If you like it then you shoulda put a frame on it...

We all have our collections of things (C.R.A.P.) that we like and want to "have out." BUT, displaying them totally overwhelms to us.

What? How? 
Where? Really? 
How Much? 
Noo Way!!

As voracious (and sometimes unconscious) collectors of stuff, (i.e. baby's first photos, your grandmothers cross-stitched handkerchief collection, or some beautiful antique botanical prints you've found at Marche' Puce) we want to do something with it!

Here's one the creative way to use what you have, by creating an interesting display!

Pull together collections of one type of item, or multitudes of various things and hang together on a wall in an architectural manner of rows, randomly clustered or in a grid. This looks great, creates an organized look, can add color, texture or architecture to an otherwise boring room.


A wonderful casual and random ensemble of family photos
give this boring room a cozier, fresh look.

This contemporary room below uses a row of brightly colored art to pull your eye away from the busy cluttered loft ceiling.

My old home in Florida displayed a set of French Noblemen that I've used in every house. They offer patina, scale and provide architectural interest to the room. Shown here with other grid patterns of nice antique collections.

This assemblage of photos, mostly 'black and whites' and sepia's look awesome in this stair-hall. Notice the frames are all black, white or silver-leaf.

This child's room below has vintage British comic's framed in simple black frames which adds architecture and order to the room. The room below has a collection of lace displayed smartly in a bedroom, where its appropriate.

Art applied to mirrors is awesome! If you want to put a piece of art on a mirror, Velcro works perfectly. I have a painting over my bed in my own bedroom Velcro'd to the mirrored wall, it looks great. Here are other great examples.

This super-chic living room below uses waterfowl prints framed in simple all natural-colored wood frames to play off of the ceiling and other natural woods in the room.

The style using plates with wall assemblages has come and gone a hundred times; it's a tad passe' now. But, it's also charming and provides a "English Country" look anytime. Here, they're mixed with different elements, quite well too I might add.

Mixing wall assemblages is always good for a good look, whether its textiles, or mirrors, brackets, etc...

Power Grids: These seriously "gridded" walls are major statements!
The upper one of Gene Davis' works on paper are definitely powerful!
And, the wall in the kitchen is made very important by overshadowing the utilitarian look of the space, and brings the "tone" up a bit too.

These grids are softer, yet just as important as they add needed architecture to the rooms. They can be in lieu of a fireplace, etc...

Who says it's gotta be in a grid??? The top assemblage is all over the place with frames and medium. But notice the room has order, the lights and bedside tables are aligned and simple, allowing the art to run free across the wall. If this room had mismatched furniture and those pictures all over the walls it would look like pure hell.

The bottoms photo's frames are all gilt, which is the item that pulls this group all together.

Love it and lean it: A more casual approach, which is not trendy but more casual, is to lean a piece of art (leaning floor mirrors are another thing.. tres passe').


I think framing is one of the most amazingly expensive components to art (and crafts too), its almost unfathomable how it can surpass the cost/worth of the piece which it displays. Good art deserves a good frame, but we're not talking Renoir's for most of you, we're talking baby's first-grade Thanksgiving turkey made with each finger as a tail feather!

Craft stores are an easy and inexpensive resource for doing this wall treatment for a fraction of the cost. The frames shown below are about $8.00 - 15.00 each at Michael's Craft Stores. They would be $80.00 to 1,000./ea. in a nicer frame store!


1. Decide which of your "collections" you want to work with, OR, what type of collection would enhance your space, add interest.

2. Decide where that collection will be hung & measure the wall (from the top of the furniture in front, or the baseboard up to the crown and the absolute outside boundaries).

3. Determine what kind of frame would be best to show off the pieces, not overwhelm them and not intrude on the rooms decor.


Grids; should be multiples of (more-or-less) the same number up and across. If you have one odd piece and the grid wont work, just put the odd piece away, the grid is more important than that framed handkerchief. Grids are almost ALWAYS centered on the wall.

Rows; should be of interesting pieces, hung at eye level horizontally. Vertical ones look best on either side of a window or doorway, not just randomly on any wall. Place each frame 1" to 2" apart, no more.

Random; should have the larger "weightier" ones closer to the center of the ensemble. Determine a maximum and minimum margin between pieces.

I'm a fan of white or black, simple, thin, wood, architectural (plain) frames. The reason you want to determine the frame before you go to Michael's (or similar) is you'll be overwhelmed when you get there with the 100's of choices and then your head will explode (literally, I've seen it happen!)

There are some colors shown below that would be great in a kitchen, nursery, or beach house bedroom. But I'd still stick with white or black in most places as they can more easily, and be matched in the future if it is an ongoing collection (i.e. a family tree, baby's art, summer holiday snaps).


Once you have the artwork figured out, the frames selected and
wall measured. Install the art into the frame, get a measuring device
UTR DECORATING and measure the wall (this device is also at Home Depot). This is hard to line-up but easy with the inexpensive picture hanging tool on the link.

One hours worth of hanging work will produce an amazing finished product!

Here are some very inexpensive selections from Michael's:


I hope your walls come alive with your family's photo's, baby's art, or your collection of letters to Mummy from camp! Use whatever you want to make you smile, think or remember
when you pass by...