I’ve been working on creating a gallery wall of some sort in my living room for months now. I am not one of those people who is naturally talented at gallery walls. In fact, I almost always hate them when I’m finished with them.
We’d hung a gallery wall in our bedroom that we left up for no time at all because B and I both ended up not liking the way it looked:
This one was just so blah and symmetrical…
Even though I’ve been a gallery wall failure, I always admire them. I decided to try again in our living room and boy was it a process.
This is the wall I started with:
OK, so that’s an awful photo. But basically it had one large canvas piece on it I got from Home Goods. I love the painting, but it doesn’t look nice above our mint couch, which is now on the wall in our living room. Plus, it didn’t fill the space on the wall enough.
Here’s the first iteration of a gallery wall I did:
- Look how far this room has come! Holy smokes, I still can’t believe it. (Better photos at the end of the post, I swear)
- I was trying to decide if I wanted to abandon my mint curtains for white curtains, hence why they are the wrong way on the window. I got a lot of questions about that from guests 🙂
I bought all of those frames from Home Goods and really liked the mixture of wood, metals, rustic and glam. But I just never loved it. I think part of me is sick of seeing the same photos over and over again. We’ve been married for 3+ years and engaged for 5+ years, so the fancy engagement and wedding pictures are old news at this point. But they are still the most frame-worthy photos we have and they are always what I resort to.
To get this arrangement, I laid all of the frames out on the floor and put a lot of thought into which frame went where. This ended with a mostly symmetrical arrangement.
Here was my beef with this wall:
- Too symmetrical
- Too photo-centric
- Old photos
Really, it just seemed like I was trying too hard. At least to me it did. I left it like this for months until I could figure out what I wanted to do differently. If you notice the horizontal photo that was displayed vertically — yes, this was left this way for months, too.
I started to think I wanted to redo some of the gallery wall after B’s birthday. I gave him an amazing print of our pup, Remmy. It’s basically the best gift I’ve ever given anyone.
We hung it immediately in place of one of our real photos, because how could we not?
It wasn’t until after Christmas that I had the idea to completely redo the gallery wall with art only. You see, B gave me two amazing maps of Maryland. The big kahuna was a map from 1880 — holy old! We had the map custom framed and needed a spot to hang it. B wanted to hang it over our console table, but I’ve got my heart set on finding the perfect mirror to reflect all of the natural light from our bay window. The map has mint and pink in the outlines of counties and cities, so I thought it would look marvelous over our couch.
I started messing around with the wall little by little, pulling down artwork from other spots in the house.
Finally, I just decided to go for it. All of the photos came down and the nails came out of the wall.
I started my placing everything on the floor, but again I made the design so symmetrical. So I hung up the map (my anchor piece) and two other pieces of art and left it alone. It looked like this for a week before I decided to do what I do best and just wing it.
At this point the wall was already riddled with nail holes that needed to be touched up, so I just went for it. Everything was added one by one. The spacing isn’t even, the whole wall isn’t symmetrical… and I LOVE IT. It just fills the large wall so nicely without feeling too huge.
You’ll see a lot of things I’ve shared before on the blog:
You’ll also see a bunch of other art I’ve collected over the years:
- Golden Pond canvas print (Home Goods)
- Shadow box full of roses B has given me
- My two new Maryland maps
- A graphic print of dogs my coworker gave me
- Two bird paintings from one of my favorite artists
Basically, it is a wall of my favorite things: dogs, birds, Maryland and love 🙂 I seriously couldn’t be happier with how this turned out.
Funny enough, I’m sure it isn’t 100 percent complete. As you can see, I left room around the edges for small additions. I’d like to do a more colorful print, replacing the Do What You Love print. And I am always checking out Pratt Creek Art for more bird paintings.
Plus, I really need to patch the holes you can still see and hang everything (in the exact same spot) maybe a tad bit straighter ;p
On the whole, It really does so much for this room. I love my gray walls, but with nothing on them they can be quite dreary. This art wall adds much-needed color and pizzaz to my favorite room in the house — a room that really has come a long way.
It just goes to show you that rushing into designing a room doesn’t always end with the best result. We’ve been in our house for three years now and this room is now just starting to feel like it is almost finished. All it needs is a mirror, and I am one happy home owner!
Next week I’ll share the redo of our master bedroom. It’s not complete yet, but it looks a lot better than it did a month ago.
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!
6 thoughts on “These are a few of my favorite things”
It looks great! That room has really come a long way.
No, don’t add stuff around the edges. It’s perfect just the way it is!!
I’m really proud of you for getting over the symmetry hump 🙂
Thanks 🙂 And now I have your wedding photo right-side-up on my console table with my wedding party photo and a photo of Robin and Grant 🙂 Love it.
Don’t add anything, it looks great! I do my best when I wing it, too.
What color gray did you use on your walls? I’m looking for a good gray and am having trouble.
Thanks, April! It’s funny how winging it works really well for some people and not so much for others. I get so overwhelmed and over think things when I plan too much. But there are definitely folks who would shudder at hanging things up the way I did haha.
I used Behr Gentle Rain. In our dining room, we did the next shade darker (Porpoise) beneath our chair rail. It’s definitely one of those paint colors that looks wayyyy different in different lights. Sometimes it looks white, sometimes it has a lavender hue. Definitely a cooler gray than a warmer gray.
My mom just painted her kitchen with Agreeable Gray (maybe Sherwin Williams? I’m not 100% sure). That’s a really great gray, too. I recommend checking it out!