It all started with a mirror.
*Let me just pause right here to say that I want Lovely Etc. to be a place to inspire people to make their home beautiful on a tight budget and inform them of how to do it. This is definitely more on the inform side of things so there won’t be a lot of beautiful photos in this post.)
A couple of years ago I picked up a large gaudy gold mirror at a yard sale for only $25. I promptly painted it aqua (of course) and hung it over the couch. Done and done.
Except it never looked like it belonged there. And finally, this summer I decided to take it down in favor of some family photos. (Which incidentally were sorely lacking from the family room – ironic I know).
So my mirror was homeless. Meanwhile, back in the master bedroom there was a major need for a full length mirror. I bet you can see where this is going.
The only problem was the mirror could only be used as a full length mirror when placed very awkwardly next to the bathroom door. And one of the best ways to work with something awkward on the wall is to balance it by building a gallery wall around it.
As you know (if you’ve been here before), I am a use what you’ve got kind of girl. So I gathered together all of the frames and other miscellaneous that could possibly become part of my gallery wall.
I also grabbed a roll of leftover wrapping paper. I traced each frame/object onto the wrapping paper and cut them out. Then I arranged and rearranged them on the wall to my heart’s content by simply taping them up.
I personally believe gallery walls look best if the frames either
a. are all the same color and basic style or
b. are completely different.
For this gallery wall, I had to work with the style of the mirror which was fairly ornate. I knew I did not want to use all ornate frames because that would look incredibly busy. So I went with a mix of more detailed, ornate style frames and more streamlined, chunky frames. I wanted to make sure I mixed things up so that all of the ornate frames weren’t clumped on one side, so I added a little sketch on each wrapping paper outline to remind me what the frame looked like.
This may seem crazy over the top to some of you but I firmly believe it is the details like this that make or break a project. Plus, what can I say, I am a type A kind of girl.
When arranging your gallery wall, be sure to keep the spacing between your pieces as uniform as possible. Even gallery walls with a more random layout like mine look better when everything is hung within a few inches of each other.
Once I had an arrangement I liked, I marked on each wrapping paper template where the nail needed to be placed and nailed right through the paper. As you can see, I chose to use my mirror as a leaning mirror. I like the look and my little guy loves that he can see himself in the mirror – win, win.
When my husband saw the wall at this stage, he very tactfully asked if I was going to leave those random pictures in the frames. Um, no, those are the pictures that came in them from various yard sales. Painting the frames and adding new art that is meaningful to us will be phase two.
Those are my tips and tricks for arranging a gallery wall – what tips would you add? Phase two is almost completed so be on the lookout for the finished project soon. And I can assure you it looks much better than the above. ;)
I am linking this post at the Inspiration Gallery.