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!

How Do You Choose Your Design Style?

Does this question burn anybody like it does me? Maybe it’s from an interior designer standpoint, but trying to put a label on my personal style feels kind of like being asked to solve the formula for time travel. I got nothing. Or, more accurately, I have options galore. I’m transitional. I’m eclectic. I love Art Deco. I tend towards Mid Century Modern. The choices!

This is normally where I tell a client to start making mood boards. Whether it’s on Pinterest, a bulletin board, or a stack of ripped up magazine pages, gather and cultivate the things that appeal to you. I’ve trapped my husband in this stage. We’re trying to make a semi-longterm plan for a dining set and a sofa and and and. While we plan and save, I obsessively send him photos. And then nitpick through the photos.

I, personally, adore this stage. I’m not so sure Chris does, but he indulges me.

Here are some images that we’ve been loving:

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Image via loversofmint.blogspot.com

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Image via Rose Poupre

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Image via Curated Interior: Emily Jackson’s Home

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Image via ChrisLovesJulia

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Image via Jason Oliver Nixon & John Loecke, Madcap Cottage

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Image by Summer Thornton Interiors

Take the Plunge

Have you ever been shopping online or standing in a store, seen a shirt and just had an AHA moment? A moment where you are absolutely certain that this thing was made for you? The angels are singing, the birds are chirping and that shirt is coming home with you?  Have you ever then gone home, put on the shirt and just felt deflated at the total disconnect? Sometimes what looked fantastic on the model just doesn’t translate to your body type. Sometimes that particular color or pattern doesn’t flatter (or in my pale case, makes you look like a walking corpse… shout out to all the white clothes I think are cute but really wash me out). Sometimes you were just feeling boho that day but in reality that’s not your style. It happens. The same is true of design.

Recently I’ve been catching up on blogs galore and a few things have stuck out to me: making decisions is hard. It takes trial and error to find the perfect fit for you. Design is an intensely personal thing. It’s influenced by so many different factors. These can include everything from look to budget to lighting to durability to what’s on sale. And that’s before you even factor in tastes and needs of the other people in your household. It can be tricky. And that’s ok.

Never be scared to make  a change to your space. It’s your home. You spend so much cumulative time there… why shouldn’t you enjoy it? If you can take a chance on that shirt, you can take a chance on your home! Try that paint color; the worst that happens is you have a good laugh and then you repaint. Change up your furniture if you don’t love it… that’s why the internet invented Craigslist. Somewhere out there, someone is going to love that piece. If something doesn’t make you happy, help make your life easier… then bite the bullet. Admit your ‘white shirt’ isn’t for you. You love blue anyways.

Take the risk

Pretty much the only white I’ve ever loved… and it’s ivory!

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?