Laurel Street Blog

Ready-Made Frames For Custom-Tailored Art

Posted on: March 6, 2009

I’ve been plagued by a very visible trouble spot since we moved into the house in 2006: The dining room wall. It’s the very first thing you see when you walk in the front door:

It's the first thing you see when you walk in the house...

The ubiquitous 'before shot' - taken right after the move-in in 2006.

I’ve hung all kinds of things in this spot. The mirror was the largest thing I owned, at the time this photo was taken. Basically,  I was using it as ‘filler’ until I found what I thought I was missing: the “perfect” painting on a big scale.

Louis - The book chewer upper

Louis - The book chewer upper

I’ve been annoyed by this wall for two years – I have not yet found that perfect painting. I’ve changed a lot in the dining room in the meantime: I wired in wall sconces, eliminated the busy Persian number on the floor, switched out the furniture and last Saturday even got around to hanging a knockout ceiling medallion and covered the chandelier chain with pretty fabric.

So I was going through some boxes that still had not been sorted from the move a few weeks ago and I came across a stack of  books with chewed up bindings and covers that Louis (Louie) the Boxer had immolated  shortly after he came to live with us. They were three books of German, Italian, and French drawings – I had been just plain sick over their destruction at the time. But they gave my problem wall a solution!

The pictures!

The pictures!

I pulled out nine of my favorite drawings from the books, sized up the space and realized that 9 ready-made 11×14″ frames would do the trick. I found them online and they were very inexpensive. I took my pictures to a high-quality frame shop, Angles Custom Frames on Magazine street, and had mattes cut from museum board (not matte board) and the images mounted. The framers help pick out the perfect shade of off-white to complement the old paper from the books (we looked at probably 40 different whites).

So all framed up, I did a little math for the spacing, pulled out my trusty laser lever and hammer and DONE. My wall is not such a problem any more!

So today, for Julia at, I’m hooked on using ready-mades frames for custom-tailored art.

18 Responses to "Ready-Made Frames For Custom-Tailored Art"

I love it! Great choice for that wall. Gotta love cheap art too!

That looks beautiful, what a great thought you had!
I LOVE Louie the Boxer, we have Archie the Boxer, he doesn’t chew on books, he just slobbers on EVERYTHING! ;)

Looks fab!!! And I’m not just saying that because I did the same thing on a wall in our hallway!! :-)

It’s great that you were able to give your chewed books a new lease on life. And now that the pictures from the books are framed and on your wall, you’re able to enjoy them a lot more because you see every time you walk by your dining room :-)

If you have other problem walls in your house…. try wallpaper!! Don’t be afraid!!!! You can do it!!!! :-)

Kelly @ DesignTies

Love your framed art! Very pretty. And I like that you used what you had! (Thanks to your “muse,” your cute little boxer.) Like the color of the walls, too. Cheers, -susan

WOW!! I love it!! It looks very nice! Good job making something from your dog’s goof up!!

I love your pictures. And your room is really nice. I love the color of the walls.

Brilliant! What a creative solution. I’ve got the same dilemma with a giant bare wall in my dining room right now. Too bad I don’t have any cool books with drawings in them–or a dog to chew them up for me. ;-)

Thanks for joining my party. Loved this post! -Julia

I totally did the same thing with botanicals in my bedroom. So elegant and pretty! Can I come live there???

It looks fabulous! Great job.

What a beautiful blog. So much decorating inspiration…so many truly inspirational and great ideas…drooling over your style!


Oh Boy…I am loving this room! Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous!!!

Beautiful! I love that you used real art (prints) for the art. I’m not a fan of using something sort of generic, as if the frames are the main point.

But your frames and mattes are a great complement to the book pages.

And the color of the room is perfect!

I’ve always loved the look of a grid of identically framed artwork used in place of one large piece. It looks fantastic.

Yes, the last one sceams headboard!


[…] one of the images from (that the site where I got all of my inexpensive ready made frames for the dining room). I like their site because I can upload my images and visualize them in the frames. Take a look at […]

This room looks fabulous! Love the frames and really love the color. Do you mind tell what color it is? Thanks so much for showing you amazing home!

Hi Alexis – Thanks so much! The dining room color is from Martha Stewart’s paint line. It’s called Pickled Okra! Funny name -it’s doesn’t look anything like Okra!

[…] Comment! There is an expression, “Nature abhors a vacuum.” Well, Nathan abhors blank walls. Really, after a move, I don’t sleep well until pictures are hung. You all may remember how I futzed over finding ‘just the right thing’ for our dining room wall, the first thing one sees upon entering the house, well I fixed its little red wagon eventually. […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Laurel Street Blog

Nate and Louis

Well, hey there. I'm Nathan and this is the Laurel Street Blog. It's a place for talking about design, decor and DIY (with small amounts of snarkery snuck in). I'm a pretty restless guy who loves house projects and lives in a 150+ year old cottage on Laurel Street in New Orleans. Since the house always has something going on with it (or falling off of it) I'm subsequently blessed with a never-ending supply of Web content to share. Oh - and you can drop me a line anytime Enjoy!

Can I get a tweet up in here? Follow along @LaurelStreet

The Laurel Street Cottage

March 2009
« Feb   Apr »
%d bloggers like this: