Saturday, July 7, 2012

a lovely mess...on the wall

the collage wall
has become quite an obsession of mine.
i mean what it really is
is a mess on the wall.
this is probably the only kind of mess
that i think is lovely. :)
if i could put one 
on every wall in our home,
i would. 

that being said,
i decided to post my take
on creating a collage wall.
in our home,
we have three main ones.
i have created two for my mom
and helped a few others with theirs.
i am no expert.
i surely am no interior designer.
i love reading others' tips on home decor
and thought it would be fun to share mine.

like i said,
we have three big collages
in this little home.
we have white walls
and are not allowed to paint.
a collage wall is a great way
to add color and variety to some wall space.

by far my fave collage wall in our home
is the one in our living room.

i collected the frames for this
wall for a long time.
about a year.
i had a vision in my head for what
i wanted it to look like
and honestly thought i'd never find
enough frames to complete the wall.

here are my thoughts and tips:

there really are no rules.
u may have a scheme or theme that you are going for.
there are no rules to this.
it definitely isn't a science.
don't make it one.
for the wall above,
my only thoughts when i started were:
i wanted no recent photos.
(with the exception of the kiddos, 
they are a little too new to have any ole school pics)
i wanted unique, one of a kind, frames.
(i had to break down and buy two from 
pottery barn. i became impatient.)
i had certain people in mind that had
to be included on the wall.

don't be afraid to put ANYTHING on the wall.
don't put yourself in any kind of box.
if you like it,
throw it up there.
i've used flascards, cookie cutters, labels,
drawers, ribbon, clipboards, etc.
don't be afraid to use things with flaws either.
i love flaws.
in one of the walls below,
you will see that i used the paper of writing that
shane read to me at our wedding.
it had been folded and crumpled.
i have also used ripped fabric and flawed photos.
the flaws give it character.
make it yours and only yours.

don't measure.
okay so i know some people feel like they are 
committing a mortal sin if they don't measure.
you're not. i promise.
your husband will thank you.
in my opinion, measuring defeats the whole purpose.
collage walls are supposed to be messy.
that's the beauty of them.
if you measure, it creates 
too much of a uniform look. too perfect.
the only thing i measure is the overall amount of space that i have.
i measure the total length and width of the space i want to fill.
before creating mine,
i measure the same size space on the floor
and lay everything out in that space.
i move things around many times.
when it looks like i want it to,
i hang it all up, and yes, 
eyeball it.
i'm definitely not saying
that everything will be in the right place by eyeballing.
let's just say, there is a big chance we won't get
our deposit back for the apartment
due to the holes in the walls.
just be prepared to move things around.

don't be devastated if something that
you wanted to put up there
just doesn't make it.
trust me, 
this is hard to do.
however, you will not always get all the stuff
that you expect to get on your collages.
it's okay to part with a couple of things.
just be sure your fave items make it.
also, have a few things on standby.
you may need to make unexpected substitutes.

use a variety of sizes and shapes.
when trying to make a true collage,
it's not a good idea to use all one size and shape.
now keep in mind that there are times when
this is the look some are going for.
however, if you want a messy looking collage,
use many size frames and embellishments 
in different shapes.
the different sizes and shapes also
allow you to configure things in ways that 
are cohesive without being uniform.

here is a look at another.

this one is in our hall upstairs.
this is mostly of shane and i.
it contains little memories of us.

using more than one of something/a collection
in a collage is a great idea.
in this one,
i used a few number 2s and letter bs.
numbers and letters are always a good filler too.
when you need something in a little space,
find a meaningful number or letter.
they are totally in right now
and are another great unique touch.

this one is in our bedroom.
our bedroom has no design scheme whatsoever.
it is the catch all in our home.
i just throw whatever in there.
the collage wall is definitely a 
representation of that.
just whatever.

incorporate/hide any outlets or light switches.
i hate and i mean hate
outlets and light switches.
they always seem to get in the way of my vision.
in the collage in our bedroom the outlet is so crooked.
i tried to incorporate it into the wall so that
it wouldn't be so obvious.
not such an eyesore.
in the collage in the hall,
there is a light switch behind that chalkboard.

which brings me to my next tip.

it's okay to make things stick out
or overlap.
i love the look when something overlaps.
the only one that has that look in our home is
the one in the hall. 
the red 2 overlaps a frame, a label,
and the other 2 sign.
all i did was place the nails where they needed to be
and didn't knock them in much.
like i said, the chalkboard is in front of a light switch.
therefore, it had to stick out to make the switch accessible.
i stuck a tack in the frame above it and hung it from the tack.
voila, hidden switch and cool, dimensional look.

mat photos and prints with fabric and paper.
adding colorful and printed fabric and paper
will help to create the lovely mess look.
it also helps to incorporate lots of colors and styles
so that you are able to be more versatile in your other decor.
it's also okay to put multiple photos in one frame.
another thing that adds to the messy look.

the most important thing about these walls is to decide
what you like and what means something to you.
i always try to find unique things to hang.
i hate going into someone else's home and seeing
anything that i also own.
i try to get stuff from thrift and antique stores, flea markets,
garage sales, and, sometimes, the side of the road.
don't get me wrong, there are things on the walls
from target, pottery barn, and hobby lobby.
i just try as much as i can to keep it original.
when shopping, i pick up random little things
and know that i can always throw them on the wall.

don't be afraid to keep it fresh either.
i change things out frequently on our walls.
if you want to change it up, do so.
just keep all your stuff in one place for when you
become restless and need a new look.

don't be afraid to make stuff either.
i made the shadowbox on the one in the hall.
i also made the canvas with the quote on the one in our bedroom.

and lastly,
look at lots of collage walls.
take note of what you like and what you dislike
about the walls that you look at.
it will give you an idea of things to shoot for
and to stay away from.

here are some of my all-time faves.

hope you're inspired now.
your walls will love you for it.

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