I'm doing a series about the current state of my living room. Next, I'll walk you through the plan and what I'm going to do to update it, revamp it and give it some finishing touches. Here's the first look at my space.
I've been collecting pieces of art for years, but it wasn't until a couple of years back that I was ready to frame it and get it up on the wall. I've collected pieces from local artists, pieces from my travels and I am really lucky to have some amazingly talented friends who have gifted me art.
Framing can be expensive, but it is well worth the price. While I would love to have them all professionally framed my pocket book simply couldn't bear the price and so I picked only a few pieces to get properly framed. For the rest, I purchased some frames from Target. The trick to make it look cohesive is to get mats for all your frames. There are some online options or go to your local framer.
Every piece of art tells a story and captures a memory for me. On the top left is an 'O' that was part of an electric sign in Belgium. I purchased this at a girl's weekend while in New Buffalo, Michigan for $40. New Buffalo has some seriously great antique shops. It's definitely worth the trip.
To the right of that is a postcard that I purchased in Cairo of a felucca, which are the sail boats on the Nile. Their design has not changed in forever and I was lucky enough to get to sail one and steer it when I was in Cairo. The postcard itself probably cost a dollar, but the mat and the frame were about $30.
1) This large print is a photograph done by my amazing friend Cora. Seriously, check out her photography. While I adore the photo of the sails, it is actually standing in for a photograph that I anticipate getting from Cora when I visit her in Lesotho. That is another Target frame, which I had a mat made for. It cost about $50.
2) When I visited Granville Island in Vancouver in 2012 I bought a postcard of a photograph an artist took of the sailboats in the bay. The post card was $10 and the frame and mat cost $30. I can still smell the sea.
3) The large black frame was purchased from Room and Board around 2005 for around $65. They have the same frames still and they are actually made out of steel. It holds another Quang Hong limited edition print that was $50 and was purchased in 2003. It was one of the very first pieces of art that I purchased.
At the top is a picture of the Chicago Cultural Center done by my friend Ingrid who is a fabulous photographer. She also knows how much I love reading so this photo really speaks to me. This was another Target frame and mat. The matting for this one was a bit pricier and so it cost (with the frame) $50.
At the bottom is a wee print of the brewery in Bruge. I did a study abroad trip in Belgium in 2009 and my friend Jenn and I visited Bruge. The photo was taken by me with my Ilford camera. The photo itself cost $15 (developing and printing) and the framing cost around $100. It has a double mat, which added to the expense even though the print was small.
The top is another photograph by my friend Ingrid. It is of the Trump tower in Chicago. She caught the sun between the buildings and it is simply gorgeous. This is another inexpensive frame and matting for about $50.
Below that is a light with an edison bulb purchased at a little shop in Chicago that has gone out of business. Including the edison bulb it cost $85. I usually use it as mood lighting because it has such a lovely glow.
The very bottom left piece has a bit of a story. When I visited Paris in 2010 I took a couple of rolls of film with my vintage Ilford camera. Unfortunately, when my belongings were shipped back from Iraq (I had been living there) those rolls of film were lost. To this day that still breaks my heart a bit. I stayed at a hotel close to Les Place des Vosges and so I turned to Etsy to find a print. I found Marc Loret and loved his work. The print cost $37 and I had this one professionally framed. I can't remember the exact cost for framing (I had a bunch done at the same time) but it was probably around $150.
In the next couple of weeks I'll be posting a tutorial on how to hang art and a gallery wall.
Originally published 7/7/14