Two blueprints for one-of-a-kind art

As the temperatures cool and we start to think about heading indoors, we may notice our homes have been neglected. Whether your house needs a little refresher or you have rooms you’ve never quite gotten around to finishing, creating a focal point on a wall is a great way to pull the room together. If you’ve moved into a new space and are starting with a blank canvas, hanging a unique piece will add style and interest to any space.

You may be tempted to go buy a reproduction from a big box or home décor store, but with a bit of effort you can find really interesting items to use as art in unexpected places. Look through your own home to find things you may already have like tattered maps, old black and white photos and other memorabilia.

Flea markets and antique shops often have old advertising posters, vintage postcards and other objects that may be suitable for framing. These kinds of out-of-the-ordinary things become eye-catching works once framed and hung on your wall.

There are endless possibilities when framing up artwork. Again, resist the urge to just purchase a standard, boring frame and you will be rewarded with something that has more style and substance once finished. Taking something that is inexpensive but interesting and framing it in a really creative way will transform that item into a true showpiece.

Blueprints as art

My partner-in-flea Brigid and I came across some very cool blueprints of old Toronto schools and buildings at The Leslieville Flea that were easy on the pocket. We decided to try framing them in completely different ways to change the look to suit our own tastes. Our styles and houses are quite different and the methods we used reflected that.

Leslieville Flea partners Brigid and author Chris Roberts took two very different approaches to presenting some old school blueprints bought from a vendor. Here, Brigid’s professionally framed and matted version.
Leslieville Flea partners Brigid and author Chris Roberts took two very different approaches to presenting some old school blueprints bought from a vendor. Here, Brigid’s professionally framed and matted version.

Brigid had her blueprints matted and framed professionally. She chose a copper frame that nicely played up the blue in the print.

It looks crisp and modern, with an industrial feel. Three of these will hang in her open concept living room/dining room and are sure to make a bold statement in the space.

The DIY vintage approach

Chris’ more rustic design, made from an old window frame.
Chris’ more rustic design, made from an old window frame.

My tastes lean a bit more to the vintage and rustic side of things, so I decided to frame up my print using a salvaged window frame. These work great since they are essentially a picture frame without a back. I painted the wood frame white so it would contrast the dark colour of the blueprint, and cleaned up the hardware (which coincidentally turned out to be copper coloured under all the paint). I cut a piece of quarter-inch masonite for backing and lined it with acid-free illustration board, then mounted the blueprint to that and attached it to the frame with a nail gun.

The result is quite different looking but suits my space perfectly. One style of artwork, two techniques and two very different looks.

 

Christine Roberts is a stylist and interior designer. An avid vintage collector, she makes furniture and home accessories from reclaimed materials and co-founded The Leslieville Flea.

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