Living Room Gallery Wall

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Need some inspiration to actually hang up your pictures, art and prints? A gallery wall is a fun way to display your favorite artwork.

Gallery walls make a BIG statement and add A LOT of personality to a room. Did I mention they’re BIG?

Their size is probably one of the reasons I had yet to add one to my home. I have a hard time making big decorating commitments, and this was a pretty big one. A whole wall dedicated just to art? What if I didn’t like it?

But I got over it. When you really look at it, you’re not knocking out a wall or ripping up your kitchen tile here. You’re just putting a few nails or screws in the wall. So, I went for it.

Here are a few tips I learned along the way.

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Plan, plan, plan
The key to a good gallery wall—and less frustration—is planning your wall ahead of time. Gather all of the elements you want to hang, lay them out on the floor and arrange them how you think you’ll want them on the wall. Move items around until you get a look you like. But don’t get your heart set on it. There’s still one more step.

Just because your design looks good on the floor doesn’t mean it will translate correctly to the wall. I strongly suggest you trace the outline of each picture with paper (I used paper bags,) cut them out and then lightly tape them to the wall.

This way, you’ll see if your design will actually work—before you start putting holes in the wall.

See that vent? I forgot about it when I was arranging items on the floor. Thank goodness I traced all of the pictures and did a test run before actually hanging. I had to rearrange my whole design to incorporate the vent.

This is what my paper bag cutouts looked like. Sorry for the poor lighting. It was late.

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Know what you want to achieve
Before you go get the hammer and start hanging, think about what you want to achieve with your gallery wall. Is it to showcase family portraits? Fill a blank space? Show off your travel art?

Think about why you want a gallery wall and how it will make you happy. Because decorating is about being happy. A gallery wall is a bit of a commitment and you want to absolutely love it.

I wanted a focal point for my living room. The last two rentals I lived in had fireplaces in the living rooms, which are instant focal points. You don’t have to do a lot besides dressing up the mantel to draw attention. In my current living room, there wasn’t a focal point. Unless you count the T.V., which I don’t.

So, my goal was to create a focal point. I wanted to create something that people could talk about and that I just enjoyed looking at. Something that showcased my style—and my boyfriend’s style—all in one place. I think I achieved my goal!

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Break the rules
While gallery walls are pretty trendy right now—I’ve probably pinned a million of them on Pinterest—they’re also classic. You can’t really go wrong with one.

There are lots of rules out there about how to make a gallery wall, like stick to a color scheme or use all black picture frames or vary the scale.

It’s true that these tricks can help coordinate the display. For example, my gallery wall is inspired by nature with a few modern twists. And, I kept the color palette to browns and whites with a few pops of brighter colors. The coordinating theme and color palette definitely make it cohesive, but really it was just luck. I had picked a bunch of my favorite pieces of art and they just all happened to go together.

Don’t let the rules define your gallery wall. If you want to add a mini clipboard or an embroidery hoop on there (like I did) go for it! If it makes sense to you, that’s all that matters. In fact, I think a little quirkiness is just right for a gallery wall!

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Have you hung a gallery wall in your home? Would you give it a try? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.



Related articles:
Embroidery Hoop Art
Make a Travel Art Wall From Souvenirs
DIY Wine Cork Bulletin Board

Weekend Finds: Neighborhood Garage Sale Galore

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Saturday morning garage sale hunting is one of my favorite activities. Especially this time of year when the spring coolness lingers until late morning and you can just browse and enjoy being outside.

Yesterday, I was treasure-hunting solo, but usually my twin sister goes along. We both love bargain shopping and get really excited when we spot a good sale. We’re super efficient and can gauge the quality of a garage sale quickly. Without even speaking, we both know if it’s time to leave after just a few glances, or if the sale is worth a closer inspection. Twin intuition or lots of garage sale practice? Hard to say.

Garage sale shopping was easy this weekend because the neighborhood across the street from my house was holding a neighborhood garage sale. House after house of garage sales in a small area. My bliss!

Here’s what I found:
Ship bookends: $2
“Tom Sawyer” book: $0.50
Four small plates: $0.50
Crate: $10
Two mini clipboards: $2
Industrial light (not pictured): $0.50
Silver chandelier (not pictured): $10

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These miniature plates were labeled $0.25 each, but I got them all for $0.50. I was immediately drawn to the bird plate and the others went so well with it that I couldn’t pass them up. I have a thing for objects that don’t match, but still “go” together.

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I’m often drawn to the eclectic covers of old books. This copy of “Tom Sawyer” is happy and bright. At $0.50, why not?

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These cast iron ship bookends are heavy! They’re a couple of quirky items I just like. I’m also inspired to see what I can do with them besides just holding up books. Although with all of the books I have, I need a heavy-duty pair like these for the job.

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That crate all of these items are sitting on? Found that for $10. It’s rather large, and I wasn’t sure where I was going to fit it into my tiny house when I bought it, but I have a thing for boxes people. (And books and bookends apparently.)

I did, however, find a spot for it. I turned it on its side and it’s holding a plant like an end table.

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I snagged a couple of mini clipboards for $1 each. I like displaying postcards, papers and other items on them, and swapping out the displays regularly. After snapping these photos of the clipboards, I immediately added one to my gallery wall.

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If you like seeing what a scrounge up at garage sales, check out my past weekend finds!

What do you think of my finds? Let me know in the comments!

Featured on Better Kansas City: May 2015

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This morning, I was invited to demonstrate how to make wall art using embroidery hoops on Better Kansas City, a local lifestyle T.V. show on KCTV5.

This is the second time I’ve gotten to showcase a project on Better Kansas City! I like to show easy do-it-yourself projects that anyone can make. Requiring just fabric, embroidery hoops and scissors, this project is about as easy as it gets.

Watch how to make fabric embroidery hoop art below.

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Do you think the T.V. segment went well? My favorite part of this project is that it’s so easy-to-change. I’m always moving items around my house and rearranging the furniture, so what I love so much is that as soon as you get tired of the fabric, just change it! I hope that came across.

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T.V. is a different medium than I’m used to, but I like how it offers an opportunity to show projects in a more hands-on way.

Related articles:
Published in VintageKC Magazine: Winter 2014
My Column in VintageKC Magazine: Fall 2014
Published in VintageKC Magazine!