At the beginning of the month I mentioned wanting to get more photos printed and on our walls. I didn't share this at the time, but in my head the plan was to get the huge prints framed for our dining area. I also wanted to add to our TV gallery wall (it's a work in progress). I wanted to create a photo progression in the hallway (it's not started yet). And I wanted to figure out what could go on the wall in our entryway.
The entryway is a small space and it has been seriously neglected since move in day. It still has the floor mat that came with the house.
Currently, this space has our mirrored console table because I need something there but have not yet had time to build my dream bench and/or dream console (though both have been sketched out). It's funny: that mirrored console totally worked for me in the old place but just doesn't click in this house.
As I was contemplating what could go on that wall above the console, I got an email from Michael's, asking if I'd try out their custom framing service. It was like the stars had aligned and I knew that it would be a perfect opportunity to get some photos framed for the entry. After some thought, I decided to use the custom option to it's full potential and have square photos framed. While there are some pre-made square frames out there, it's hard to find awesome ones with large mats. If I was going to go custom, it made sense to make it count.
I picked three of my favorite pre-Ellerie photos. All of them are from a trip Paul and I took to Palm Springs in May 2012 that will go down as one of our best married weekends.
I'm a huge fan of non-posed photos and the one on the right where you just see Paul's smile and our cocktails at happy hour is my favorite. Plus, photos of a photobooth strip on a rug and palm trees just make me happy. I had my 10x10 photos printed by unitprints.com.
I have never done custom framing before and wasn't sure what to expect at my appointment. I left thrilled. It goes without saying that the employees were friendly and easy to work with (that's customer service 101), so I would like to share three extra things that impressed me about the experience :
- they took photos of my photos and scanned them into the computer so we could see on screen what things would look like with the type of frame and mat I had chosen. This was super helpful for me to visiualize mat scale.
- they were able to tweak everything to come in at my budget. Aside from just frame choice, we could compare what was on sale vs. what was not, if packages were less expensive and how adjusting the mat size 1/4 inch or changing the glass type could make a difference. Comparing options was quick and clear.
- I learned that if I wanted to change out the photos eventually, I could bring the frames back and get them switched out by a professional free of charge. This is awesome.
I was instantly drawn to this frame style (it's called "small natural pine grain") because I've never seen anything like it and I loved the grain. My house has a ton of stained dark wood tones and so I liked the idea of bringing in something lighter. My style is simple, so big white mats were a no-brainer. When I picked them up last weekend I was so pleased.
Because they were professionally done, the hanging contraption on the back of each frame was perfect. But that meant I still needed to get my nails in the right spots to hang them in a row. Here's my favorite technique (to minimize the number of "accidental" nail holes I put into my walls):
- hammer in the nail for the first piece of art.
- run a piece of washi tape (or painters tape - whatever you have on hand) from the top of the nail along the wall to the point where your last piece will be.
- hold a level against the tape to be sure your tape is straight.
- add your second (and third and fourth, etc) nails just below the tape and your row of frames will be straight too. (To be sure the distance between each frame is the same, you just have to measure the distance between your first two nails and duplicate this distance again between the second and third nail.)
So yes, the entry needs a different rug. I am itching to get a different console or bench. And obviously, I need to get more PLANTS! in this space (these guys were pulled from other areas in the house to get an idea). But thanks to Michael's, I can cross "frame and hang cool photos" off my list.
FTC disclosure : I received my custom frames from Michael's in exchange for sharing the results here on the blog. As always, this project idea, post content and thoughts are all my own. Visit Michaels.com for custom framing information and inspiration.