As you know Brian works out of a separate guest/office suite downstairs. It has previously doubled as a storage room for leftover EVERYTHING which makes him surprisingly less bummed than I would be. So we are slowly making it a proper place for him to work out of.
A year ago we emptied out this room and handed it over to him but half of the space still needed to function as a working guest room as we do have his parents come into town every so often for visits. This is how it looked once we divided the spaces and cleaned it out.
I wanted the design to be more traditional/dude than the rest of the house so we had the desk custom built, the walls lime-washed and then it sat in that state for months, as it wasn’t at the top of the priority list.
So when Framebridge reached out and were interested in a sponsored post I figured it was the perfect excuse to infuse the space with some personality and art by custom framing some of my pieces through their services and finally finish it up for him. For those of you not familiar with Framebridge, you should be, we love them and have used them ALL THE TIME in projects where we want fast, affordable and pretty frames that are custom sizes. Ginny framed a lot of her art with Framebridge, Brady framed his two huge living room pieces with Framebridge, and I have art scattered all throughout my house that they have framed. In short they are an online company that custom frames basically anything to your specifications with their huge selection of over 40 styles – which is a game changer as custom framing up to this point has been expensive and intimidating, and these guys have so many good options at a much more affordable price point.
So, lets get into what we did down there to turn the space from neglected to perfected. The desk space really is a working desk space for Brian every single day so we wanted to keep it pretty clear of too much that he didn’t really need access to every single day, but I still wanted it to be interesting and engaging so that when we did have guests over they didn’t feel like they were sharing a space with an empty and uninspiring office area. We had a HUGE wall above the desk that sat empty for way too long as I debated what I wanted to do with it. I offered a bulletin, white or magnet board and he said ‘meh’ to any of them. As a reminder this is what it used to look like:
I had toyed around with the idea of a large gallery wall but that felt too predictable and could look busy, and I also thought of possibly putting one large piece of art there, but that could end up being too expensive and wasn’t the best place for large scale art what with the two library lights we had installed in the space, so then I realized that this was the perfect space for some art ledges. The reason being it would allow Brian/Me to display art, accessories, books on one large surface and easily swap it out to our hearts content – which is perfect for me as I seem to change things up on the daily – like the total design schitzophrenic I am.
Once we had the ledges up on the wall it came time to select art and the even more fun part – the frames and matting for all of them. Like I mentioned earlier, Framebridge really has changed the game when it comes to custom framing options. They have over 40 styles and can basically frame anything both large and small, digital or original. They also have complimentary design consultation services where if you aren’t quite sure what frame/option may work for your art their trusted professionals can help you select one or all of your frames. This is especially helpful if you are planning a large gallery wall, or have a lot of pieces that you want to feel cohesive. For the frames in this space I wanted an eclectic collection of pieces, colors, and styles so that once it was all installed it felt thoughtful and collected.
One of my favorite aspects of Framebridge is that you really can customize anything to be framed the way that you want. Once you select your art that you want to frame, their site walks you through the process of picking out the frame and specifying exactly how you want it framed. You have the option of either mailing in your pieces which is what we did for the original art, or uploading your digital prints which they will professionally print out for you and then frame. For our space this is what we did: I had a few original photos from my family’s performing days (far left) that I loved the worn edges on, so with that one as well as the original black and white art right below it we went with their simple Mercer Slim Frame and used the float mount option which elevates the art/picture slightly off the matt and slightly below the glass so it essentially floats in between. This is perfect for art or images that have natural edges or with anything that you are wanting to create a slight drop shadow with to add some drama. For the digital prints (like the color one of Brian on his bike) we used a simple white mat and their Bali frame. You may also notice that the picture on the left has a square frame and larger mat than the others. Their online process allows you to customize them any way you want so you can let them know if you want to add extra inches of matt to create a larger overall finished piece or if you want to go with their recommendations. The sky really is the limit and they can customize it to any specifics you have. The process takes about 2 weeks start to finish from the time you select all your frames to the time that they arrive back at your door. It is so easy and customizable, and not one piece we framed was over $139. Once we had it all back it was time to play.
Now there are a few rules when it comes to art ledges.
1.) Select a variety of sizes to keep the collection visually interesting
2.) Use at least 2-3 different styles of frames to keep the collection from feeling generic or store bought. My rule is to frame for the art and not for the space – so when it comes to selecting the frame for the art consider what would look best for the art rather than just throwing all your art in the same style of frames. Framebridge’s design services can also help with this, and can recommend the best combo of matted vs full bleed vs float mounted.
3.) Don’t overcrowd the shelves with art or clutter. Just as you wouldn’t fill every space in a bookshelf when you are styling it out, you will want to leave some breathing room in between art, or on either side of the ledge so that your eye has room to move around and it doesn’t start feeling too heavy.
4.) Have fun with it – the beauty of an art ledge is that you can move things around in different combos as much as you want without damaging your walls or creating holes like you would with a gallery wall install.
The space is essentially divided into two workspaces now. One for Brian with the desktop computer and one for Chandler who works with him/or me if I am down there working. It is so great to finally have this corner of the room finished and another place for me to display some of my favorite art pieces. Speaking of favorite pieces, one of Brian’s only conditions on me redoing this little office area of his is that his “drunk man painting” HAD to be included in the new design/space. We bought this together when we were 22 at a flea market in New York.
We both loved it because he is clearly a jolly drunk dude with a secret and a goose, and that was somehow worthy of someone’s talent, time and effort. I’m so happy that he is finally framed in such a beautiful way and that despite my un-attraction to him that I kept him the last 15 years.
That nook is coming along and that desk is looking mighty fine. A few quick notes to those of you who are style sleuths; 1. that rug was pulled in for the shoot because it’s awesome but no, we don’t have a chair 1/2 on, 1/2 off the rug:) and 2. We need to put the plates our on outlets but haven’t in months because that is a really boring thing to do. Meanwhile those curtains from Loom are great, the desk chairs are from Target ($60!) and we switched out the black sconce shades for the new green ones, which we love.
Brian just loves resting his glasses in a footed dish 🙂
Last but not least we pulled in this credenza (below) to live right under the window because well… there is no such thing as too much storage especially when it comes to an office space with camera equipment. Hidden storage is always a bonus and this piece has plenty of space for Brian to keep all of his videography goods so that he has easy access to it when they have to shoot.
So what do you think? Have we convinced you that art ledges are the new gallery wall? In case you are still on the fence, our lovely friends over at Framebridge have passed along the promo code EMHENDERSON15 to save you 15% on their first Framebridge purchase. The code is valid through 1/31/2017 so head on over and try them out. With the holidays coming up, they are a perfect gift option for that boyfriend, husband, sister, mother, grandma, boss, or stranger that you just can’t seem to find the right gift for as no one EVER has ever said they don’t love getting a picture of someone they love. Here are a few of my favorites to get you started:
***Photography by Tessa Neustadt, Styling by Brady Tolbert for EHD, writing by Me.