Decorating a large space can be overwhelming and finding the right balance of furniture and accents on the wall I find to be the trickiest part. Those things plus a lack of knowing what my ‘style’ is caused us to live in our house for over a year before anything major was put onto the walls. In my defence we were coming from a very small apartment so what works in 500 sq ft doesn’t always translate well to 1500 sq ft.
We live in a 1908 farmhouse that has all of the charm you would expect from a house this old. It was that charm that sold me in a matter of minutes when we first walked through the house. We have almost 9 ft ceilings which leads to a lot of open wall space. The walls are plaster and lathe so we are limited in what can go up on the walls. I attempted to hang an incredibly heavy mirror on the wall awhile back which resulted in it crashing to the floor, thankfully not breaking in the process.
Finding something that is going to work on such a large scale while not being too overwhelming for the space has been my biggest obstacle in the living room. It wasn’t until I created a gallery wall in Sophie’s bedroom that I got the idea that it might work in the living room as well.
I will be honest I am a total sucker for a great gallery wall, who doesn’t love to have a wall completely devoted to your favourite people, places and things with a few fun accents added in. And when you are working with a blank canvas like this why wouldn’t you want to just fill it up.
*Tip – When creating a gallery wall find a variety of sizes and shapes for your frames and art, it will add interest to the space and not look too planned.
My absolute favourite place to find frames is at my local thrift store, especially on the right discount day when you can sometimes get them for 50% off. If you can look past the colour of the frame and focus on the shape and texture you can find some really great pieces to add to your wall. You can always spray paint the frame if the colour isn’t right so don’t get too caught up in the big picture just look for features you like.
Somehow while not planned at all I ended up with an entire box of wood frames all in different finishes. So while my original plan had to been to paint some of them I decided to go with the wood theme which would play nicely with the other wood elements in the room. The best part is that it saves me from having to paint the frames.
To cut down on the number of unnecessary holes in the wall I decided to use the tip I found floating around the internet of making paper templates of your frames and taping them to the wall to decide on layout before committing to the design with nails. I took each frame and created a template while also making sure to mark where the nail needs to be so that I can use that as a guide when putting my nails in the wall.
Once they were all up I was able to move them around until I found the placement that I liked best. It was such a good idea that I took the time to plan everything out because as I was driving the nails in I could hear plaster falling down with every hit of the hammer.
Once you have the frames up you can begin deciding which pictures you want to display, which is probably the most difficult part of the process. If you are anything like me you have thousands of pictures that you love so choosing a few is very difficult.
*Tip – Once or twice a year change out the 5×7 and 4×6 prints for something different. The expense isn’t that great but it will give your gallery wall a fresh new look.
I absolutely love how it turned out. It is a great mix of pictures of us and the kids, family and other accents. It has completely transformed the space into something that looks lived in and it is exactly what I wanted. Just goes to show that your space can be transformed with a trip to the thrift store and your favourite pictures and prints.
That picture of Benny on the bottom right is one of my favorites.