What Not To Do When Creating A Gallery Wall

I didn't realize some of these frames were crooked until I was editing. The perfectionist in me is literally twitching, haha

I didn't realize some of these frames were crooked until I was editing. The perfectionist in me is literally twitching, haha

 

     I had every intention when we started this gallery wall that I was going to write this fabulous "How-To" for big gallery walls. Um, three days and roughly eight collective hours later, I realized I was so naive. So just like How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days, I'm reverse how-to(ing) this. 

    I started this process quite awhile before we purchased anything for it. I'd like to think I did the first few steps correctly. I picked a frame that was simple and would be uniform across the entire wall. I picked a few big pieces that we would work around. Finally, waited for wedding photos before beginning because I knew I wanted it to be all about us. 

    Then, Michaels had a HUGE sale on the frames I wanted. We went to two separate stores and still ended up with two different colored frames. A dark wood and a white. I decided to come to terms with this, even though I knew I will eventually want all the same shade. Luckily, the Belmont frame from Michael's doesn't seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. 

    So, now that we've cleaned out both of the Michael's of their remaining white and dark wood frames, we headed home happy. Ok, I was happy. Alvin was agitated that he went to decor stores after a work day. As soon as we got home, the high of the deals had me instantly moving our coffee table to make room on the floor to start creating the layout. 

 

Creating the layour was messy work. 

Creating the layour was messy work. 

 

    After creating a beautiful layout that I adored while it was on the floor, I measured the width and height to give us some parameters on the wall. We used painters tape to mark the height parameters but I decided pretty quickly that I wanted the gallery to be a bit wider than it was on the floor. In my excitement/Friday night exhaustion, I didn't think through the problems widening it might cause. This is mistake #1

 

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    So we put them all up, roughly where they were on the floor. I say roughly because mistake #2: we didn't measure between the frames as they were on the floor. Not that it would have mattered since I widened the space anyway. Are you following this domino effect of mistakes?  

 

All the frames at the bottom were driving me nuts! 

All the frames at the bottom were driving me nuts! 

 

    Frustrated and tired, we call it a night. In the morning, it becomes obvious that there are weird gaps that weren't there before. That afternoon, I try rearranging it a bit. Just moving frames a bit to the left here, a bit to the right there. But overall keeping the same design as had been on the floor. Mistake #3. I should have realized that the shape on the floor only looked that good because of the width parameters. The only thing we accomplished on day two was creating lots and lots of little holes in our wall. Seriously, it looks like someone took a machine nail gun to it.  

 

End of day 2, contemplating my life decisions. JK, I was trying to solve the puzzle.

End of day 2, contemplating my life decisions. JK, I was trying to solve the puzzle.

 

    So on day three, I decided I still loved the height. And I picked two edge frames that I wanted to be the furthest points. Then we moved nearly everything else around. We ended up with two fewer frames than originally intended because once it was on the wall, I liked having the negative space. Here's the final product! 

 

 

 

So what can you learn from this post? 

1) Don't take shortcuts. We were so tired we thought we'd just hang them up "roughly" where they were on the floors (Actually this was Alvin but he was doing the hanging so I didn't want to fight him on it). Taking this "shortcut" ended up costing hours in rearranging times.

2) Use tape to mark parameters or even the shapes of each individual frame. It would have taken quite a bit of time to use tape to mark each individual frame (we have sixteen on this wall) but it's also going to take quite a bit of time to fill in all those holes from us moving the frames around.

3) Do your style research. I had a hard time finding a similar gallery wall to mine, in that we used clean modern style frames but did a large asymmetrical layout. However, if you're interested in a mismatched farmhouse wall or a super clean uniform wall, there are a lot of examples out there that you can browse through. Find what you do and don't like before starting to hang things. 

4) Don't be afraid to rearrange it. Sure, you may end up with a few holes. But those can be patched up! Accept that you made a mistake the first (or fourth) time around and just tweak it until you're satisfied. 

5) Know when to stop. This is especially tricky for perfectionists like me working on an asymmetrical gallery wall. Just know, that it's probably never going to be "perfect". But once it looks pretty to you, stop. Then just enjoy your beautiful work and photos! 

 

Shoutout to our wedding photographer Erin, of Luxe & Pine! We adore our photos so much we spent hours working on a gallery wall because we couldn't narrow down any further which ones we wanted framed and up on the wall! 

