Our Hallway Frame Gallery

Today I wanted to share a little project I tackled last year on my quest to rid the house of all the beige. (I’m still on that quest, by the way. I just haven’t gotten much farther.) It’s probably one of my favorite projects though and I’m excited to show it off.

This is the hallway. On one end, the hall closet and Laurel’s room. On the other, Spencer’s room. And sandwiched between the two is the kids’/guest bathroom. As you can see it’s not a really big space at all. It can hardly be classified a hallway, really. But it was screaming to have some life breathed into it.

So, I grabbed a roller and some paint and got to work.

The wall color is Glidden’s Quiet Rain. It was actually a can of oops paint that I snagged half off. Even though it’s hard to tell in the photos, it’s a soft grey-blue.

From the time we bought this house, it was my plan to hang lots of framed family photos in this space. I thrifted and shopped until I had enough frames, and then spray painted them all white. I played around with the layout for a while before I was happy with how it looked. To hang the photos I used a trick I found on pinterest. I dabbed a tiny bit of toothpaste onto the hanger. Then I positioned the frame in the space I wanted it and pushed it against the wall. The toothpaste left a little mark and I just hammered the nails in.

The little ampersand I bought at HobbyLobby and spray painted yellow. I love how the yellow pops off the wall color. The bottom frame I dressed up for Valentine’s Day with some scrapbook paper and a white puffy heart sticker.

Instead of doing only black and white photos, I opted to throw some color ones in the mix. I like the variety.

Even the thermostat got it’s own frame. Instead of sticking out like a sore thumb, it now just blends right in. I added a strip of scrapbook paper to the inside of the frame to give it a bit of added interest.

Here’s another frame I dressed up for Valentine’s Day. I used the same scrapbook paper from the other and added a couple of Christmas ornaments that just happen to have a lovey theme. For this one, I taped the paper to the wall just under the nail, hung the ornaments from the nail and then placed the frame on top. Because the frame is glassless, it gives a nice little 3d element to the wall.

It’s really fun having all of these memories on our walls. Like those bamboo bookmarks. My college roommate brought those back for me from a trip to China. I just used a few pop dots to stick them onto a piece of chipboard.

This is quite possibly my favorite part of the project. It’s a growth chart that I made from some scrap MDF. It’s so fun marking the kids’ heights and getting to see how much they’ve grown. Plus, it’s portable, so if we ever decide to leave this house I won’t have to leave these memories behind. Maybe for tomorrow I’ll write out the step by step so you can make your own.

I love our hallway frame gallery. I still find myself standing in there just looking at all the photos. One day I’ll add another round and fill the space in a bit more, but until then I’m really happy with it.

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The Art of Trading

Last November I started thinking about the upcoming holiday card that I would be designing. I really wanted to have a nice photo of the four of us to send to our friends and family. Plus, I would get a few nice photos of us as a family to put up around the house. So, I asked my good friend, co-worker and awesome photographer, Bill Dabney (www.dabneyphotography.com) if he would help me out.

As it turned out, Bill needed something from me, too. He wanted a new logo design for his photography business. So we struck a deal. I would design a logo for him and he would take photos for me. Win-win.

When I asked Bill what he wanted from a logo this is what he said:
I guess I’m looking for something that’s a step beyond basic, but not so elaborate that it distracts from the image itself. Something that can be used both small on the image and large on a website. It should be catchy, yet professional, and smart.

I love that little bit of direction. Enough to get started and know what way to go, but not so much that I’m limited in creativity. The perfect client.

These are the first round of options I presented to Bill:

The first option I like because it incorporates the letters b, d, and p in a way that is reminiscent of an accordion style antique camera. The second option I chose because it also incorporates the letter b and reminds me of a roll of film. The third option is my favorite. All of the letters are there and their interaction makes an interesting graphic that works with and without the wordmark. The fourth option was my least favorite and a little too predictable.

Bill agreed with me and chose option 3. (yay!)
We worked together on a few revisions to get this final result:

It’s modern, masculine, clean and simple. It is strong enough to stand alone on his website, yet subtle enough to act as a watermark on his photos without distracting from the image.

Once the logo was finalized, Bill repaid me by setting a time for our family photoshoot. I really wanted to have photos of us that weren’t too posey or staged, but more in our natural element. We decided to use our town square and all it’s charm as our setting.

This one, along with the one on our holiday card, was taken just outside of our bookstore. I just love how we’re framed by those rockin’ orange columns and black and white tile.

(See that sucker in Mark’s right hand? You do what you have to do to get the kids to cooperate!)

Bill really did an awesome job capturing each of our personalities. And it wasn’t exactly easy. Spencer kept trying to run away. Laurel just wanted to play. But somehow he managed to give us 37 awesome shots. Here are a few more of my favorites:

I’ve already printed a few to put in frames around the house. It’s so nice to see photos of all 4 of us, especially when I’m usually the one behind the camera! I know we’ll cherish these forever. So I say a huge “THANK YOU” to Bill and his patience.

You can check out the rest of the shoot by clicking through the gallery below: