The Gallery

Ever since we moved in to our house, I’ve wanted to create a “gallery wall” along the stairs to showcase family photos and fun prints.


It only took me 7 months to get it done!

Part of the reason it’s taken so long is because I wasn’t sure what images I wanted to use. We have so much more wall space in the new house that I’ve had to slowly get a feel for a room before deciding what to hang in it. What worked on say the living room wall in the old house doesn’t quite fit in the new one.

That and my perfectionism. I mean, what if I hang up a picture and it looks bad? Eeh gads! The world might end!


At any rate, on Sunday I was playing in the basement with Isabella and started going through boxes to see what was in them. I came across a framed piece of art that we had in the kitchen of the old house, and which I had not been able to find since moving. I immediately knew it would be perfect as part of the gallery wall and suddenly I was inspired.

I started pulling together family photos and other small pieces of art that would work with it.

My 2 rules:

  1. Each piece had to have either a black or white frame. This would keep the wall unified despite the images themselves being different, and
  2. Nothing larger than an 11 x 14” frame because I wanted each piece to be medium to small size so they’d be more of a collection.

I also didn’t want TOO many pics – I didn’t want to cover the wall completely.

OK so that’s 3 rules.

Once I had the pics, I had to determine the best way to lay them all out together. You can’t just randomly start hanging them up; you have to put a little thought in to it first. What I did was trace each picture frame on a piece of white paper and wrote on it what the picture was and what color of frame it had. Then I laid out all the pieces of paper on the floor and moved them around until I had an arrangement I liked. From there, I used a small piece of tape to put them up on the wall to see if the arrangement translated vertically.


I left the paper up on the wall for half the day in order to “live with it” for a bit. Seeing them from different angles and walking by them several times helped cement the arrangement.


I used this “break” to bake up some Peanut Butter Truffle Brownies.


OMG. These are so good. Even CJ, who normally doesn’t like peanut butter in desserts, raved about them.


But I digress.

Also during my “picture hanging marinating period” I had to run to the store and buy a couple replacement frames as some of the ones I had were a little beaten up or not made for hanging on the wall. Turned out Target had all their frames on sale, plus I had a coupon for buy 2 frames get one free (I needed 5 frames) AND I had a gift card. So the frames were practically free! Ok maybe not but still darn cheap none-the-less ($28 for all 5 frames).

Now it was time to hang!

This would normally be the part of a DIY blog where a person talks about some really cool tool they used to mark holes on the walls so that everything was nice and even and aligned. And how they used a level to get it all straight.

That person would not be me.

I pretty much just eye-balled it. If I were doing a gallery wall where all the frames were the same size and I wanted them squared off and even, I would have taken more time. But since I had some variance and the point was to be purposely misaligned, I just went for it.


And it turned out pretty darn good.


I had to get CJ to help me with the picture in the upper left-hand corner because it was too high for me to reach (and needed a screw and a drill), but otherwise it was all me.

The Chrysler Building print was a Goodwill find for $2.99. I like it because it represents my previous life in NYC (I lived there on and off for about a year) and it’s an architectural type drawing (CJ and I are architecture geeks).


The white “You Make Me Smile” print was also a Goodwill find for $2.99. I liked the simplicity of it and the message. I kept it down low so that when Isabella can read, she’ll see it every day and know I was thinking of her when I bought it.


The “Don’t Be Afraid of Tomorrow, God is Already There” piece was the one from our old kitchen that got this whole project kicked off. It was a gift from a friend many moons ago.


And the rest are pics of family. For now I’m happy with these 9 pieces. Obviously there’s room to expand if we decide to add more but I also don’t want to take over the whole wall either.

Not yet anyway.

Oh and Isabella was a big help in taking this project over the finish line…


After doing all this work, CJ and Isabella decided some yoga was in order, to stretch out their muscles.

Plow anyone?


And don’t forget downward dog!


And it all made her so tired, that she slept part of the night half in and half out of her bed.


So there you have it! The start of the gallery wall. I see this as a fluid space that will change and grow over time. For now, it makes me really happy. Every time I walk by the stairs and see it, I smile.


With each project that gets completed, the house feels more and more like ours.

Have a great evening! I’m off to scarf down a PB truffle brownie!

If you liked this, you might also like:

S&C | Projects | 29 Day Organizational Challenge

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