I could just start this post with a ta da…and show you the finished gallery wall. And you would laugh, shake your head, and say..
Girl, you need therapy.
And then we would all go on our merry way and that would be…
But no. You are not getting off that easy. (And do not even think about scrolling to the bottom of this post to see before you read the story here today.) Misery loves company, and I am going to drag you through this
torturous creative process right along with my crazy brain. So get ready…
That wall in the boys’ bedroom has been bare for about a year. I would see it, walk right by it, and think….I really need to put something on that wall. Deep down inside I knew there was a reason it was undressed.
I was avoiding it.
I can do vignettes on tabletops, cabinets, and shelves ’til the cows come home. (Just look at my classroom for proof.) But walls? They scare me to death. You see, there were all these wonderful inspirational images of walls out there – all adorned with art mixed with vintage items and other really great things…
like bicycle seats…
and plates with sailing ships and framed letters.
And I knew I had to bust out of my classic straight rows of black and white photography in simple frames. Why do you think I find ginghams and plaids so attractive…hmm? Such lovely evenly spaced straight lines. Anyway, what better place to go a little wild than in a room shared by guys, right? So…full of fear of the unknown, the walls were left empty until I got
a shove an invitation from Cindy and Mary Ann to see if I would like to participate in their gallery wall project. Who wouldn’t want to join in with their talented group???
I had to do it. I just had to. It was the motivation I needed.
So I began to gather photos and diplomas,
and I bought letters at Hobby Lobby (because I knew a creative gallery wall had to have letters.)
Then, the biggie started…the frames. That is probably not how most people approach gallery walls. Most people probably know what pictures or things they want to include in an arrangement. Not me. The frames were dictating my arrangement. I knew that, with the exception of the diplomas, I could reprint any of the photographs in any size I wanted, and I also knew I had like a zillion of the simple black frames I like (available here) in assorted sizes. I hoard frames. Truly. So I took the advice of so many of you, and traced off paper the size and shape of the letters and a bunch of the frames. Then I took Jayne’s advice and played around with arrangements, took pictures of them, and tried to see which one I liked the best.
I started big and bold like Susan told me to do in her comment. (The empty space there is for an extra letter needed from Hobby Lobby.)
This looked waaaay too busy to me. It made me feel very nervous. So I tried it without photos over that small locker table.
I didn’t love it. Now remember I am seeing the other side of the room as well…the side with all the millions of books on the bookshelves and the desk with its six baskets of sports equipment hanging above it and the bulletin board with all its photos on it. I started getting worried that I wasn’t going to love anything, and I began to feel a little frustrated.
So I took down the paper for the small frames, thinking if I limited the choices to two sizes rather than three, it would be better. A third version was then taped up there on the wall (with a spot at the top for another initial.)
But I still didn’t love it…and the whole room – with all its many things on the other walls – was still making me nervous. I decided perhaps I should change out some of the things on the other walls, so they would be less busy. Bye-bye yellow board with #72 on it. (It looked a little too young for our twenty-something year old sons anyway.) A calm black and white photo of the tower from our oldest son’s college replaced it.
Then it was bye-bye black bulletin board with all its photos on it. It was replaced with a graduation photo of our younger son.
Better – but I still wasn’t loving the gallery wall. I stood there thinking and thinking. And then, like the Grinch, who stood with his feet ice cold in the snow, I got an idea – and awful idea…
You promised not to laugh.
Yep. I’m afraid so. Nice straight rows with evenly spaced photos. Epic fail here. I just couldn’t do the whole creative eclectic thing, but oh my goodness how much better it felt in there with those 6 photos…balancing the 6 baskets over the desk. The symmetry gods were smiling on me once again even if I did fail at trying to branch out to something different.
I did manage to get a little brave…
I went around the corner.
Now we can say ta-da. You have made it to the reveal, and I am sure you are ready to send me to therapy because I just can’t help myself. As my sister says, “You like what you like.” Plain and simple.
And here is what I ended up liking for the finished project. (Hallelujah it’s finished!)
I will say that nailing those pictures up was the least damaging way I have ever hung photos. The paper worked like a charm for nail placement, and out of all the photos I put up, there were only 2 that I had to make one additional hole for. Pretty good considering how straight they needed to be from two different angles. That wall has had a lot of abuse – from oars and life preservers hung there to a real deal bicycle suspended on it. So it was good to not damage it any more than it has already suffered through.
I did bravely extend the photos further down the wall some as well.
So what happened to those diplomas I had out to go in the arrangement? I framed them, and they are hung across from the bookshelves as you come in the door. I still need to have a mat made for the Emory diploma and a larger one for the Mercer one.
And that, my sweet readers, is how the plain Jane gallery wall came to live in our sons’ room. Now if you want to see some really beautiful ones, check out all the finished walls in the links after the project badge below. I know they will be gorgeous.
A big thank you to Cindy from Rough Luxe and Mary Ann from Classic Casual Home for coming up with the gallery wall project for us to do, to the designers/bloggers in this group for their words of encouragement (even though my wall certainly does not look creative), and to you readers who make time to visit here. I appreciate all of you.
Hope your week is off to a great start!