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.



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Embroidery Hoop Art
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DIY Wine Cork Bulletin Board

How to Decorate For Now—Not Later

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Do you ever feel like you’ll decorate better or try harder at your next house? You know, the perfect one?

I struggle all the time with wanting to just wait and do the bigger and better decorating projects at my next house—the one I’ll presumably own not rent. This usually happens when I’m frustrated with the small space my rental offers, the inability to change the wall color in the kitchen and my unwillingness to put the money into updating the fixtures on a place I rent.

But, I wonder, do homeowners struggle with this too? Do you struggle to find the courage, time or creativity to transform your home from one that’s ‘fine’ to one you adore?

I’m betting so. If you’re not dreaming of owning a new home like me, then maybe you’re waiting until you have enough money to buy that new rug or you’re counting on inspiration to finally strike so you can paint your bedroom the perfect wall color. If it’s not one thing, it’s another.

Our home struggle similarities bring up a more important question. What are we waiting for?

Most of us spend the majority of our lives in our homes. We eat, sleep, relax and hang out there—and so much more. It’s where we live, duh. Why are we okay with waiting to make our homes our favorite places to be?

I know I’ll have to remind myself of these words often. Every time I wish I could change the light fixture in my bathroom or itch to paint my front door, but there are ways to make my home awesome without messing up my security deposit.

Here are a few easy ways you can update your home, whether you’re a renter or a owner.

1. Rearrange what you have

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So simple, but so true. If you’re bored with a room, rearrange your furniture. Sometimes a simple switch up might just transform a room into exactly what you’re looking for. Try a different arrangement, even if you don’t think it will look good. You might be surprised! And don’t be afraid to move furniture from room to room. That end table that wasn’t working in the living room might be just what you need to corral items by the front door.

2. Buy new—in something small

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When you want a new couch, rug or drapes, but know it’s just not in the budget, opt for a smaller purchase. A new tea towel to dress up your kitchen. A bouquet of flowers. Or, better yet, a plant. Small touches—even ones for less than $5—can make a space feel brand new.

3. Don’t wait to hang

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Many renters (or home owners) don’t want to bother hanging items on the walls. I know I’ve been there. Maybe it’s because you know you’ll be moving. Or, maybe it’s because you don’t want to fix the hole. Buy some spackle. Hang that mirror, those shelves or those pictures. You’ll feel better, trust me.

4. Paint what you can

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Hate your wall color? Landlord won’t let you paint? Then, paint a big piece of furniture—think dresser, bookcase, buffet or table—the color you wish you could paint the walls. I’m all about classic, crisp white lately. The walls at my current rental are actually quite a pretty light grey, but my all-white dresser has lived in several rentals, and as one of the larger pieces of furniture I own, I always love all of the white it adds to a room.

5. Look at what’s in storage

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What do you have stored away? Sometimes you can find long-forgotten items in the back of a closet that can instantly refresh your home. You’ll be adding something new without actually buying anything new. Recently, I rediscovered a stack of embroidery hoops in a crate in my storage/laundry room. I added a few swatches of fabric and now I have one hanging in my gallery wall and a few others dressing up other areas of the house. I have all new décor—for free!

Now’s the time to make your home the home of your dreams. Don’t wait! Incorporating just one of these changes will make you feel like you have a brand new space. Promise!


 

Related articles:
Decorating with Spring Flowers
3 Tips for a More Natural Home (Plus, My Natural Living Journey)
Decorating with Botanical Prints (Plus, Free Printables!)

Cork Trivet Wall Décor

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On my most recent shopping trip to Ikea, I was staring at a packet of three cork trivets and inspiration struck! Instead of using them to protect countertops and tables from hot pots, I decided to hang them on the wall.

Similar to a cork bulletin board, this packet of three cork trivets can be used to pin up postcards, messages and pictures. I adhered mine to the wall with just a few swatches of double-sided tape. It took all of three minutes to go from blank wall to wall décor.

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You’re not limited to hanging pictures or postcards on your trivets. I tacked up a carnation to dry. The flower adds a bit more visual interest to the whole scheme.

I hung my three circles in a vertical line, but there are so many other options you could try. Buy a few more packets of trivets and you could create an entire gallery wall or make a cool pattern on the wall. At $2.99 for a packet of three, it’s a very inexpensive project. (Hint: If you check Ikea’s “as is” area, you might even be able to score some for less!)

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I love the versatility of this cork trivet wall décor. Whenever you get bored, just pin up a new arrangement of items. You can change it whenever, and easily match it to any décor. Or, swap out items to go with different holidays throughout the year.

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I used the cork trivet wall décor to fill a sad blank space beside my T.V. But there are so many options! I’m picturing the cork trivets in a kitchen to pin recipes at hands reach or lining a wall in a mudroom to pin notes and mail by the door. Get creative!

What do you think of this easy Ikea hack? Would you try it?



Related articles:
DIY Wine Cork Bulletin Board
Travel Planning Board
Ikea Hack: Curtain Wire to Photo Display