Welcome to week 5, the last week before the reveal, of the One Room Challenge! If you haven’t checked out the previous updates, you can find them here:
Week 5 – This Week
Week 6 – The Reveal (Next Week!)
*This post may contain affiliate links to products I used.
Using items I already have that have a history always gets me excited. Even more if it’s my own history. I believe homes should reflect their occupants in more ways than just the choices in design. They should reflect our stories, our joys, and the experiences of our lives.
I always think of my grandmother as the most elegant person I ever met. Her condo was filled with finds that gave it a global, worldly vibe. For instance, entire dining room was covered in a well-done bamboo wall paper. The bathroom always smelled of old-fashioned face powder, sort of like a perfumed baby powder and very distinctive. My most fond memories are her reading to us in her Thonet Rocking Chair. The lady had style. It’s actually almost surprising that my Dad was of any relation to her at all, but they were actually quite close.
Unfortunately, when I was around 10 or so, my grandma developed Alzheimer’s and it worsening in only a few years to the point that she would need round-the-clock care. Although I was too young to really understand it all, it was tough to watch someone so refined slip away into the senseless decline that is Alzheimer’s. I clearly remember the day when we drove up to her home to choose mementos as keepsakes before the auction. Although the rocker wouldn’t fit in our car, I carefully chose a Japanese tea set, several books covering a variety of topics, and a framed poster featuring a Snow Leopard and Urdu (Pakistan) writing. I cherished them all and spent hours reading those books as a child.
One of my favorite books became the inspiration and the missing puzzle piece to my dining room. There are literally hundreds of exquisitely detailed drawings of every kind of bird you can imagine. Of course, many of the photos are only about 2-3 inches but the detail is so rich that I created an entire gallery wall with them.
Using my home printer, I scan several of the drawings, making sure that the drawings were at least 3 inches for maximum detail. I then enlarged them to fit on an 8.5×11. I used photoshop but if you don’t have that you could probably do it at a local printing store. As you can see, the scaling of these resulted in almost no perceptible pixelation or distortion in the images. A few of the images required removing of the text that surrounded them but this was done pretty easily.
Perfectly hanging a grid style gallery wall can be rather daunting. To make things easier, I cut out sheets of craft paper in the same size as the frames and positioned them on the walls and then took measurements. I lightly marked the walls and then used a level to lightly draw lines where the tops of the frames would sit. The trim in my dining room is (thankfully) level so this made it easy. However, my frames have the backing with the two small triangles in fixed positions so it took some measuring and math to determine where to perfectly align the screws in the wall.
Have you ever tried to hang these types of frames? They can be a real pain. My husband figured out a neat trick to hang them quickly however. He tied one end of a string to the screw and then threaded the other end through the hanging triangle. Hold the loose end of the string over the top of the frame and gently guide the triangle onto the screw. I thought his method was genius. You have no idea how much I have struggled hanging these type of frames.
It’s perfect and exactly as I imagined it! Now, in real life, we are almost ahead of schedule since the groundwork is laid. I just have to finally decide on the centerpiece and move the table back into the room. I can’t wait to show everything off next week!
These last few weeks are always exciting to watch the other designers because you can really start to see their rooms transform. Be sure to check out the over 200 more that will be linking up on Thursday. There is a little something for everyone and every style.
***Especially because I do run a blog on the internet, I made sure to obtain permission from the copyright holder, Reader’s Digest, to photocopy these stunning drawings and photograph the wall to show you. I respect copyright and the works of others.
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