Furniture, Home Improvement, Interior Decorating

These are a few of my favorite things

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:

20120624-210044.jpg

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:

Child's Desk shelves

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.

new couch

Here’s the first iteration of a gallery wall I did:

Gallery-Wall_photosA few things to note:

  1. 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)
  2. 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.

gallery-wall_photos_close

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:

  1. Too symmetrical
  2. Too photo-centric
  3. 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. 

Birthday Portrait

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.

Gallery wall_adding in art

Finally, I just decided to go for it. All of the photos came down and the nails came out of the wall.

gallery wall_map is up

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.

Gallery Wall_Complete

You’ll see a lot of things I’ve shared before on the blog:

  1. Sentimental Map Art
  2. Love Pallet Sign
  3. Do What You Love Print
  4. Remmy Print

Gallery Wall_zoomed in

You’ll also see a bunch of other art I’ve collected over the years:

  1. Golden Pond canvas print (Home Goods)
  2. Shadow box full of roses B has given me
  3. My two new Maryland maps
  4. A graphic print of dogs my coworker gave me
  5. 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!

Gallry Wall_Living Room

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!

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements
Craft Projects

Revamped silver trays

As another fun project from Craft Day this past weekend, Amy, Carrie and I spiffed up some old, silver trays we found at the thrift store.

This project was quick and easy, and the finished product was super cute. First, we cleaned up our trays with silver polish.

Once they were all shiny and new, we cut out paper for the insides of the tray. Once the paper was cut out, we put thin layers of Mod Podge on our trays where we wanted the paper to stick.

Then, we placed the paper on top, smoothing out all of the bubbles. with the bubbles all M.I.A., we coated the paper with another layer of Mod Podge.

I did two coats on mine, trying to wipe the excess off the edges so it wouldn’t leave Mod Podgey residue on my trays.

Tip: Be really careful when smoothing our your Mod Podge. Carrie had a casualty on her tray, removing part of her map. Australia is now “Autralia” and what we yell when craft projects go awry.

Once the trays were dry, we added chalkboard contact paper embellishments to a few of our trays. Who knew chalkboard contact paper even existed (Answer: Carrie)?

How cute is Amy’s tray!? I love it and have total tray envy. She’s planning on hanging it up and using it as a Vacation Countdown for her and her hubby’s upcoming trips!

My trays turned out cute, too. They would make cute “His” and “hers” signs, but I’m not sure for what.

Carrie’s tray is very Carrie. I think she’s going to use it as a catch-all on her dresser.

And here’s my other tray. Can you tell we all like maps?!

As we were finishing up our project, our honorary crafter of the day walked, err, crawled in to see what we were up to.

Hi, Eli!

He was digging our sweet fabric. I can’t blame him.

What a cutie!

Craft Projects, Home Improvement

Decoupaged Drawers

After setting pu my cabinets in my craft room, I quickly got to ripping out the contact paper the previous owners had placed in all of my drawers. (Using a cabinet that someone else had in their home without washing them down and replacing the contact paper kind of freaked me out.) I especially wanted to do this in the vanity that was in someone’s bathroom… cause you know, it was in their bathroom.

Look how much this needed to be scrubbed!! Grooooooossssssss.

I tried to carefully remove the contact paper first, but after ripping the “stain” off the wood underneath on one cabinet, I knew I wasn’t getting that paper off without destroying the drawers. So I stopped caring and came up with a new plan: Decoupage the drawers with maps!

After removing all of the contact paper, I got all of the dust out of the cabinets and got to work cutting pages out of an old atlas.

To decoupage the drawer, I painted a layer of mod podge onto the bottom of the drawers (one at a time). I then layered pages of the atlas in the drawers. I smoothed out the bubbles in the paper, then did a thick layer of mod podge on top of the maps.

Once it dried, I sprayed it with a clear sealer — mod podge can dry a little tacky, so the sealer really helps this.

I wish the maps I had were a little cooler — the hubby refused to let me cut up the first atlas I found at a thrift store because he said it was too cool — but I am glad to have clean drawers to use. It feels so much more sanitary now.

My craft room is coming along so nicely! I even huddled up in there a few nights ago to craft and watch HGTV!