Friday, October 15, 2010

Good-to-Know (GTK) - Organized Chaos: Wall Frame Collage

Here is a fun GTK for every home. This project works really well for a large blank wall that you may want to hang some photographs, but know that it will take more than one photo frame to cover the wall. There is nothing more disturbing than a large blank wall that has only one small item hung on it, or even a couple tiny random items placed not in relationship to one another. In my living room, I have a large blank wall behind one of the couches. This is the only wall that doesn't have an architectural feature on it, like a set of windows, fireplace, or french doors. This makes it the perfect opportunity to make a wall frame collage.

This is what I call Organized Chaos. One might think, at a first glance, that the arrangement of these photos are random, but really they are well thought out and the placement is calculated making the visual of this collage very appealing.

Here is the wall photo collage finished.
First Good-to-Know:
Within this collage are several horizontal and vertical alignments that make this collage work and also makes the eye read the arrangement in an interesting way. The great thing about this collage is that all of the frames come from different times in life, different places, have different sizes, and have different finishes. They have one thing in common: they are all going on the wall together! And this is what makes the chaos organized.
To begin: make a practice arrangement on the floor in front of the proposed wall. This is where you can try out sizes, shapes, and alignments. In the photo below you can see that the blue line shows the centering of the arrangement on the couch and on the wall. This makes the arrangements the centerpiece of the wall and really brings it to life.
Next: the white lines represent the vertical alignments of the photos and the black lines represents the horizontal alignments. By doing this, you make sense of the different sizes, shapes, and colors and really make the arrangement cohesive.

This photo shows the blue centering lines with white vertical and black horizontal lines.
Second GTK:
As you are pretty happy with the arrangement that you have pre-arranged on the floor below the selected wall, take one last look at the composition (and maybe take a picture of it to remember what goes where). In the photo below you will notice an oval shape over the wall arrangement. This oval represents the organization of the arrangement that your eye follows as it sees the outer-edges of all of the frames and it begins to make a circular motion. This seemingly simple configuration makes a great focal wall without competing with the other prominent architectural features of the room.

This photo shows the oval superimposed over the collage making this a true focal wall.                             


  1. Very informative. You make it sound so doable. Thanks for the encouragement. I have many pics of my grandaughters. Maybe I will get on with arranging them.
    Nancy Heise

  2. thanks so much. there are alot of explanations on how to do this. i found yours most informative.

  3. would you mind sharing the sizes of the frames you have used! I love this arrangement but I am not the best home decorater and I dont even know where to begin with what frames to get!

  4. Thank you so much for this!! I want to do this on a big wall that we have BUT i needed it to still look organized!! Thanks for sharing.

  5. Wow. This is great. I been looking to do exactly this. I'm getting my painter's tape out and going to get "organizing" on my wall immediately! Thanks!

  6. Would you mind sharing the dimensions of the frames posted in your pix? Thanks alot!