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Yesterday I shared a look at my updated gallery wall with Simply Framed, a wall that definitely doesn’t shy from the bold or colorful. And while gallery walls tend feel very “one-and-done,” I touched upon the process of continually adding to your collection and making room as I’ve always been a believer that a spectacular gallery wall should feel truly collected, and evolve over time.
I know the process of actually laying out and hanging a great gallery wall can be quite intimidating. So if you’re feeling hesitant in the time it will take, and putting a bunch of holes in the wall, I’m here to tell you that there are several steps to consider even before that hammer is in your hand.
Below, I’ve broken down a few easy steps, tricks and tips to keep in mind as you’re beginning with your wall. Yes, it involves some planning and the right tools (I’d recommend this easy, ready-to-use tool kit), and will take some time to get it just right. But the beauty of an amazing gallery wall, is that it’s ever-changing alongside you. So don’t be afraid to mix-and-match because there really aren’t any rules. That’s the beauty of art; you like what you like, and it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks, you’re the one that has to live with it. So here’s to great gallery walls that reflect your personality, and to ones that never take themselves too seriously! Good luck! Truly, MKR
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Always start with a large hero, or anchor piece where your eye will go first. While yes, you want your wall to house all different shaped and sized pieces of art if you have a ton of smaller pieces with no large “wow” piece your wall won’t make the impact you want a gallery wall to always make.
The best way to do this is by laying the pieces on the floor. This way, you’ll be able to visualize different setups, making easy adjustments and tweaks as you decide. You can then reproduce the layout with blue painter’s tape on the wall; it will accurately reflect the sizes of your pieces and how they’ll look placed together. Try not to hang everything too closely together, you want about 2-3 inches at least between pieces. Mix up the levels at which you hang, you don’t want it too look like perfect rows, instead try to hang pieces just above or below the other pieces. And one last tip, once you have everything on the floor the way you’d like take a picture of it with your phone in case you forget exactly what piece went where as you begin to dissect it.
You want the gallery wall to have a personality and feel that it’s been collected over time. By mixing and matching frames, as well as incorporating illustrations, paintings, prints and 3-D objects (like a juju feather hat, skateboard or sconce), you create an eclectic, lived-in feel.
Save yourself some sanity and gather all of the tools you’ll need to see the project from start to finish. That includes: a hammer, nails, level, tape measurer, pencil & eraser, blue painter’s tape, a small notebook (which is helpful for writing down the measurements of the art) and a screwdriver.
Simply Framed is genius and sells a ready-to-use tool kit (only $39), which contains everything you’ll need to do the job right, all in a durable carryall that won’t take up too much room in, if you’re anything like me, is an already overstuffed garage or closet.
You may remember my colorful and quirky loft space from a 2015 One Room Challenge; it had a MAJOR mix of playful colors, patterns and textures galore with its centerpiece being my gallery wall of collected art. With a whopping 24 pieces on the wall itself, I feel like I defined a whole new level of “gallery wall.”
When I initially created the gallery, I purposely left some room on the wall for the collection to evolve and grow. It wasn’t until recently, right before Christmas, when I walked into my guest room (rather storage room) and saw over a dozen pieces just leaning against the wall, unframed and collecting dust, did I realize that I better get them on the wall before it becomes too daunting to do so. And if I’m being honest, a dozen plus pieces was already becoming to feel daunting.
I had used a few framers in the past, but with each frame ringing anywhere from $200 to upwards of a $1,000 for my largest piece, the idea of framing everything was even more daunting than getting them hung on the wall. Fortunately, I had recently met the founder of Simply Framed at a conference here in the A. I was beyond inspired by her story and bootstrap mentality of starting her business. I knew next time I needed a framer, Simply Framed would be where I turned.
And man, am I happy I did. I cannot tell you how simple and seamless the entire process was. Simply Framed‘s approach to all of this framing business is beyond refreshing. I went online, picked out my mattes and frames then Simply Framed sent me the shipping tubes and pre-paid labels to send in all of my art safely. Once everything arrived, I worked closely with their customer service team to make sure all of the art was perfectly matched up to it’s corresponding frame because I was nervous with so many pieces and different frames things would get mixed up. In less than two weeks, I received my pieces back at home, along with an easy framing kit that, again, made it ridiculously simple to finish the project.
