I’ve mentioned before that my main floor is basically one giant living area. Great for doing all of the living, but a little challenging when it comes to deciding what to put on the walls. The other challenge is that the walls we do have are HUGE. This wall is like 12 or 15 feet high, so filling it, or finding something that works with the scale can be challenging. I’ve had a lot of trial and error with gallery walls–mostly error, but this time, I ended up with something I love, and the whole thing cost me less than $50.00.
I’ve tried using bright colored frames in the past, but it just never seemed to flow, so this time, I decided to stick with one neutral (shocker) color scheme: gold and dark wood (shocker again, I know). These wood frames from Hobby Lobby are an addiction for me. I love how thin and minimal they are, they’re made of a raw wood that’s the same color as all of the other wood in my house, and they’re CHEAP! They come in several sizes up to 11×14, and the 11×14 is only $3.50!! It’s almost impossible to find decent frames that cheap anywhere. Another thing to remember when creating a gallery wall is that walls are usually pretty large, so 8×10’s and 11×14’s are ideal size frames. Smaller frames can end up looking small and weird on a large wall (which I’ve learned from experience).
Now I’m about to tell you something game-changing. Okay, maybe not, but do you use mats for your pictures? It is truly remarkable the difference mats can make creating cohesiveness and making your pictures stand out but also work together. It’s a lot easier to use a variety of pictures and prints when you use mats. I’m not a design expert, so I’m not even going to attempt to give some technical explanation, but just trust me. I found all of my mats at Hobby Lobby for between $3.00-$8.00 each.
To add some depth and variety, I used some 8×10 blocks of wood and attached some clips and scrapbook journaling cards (another super inexpensive source), some of Adelie’s artwork, and a print from my shop with my favorite quote of all time (the “bonkers” print pictured above). I think it’s also of note that only one of the pictures I used was done professionally. Professional photography is awesome, but it can be expensive and how often do we have professional pictures taken? Most pictures taken with even a decent point and shoot camera can be blown up to 11×14 at your local photo lab and with some simple editing in a free program like Pic Monkey, can become totally wall worthy. The biggest picture on the wall (the one of us in sunglasses) was taken on a trip to Oregon with my Nikon point and shoot camera.
You may remember the “Canyonlands” print from this post (nothing stays in the same place for long around here). This is the shop in Moab (Utah) where I found it, and it’s sister map I mentioned here. When you’re traveling, stop at places like this. You never know the treasures you’ll find and it makes for amazing, unique stuff for decorating your home. The maps were drawn by the owner of the shop and he sells prints of them for $6.00. Let’s hear it for totally awesome, totally unique, cheap art!!
Finally, I needed something substantial to add some height, but I think if I put one more motivational quote or word on my wall, my husband might lose his mind, so I happened to see this awesome moon phase art on A Beautiful Mess’ Instagram feed the other day and it was the perfect solution, so I created my own with a piece of scrap wood and some gold leaf (tutorial coming).
To me, our homes should be all about being surrounded by the things we love and a gallery wall is like writing the story of your family right on the wall for everyone to see. Have fun with it create something that makes your home totally you!