Today I’m giving the award for Longest-Put-Off-Idea-On-My-Crafty-To-Do-List to…
The Gallery Wall!
But seriously, I’ve had my sights set on turning my living room wall into a gallery wall forever and I’ve just never gotten around to it. I love the concept of gallery walls because nowhere else can you put that much unrelated stuff on a wall, yet tie it all together with matching frames or colors, and magically it’s design-forgivable… even chic. Of course, you don’t have to tie everything in together with a common design element, but I sure fancy it that way and with all of the color already going on in my living room, doing it any other way might hedge on loud.
So, I came up with a list of images I already had (or could get copied), then checked out my frame collection.
A motley crew, indeed.
Yeah, something told me that all of those together on my blue wall would not be appealing. So I took out the glass and backing and set out to spray paint them white.
I had considered doing half white and half metallic gold, but based on the images that I wanted framed, this just wouldn’t have looked best… so all white it was:
Look at that lovely fire escape/photography studio/multi-purpose room! So handy.
While impatiently waiting for the spray paint to dry, I played with the frame templates I’d made (excuse the nighttime indoor photography).
Before I painted the frames, I had laid them out with each picture on top or in the frame in an attempt to get a balance of color, size, and orientation. I was actually pretty fond of my first attempt, but expected that I’d change my mind once it was on the wall. So… I did what you may have seen on a lot of blogs: I made templates of each frame out of discarded sales fliers and newspaper and attached them to the wall with painter’s tape.
I’d labeled each template before so I knew what pic was (probably) going in it, then rearranged as I saw necessary. The process involved a lot of walking away and suddenly turning… Then running up and moving something a half inch this way or that way. Then repeating the process. And then again. And again…. Until finally I felt I was happy with the arrangement and it wouldn’t be one of those things I stared at in annoyance for months to come as I contemplated “Why did I put that frame there?!” (because that’s what I do with my free time, yep).
Finally, the paint had dried, the frames were singing “Kumbayah,” and all felt right in my world. Next, I got out the ol’ level, hammer, and nails and started hanging the pictures. Using the templates as a guide, I measured where the nail hook or mounts were on the frame, measured to that point on the template, then hammered a nail directly into the template and ripped the paper down once the nail was secure. This involved a lot less measuring than going in blindly and helped me maintain the necessary space between each frame, preserving the gallery wall effect.
Once all the nails were up and the templates ripped down, I began the simple task of hanging the frames. Because of the template method, they were all level the first go-round, and I didn’t have to go back and redo any of the holes.
Here’s the whole she-bang:
Isn’t she lovely? (C’mon, sing it with me!)
Here’s the breakdown of what’s up there:
Waffle House pic — Our first date was at a WaHo after a rehearsal one night in college. And we’ve continued in swanky style since then… so classy.
Wedding pic — This was taken right before the wedding (we did pics before). (Photo by jk Dallas Photography).
Brooklyn Bridge — We live here! And we like the bridge, too.
Bailey — My family’s dashingly handsome lab/hound mix, Bailey. We have pics of our dogs everywhere, but we thought the Fosters’ dogs should get represented, too.
Virginia Highlands sign — This was our nabe in Atlanta and oh, how we loved it so.
Silhouette — This was my sweet little seven year old self in Victorian silhouette form. Of course I had a huge bow — what else would you expect?
Wedding pic — If you squint, you might see the other wedding pic on the left side. This is one of our favorites, though it definitely has that air of American Gothic to it — minus the bitterness, repression, and pitchfork.
New Orleans wordle — NOLA is where we honeymooned, so I just put in a bunch of NOLA related text into Wordle, played with fonts and colors, and ta da! (To read the whole post all about the wonders of Wordle, go here.)
Subway art — Remember this one that I made here? Well, it worked its way up onto the wall. It reads: “Take your vitamins/Floss daily/Get some exercise/Eat your vegetables/Walk the dogs/Say your prayers/LOVE one another.”
Ink and marker drawing — This is a representation of a quote from Shakespeare’s Sonnet 116, drawn by the amazing Flash Rosenberg (she’s the artist-in-residence at the New York Public Library). We had this made at a fundraiser for a theatre company here in NYC — Flash was awesome and volunteered her time (and artistry) and all proceeds from her drawings went to the theatre company. The quote she “drew” was “Love is not Time’s Fool” (little did she know that I love orange).
Cassie picture — Below the silhouette is a picture of my family’s gorgeous golden retriever, Cassie. She passed away over the holidays, after almost fifteen years on this planet! She wasn’t messin’ around. This pic is a family favorite, so of course it made its way onto the gallery wall.
Because everything is hung with nails, we have no problem changing things out as we grow tired of certain pictures, or even shifting things around to reflect the holidays (spoiler alert: there will be Christmas-themed changes — I have no shame).
Let’s look at the pretty-ness again.
We really love how it turned out. I’m often found standing in front of it saying “Look at that pretty wall.” It has a calming effect on me. But that’s mostly because I’m a huge dork.
Now if only we can do something about the black bulk of an entertainment center. I see royal blue paint in the future (don’t judge — it’ll be pretty, I promise).