Shop Small Saturday: Raleigh Calligraphy

"My creative hobby unexpectedly turned into a little business, and Raleigh Calligraphy & Design was born."

     I never really saw myself featuring a calligrapher on this series because I wanted to keep it in line with home goods and products. When I think of calligraphy, I think of envelopes and maybe really well written letters. Boy did Tiffany's account prove me wrong! Her framed prints stopped me in my tracks! I immediately reached out to learn more about her and her business, Raleigh Calligraphy. 

 

     Tiffany and I had actually worked together on the lemon brunch styled shoot. Her work was impeccable, so I was surprised to learn that this was a relatively new venture for her. She says, "Trying my hand at calligraphy had always been on my creative bucket list, and three years ago I pick up a nib pen." Love it! Anyone else have a creative bucket list? She and her husband welcomed their first baby in 2014. When Tiffany decided to leave her job and stay home with the little one, she found some spare time during naps.

 

Photo by  Kelsey Nelson

Photo by Kelsey Nelson

     Tiffany used her free time wisely when she decided to use her newfound calligraphy skills to help out with a wedding. Then she did another wedding and slowly the referrals started to roll in. As she puts it, "My creative hobby unexpectedly turned into a little business and Raleigh Calligraphy & Design was born." I adore hearing about such serendipitous events! Since then, she has expanded her business to include invitation design, stationary, art prints, and a small selection of home goods. On top of all that, she does a lot of custom work for weddings, businesses, and even state agencies lettering certificates! Seriously, she's mompreneur goals! 

 

      Raleigh Calligraphy stands out from the crowd as it features original designs and includes various mediums such as calligraphy, photography and watercolors. Tiffany loves beautiful, simple designs and strive to create a balance between typography and design. Gorgeous blooms and lush greenery are a repeating pattern in her work. I'm a big fan of travel and our connections to others so I especially love how Tiffany keeps up with her connection to her clients. She says, "It’s so inspiring to think of all the places and people around the world that encounter my designs. I actually keep a map of the world in my studio and mark off a new section each time I get an order from a new place. I love getting an order from an obscure place on the globe- that will never get old!" 

 

 

    How great is it that our little creative businesses can connect us to so many different people and places! She's growing her business to reach even more people by recently launching a line of wedding invitations suites. Tiffany loves the process of designing packages tailored to fit different wedding themes.

 

    If you're now as in love with her work as I am, you can purchase products, book calligraphy services or order a custom piece on her website here. After you're finished with your order, you should enter our giveaway! Enter for your chance to win the "It was always you" print that you see in the first photo! Go to our giveaway page to enter! Giveaway runs through Wednesday. The winner will be announce Thursday, May 11th. Good luck! 

 

 

Shop Small Saturday: Daniel Laffey Art

     This feature is near and dear to me. Danny was one of the first people outside of my family, who believed in my staging. He offered a collaboration, my first, and it has worked out so well! You'll probably recognize some of his pieces from our stagings but I am happy to introduce you to the man behind the art! 

One of our favorites. What do you see? Alvin and i each see something different.

One of our favorites. What do you see? Alvin and i each see something different.

     Danny got started in art relatively late, having no formal training. It's one of those things he had become interested in and wanted to try himself. I think many of us can relate to this! How many of us have taken a craft class to learn a new skill? He says once he got started, he never stopped. It's this passion, that you can really feel in his works. To quote Danny himself, "It was really something that just came out of nowhere and certainly something that I never expected to be doing.". Raise your hand if you, too, could have said this about your life! So relatable!

 

     For Daniel, art is a way of expression. He doesn't worry about the competition or being a stand-out. His focus is staying true to himself and what inspires him. I love this! It can be so easy to get swept up in a competitive nature and lose sight of why you got started in the first place. He still hopes his works are unique in their own way of course, as we all hope we are unique. He also hopes others find inspiration in his paintings, and strives to create consistent bodies of work.

 

 

     He is trying very hard not to get caught up in the business of art.  Painting is something that brings him happiness and peace, and he hopes will always do so.  At the same time, he has a desire to get his work exposed and hopefully into the homes of people who enjoy it and appreciate it in some way. Ultimately, it is about staying inspired, even if it means making less work at times.  This year he has a goal to create some larger paintings in a small series. I personally can't wait to see it!

