DIY Design on a Dime: Pictures Frames As Wall Decor

DIY Design on a dime

I named this post Design on a Dime, because I wanted to show you how easy it is to give your home a designer look without spending an arm and leg. Case in point, whilst visiting my super talented friend, Dan (on Twitter @gastrodamus) at his Lower East Side apartment last week, I was delighted to see he had done a little redecorating. Dan had recently painted some of the walls in his apartment dark grey, including the wall behind his bed. While most of the walls in his living room were covered with his fabulous photography, he was looking to do something a little less personal in his bedroom. The result: the unique look you see above. By using framesWant to do something similar in your own home? Check out the step by step directions on how you can decorate your own walls with frames below:


  1. Buy frames. The arrangement above consists of 8 medium-sized frames. The number you’ll need depends on two things: the size of the area you want to cover and the size of your frames. Do some measuring to determine the approximate number you’ll need. You can always add to your wall as you acquire more frames. And no need to run off to the nearest frame store, that would be expensive! My friend found his on eBay, but you could easily cruise your local charity or thrift stores as well.
  2. Pick a color scheme and theme. Dan stuck with gold tones, but don’t be afraid to mix and match however you’d like.  If you prefer simple wood, consider painting your frames a variety of colors, just remember to plan out your color scheme first.  When picking the style of frames, it’s best to stick with theme. If you’re going to do ornate vintage frames, stick with that. Or if you prefer a modern look, choose more contemporary styles.
  3.  Choose frames in a variety of shapes and sizes to give the arrangement depth. Also, you could certainly fill the frames in with favorite photos or prints, but why not leave them empty? The emptiness lends a veil of mystery and let’s the viewer ‘fill in the blanks’, making the arrangement seem more like an art exhibit than wall decor.
  4. Use a level to help keep frames straight when hanging. Other than that, no need to get too technical. Experiment with various layouts; nothing is set in stone. You can always rearrange the frames or add more as your collection grows.

Thanks to Dan for inviting us into his home! If you have a cool design idea, send it to me. I’d love to share it with my readers!

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3 thoughts on “DIY Design on a Dime: Pictures Frames As Wall Decor

  1. It is kind of a weird look having nothing in the picture frames, but it gives it a unique look to say the least. I’ve never seen picture frames be used this way before.

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