just a couple things on each of these shelves really allows the eye to see each thing.
Another great example of how a collection becomes an art piece. Who knew old hats could look so cool?
Remember to make small groupings of your collections to not overpower the entire room.
This is a great idea for shelves. Also, notice the jars filled with shells and starfish. Again they are all the same color and displayed in a very cool way to bring interest to the room.
The right way to display all those vintage dishes you have.
More collections as art pieces
This is fabulous and adds so much depth and texture to the wall. Very cool, but notice how the rest of the kitchen is kept simple. This wouldn't work if there was stuff everywhere.
So, what do you collect? Need ideas on how to display it. Email me with your questions!!!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Water Cooler Talk

Working in a small office of all women with the occasional appearance of Graham, talking transcends the cliche water cooler and becomes desk talk, fridge talk, library talk and yes, sometimes bathroom talk.

However today at approximately 4:15 PM, we all gathered round the good ole' water cooler for some very important conversation. What were talking about you might ask? Our new water cooler. Comments ranged from "ooh it's shiny" to "look at that secret compartment" and yes even the "I wish there was a place to cool a bottle of wine".

So, as our internet and phone lines have been out most of the day, (sorry if you have been trying to reach us) I leave you with a very last minute blog post to introduce you to our very own, new and shiny, black with chrome edging water cooler. (We're actually renting)

Let's Hydrate!!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Do it yourself Friday: Frame Gallery Wall

Do you ever flip through a magazine and see pictures of living rooms that have the most perfect arrangement of picture frames above the sofa or following the line of the staircase and wonder how do they make it look so symmetrical or how they perfected the random collage look? I am going to show you how to do it without putting a thousand nail holes in your wall. The process might be a tad-bit time consuming but I promise you will be happy with the results the first time and your husband will be happy that he does not have to patch the million holes you put in your walls.
Step #1:

Buy picture frames! You should buy picture frames that are proportional to the wall that they are going to be hung on. Also, consider the pictures that you are going to want to put in the frames. Picture frames can be quite pricey, so I always look for good sales. I bought the frames I used at Kohls. They were 50% off! Woohoo!! You may also try looking for frames at Marshalls, Ross and Hobby Lobby. All of these stores always have good deals.

You may also be interested in Pottery Barn's Frame Riser. These are designed to stand your frames 4" off the wall. This can create a lot of dimension on your wall and make a really cool statement. The Frame Risers are $16 each and can be purchased in stores or online at
Step #2:

Once you get home, kick off your shoes and put on comfy clothes. You are going to be on the floor a lot! Clear off a large section of your floor (same size as the wall space you are going to be hanging on) and start playing with different arrangements. Don't forget that most frames can be hung horizontally and vertically.

Step #3:

After you have decided on a layout that you love, take a picture of the arrangement because you will need something to reference for this step. For this step you will need paper taped together to be the size of the space that you will be hanging on. You can use butcher paper, poster boards taped together or in my case I used 24x36 scratch paper that I had in the trunk of my car. You are more than likely going to have to tape the papers together to get a size large enough.

Step #4:

After you have made your paper template, refer back to the picture that you took and layout the frames on top of the paper. If you want a more symmetrical look you may want to whip out the handy-dandy ruler or if you want the random collage look you can eye-ball it to your liking.

Step #5:

Once you have your frames in the layout that you want on the paper, you need to trace the frames on the paper using a pencil. (You will more than likely mess up. I did several times)

Step #6:

After all of the frames are traced on the paper, move the frames to the side. Now the fun part! You will need to measure exactly where the hole on the back of the frame is and then mark the hole on the paper. Your paper should start looking like this...
Step #7:

You are almost done!! After you have all of the holes measured and marked on the paper you need to tape the paper on the wall where you are going to be hanging. Be sure that the middle of the collage is around eye level which ranges from 5'-4"-5'-6".

Step #8:

Grab your hammer girlfriend, it's time to start nailing! Be sure to use proper hanging materials for the weight of your frames. Typically 1-2 nails will do the trick. After you have nailed all of the nails in your marked places you can carefully tear down the paper, leaving the nails in place.

Step #9:

Finally!! You can start hanging the frames. You may have to refer back to the picture that you took in step #4. When you are done, your wall might look something like this...

Ta-Da!!! Perfection! You now have the gallery wall that you have always wanted!

Challenge yourself this weekend to tackle one of those empty walls in your house that haunts you every time you walk by it. This is a great way to feature family photos or art prints. Go ahead and mix the two. Have fun!!

Be sure to send me pictures of your gallery wall and I will post them for all to see.


What were they thinking Thursday? Small Columns

(better late than never)

Time after time I see columns that are too small for a house or building. It’s like a toothpick holding up a brick. Here are some examples that are all wrong:

It’s all about scale and proportion. There is actually a formula that you can apply to tell you how wide your columns should be. This is called the “Golden Mean”. This was used by the Greeks to build much of their cities and temples. The most famous is the Parthenon in Athens.

This is not just for architecture, but proportion in general. The formula is:

Leonardo da Vinci, Salvador DalĂ­, Mondrian all have incorporated the golden ratio into their paintings.

Leonardo da Vinci, The Vitruvian Man

I don’t want to bore you, but a bit more history might help.

We refer to the “classical order” as one of the ancient styles of classical architecture, each distinguished by its proportions and characteristic profiles and details, and most readily recognizable by the type of column employed. There are five different orders; Tuscan, Doric, Ionic, Corinthian and Composite. All columns are derived from these.

Each column is made up of a base, shaft and capital. The height of columns are calculated in terms of a ratio between the diameter of the shaft at its base and the height of the column. A Doric column can be described as seven diameters high, an Ionic column as eight diameters high and a Corinthian column nine diameters high.

So, if you have a column that needs to be 8’ high then your “Doric” columns should be approximately 13.7” wide at it’s base. 96” high /7= 13.7” Make sense? Well, maybe not. But you can see how a standard 4”x4” post won’t work.

These columns are pretty close to being the right scale.

Some other rules to go by:

1. The columns need to feel more substantial than what they are holding up.

2. The material of the column is just as important as the size. You wouldn’t want a wood column holding up a stone wall. Also, in New Orleans you see a lot of iron columns and balconies. They are intended to be sturdy in the material yet feels light. This is a good use of a small column because they are only holding up a porch. Too many people use the iron as a column on a house, which is the wrong use for this type of column.

3. Sometimes repetition is better if you go smaller.

4. Sometimes rules are meant to be broken. Architect Le Corbusier designed Villa Savoye to feel as though it is floating in the trees. He intentionally made his columns small scale.

Mies van der Rohe

Other Great Columns

Frank Lloyd Wright

Moorish Columns

Let's vow to eliminate underscaled columns forever! ~ Brandy