Gallery Wall Debut and My Duh Moment of the Week

It’s an ever evolving thing, but it’s time for an update on how the apartment has been coming. The gallery wall is ready for its debut.

This is probably the space I had the clearest vision for when we first toured the apartment, which is funny considering it’s been changing since March.
When Chris and I got married, we realized we had a unique situation. We had very little furniture (mostly from Chris’s bachelor days that had been moved 5 times) but there was SO much art. Chris worked with a vendor at San Diego Comic Con for about eight years and in the course, collected a whole bevy of art. I have artwork I made as well as pieces I’ve collected over the years. A sofa? You’re asking too much. But enough art to hit up every empty wall possible? Easy.

To get oriented…

The decision to do a gallery wall was an easy one; its the only way we’d be able to even remotely display everything (and we actually still have pieces set aside that have no home yet) but figuring out the configuration was trickier. I fell back on a handy Pinterest hack: we traced each piece of artwork and taped it up to the wall. Now, normal people use craft paper or something plain. Impatient people whip out Christmas wrapping paper and start maniacally cutting at 1 o’clock in the morning. Three guesses which person I was…

I rearranged options for a few days, sending photos to friends and family to see if they saw any major holes or unfortunate pairings (This is actually why I turned the wrapping paper around, the first response I got was “Too many snowflakes.” Thanks guys).

 

 

I wish I had a good photo of the snowflakes. Bless it. 

 

Tip: It’s vital to consider your art as a whole, as well as each piece. Lay all your pieces out near each other on a big flat surface and check to make sure your color palate coordinates. Are any of your frames clashing? We had some chunkier frames that had depth to them, so we knew those couldn’t be near the geometric shelves. We also had several frames that were very close in size, so we tried to keep those distant from each other.

Then came time to hang everything. Let me tell you, that is the moment you will be thanking your lucky stars that you made the paper grid, it honestly made this step a breeze. We had one snaffoo: the deer. This painting has traveled with me since I was in 4th grade. It’s actually the first watercolor painting I ever did (Some of you may recognize this piece from Instagram, it’s the one my husband called a goldfish. I will give him props and say the painting was upside down at the time. He now refers to it as the “Not Goldfish”). This painting was framed when I was 11 and has just leaned on top my dresser since then. It never hung on the wall. I honestly never considered checking the back of the frame, but when we went to hang it (last I may add) we realized that particular frame has no spot to add a wire or bracket, it goes straight from cardboard backing to the angle of the back of the frame.

 


I set it aside and spent a few days (weeks, I’ll be honest) admiring the wall and just left my wrapping paper place holder up. I considered buying a new frame but wasn’t sold. I considered putting something else there and just continuing to lean “Not Goldfish” on top of a bookshelf, but I didn’t want to buy something new because the whole issue was having So. Much. Art. So I left it and became obsessed with a different project.

The little abandoned guy

Cut to a few weeks ago, my husband asked why I’d never published about how the wall turned out. I pointed to our stylish snowflake paper and said I was putting it off. He scoffed, told me to hang ‘the thing from the bathroom’ and get to writing. Y’all. It was a face-palm moment for me. It took him two seconds. This illustration of Howard’s School of Witchcraft and Wizardry fits perfectly. And who doesn’t need more Harry Potter in their life?

We’re so excited to have one section of our new home “done.” Can’t wait to get started on another project!

Trash vs Treasure 

I admire minimalists. I do. To have that superpower must be amazing. It is not something I have ever possessed.

Here’s my confession: I like stuff.

I am a collector, a curator if you want to make it sound classier. A hoarder if you aren’t feeling so charitable. I find comfort in having the familiar around me. And my familiar happens to be more than most. As a young girl, I collected rocks and anything to do with cats. As an adult, I still have these collections…and then you when add in artwork, my grandmother’s tea sets,  oh so many books and whatever else catches my eye, you have a lot more boxes to unpack after moving.  This doesn’t even account for the fact that my husband is also a major collector. He has comic books galore; he owns statues and figures and sports memorabilia out to wazoo.  Everyone has their “thing.” The key comes in figuring out how best to display the items that you’re passionate about.

This tendency to collect is something I have and will continue to struggle to accept about myself. It’s not a bad trait, but sometimes I get so caught up in how much stuff I have that I forget the joy of certain pieces and the reasons I fell in love in the first place (usually when I need to dust, if I’m fully honest). Collecting is all well and good. A well-displayed collection can be a focal point and conversation piece in any space. It can add interest, bring joy (or horror depending on the collection) and just plain look cool… if it’s well edited.

This month I’ve tried to focus on how to display my collections in a way that brings us happiness every day. My husband’s collections are more extensive than mine and one of our biggest challenges as we blended our belongings was finding ways to organize and display all our stuff in a cohesive way. Honestly I think this will be a lifelong puzzle.

