Dining Room Picture Wall

dining room picture wall using magazine pages - atticmagRe-purposing magazine pages for a dining room picture wall provided me with colorful “art” at no added cost.

Last week, I showed the progress I’d made on the dining room picture wall using  magazine pages. I had been planning this for the wood-paneled wall over the dry sink in my dining room/sunroom. The 8-foot-wide by 5-foot-high space sits between two sets of French doors, one that leads into the living room and the kitchen.

dining room picture wall using magazine pages - atticmagThe quirk is that it only can be seen from when someone is facing away from the view outdoors instead of through one of the 13 windows that overlook the yard and the woods. As a result, the pictures reflect light and even objects in the yard.

dining room picture wall using magazine pages - atticmag Here’s how it looks from the sofa at one end of the room.

dining room picture wall using magazine pages - atticmagAnd here’s how it looks standing just to the left of the dining table.

Because this wall is big, but not a major focal point, a budget solution to filling it seemed appropriate. Because I’d culled full-page magazine photos I liked from the glossies, there was no cost for the “art.” I had discussed the original idea for that in my original Magazine Pages for a Picture Wall post two years ago. At Michaels, I found suitable 11 x 14-inch frames and mats which, due to a BOGO sale, ten frames and mats cost just under $200. One drawback to budget frames can be unreliable quality. In this case, two were defective – the hanging loops pulled out of the paper backing – and had to be returned.

dining room picture wall - plastic filiment hanging loop on the back of a picture frame - atticmagI did spend time fashioning reliable hanging wires from thin plastic filament because the frames didn’t feel sturdy enough to support the use of picture wire. All the loops had to be secured with reinforced packing tape but handling them all gingerly paid off. Another thing I didn’t anticipate was the glare. Inexpensive picture frames have reflective glass. Even with my sun-filtering shades drawn, they reflect the light and the wall was difficult to photograph.

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Gothic garden benches are a special favorite of mine. This one is beautifully framed by an arcade of branches.

Two hundred years ago this would have been an elegant hand-colored print. But the photo is equally arresting.

Topiary gardens are one of my passions. I would dearly love to be able to have something a tenth as modest of this in my own yard. But I'd need a trip to England to learn how to create and maintain greenery like this.

Intense purple knocks me out. I could easily blow this photo up to life size or have it transferred to canvas!

Here's another corner of the garden with the Gothic bench. Whoever planted this completely understands outdoor color.

This is a barn but the domes remind me of an Eastern European church. It may qualify as the perfect outbuilding.

These white flowers will hang right below the white barn. Theme and variation.

In this slideshow (above) you’ll see what I like about the dining room picture wall. The images have a tranquil feeling and they share an outdoor theme that’s appropriate for a room with views of the woods.

Because I showed the method I used for templating the wall in last weeks’ Magazine Picture Wall Progress post, I won’t go into it again. What I will note is that my very careful preparation paid off. Massing ten 8-1/2 by 11-inch images in 11- by 14-inch frames — this creates two rows of five — holds the wall visually. A fewer number of larger images might provide more impact, but this number of pictures works.


The horizontal/vertical grid on each template allowed me to align the pictures fairly easily, and make sure they were level in each direction.

dining room picture wall using magazine pages nearly complete - atticmagWhen time came to hammer the nails into the picture hooks, I simply checked the mid line alignment in each row with a piece of string, making sure it was plumb with each row. Then I measured up from the mid line of each template and marked when each picture hook would sit. A vertical slit with my mat knife from the mark to the top of the template permitted it to be pulled off the wall easily once the hook was hammered into place.

dining room picture wall - using magazine pages in budget frames - atticmagAnd  voilà the picture wall is complete.

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2 Responses to Dining Room Picture Wall

  1. Libby June 27, 2013 at 7:59 pm #

    I love it Jane! You did a beautiful job, both in choice of images and your perfect alignment! I just did a very small wall of family pictures (no, I don’t think I will post the process) but oh the swearing, and sweating I went through! Husband was about to leave for good!!! But we did it, and it looks great.
    Yours is really lovely…as is the entire room!

  2. Jane F @ Atticmag July 1, 2013 at 9:31 am #

    Thanks Libby. It’s a funny wall because it isn’t always seen so not an “investment” wall.

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