Despite my elaborate Pinterest boards for home décor and design, our home is anything but picture perfect. We’ve lived in this house eight years and I wouldn’t win any design awards. Heck, I wouldn’t even be nominated! There are bare walls, paint drips on the carpet, mismatched drawer pulls and handles in the kitchen, paint color samples adorning a wall in the utility room, and the realtor’s key-box is still attached to the front door handle. This comes in handy when you realize you are outside, all of the doors are locked, the garage door opener is in your car, and the garage doors are down … not that I’ve done this or anything. Ahem, moving right along!
Lately, I’ve been obsessed with gallery walls. I really want to create a unique focal point with a gallery wall somewhere in our home, maybe in multiple locations. One thing that really annoys me about our home’s current décor is the over-abundance of straight lines. Every where you look, there is a square or rectangle … the couch, picture frames, kitchen cabinets, ceiling and floor trim, dining room table, tile floors, and even the lamp shades are all square or have straight lines! To combat this, I found Cut It Out, an affordable website for unfinished decorative frames. I’ve looked at specialty frames like this in home goods stores and craft shops, but they are super-duper expensive. I don’t like expensive, so I’m excited to buy unfinished frames and paint to my liking. I’m currently working on props for an upcoming photo sessions and cheap frames are always great to use as props and to display the final images! I’ve also been introduced to Craft Cuts, a site specializing in wood letters in a variety of materials, fonts, and customizable colors. In other words, Husband should be worried because I’m getting my design on!
I know I gripe about straight lines, and there are way too many in our house, but some gallery walls are way too “busy” for my taste. I love frames with unique edge designs mixed with more traditional ones (square, rectangle, round, or oval) for contrast. As dark as our house is, light-colored frames would be eye-catching, especially with color photos. The layout below would be great in the front entry hallway. Instead of a table, I already have a bench that I might consider painting a bright, bold color. I love the quote and “H” initial too.
Speaking of “H” initials, how about this gallery wall? Simply put, I love it. This would be perfect either on the opposite wall from the front door or in the living room. Our house’s walls are so empty, the possibilities are endless! I like the ribbon for hanging too, that’s a great idea.
Our living room is very oddly shaped. It’s a long, narrow rectangle with three large windows at one end and a floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace that’s haphazardly placed between the living room and dining/kitchen areas with a guest bedroom and main bath nearby. As much as I love the MASSIVE kitchen, the space is quite awkward. In the living room, near the windows, there is a large wall but it can’t be seen unless you’re coming from our master suite or Kamden’s bedroom. The wall is in desperate need of attention. On a separate but related not, I wish I had this L-shape sofa too.
Before I start hammering nails in the wall, a gallery wall needs to be carefully planned out. And because I’m a little (okay, a lot) OCD about pictures being straight, using craft or wrapping paper to sketch the layout beforehand is pure genius.
Besides our main living space, I also want to create a fun gallery wall in Kamden’s bedroom and add a reading nook. He has built-in shelves inside his closet, but I want books, mementos, his own artwork, and framed portraits on the walls. I am in LOVE with this design, not necessarily the striped walls or cardboard-looking deer antlers (that’s a little weird, even for this country girl) but the framed art, comfy chair, and shelf ledges are amazing. I can see this idea becoming a reality in his room someday.
To encourage a love of reading, and to unplug from technology, I want Kamden to have a place he can read, play, or simply chill. A cozy nook with books, toys, puzzles, flash cards, and comfortable seating will become a treasured sanctuary. I love so many things about this reading nook, from the bean bag chairs to the book shelves made from a wood pallet, and especially flash cards hung on fishing line with clothespins. This is definitely a room for inspiration. It’s also a kid-friendly design that Kamden can help make a reality when he’s older – he’s more likely to enjoy and use the space if he is part of the creative process too!
When I was looking at nursery and children’s bedroom décor before Kamden was born, I fell in love with a particular theme that incorporated zoo animals and the alphabet. I wanted to create an alphabet wall but purchasing letters individually was going to cost a fortune, not including the time and money spent to paint them all. At Craft Cuts, they sell letters individually or an entire alphabet set. My heart is rejoicing! You pick the style, size, and color and viola! you’re done. Easy-peasy. This alphabet set is going on top of Kamden’s birthday and Christmas list. I love the look of different fonts and sizes.
I’m not a very crafty DIY-er but I can paint and hang pictures. If the projects are easy and cheap, I’m even happier. What’s easier than hot-gluing clothespins to a frame and painting them a bright, festive color for an original art gallery? Even I can use a hot-glue gun and can of spray paint! Want to know another secret about the gallery wall below? The designer hot-glued the letters (P-L-A-Y) directly to the wall. OH MY CREATIVE, BALLSY STARS! Husband would freak …. but it’s a great idea and I might do it anyway. HA!
While we’re discussing Kamden’s bedroom, I ADORE these corner shelves! They would be perfect for books, framed portraits, matchbox cars, boxed board games or puzzles behind his closet door to maximize space in that “empty” corner.
Kamden’s room is the epitome of work in progress. Eventually, I want it to be a space that’s personal and functional for him to rest, relax, and enjoy. Right now, his name is in big letters above his crib and a set of four prints are above his dresser and changing table. The wall color is Stony Creek by Porter Paints and accurately depicted in the four prints photo, sorry for the terrible picture of his crib and letters! The letters were a baby shower gift from a friend in Kentucky who owns a wood-working shoppe. She even painted them to perfectly match the bedding and prints!
This bedroom example incorporates a lot of what I want his room to have: name or initial (done!), bookshelves, and a ruler growth chart. I’m currently researching different types of DIY bookshelves and the growth chart is in the works as we speak. Don’t worry, I won’t be making a chevron striped wall, that would take way too much work!
Ultimately, I want a gallery wall in the center of our home that highlights what is most important: faith and family. I want to include a large “H” in a great typography font and some of our best portraits and favorite quotes. We have wedding photos that are framed but stowed away in a closet and lots of pictures of Kamden, including his birth, that have never been printed or framed. There is just one thing on my birthday and Christmas wish list this year: a family photo session with Husband and Kamden. Not only do I want photos for our first Christmas card as a family of three, but I want photos to display in our home. As Kamden gets older, I can simply replace photos in the existing frames.
To make some of my ideas a reality, I might have to bribe friends with wood-working skills with a home-cooked meal. (Hint, hint Billy and Brandon!)
Have you created a gallery wall in your home? Do you find home décor and design as challenging and overwhelming as I do? Do you have any tips or tricks to share? I’m all ears!