Here are some ideas that we’ve fallen in love with:

The options for displaying collections  seem endless because there are just so many different paths you could take. You really can go many directions. The biggest thing to remember is to you make sure to enjoy the process. Drop a comment telling me what you like to collect and why… let’s compare tips!

 

His and Hers, but mostly Hers

Recently a friend asked me if my bedroom is how I would have pictured it being five years ago. While the question threw me for a loop, I had to conclude that it’s not. For one, I can’t say my mental design scheme originally included my husband’s style. He’s drawn to sleek and modern whereas I’m a little more traditional. As we hadn’t met 5 years ago, I can safely say I would have pictured my space going a totally different direction.

If I had drawn it out way back when, I would have to say I would picture my bedroom ending up somewhere more like this: 


I am definitely not afraid of color and I just adore this watercolor inspired rug. Plus, think what an awesome job that would do at hiding nail polish spills. Bonus points.

I am a sucker for a good chandelier (and I can promise you, Chris and I are destined for many discussions over light fixtures because our tastes couldn’t be more polar opposite). This chandelier is fun, flirty, but has enough subtlety not to overpower the relaxing purpose of a bedroom. 

So here I am with this flirty and feminine bedroom design and a husband who just quirks a brow and gives me a “Look.”

What’s a girl to do?

Whale-come to the Nursery

It’s feel like 2016 is just zipping right by. It’s a year of changes for my family and friends. My sister is expecting her first child, a baby girl. To say everyone is thrilled is an understatement.

Most of this summer has revolved around preparing for the upcoming baby, in one way or another. Recently, I spent a weekend at my sister’s home plotting and shopping for baby. Starting with a blank slate, we came up with ideas for a theme and started creating a nursery.

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So many options

Rebecca wanted a nursery that was fairly gender neutral  and would grow along with the child
(and any future children). We talked about a variety of themes, but landed on whales and the ocean. Whales are popular right now, would be easy to find and aren’t specific to a baby girl or boy.

We put together a mood board with ideas of how she pictures the nursery and tried to break it down into specific shopping elements.

Who wouldn’t want this nursery?

Furniture wise, the goal was traditional. Rebecca chose to reuse the changing table from when we were kids. It needed a little love though. The drawers were painted a deep blue, the base was its natural maple and the knobs are little baseballs, from my brothers childhood bedroom. For my niece, we updated a bit. My brother in law painted the base white and used an ombré effect on the drawers. We’re still on the hunt for some fun knobs; really, the options are endless!

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I am just in love with this updated look 

They chose a traditional crib in the Jenny Lind style and wanted a comfy rocker to settle into for late night feedings. Other than a bookshelf and a lamp, that covered layout  covered, furniture-wise. Now for the fun stuff: accessories and storage. We trolled brick-and-mortar stores as well as the Internet to find inspiration.

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So many options


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So many options


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So many options

We found so many adorable ideas it was hard to narrow it down. Some I can’t even publish yet because I would hate to spoil surprises. More photos to come showing all projects for baby.

I can’t wait to share how this nautical nursery turns out!

Dress Your Dining Room… Literally

Dress Your Dining Room by Moqqup Studios

Dress Your Dining Room by Moqqup Studios

Ever find yourself at a dead-end trying to design a space? It’s a common thing, no worries. One good way to help inspire yourself is to step into your closet. Go pull out your favorite outfit. The one that fills you with confidence, makes you feel absolutely yourself. That’s your style. Your fashion sense is applicable to your home also. Welcome to your personal design palette.

-Side note: If you don’t have a full outfit you’re willing to dress your space in: don’t panic. Pick out your favorite pieces. Belt, blouse, dress, ring, whatever. Find your common elements. you tend to keep picking pieces with lots of detail, lots of color? You love black and white? You’re very comfort-oriented? Find your main squeeze and go forth!-

I’ve made a sample collage here. This girl (let’s name her Lucy) loves her black lace cocktail dress and her Christian Louboutin’s. That bracelet is her pride and joy. I’d say her style is very classic with vintage elements. She likes the bold and labels are important to her. The line and shape of a piece is just as important as the pattern for Lucy.

For her dining room, I stuck with bold jewel tones with metallics. The table has sleek modern lines but is paired with a traditional chandelier.  Lucy’s dining room makes a statement, as does every piece in it. Individually, and as a whole, these pieces are showstoppers. Paired with luscious raw silk draperies, a metallic painted ceiling and a dramatic patterned wallpaper, Lucy’s dress comes to life and starts hosting its’ own dinner parties.

Which well-loved outfits do you have waiting to inspire your own dream home design?