What to do with that empty space?

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Before I get my hands on it...

Before I get my hands on it…

Before I get my hands on it...

Before I get my hands on it…

Are your walls still the bare white you moved in with or have you done something more? Some people buy prints with the intention to hang them and never do (like a certain best friend of mine) whereas other people (like me) can’t relax until there are some personal touches throughout the home! All through my 20s and 30s I have lived in a variety of different places from my parent’s back split in Canada to a shoebox like bachelor in South Korea. No matter where I live or how long I live there I have to decorate! It makes your time in that space so much more cozy and comfortable; whether it be with a coat of paint on the walls or something as simple as draping a sarong over a table to add some colour to the room! Whatever your style, a little goes a long way in my books!

Simple, but oh so much more comfy!!!

Simple, but oh so much more comfy!!!

Fresh off the plane from our time overseas we have temporarily moved in with my parents and are now living a Mike and Molly-esque existence with my mom, dad, brother, and the two of us under one roof! It’s definitely a temper testing situation, but so far we are all still here!! My family has lived in this house since 1984 and over the past few years my mom has been working hard to update her surroundings! It has been a bit of a struggle because my father doesn’t like change, but she is slowly making him come around!

I arrived home just in time to help my mom with her latest decorating dilemma! She wanted to give the downstairs fireplace a new look, but of course wasn’t able to paint it or anything drastic as we must do baby steps to ensure my father will not freak!! She de-cluttered the mantle and added some candle accents for extra light, but couldn’t figure out what to do with the big empty space in the middle! Much like a blank wall it was hard for her to picture what would fit there.

The big blank space

The big blank space

I had an idea! A friend of hers recently had windows replaced throughout her house and the old windows were just wasting away in her garage. I decided to head over and look through them to see if anything was salvageable! To my surprise there were many usable window panes with a lot of character and I had a feeling they would work perfectly on our blank space!

Recycle those old windows!

Recycle those old windows!

My mom decided to paint the wood black as she felt it would stand out more on the lighter coloured fireplace!

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Throughout the Christmas holidays we hung a wreath from a hook to give it a festive appeal.

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My mom went away for a night in January and we decided to change the window frame somehow. I suggested hanging some pictures from the hook. She loved the idea and left for the night with the request that the pictures be from places she has visited and in black and white.

I had a few ideas to test out!

A frame within a frame

A frame within a frame

I did like the look of this attempt, but I would have to replace the picture as Imperial Door was taken in Beijing and she hasn’t been there yet! I also feel like the frame and the picture would need to be a bit bigger in order to fill more of the window frame.

I decided to use each section of the window as a frame. They are about the size of an 8×10 so I went with 5×7 photos to centre in the frame and have the brick of the fireplace show through. I combed through all of my photos from the trip to Europe my mom and I went on which included France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany. She visited us in South Korea and has been to Costa Rica as well as Cuba, so I looked through those albums as well!

Some of the runner-ups!

Some of the runner-ups!

I settled on 6 different pictures and had Graham resize them in Photoshop as it makes it easier to develop in a lab and there will be no unauthorized cropping. I tried a few different arrangements:

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But we liked this way the best:

Graham and my brother helped me decide!

Graham and my brother helped me decide!

Did I stop there? No! What do you think is missing? I knew it needed something extra and after brainstorming with the boys we decided on this:

The final product

The final product

A mat makes everything look better! Adding the white border around the picture accents the print in the frame and makes it stand out against the brick background! This way the photographs become the focal point of the piece changing from a window pane to a beautiful work of art!

A mat completes the look!

A mat completes the look!

You can definitely do something like this in your home as a weekend project! If none of your friends have replaced their windows recently then simply head down to the local thrift shop or antique store and see what you can find! I have found many shapes and sizes of old windows there! It’s easy, fun, and can be changed as many or as little times as you’d like! If you’d like my help, just email me and I’d be happy to assist!



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