Hanging Gallery

31 Aug

I am writing about this project just after finishing which might not be the best idea considering I was cursing under my breath most of the time and getting generally frustrated and cranky with anyone who came down the hallway. I honestly thought this would be easy. A good project to blow through on a Sunday morning, right? Just hanging a few family photos, right?

Wrong. My standard way of creating a photo gallery in a hallway or stairwell wall is random at best. I like to think of it as charming chaos. When removing those photos during the move, there were multiple nail holes behind some of them, evidence of my haphazard ‘eyeballing’ it. But hey, they were behind the photos and no one saw them. No harm, no foul, right?

But this time, like all the other projects I am tackling, I wanted to do it right. Correctly. Perfectly. That was my first mistake. I saw my inspiration on Pinterest and added to my Hallways board. Little did I know then I repined it that it was from Martha Stewart Living. That should have been my first clue. Nothing Martha does is really simple and I am so not Martha-esque. But the horizontal line felt so different and modern than the random gallery I was hooked on the idea of doing this in the hallway.

Seemed easy enough. Run some painters tape down the middle of the wall and hang the photos above and below it. I was off to a good start. I even measured! (55 inches from the floor was a good height. For me. Maybe I should ask someone tall.) My mother-in-law, the wonderful Ida, had bought a picture hanger for me that guaranteed the perfect placement every time.  With all this planning and wonderful tools, what could go wrong? I was sure to blow through this baby before heading to the beach.

The problems started with the picture hanger, which I admit works perfectly if you have photos that are hung by a wire on the back. It puts a little dent in the wall. You hammer the nail there and voila! Needless to say, I had two of those kinds of frames. The rest of my multitude of photos have that little triangle hanger thingy (technical term) on the back that make one go blind trying to guide toward the nail. Hmmm. This did not work for them at all.

I didn’t want to play my guess-and-nail game, so I came up with a similar approach to the hanger. I bent the triangle hanger thingy out and pushed it into the wall to create my own little indentation. Then I put the nail higher than that dent by about as much as the triangle was tall. This worked. Sort of. I would say that 10-20% of the photos on the wall still have more than one (don’t need to be specific here) nail hole behind them. But again, see no evil.

In general, I am very happy with the end result. The horizontal line is relatively straight and the various depths of the frames make it difficult to notice where it isn’t. And the best part, seeing all the photos of my family that I love on the wall every time I walk down the hallway. Check out these two mid-century charmers of my grandfather (in the middle) with his brothers and Brett’s parent’s wedding photo. Groovy, huh?

The last thing the hallway needs to be complete are those carpet tiles I am still dreaming about from Ecohaus. May have to just take the plunge on that one.


5 Responses to “Hanging Gallery”

  1. Trish August 31, 2011 at 9:49 am #

    You are BRAVE. Even the thought of hanging pictures is enough to make one shake in their boots. This is one of the reasons why most of our framed photos/pictures are still in storage . However, this bit of inspiration on your blog might motivate me!

    • Brandy August 31, 2011 at 9:59 am #

      It was our way of saying we are here to stay!

  2. Andy August 31, 2011 at 7:54 am #

    Nice work… man, do I ever hate hanging pictures. It can be so frustrating! Good on you for seeing it through to such a nice finish!

    • Brandy August 31, 2011 at 8:13 am #

      Thanks. It is unbelievably frustrating. Probably more for you than for me…I’m not that exact. 😉


  1. Welcome Mid-Century Modern Love | Surrounded By Water: A Mercer Island Blog - September 22, 2011

    […] out her blog for anything from thoughts on creating a hanging gallery to a weekend show and tell that reads like you’re browsing in an upscale and offbeat thrift […]

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