Saturday, January 3, 2015

Put A Frame On It

I have this new obsession with empty vintage frames. 
A few months ago I was part of the planning process for a work event. I offered to create a Photo Booth so the people attending the meeting could have fun in between sessions taking silly photos of themselves and their co workers. I decided I would use an array of different sized vintage frames and spent the weeks leading up to the event seeking out a set at my favorite thrift shops that worked well together. When the install finally rolled around I suspended them from the ceiling, created a backdrop behind them and used stanchions to square the whole thing off. I set up a table of assorted props that people could wear/use adjacent to the area. It was a huge hit. Everyone loved it, especially my boss and I was all like "I am so #winning". 
I paid for all of the frames out of pocket because, well, I have hoarder like tendencies for vintage and also because I liked the ones I selected way too much and spent way too much energy hunting for them to have to part with them after the event took place. However, since then, they have been sitting in a corner of my hoarding room office collecting dust because I really had no use for them.
Long story short, I have this really great European bread board turned chalkboard that I found at Anthropologie back when we were giving the kitchen it's facelift. I love it hanging on the kitchen wall but it looked so blah. The wall needed something else, but what? I thought about adding a variety of additional bread boards around it but the space is kind of narrow between the wall and the kitchen barstools. Since my husband has a habit of wrecking/breaking things he comes in bodily contact with I ultimately decided that it would be a recipe for disaster. 
Then I thought about adding shelves higher on the wall to either side of the breadboard/chalkboard. High enough where he wouldn't rub against them or knock into them every time he walked by. I bought a set that worked well with the wood tones in the room and the moment I held the first one up next to the breadboard I knew it was not right for the space. So back to the store they went.
I had all but given up hope of making the wall look better when I remembered the vintage frames. There was a large black one that would look perfect around a chalkboard so I excitedly dragged it into the kitchen and slapped it around the breadboard.
But it didn't fit. The opening was too small to fit around it.
Don't you worry...I didn't throw the towel in. I'm no quitter! I could see the potential behind my idea and the next chance I got I was back, stalking the thrift stores for a bigger, black frame. Since thrift stores will always provide exactly what you are looking for, (and sometimes very quickly) it was no surprise that I found the perfect sized frame within a week or two. Right before Christmas I channeled my inner Bob Vila and slapped that sucker up.

I liked it so much that I decided I would keep this little trick in my back pocket.
Remember I still have all those original frames sitting around.

I decided I love having the bar cart in the dining room this holiday season, so I swapped it with my wrought iron conservatory after we took the tree down this week. But now the wall space looks so void around it.
Put a frame on it!

Then suddenly the wall around one of my favorite oil paintings felt big and blank.
Put a frame on it!

I reigned myself in after adding these two, which are both in my dining room. Too much of a good thing is, well, too much of a good thing. And besides, I now only have two small gold, gilded frames left sitting in the corner of the hoarding room office.
My work here is done.


  1. Last week, we had dinner out at a lovely Italian restaurant. The wall next to us was filled with frames. Empty frames. After a while I couldn't help myself and said to my husband: "Are they supposed to be that way, or haven't they found anything to put in them?" Now I know! xxx

    1. There are so many beautiful frames out there, some just as beautiful as the artwork they surround. But a whole wall of empty frames? Now, that's a thought! xo

  2. Your home looks amazing. I'll need to concentrate on mine this year.