Monday, January 23, 2012

Living Room Update: Artwork Over The Sofa

Hey D,

Hope you had a great weekend. Go Pats! I mean, someone told me they won!

Ok, so it's time for Living Room Update #2,768. This one, shockingly, does not involve a single thrift store!

So, as I've mentioned before, we wanted to hang something over the sofa.  It is pushed up against this very long wall that is totally intimidating. The first idea was to do a gallery wall, since we've had that above our sofas in the past and loved it.  But since the wall is so big and the ceilings are so tall (not complaining!), I thought that the little collected look of a gallery wall might feel kinda underwhelming. 

So we thought the look of something BIG would be better and came up with the idea of three big vertical prints. Here was one of our photos of inspiration in terms of size/concept:


Since the overall idea for our apartment is all about being calm but not boring, we moved on to the idea of clouds (our inspiration here) and even took some pictures of clouds in Florida to use. Nick had the brilliant idea to photoshop empty frames into a photo of the room to see how they would look. Once we got into photoshop and started playing around with different prints, we realized we could use a little more color in the room. Here are some of those files:

Nick is into repetitious design lately, so he actually came up with our final choice.  Check it out:

For all three prints, we used a photograph of a sunset that Nick took at my brother's wedding.  The photo on the far left is the original, and for the other two Nick altered the exposure in Photoshop.  What's cool to us is that there is a gradient vertically on each photograph, but also a gradient across all three.

The other thing that's cool to us is that this project was cheap! We love large scale stuff on the walls in here and that can get pricey fast. Try an etsy search of extra large prints and you'll see what I mean!  Here is the breakdown of cost and our sources:
  • Ribba Frames from IKEA: $24.99 each x 3 = $74.97
  • Prints from $39.00 (10% off deal that Nick got online) x 3 (and free shipping!) = $117.00

Total: $191.97

I wish the Ribba frames had less glare, but overall we are really happy with the result. It seems to round things out in the room. 

So here is my updated list, it feels really good to be almost (though never really) "done"!

  • Purchase bookshelf for next to the "Eames" Lounger (something low and not too big...). UPDATE: We got one and we'll let you know more about it soon!
  • Hang art around the desk area.
  • Hang art over the couch (we're thinking huge Ribba frames framing blown up photography, like this). We've got some great shots for this from our Florida trip!
  • Purchase rug for under the "Eames" lounger (I gotta figure out proportion on this one, but overall  thinking patterned, like this) .
  • Plants. The room is beggin' for them. I need help, though! How do I keep house plants alive?!
  • Curtains. I just ordered these. Now that my friend, is a good deal on curtains. Still working on the curtain rod, though.
  • Blinds. I want to switch out those lovely apartment standards for something warmer and more polished.
  • Artwork hung on either side of window (at least). I need the aforementioned curtains hung first to see what kind of wall space I'm workin' with.
  • Purchase a new coffee table (we reeeeally don't like the clunky chunky trunk anymore, but aren't sure what's next).
  • Purchase small end table next to the couch.  If we have end tables on either side of the couch, maybe we don't need a coffee table at all!*Decided to veto this -- furniture overload.

PS: Check out my Living Room Updates throughout the past year here, here and here.


  1. I really love the finished product! I think that we are going to copy-cat you and blow up some of our Nepal photos to poster size, but here is where I struggle: I don't want our photos to look like IKEA posters, I want them to look like artwork (as yours do!). I think that aiming for a theme, whether subject or color, is a good way to go, but it's hard to know where to start. Also, I know that creative cropping can make images look more artistic. But again, I don't know where to start. Do you and Nick have any tips?

  2. Hi Claudine! Thank you so much. It feels great to have it done. I think its a wonderful idea to frame some of your photography--I really admire your skills. Do you have photoshop or another photo editing software? I would really recommend taking a picture of the space and then playing around. I was shocked to find what I thought would look great (I wanted photos we'd taken in central park) just didnt look right when we played around with them in Photoshop. I think you are right to stick with a theme -- Nick had to sell me on the repetitious look, but I'm glad he did in the end. I think that cropping in to capture details is a great idea. To avoid the "stock photography" look though, I would make sure the cropping still captures the essence of the location vs. just a random flower (especially since your location is so incredible). Hope this helps! Keep me posted!

  3. How many pixels were your photos? I'm not sure if my photos are big enough to print poster sized...but I just love what you have done and I have been wanting to do something similar over my couch but can't bring myself to spend the $500 for a framed photo.

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