Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Creating a Gallery Wall

Gallery walls are all the rage right now. I've had them a time or two in the past--in fact, I have two tubs full of picture frames-white, black, silver. The thing is, the frame styles are very traditional. Because that used to be my style before I evolved into this rustic-modern-loving-gal. But, as I mentioned in a previous post, I got inspired by Dana from House*Tweaking. This image below is from Dana's "everything room."

I love everything about it--the dark charcoal upper walls, the white lower paneling, the credenza, the Hoyne pendant... Dana, let's be friends and then it won't be weird if I camp out in your everything room and just drool. But I digress. Let's take a peek through the Hoyne pendant and look at what is behind it. A gallery wall!

This one struck me a slightly different than my previous gallery walls--not traditional at all. The frames are flat and skinny--more modern in appearance.  What I truly liked about this gallery wall is the play of the rustic picture frames and the silver frames with burlap mats (at least  it looks burlapy!)  Dana was kind enough to share her sources on her blog--the rustic frames I liked so much were from Target (Threshold Picture Frame), and the silver frames were from West Elm (Gallery Frames-Antique Silver).   We don't have a West Elm here, but we do have Target so I ran to Target and grabbed a few of the rustic frames.

Then I assembled a hodge-podge of items I had around the house to create a gallery wall. Here are the progress shots:

And please, ignore the mess around the frames. As you can see, I just took different items I owned and tried to make it asymmetrically pleasing.  Finally, I got tired of messing around with it on the floor and just started tacking them up on the wall.  And this is where I tell you I made a new best friend:

This, my friends, is the Hang & Level. I picked it up at Target but online it says it is also available at Home Depot. This little bad boy is such a genius. Basically, you use one of the 3 little hooks on the bottom to hang your picture frame on, you hold it at the top to move the picture around and ensure it is level. When you have it where you want it to be, keep holding the tool on the wall and remove the picture from the tool. Then press gently on the the little button of the peg you initially hung your picture on. What it does is makes a small dent in the wall--the perfect spot to start hammering your nail in. Brilliant, really.

I will say however, it gets tricky to use with a gallery wall--especially if you are like me and just eyeballing the arrangement on the wall. The one problem I kept running into was the pictures I already had hung on the upper wall interfered with using the Hang & Level when it came to trying to place the pictures on the lower portion of the wall. The Level is so long that you can't hold the level to the top of the wall to position the lower pictures perfectly because the frames were up there. And I couldn't easily remove the top frames because I needed their placement to determine where the lower frames would look best. The other flaw I noticed is with heavy picture frames, it got  tricky to hold the level at the top knob and support the weight of the picture frame while trying to ensure it is level. But I am scrawny, so this might not be a problem for anyone of normal weight.

After a bit of bonding with my new pal, I reached a temporarily satisfying arrangement. I say temporary because I feel it needs more. For one thing, I don't have any of the West Elm Silver frames that I loved so much, and for another thing, I feel it needs some smaller, square frames or pieces to balance it out. Right now there are very large pictures/frames up that it needs something smaller to balance it perfectly I also am not crazy about the lamp poking up in the middle of the gap. I expect some re-arranging to happen in the near future. I also have plans to change up the console beneath.  That said, without further ado, here is my new gallery wall.

What do you think? 

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