Tuesday, December 2, 2014


DIY Gallery Wall Before After

I have lived in many apartments before, but when I accepted a job offer earlier this year and moved to Tampa it was the first time I was decorating a place on my own and starting with a blank slate.  I love the creative process of interior decorating and really wanted to build a home that felt like me.  I knew when I moved in that I wanted to create a gallery wall as the focal point in the living room and as you can see from the before picture above I had a very large and intimidating blank space to work with.  I love how my gallery wall turned out and through the process I learned some great tips & tricks that I’m excited to share.  I hope this project of mine will inspire you to create your own gallery wall and as my attempts at interior decorating continue I cant wait to share my future projects with you guys! 

Steps to Creating A Gallery Wall:
1. The Hunt begins…
A variety of frames, textures, and sizes work well for a gallery wall.  Choose pieces from mixed media such as: illustrations, paintings, photographs, abstracts, etc. For example I love how my Moonrise Kingdom Watercolor pairs with the framed Parisian photograph and typography piece. Also try to vary frame sizes, styles, colors & widths and by doing this it will give the impression that the items have been collected over time.   You may also want to insert something three dimensional to add depth and interest.  An example of this is the gilded faux taxidermy that we have been seeing all over the gallery walls on Pinterest.  Like this one  (CLICK HERE.)  Keep these tips in mind as you are collecting items for your gallery wall and remember that interior designing is a way of showing your personality through your home so pick quirky and interesting pieces of art that speak to you!

2. Sketch out your Gallery Wall
When browsing online and in stores for items for your collection keep in mind the dimensions of the space you are trying to fill up.  I would also suggest sketching out on paper the dimensions of art pieces and how you can arrange them on your wall before purchasing.  This is so important to make sure that a) everything you get fits, and b) you have a rough layout to look at to make sure the items would look good together.

DIY Gallery Wall

3. Frame and Clean Everything
It is great if you can find pieces that are already framed as a way to save money, but if not get out there and find a home for each of your prints. Or maybe you want to keep some of your prints frameless, it’s all up to you.  (I had great luck with craft stores such as Michael’s and Jo-Ann Fabrics and would use their 40% coupons to pick up a frame each week for a major discount.)  Next make sure you Windex everything.  There is nothing worse than hanging up your art and then realizing there’s dirt or smudges underneath the glass.

4. Mark up your gallery wall
This step helped me out immensely.  I felt like I was a dwarf toiling in the mines with all the hammering I was doing hanging everything up, but I can only imagine how much worse it would have been if I didn’t plan everything out beforehand.  I have shown this step in a picture below, but basically what I did was used white computer paper to measure out the dimensions of each piece, label each piece of paper, and then arrange them on my wall with scotch tape to get a good feel where everything could go.  (You can also use newspaper or craft paper for this.)  This step saved me so much time and energy and made it a lot easier to hang everything up.  (When arranging where everything goes remember to give your pieces room to breathe.  Aim for relatively even spacing between each item, giving a gap of at least two inches or so.)

DIY Gallery Wall

5. Sit back and admire your handiwork 
Ahh the work is done.  I love my gallery wall. I know my personal picks may not work for everyone, but I love how everything turned out and I’m excited to eventually add pieces and see how it evolves over time.  It's a great way to add a focal point to a room and cover a large area of blank space.

DIY Gallery Wall

Other Tips & Tricks:
- When I began this project I didn’t realize how much money it would end up costing me!  Don’ make the same mistakes I did.  Some tips I would tell myself looking back to save some cash are:
            a. Reuse old frames you have, or take out old pictures you don’t use or like anymore and 
            utilize them. 
            b. Try to buy pieces of art that are already framed.  This will usually save you money in the  
            long run.  I underestimated how expensive frames were, and let’s not even get into custom 
            framing and matting...
            c. Don’t underestimate thrift store finds and stores such as T.J. Maxx, HomeGoods, and 
            Marshall’s.  Although I did buy a lot of my prints online I had some great finds at stores such  
            as these.  For example I found the yellow mirror for only $6! on a clearance rack at 
-Try to add personal touches when you can.  If you have photographs you’ve taken or artwork from your kids if you're a parent those are great items to incorporate into a gallery wall for a personal touch and it will make it feel more special.
-Get creative!  Anything goes with a gallery wall and try mixing and matching different pieces of wall décor such as signs, wooden letters, clocks, mirror, etc.

DIY Gallery Wall

Items Featured:
Moonrise Kingdom Watercolor Print found at ohgoshcindy Etsy shop (CLICK HERE)
Studio Decor Viewpoint Lincoln Park Black Ampersand (CLICK HERE)
Irene Suchocki Balloons Over Paris Framed Print (CLICK HERE)
I Wish I'd Done Everything on Earth With You - F. Scott Fitzgerald Quote-Inspiring Typography Print (CLICK HERE)
Pour Deux Art Print by Marc Allante (CLICK HERE)
Constellation Print (CLICK HERE)
Paul Tebbot Must Be the Moon Print (CLICK HERE)
Both gold mirrors found at HomeGoods.  Similar HERE and HERE.

I hope you guys enjoyed this post!  Let me know what you think in the comments below and I hope everyone’s bank accounts survived Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping!!
xoxo Nicole

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