Monday, February 6, 2012

CHEAP TIPS FOR A SAFE LANDING

I'm at the tail end of a staging project this month and as we come in for final approach, I'm well aware of the tight budget and long list of finishing touches that remain before I bring this one in for a safe landing.  If you've renovated your house or decorated a room in it, you know that the little details can send a budget into outer space.  When it comes to staging a house, typically the budgets are as tiny as a bag of airline peanuts, so creative, inexpensive ideas are key.  This sixties house in upstate New York has a long, cavernous almost runway-like hallway with white walls and blond wood floors, so to warm it up a bit and add visual interest to the walls I decided to add a little artwork. With the help of my co-pilot (notice her paw in the lower right-hand/paw corner of this photo) I managed to navigate the turbulent shelves of the local Barnes & Noble bookstore, where I found interesting art books for 75% off (a great way to find beautiful prints at huge discounts), then popped over to the Christmas Tree Store where I found silver 11x14 frames on sale for $1.99 (Michael's Arts and Crafts stores also sell frames for under $2).  While I normally wouldn't chop a book into pieces, I knew sacrificing this one would pay off in the end.  For less than $30 I turned a stark, bright hall into a warm, inviting runway!
QUICK TIP: If you've looked at the pages of design magazines and wondered how they achieved a perfect line when hanging several frames on one wall, here's the trick:  First, I place my frames on the floor in the order I want on the wall.  In this project I hung ten frames in a row, so I placed them all on the floor with four inches between each.  Then, I measure the distance from the first frame to the last and determine where the first and last frames will go on the wall, and place nails accordingly (by measuring from the floor up to nail placement).  Once I've put the nails in place for the first and last frame, I take a piece of string and tie it tight between the two nails. The string acts as a guide for placing the remaining eight frames (note, because I have 11x14 frames spread 4" apart, I work my way down the string with my tape measure and pencil, placing a mark everywhere a nail needs to go).