I decided to take a rather scientific approach to this wall, and did some research (because thats what I'm good at). In my last post I showed some inspiration pictures that I found during my research.
The first thing I did was gather all of the items that could potentially go on the wall- pictures, mirrors, candle holders, etc. I had a few things that needed some changes- a frame I already owned that needed to be painted, a picture in a silver frame that I wanted to reframe, and some empty space I needed to fill.
I started by painting the frame I already owned with my black latex glossy paint. I actually found this frame in the alley behind my apartment in Chicago, two years ago. I really liked it although I had no idea what I would do with it. I contemplated many different things- adding some screening to make it an earring holder, adding a mirror, framing my diploma (it was too small...) and ultimately just hanging it empty. The picture below is the best picture I have, I think. You can see, I am preparing to paint on my balcony! Painting outside is really nice.
This frame really did not want to be painted. Even with sanding and cleaning it off, the first coat of paint wasn't sticking well. So, I re-sanded (lightly) and did another coat, and then repeated the process again. In retrospect, I probably would have done better to use some sort of primer, but it was already too late when I decided that was the case.
Once I had that frame painted, I started putting together the layout. First I needed to decide where to start on this monster wall- in the center, or on the side. Pardon the horrible cell phone picture, but it didn't occur to me to take a picture of this with my camera.
The horrible cell phone picture helped me decide that I should start on the side, so I laid out all of my items on the floor in the arrangement I wanted on the wall. I won't lie- I left it like this on the floor for a couple days, stepping over it many times a day to decide if I liked it.
Once I was satisfied, I used blue painters tape to put the entire arrangement on the wall. Again, I left it for a while to make sure I liked it.
Once I decided it was what I wanted, I actually started putting nails in the wall to hang things.
OK, OK, enough. Here's the final result:
More about the mirror and picture frame I added later.