Sunday, July 19, 2009

How to hang pictures

So you have gathered all your family photos and decided to hang them together on that long hall wall.  10 pictures; hopefully only 10 holes in the wall. Chances are really good there will be more than 10 holes. Hopefully the pictures  will be straight. Hopefully they will look like some thought went into the placement.  Hopefully  they will be spaced evenly.  Here is how to do it with no extra holes and no crooked pictures. I promise. These instructions don’t address the issues of arranging the photos, I’ll  talk about that in the next column, but if you just trust yourself chances are you will get a good arrangement anyway.

First, measure the space of the wall onto which the pictures will be hung and make a piece of paper this size.  Lay it on the floor.   

Number each picture in your grouping.

Lay the pictures on the paper, move them around until you have found an arrangement that appeals to you. 

Once you have the pictures well placed, draw around each picture with a marker.

Remove each picture and write the number of the picture on its place on the paper.

Hang the paper on the wall  - just tape it up. Make sure it is straight on the wall. 

Now you need to make a picture hanging tool.  You need a piece of 1x2  board about 24” long.  Into one end of the 1x2, in the center of the 2” side  about 4” down from the top ,  insert a long  drywall screw so that it goes through and sticks out  the other side at least 1/2”.  Basically what you have is a stick with a screw through the wood, the head of the screw sticking out one side about 1/2-1”,  going through the board and sticking out the other side 1/2”. 

Pick up one of your pictures, hook the hanging wire onto the head end of the screw.  Holding the whole thing like a sign in your left hand, position the picture over it’s particular spot on the wall diagram and gently push on the very top of the 1 x 2 with your right hand. The screw will  poke into the wall, indicating exactly where the hook or nail for the picture should be. 

 Put the nails or picture hanging hooks into the wall  at each screw ‘poke’ - right through the paper. Rip the paper off enough to mark the wall with the picture number. Do this with all the pictures, take off the paper and hang your pictures.   Done. 

This is a picture of my picture hanging tool, from the side, the top and with a side view of a picture hanging on it, ready to mark the wall with the exact position of the picture hanging hook or nail..

Friday, July 3, 2009

Permission To Do Nothing.

I got a call  the other day from a lady I initially talked to about 2 years ago when she had just moved into her new home and needed some window coverings. I went to see her, did some designs on a photograph of her window, found some great fabric and after several visits we decided she wasn’t ready to make up her mind. Two years later she tells me she still can’t decide what she wants on the windows but thinks she should do something and so I asked her, again, why she thought she had to put anything on the windows at all. Privacy is not an issue.  She told me she frequently sees really nice drapes in other homes and keeps thinking she should put something on her windows. Key word here  is ‘should’. It’s not what she wants to do, it’s what she thinks she should do. 

I went to install some drapes last week and the homeowners new dining room set had been delivered. Beautiful  dark wood table with a lovely lighter wood top, chairs to match.  She told me she was going to have to find chair pads but didn’t know what to look for.  I asked her why she thought she needed chair pads. (This is a grandchildren friendly home and I know chair pads can be crumb magnets... ) She said she didn’t know, just thought she should have them.  I pointed out that chair pads slip around, the ties rarely stay secure , she would be covering up the beautiful wood and  the chairs are comfortable without chair pads. As she was thinking about all of this I told her she had permission NOT to put  on chair pads.  I saw a light go on for her. 

Just because you have a window does not mean you have to cover it. Just because the dress is on sale doesn’t mean you have to buy it. Just because your neighbor has drapes on every window and each room is  totally coordinated doesn’t mean your house has to be that way.  Your home is individual to you and your needs. What anyone else thinks really doesn’t matter - you are the one who has to live with it. If it is not comfortable for you, it’s wrong. Just that simple.  So please, stop listening to the mavins on TV telling you what colors are  ‘in’ and what is a ‘must’ for this season’s well dressed home. Don’t let the cable guy  tell you where your TV should go. I know you all  appreciate your well-meaning relatives and friends but  just remember:  it is YOUR home. 

You have permission to do nothing.