I am actually the proud owner of two of these things, the other has the glass intact and is now used about 15 feet away on the living room gallery wall.
My lovely husband offered to throw them both out for me or at least clean them up by removing all the paint chips, but nope, I wouldn’t let him, it’s part of the appeal. Somebody somewhere took the time and care to “save” these frames and I, as the new owner of these hideous things will display them with pride, cobwebs and all. I finally found a perfect spot to use the frame in my new home, I decided to display it in my kitchen nook, over the table. I realized that if instead of viewing the frame as one large piece, I approach it as six smaller panels, it wouldn’t feel as overwhelming to “fill”.
I decided that since the frame didn’t have the glass intact, I could take advantage of that and pick 3-dimensional items to affix directly to the wall. Items that normally wouldn’t be framed. I picked the placement of the frame on the wall based solely on the fact that I needed to cover a random switch plate. I happened to have a piece, a vintage portrait of a woman, that perfectly covered it. After I settled on that piece, I went on a hunt for the rest of the treasures that would fill the panels.
After a couple of visits to the Sunday Antique Market in Toronto, I purchased a bunch of vintage knickknacks, including a door knocker, keys, mailbox slots, a pair of scissors, a cork screw, and a couple of small framed images of lovers to place inside the panels.
The total cost of the items inside the panels was about $100, but well worth it considering they are one-of-kind vintage finds. The frame itself was $20, also purchased from the Sunday Antique Market. When shopping for the items in each panel, I tried to stay within a similar earthy colour palate, and chose items made of similar materials, mostly metals. I also tried to look for groupings and multiples of items to help fill each of the spaces somewhat evenly. I played around with the arrangement of the items on the table and left them for a couple of days, moving things around here and there until I was satisfied with the overall look.
I had a slight theme of “home” in mind when I was searching for my items, which drew me to the door knocker, keys and mailbox slots. It was important to balance each window pane with similar visual weight, so that is why some of the smaller items, like the keys are in multiples. I had at one point considered displaying my mini collection of plaster mystery men in the frame, since I have six of them for the six panels, but they wouldn’t have done the job of covering that annoying switch plate, so they are proudly displayed on the living room gallery wall instead, near window frame #2.
I love the 3D element of this piece and since it’s near a window, the cast shadows make it look different depending on the time of day. The possibilities of what to do with an empty window frame are endless, for me this was a way to showcase knickknacks in an original way and an excuse to hunt for random vintage finds at the antique market.
Everything about this salvaged window frame is unique, I love displaying pieces that can’t be duplicated, since I believe that’s how your home begins to develop its own personality. When you use salvaged, vintage and antique items in your home, you give them a new life, while still respecting the life they had in another home. If you too find yourself to be the proud owner of one of these disgusting salvaged window frames, consider using it to house an existing collection or visit an antique market or thrift store for unique finds that are worthy of display in your home.
Check out The Gallery Wall for added inspiration.