Laurel Street Blog

Large or small – let me know what you think!

Posted on: December 6, 2009

There is an expression, “Nature abhors a vacuum.” Well, I abhor 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.

But there’s one more. Walking in the house, if you look to the right parlor (if somebody’s got a better word than parlor, please let me know) I’ve got a big blank wall.

The wall descries its blankitude.

Oops. It looks like the rug is crooked too and the Aglaonema (Chinese Evergreen) under the desk have are probably due for replacement. They’ve been there two years now and are looking a bit leggy.  ANYWAY. Blank wall.

The only thing I purchased in Rome were these little reproduction prints by Charpentier. Really nothing more than mementos that add to my ever-growing collection (ahem, pile) of  “things that need to be framed.”

Mats and ready-made frames are in their future.

And then I have this. A bookshelf of little prints and paintings I’ve collected over my past ten years here in New Orleans. In truth, I love the shelf and its various objects. When we moved in I randomly piled a box of framed miscellany onto its shelves and it has stayed unchanged. It grew on me, somehow.


So I could dismantle the bookcase and re-assemble a gallery wall. We all love this:

It's well-documented in the blogosphere - we all love this.

I’ve certainly got the pieces, but I’m thinking now that the wall could use some OOMPHF (is that how you spell it?). I’ve got a habit of framing lots of small things together. What if I borrowed a page from Lauren’s playbook (in fact, I emailed her a few weeks ago to ask exactly what page of her playbook she used for this amazing oversized print for her wall).

An Albrecht Durer print reproduced at perhaps 20x it's size. Just perfect isn't it? I love the outsized scale! Go Lauren!

So I’m thinking I can do the gallery wall, or I can play with scale as Lauren has so cleverly done on this wall in her dining room. This is one of my favorite images – what if I took it and played it up large?

I love this image. It's from the Rizzoli book "Postmodern" by Paolo Portoghesi. The drawing is by Gerd Neumann: "Study for and imaginary capital, 1980"

Yes, I was nine in 1980. But I was a nine year old postmodernist at heart.

ANYWAY. I’ve spent the balance of my Saturday doing a cost benefit/analysis of various print sizes (and no small amount of Photoshoppery) and framing options and have arrived at an optimal 41″ x 54″ size to fill the blank wall at a very reasonable price with the above image – here’s a schematic (I’ll keep the old Paris map on the table easel as a front layer, most likely):

I know - I overplan a bit, but I want to make sure I'll like it before I spend one or multiple dimes.

I could make this much larger, but my finishing options became non-existant (frame). I think it needs it. Otherwise it could’ve been larger printed on a stretched canvas, unframed. However, my preference is unless it’s an image of an actual oil/acrylic painting, don’t reproduce it on canvas.

UPDATE: Even bigger. If I print it on wall mural fabric and just suggest a frame in the print, I could go even bigger. This may just do the trick:

Even bigger. 56 inches wide. Too big?

So I’m taking votes – gallery wall or something big? Let me know – comments are up top of the post!

17 Responses to "Large or small – let me know what you think!"

And parlor is the correct term when applied to the style of house we live in here in New Orleans.
The scale of our antique rooms is small, and I think when you hang a large over scale piece of art, it makes it the room expand in all ways visual.
Hope to see you over the holidays.
xo xo

I say go Bigger! Make a statement!

We all agree larger however take this a step further and look at the prints column as pretense of a frame to the screen below it. Rather than spacing the print on the wall, space it to appear as a corner of that screen and show us again. The print enlarged becomes the top left corner of the screen, so to speak. The best part of the print remains, while the beholder must take a double dip of a fresh approach.

I’ll be of no help here Nate. I love the idea of the Charpentier prints framed up in crisp black frames with oversized matte boards. Hung in a block of 4 (2 up, 2 down) & that wall would look very elegant. But then I lurve the idea of the oversized Portoghesi print on a stretched canvas. What a statement that would make! It’s very unlike me to be so undecivise, the moons & planets must be misaligned today, sorry!!
Millie ^_^
P.S. Thanks for your gorgeous message re my 400th!

I love both ideas! Gallery walls are amazing and a great way to show your collection. However,I like the idea ofsomething BIG. What if you blow that image up to an insanely large scale-fill the wall -on paper -and then glue it like wallpaper to the wall? Now THAT will have impactand won’t break the bank either!

I’m currently loving oversized artwork. I priced out doing something similar to Lauren’s art and it was more than I wanted to spend, but if you can afford it, it would make a huge statement. I love the piece that you are considering too.

This will be no help, but both would be lovely! I do love Lauren’s, so big may be the way to go. It’d make a nice statement from the door.

Another vote for BIG! I love the idea of something dramatic and overscaled…so much more interesting than the ubiquitous gallery wall.

I recently did a blank wall like this in my office. I think I sort of did a compromise. Maybe it will help you:


Love your blog! I’m going to vote for larger!

Bigger is definitely better!

even bigger

I like seeing it BIG! Both look nice, but going bigger makes a statement.

It sounds as if you might already have several other collections of small things framed together, so I’d vote for big, too. And at least it will be much easier to only have to hang one thing!

I love the even bigger look! I think it would be a great contrast to the smaller collections of things you have in the house. Great print too!

[…] I know, I know. Every single one of you told me to go BIG with the post-modern capital print concept. But I spent all day wrapping presents and had paper and […]

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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!

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The Laurel Street Cottage

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