Today on the blog, I thought I’d share with you guys a home project that we have been working on for quite some time now: our living room gallery wall!
When we got official word that our landlords would be ripping out our apartment’s old carpeting and replacing it with this beautiful dark wood-laminate, I knew that we would need some fresh paint to really give the whole place a proper facelift. I spent a lot of time browsing the internet (hello Pinterest!) for inspiration, and knew that I wanted something a little more grown-up than our previous turquoise accent wall. What I found was that I was drawn to deep blues — I think because the color reminds me of the ocean view from our walks up in Palos Verdes. So I took a trip to Home Depot, grabbed all of the blue and white color swatches I could get my hands on, and headed home!
For our white walls which cover the rest of the apartment, we went with Behr’s Looking Glass Miroir with an eggshell finish. We got a semi-gloss finish for the trim around the doors and windows. For our beautiful blue accent wall, we chose Behr’s Durango Blue in an eggshell finish as well. I could not be any happier with how it turned out…I personally think it looks great with our dark brown floors and grey couches, and I love how the shade changes little by little as the day progresses and the sun hits it in different ways! It’s amazing what a coat of paint can do for a space.
We lived with our blank blue wall I think for two whole weeks before I took the plunge in installing our gallery wall. With our last gallery wall, we may or may not have put one too many holes in the wall (shh!), so this time I was going into the project prepared! I did some more serious research and came up with a fool-proof plan.
First and foremost, I had been collecting things for our gallery wall for quite some time now. You see, I think a home should be filled with things that you love. It’s easy to get caught up in whatever is trendy at the time, and while that stuff can look great on your Instagram feed, is it really reflecting who you are?? Al and I know a ton of really talented friends, and so we wanted this wall to be a showcase of work from the people we love. Everything on our wall is made by friends of ours or local artists who we have come to love! We selected a few wedding photos shot by our wonderful wedding photographers, and a few photos that either we took ourselves, or that friends took of us! Every time I look at our wall, I’m reminded of all the hard work that people poured into these gifts for us, or of the memories spilling out from the faces in the photos. It has sparked so many worthwhile conversations with people who stop in, and for that I’m so thankful. (You guys know I love a good opportunity to brag about my talented friends/family!) We are so stoked to add more pieces to our wall as time goes on!
I chose a variety of frames, because that’s personally the style that I like! Our home also has a lot of really beautiful wood tones throughout (we have the best open wood ceilings from which we hung cafe lights because otherwise we have no lighting!), and so I knew that I wanted to pick some really interesting wooden frames. I thought white might look too nautical, and I wanted something warmer, so I stuck with wood, gold, and darker colored frames for our wall. I added a little texture with the very first weaving that I’ve ever made (!!) and with the incredible embroidery of Marty that my brother gave to us as a Christmas gift! Some of the artwork we were gifted was done on canvas, so that broke things up as well. Finally, I put the very first plant I bought when I moved to California, nearby…I love how the green pops in front of the deep blue. Above all, I always want our home to feel comfortable to anyone who visits; I want them to feel like they’re home! Sure, we have a coffee table with puppy bite marks on every corner, but I think those little things make a home feel a little more lived-in, don’t you? 😉
Probably the best trick I picked up when designing this gallery wall, was the tracing method! Once I had all of my art picked out and framed (this was a work in progress for quite some time, guys), I traced each piece and wrote out what it was. I used newspaper because it was free and I had a lot of it, but you can use wrapping paper, brown paper, white paper…whatever you desire! I then used a tape measurer to measure how far down the hanging hooks were on each frame, and made a mark on the paper. Once I had arranged everything on the wall with double-sided tape, I could move things around how I wished. When it came time for the scary part: putting holes in the wall, I used the advice of my neighbor, Josh, and bought a package of small J-hooks. How in the world did I get through life this far without J-hooks, I do not know. But they are now my favorite thing ever, ha!! I was able to easily hammer in my J-hooks right over the newspaper on my marked dots, and then pull the newspaper away without a trace. Everything was aligned exactly how I wanted them to be! Maybe the most impressive part about this whole project is that Al was actually away for the week, and so I did this all on my own! Anyone can do it, I promise!
And there you have it: our cute little gallery wall, full of things we love by people we love. If you’re thinking about designing your own, the best advice I can give you is to fill it up with things that make you happy! Then, a day won’t go by where it doesn’t make you smile 🙂
happy decorating, friends! thanks for stopping by!