Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Patterns on Parade

Good evening chic lovers! I have yet another before and after to show you. A year ago, I came across an article in BHG's Special Interest Publication of Decorating. It was the Summer 2009 issue to be exact. The article was about photo collages using fabrics. I loved the symmetry of the 8x10 matted black and white frames, and I adored the use of fabrics in the background of different sized pictures. I immediately thought, THIS is what my dining room is supposed to be in life. However, due to my life taking over my time, my dining room only found its place here on Earth this past weekend with the help of Mr. Mister, my husband. He took the Type A time and dedication to hang my nine frames in a perfect scale for the room. Here is my how to and where to for this project:

Frames: Pottery Barn Wood Gallery Single Opening Frames in Black $23.00 each

Fabric: the green/gold fabric was left over from my curtains made for the living room, while the red/beige trellis fabric came from Hobby Lobby.

I took wedding and honeymoon pictures and had them printed in various sizes, all in black in white.

As for the how to,
1) I simply cut fabric in 12x12 squares and taped them to the back of the mattes for each frame.
Tips: Make sure you cup the fabric in even, symmetrical squares or it will all look "off" in the frame with the pictures. Also, make sure to pull the fabric taute so there are no wrinkles or slouchiness in the frame.
2) For the pictures, I took double sided tape and literally tape each picture in place- right smack on top of the fabric. The double sided tape helps the pictures sit flush against the fabric on all sides.
3) As for hanging, its a good idea to lay all of the pictures on the floor and arrange them how you want them to be once they are hung. Since we did 3 rows of 3, I had to decide how many inches I wanted in spacing between each picture, horizontally and vertically. I am not by any means a mathmatician so I don't know if we just got there by coincidence or not, but my pictures wound up being hung exactly 24" from nail to nail for each frame.
4) Take note: I am not very happy with how stark the white mattes look in our dining room considering there is no white at all in the room- its all in ivory. So I will be looking for new mattes, which shouldn't be too difficult to change, just extra irritating.

Either way, here is the before and after of a reborn dining room.

This is the dining room before the house was finished being built. The hardwoods were not even stained at this point.

Here is the dining room before I had anything done yet. I bought these beautiful silk, ivory panels from JCPenney right as they were being discontinued. I think they were about $75 a panel. I later added a floral chair in the corners to flank each side of the window. The floral chairs added much needed color to the room. I bought the chairs for $200 each at Pier1. Mr. Mister hated them but as he has watched the room transform, he has stopped talking about them (which necessarily doesn't mean it still doesn't like them). They really look great when pulled up for a dinner, too. Nice and chic. The dining room table and chairs were bought from BrambleNow! thanks to friends with wholesaler benefits. I got the whole set for $1200. Yup. Best part? The mahogany & black together in one piece. It allows much more to happen in the room.

Here are fabric swatches of what I used within the picture frames. All of the colors were pulled from the chairs. Coordinating colors and different fabrics are key to a not-too-matchy design.
What's great about this project is that I could get 2 similar prints out of one fabric- just use both sides.

And here is the finished product. I am so happy with how it turned out. The dining room already has a very high ceiling but the frames exagerate the room to fabulous heights. Notice: the husband-hated floral chair in the corner that I happen to L.O.V.E. There is a different fabric on it's backside. It is mucho buenita.

I did 3 8x10 pictures with no fabric, 2 4x6 pictures in the green/brown stripe, 1 5x7 in the green/brown stripe, 1 5x7 in the beige w/ red trellis fabric, and 1 5x7 and 1 4x6 in the same trellis fabric, just using the alternate side.

The room was very dull in color before, but is now vibrant and warm.

Now if I could just learn how to cook something edible enough to serve in this fine dining space...