With the the home tour over and done, I received some incredible feedback about the house. And I am happy to report that my efforts helped raise thousands of dollars for my neighborhood.
Let’s all agree: most of our homes are a work in progress, sort of two steps forward, one step back. I took a couple of huge leaps forward, only to find some odd occurrences happening, like my lovely sconces in my family room that no longer have ANY electricity. I reckon’ it’s the home tour Voodoo giving me one last dose of PANIC.
Most of the docents on the tour mentioned to me that my wall of family pictures was THE absolute hit! One even noted many visitors were surreptitiously snapping pictures with their cell phones from under their raincoats. Well, I’m not one to hoard a guarded family recipe or keep a great vacation spot to myself, so I am not about to keep my shelves a secret from you, our loyal StyleBlueprint readers!
First, let me start by telling you I am a HUGE fan of a wall of shame as I endearingly refer to my wall of family photos; BUT I cannot tolerate the endless adjustments they require to keep everybody’s mugshot straight. If you have tons of photos, like I do, you need professional help to hang them. It’s a rubrics cube of sorts and most of us just can’t figure it out.
So, when my friend Linda said I should pop by the Hutton Hotel (note gorgeous shelves in the website) to see how their display of original LOCAL art and photos was arranged, and perhaps borrow this idea for my own photo gallery, I couldn’t resist. I had amassed about 50 photos all stored in boxes and window seats, so much so, my children began asking what their deceased grandparents looked like. It was time to act.
My first call was to Dean Dixon a wonderful commercial photographer in town who out of the goodness of his heart photographed our children as a favor. My question to him was where can one get reproductions done of old photos inexpensively? Pronto! The answer: ProPhoto on 8th Avenue charges about $8 a photo, unequivocally the best price I have found in Nashville.
Next, I needed many of the photos framed. I can occasionally find old frames at the flea market, but for great prices on custom frames, I found an fabulous source in Mary Beth Wilson. She works out of her home and to give you some perspective, her prices are about HALF the price of Michaels. Selecting random frames in wood, gold and other metallic colors makes for an interesting wall and color palette. Black can be too severe when mixed in with other colors, however, if you love the contemporary look of black, consider only black frames.
There are two options when it comes to the wall of family photographs: hanging them on the wall ever-so artistically or creating shelves on which to arrange them-ever-so artistically.
Option 1. There is guy in town, Tom Borrelli , who is known to be the best at hanging art and especially multiple photographs. Tom stays incredibly busy so if you want to have these up by Christmas, you may want to get on his wait list. Here is a photo of his work-simply stunning
Option 2. Create shelves as I did which gives you the option of moving your photos easily or switching them out-if you fall out of grace with Aunt Jane, simply TAKE HER OFF THE WALL. So there Aunt Jane! When she gets her act together, put her back up.
I must give credit where credit is due because Mike Jordan at the Home Depot in 100 oaks completely drew the shelf design for me. His vision was so simple and easy to create-masterful!
The actual shelves were built Bob Holton an incredible craftsman and engineer. Bob should be a permanent entry in your Rolodex or Blackberry because he totally understands what the customer wants and creates it on time and on budget. My shelves were made to fit a 12-foot wall and the installation was so simple I could have done it (but of course, I didn’t). The shelves, at about $200 were worth every penny. My husband and I painted the shelves the trim color in my house. After my painting shift, I had paint in my hair and all over the garage. Some things never change.
With Christmas right around the corner, what could be better way to immortalize your family, both living and deceased, than to create your very own wall of shame, nostalgia, sentimentality and a dose of humor.
This is a project worth its weight in gold.
Other resources to note:
Mary Beth Wilson (frames): 292-7726
Tom Borrelli (art installation) [email protected]
Bob Holton (carpenter, designer) [email protected]