Colorful gallery wall

21 October 2013

Hello, friends! Today I thought I’d share our gallery wall! I wrote about this project a bit here — thank you again for your comments!

Unlike the dining room table refinishing project, I felt good about just diving into this one! Based on my inspiration, I tried to stick to the pink, blue, and metallic families; made sure I had a mix of photographs, watercolors, oils, and more typographic designs; and incorporated a variety of frame and mat styles.

Here’s the before:

gallery-wall-before

Yikes! I knew I wanted an arrangement that softly arched over the TV, so we started by playing around with all the pieces on the floor, right in front of the dresser. By doing it in front of the wall where it would hang, it was easy to approximate the space between each frame. Then, we just started at one end, and added pieces left to right, eyeballing as we went! Definitely a two-person job, so thanks to John for all of his help :) I’m not sure if this technique would work for everyone (I like to think one of my super powers is the ability to accurately eyeball whether something is even or level), but it worked great for us.*

Here’s what the space looks like now!

gallery-wall-inspiration

blue-and-pink-gallery-wall

red-and-blue-living-room

I would love to tell you a bit more about each piece, because they were selected with love! Apologies in advance for the photos — this project was so hard to photograph, with the glare on the glass and the shadows from the frames!

colorful-gallery-wall

From left to right:

The “peace, love, and cupcakes” print is actually a card a friend sent to us (similar version here). The large square is an instagram sunrise from a trip to Florida. The little oil painting is a commissioned piece that was made for my grandmother many years ago. It’s of the view from her front porch in Maine. The Oh Happy Day print is available in the SW Shop! The watercolor of the Blue Mountains was a gift from my sister-in-law. The cake print is by Paul Ferney. The flamingo print was a wedding gift from two dear friends (available here). Last but not least, the photo was a gift from our wedding photographer, taken during our cocktail hour picnic.

Let’s talk about the frames for a minute. I was worried that they would add up quickly, but ended up being pleasantly surprised! Thankfully, several of them had already been collected prior to this project, so I only bought three new. Even so, the total cost was low: three were from Target, one from Michael’s, two from A.C. Moore (spray painted blue), and one from Goodwill.

To conclude, this project gets two thumbs up from me: it was fairly easy, fairly inexpensive, and added a welcome dose of color to our white walls. Can’t wait to hang the rest of the art in this room!

*If you’re looking for more exact instruction for hanging, Real Simple has some great advice on measurements and guidelines!

8 Responses to “Colorful gallery wall”

  1. Em, this turned out so well. The whole room looks fantastic! I also love the piece above your fireplace. What a cheerful, lovely room!

  2. Whitley Gaffney

    This is so precious! Can you talk a little bit about matting the prints? I also have some instagram photos and cards I would love to frame, but I’m worried that I will have to have custom mats made and that will drive the price of my wall art project up.

  3. Oh I love it! There is something about the color Mint that makes almost anything look fresh!

  4. Kat

    It looks so great, Em! I love how each picture has special meaning to the two of you, and even though they’re all different, they flow together so well!

  5. This is so helpful! I had hung some things in my room just kind of haphazardly where they fit (between mirrors and things) but I’ve taken them all down and am trying to figure out how I want to display them. Also, what did you use to hang them? I’ve heard so many different ideas from the hook and wire to velcro. Would love your take on that!

  6. Kate

    HA! I’m pretty sure I just painted the exact same frame from Michael’s! Except I had to use real paint, not spray paint, to get the color I wanted.

  7. Em

    Hi Whitley! Yes! The one instagram photo we included is 4″, but in a mat with a 5″ opening. I thought it would bother me, but since it’s just some extra white space, it’s not at all noticeable — and certainly not enough to justify a custom mat/frame! Some cards are trickier. The cupcakes one is 3×5, so that was easy, but there actually was one more card I wanted to include but didn’t because it’s an off size and I couldn’t find a frame for it. Still mulling that one over!

    Hi Charity! We nailed picture hangers into the wall (the ones that look like spikes with a slanted circle in the middle).