When it came to actually laying out a gallery wall of this size and caliber, I can honestly say I was a tad on the uneasy side. When buying each piece, I wasn’t thinking “…oh this piece of artwork will look great next to this piece, and that piece”. I simply bought what I loved and had faith it would work itself out. I mean, I have plenty of walls, so if it didn’t incorporate well in the gallery, I knew there would be another wall or shelf where it would work. In the end, I was thrilled to find that even though the majority of the pieces were bold and bright, the overall tone worked well; with a warm, peachy neutral emphasis and clean, modern frames. It’s funny how even though you often don’t intentionally think about a color scheme or pattern, one always seems to naturally work its way out.
This time around that natural theme included a bold, colorful nude by Kate Waddell via Well + Wonder. Collective. Have you heard of Well + Wonder? It’s a beautiful website with a collection of southern-curated artists, and it’s quickly become my go-to when I’ve got the itch for a new addition at a price that doesn’t make me feel buyers remorse. This industry has me fortunate in meeting so many talented creatives and collectives like Well + Wonder, I always enjoy finding new additions; each one carrying a special feeling, memory, or moment.
I’ve always looked forward to hosting overnight guests. Yes, I’m admittedly a homebody, but I relish the opportunity to have loved ones here with us at home, especially this time of year.
As you may remember, I shared my five steps to get the house “guest ready” a few years ago. It’s one of our most popular posts with its easy entertaining inspiration and hotel-like details to replicate at home. It’s still a favorite of mine as well, but I’d like to say I’ve honed my house guests prep game even more since then. Today’s post is the proof.
The secret to hosting friends and family throughout the holidays (and really any time of year) is in the details and little luxuries that so many people overlook; include things that make them feel like they’re staying at a 5-star hotel. Think of the necessities you need and the extras you would want, but wouldn’t want to ask for! I’ve broken the details down to five separate areas below with none being outlandish or fussy, but instead achieving that warm welcome and feelings that will make guests never want to leave. Truly, MKR
Nothing beats clean sheets and gorgeous bedding…it’s the obvious statement of the room that can always easily be changed. I recently bought a new comforter; I realized I was sort of over duvets in general and how they lay. So being ready for a fresh change, I ordered this punchy comforter and sham set. I’d say it was just the refresh the room needed!
The personalized sheets are a detail I just love too; they’re subtle, crisp and simply timeless.
I always like to prepare a tray or two with the necessities that people never want to ask for. That includes things like Advil, toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, razors, and even your wifi password written out on a piece of paper.
These rattan trays are great because they’re easy and functional as they organize and corral all of these necessities. They don’t have huge handles, so they add just the right amount of texture without being overpowering to the overall design.
You want to make your guests feel welcome—almost as good as home—and one of the easiest ways of doing that is by providing cozy details. A huggable throw blanket and sets of pajamas are two of my go-to’s when creating am oasis for guests. But remember: when buying pajamas, you’ll always want to have them bigger than smaller, so size up if you want to offer a standard pair.
One of the reasons being away from home gets wearisome sometimes is the feeling of dependency over the little things. By offering plenty of refreshments in the bedroom, you give your guests the chance to feel more at home…on their own.
To celebrate the season, I knew I wanted to hang a giant boxwood wreath above the bed. Hanging a wreath is nothing new, I know. But unlike other wreaths, boxwood won’t allow trimmings to fall on your guests’ heads in bed. Boxwood and eucalyptus are my preferred greens whenever hanging a wreath like this one. I hung this one with a gorgeous green velvet ribbon; one that was substantial enough to hold the large wreath and had wire to make a nice bow. And to keep things fresh, spritz frequently with a homemade Balsam Fir spray (check out @thewellcode) for more on that.
I also displayed paperwhites I sprouted from the bulbs, along with a basket of white poinsettias. Both are so festive, but a lot less expensive than other flowers this time of year. But you’ll want to be careful with your poinsettias on the ground if you have furry friends around.
Lastly, I like to have a few magazines, newspaper and any other reading material on-hand for guests. I also place a guestbook on the dresser; it’s such a nice tradition to have people share memories, especially at Christmastime!