After two and a half years in our house I decided to hang several picture frames in the upstairs hall. Working with what we had, I ended up hanging seven black, white and red pieces in the space. While black, white and red is not my ideal colour palette, the hall looks one-hundred times better than it did bare and unadorned.
After hanging my gallery wall (check out my DIY on how it’s done here), I stood back admiring my handiwork and started wondering why I waited so long to hang all of our prints, photographs and art work.
Until this weekend, I was living with a serious case of design paralysis. Living in total denial, I refused to acknowledge the existence of the old accessories hiding in my closet. My major excuse for bare walls was that I disliked the black, white and red color scheme. In the words of my little sister, this colour scheme felt “so leftover” and the overall aesthetic reflected what my tastes were before I cared about art and design. I felt like if I didn’t have time or money to create my grand vision and decorate my home according to my perfect ideal, I was going to live like I just moved in.
Then, it hit me. The best art collections evolve over time and cannot be rushed. The realization that I was not going to amass the perfect art collection overnight. After two years in our house, I had only collected a fraction of the pieces I needed to cover my walls. With this realization, I decided it was time to make the best of what I already had. Instead of waiting for magic to happen all at once, I realized I would have to be patient and let my space evolve. I think this new attitude will help Eric and I save a bit of money and reduce our consumption of consumer goods. It also takes some of the pressure trying to find new stuff ASAP.
If you are in the same situation as Eric and I here are a few tips for working with what you’ve got:
- Paint frames so they are all the same color. At the moment mine are all different. In the next couples months I hope to lighten things up by painting my frames white.
- Mix and match old pieces with new ones. My gallery wall contains a print and a mirror from a big box store that I am dying to get rid of. On the positive side, I managed to mix in several pieces I love including: personal photographs and original art work picked up from a gallery in San Diego.
- Fill old frames with affordable temporary solutions. I like using pictures from design magazines to fill my walls. Check out the makeshift art from Uppercase Magazine. Just take a look at what I did in our bedroom.
- Be patient and watch for those perfect pieces. On our recent trip to Charleston I found an adorable print and souvenir from Mac & Murphy for $20. It is now hanging in my living room.
- Think outside the box and hang items you not traditionally find on a wall. My current gallery wall contains an antique ceiling tile that has been refinished and framed.