     His inspiration comes from the need to express himself.  Behind all of his work, there is emotion. I love how art expresses emotion but also how everyone interprets it differently. Alvin and I both love the first painting in this post, but we see different things in it. I love this quote from Daniel about his art, "It is a way to create a narrative about an event or a feeling or a place I had been.". 

 

 

     If you're interested in seeing more of this narrative and gaining some inspiration of your own, you can follow Danny on Instagram here. If you'd like some inspiration for your home, Danny is represented by Bluestone Fine Art in Philadelphia and Dolphin and Hawk Contemporary in Los Angeles.  You can purchase his work from the galleries or contact him directly for any commission inquiries. 

Shop Small Saturday: Meekly Yours

     I'm extra excited about this Shop Small Saturday because it is the first collaboration with someone outside of the state! I am all about shopping local but it's also nice to find other small shops in your region to support. This particular shop is based in Maryland so if you're local to her you should check the shop out at local pop-up shops! Otherwise, continue reading to learn more about Meekly Yours and where you can purchase her work no matter where you're located.

 

 

     Katie, the owner and designer for Meekly Yours studied graphic design in college but took a job in print project management. I think we can all relate to taking a job when needed that may not be everything we dreamed of! She originally started Meekly Yours as a creative outlet and has received encouragement from the local community. This is such a great reason to start a craft!

 

I want this framed in my future nursery, photo by meekly yours

I want this framed in my future nursery, photo by meekly yours

 

    Katie has a bright, whimsical look for her products. She specializes in hand lettering cards and paper goods but has recently started with wood products as well. I think we all know about my love of wood products at this point! The sign she sent me is so cute, with the quote "Love at Home"! I of course, wanted to build a gallery wall around it at the entrance of my home. She loves custom commissioned pieces and I already have a million ideas! How cute would the one above be in a nursery with a frame around it?!

 

 

     Katie truly loves helping take a client's great idea and make it a reality. She says that seeing their excitement with the finished work is priceless. Other commissioned work she has done is branding, invitations, custom greeting cards, and custom wood signs. She's always willing to stretch her creative muscles so feel free to ask her for other projects you may have in mind!

 

 

     If you're local to Maryland, you can find her work at craft markets throughout MD and DC. If you're not local (like me) you can find her work on Etsy and on her personal website. Finally, if you're like me and love following these shops on Instagram, you can find her here

 

      Know of another maker that should be featured? Let me know! I love discovering new shops!

 

Shop Small Saturday: Luna Y Mar Creative

It's time for our bi-weekly Shop Small Saturday feature! I have been pretty excited about this one because it speaks to my inner modern boho! I'm always drawn to this carefree style I found Flo, the creator behind Luna y Mar, on Instagram. Her work instantly stood out and her style is perfection! 

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Flo started weaving a few years ago. However, she just started macrame and wall hangings recently, after moving from LA to Raleigh. Wanting something to do that she loved, she started Luna y Mar Creative. I admire that she turned to a craft when she wanted something new to do! Boy am I glad she did, too! Look at these! 

 

Photo From Luna y mar etsy shop

Photo From Luna y mar etsy shop

Flo says that what makes her stand apart is also what connects all creatives, passion. This is so true! Her choice in craft is a representation of the things she loves, home decor and boho modern! It's great when your craft and passion can reflect your style so perfectly. See what I mean about the perfection that is her modern boho style?

I think another thing that sets her apart is she's so kind and considerate! See that plant in there? She brought it along when we met up to be sure I would have a plant for it :) How sweet is that! I'm so glad she thought to do that since I completely ran out of time to plant the herbs I'd planned on! Shoutout to the kind people of the world! 

Photo from luna y mar etsy shop

Photo from luna y mar etsy shop

These wall hangings are the perfect combination of unique and trendy! I love that they are bright and feel so organic. They would be a perfect addition to a gallery wall or stand alone as a statement piece. I personally adore the plant hangers! I so wish I had more wall space in my kitchen. I can just imagine hanging three or four and growing my favorite spices right there on the wall! 

If you would like some of these great pieces of your own, you can check out her Etsy page here. If you want to follow her along and see what she's creating, you can check out her Instagram page here. If you are local, be on the look out because she's planning on being a part of some of the pop-up shops soon! 

 

If you would like your small home goods shop featured, please email me at hello@mintedspacesstyling.com . I love learning about new businesses!