Back in July of last year I upgraded my living room from two way-too-small thrift store paintings to one better but still-too-small thrift store painting. Let me preface all this with my usual disclaimer: Very little of my home is “designed”. Most of it is made up of hand-me-downs and poor decisions I made before I found an interest in interior design. For example this sofa is an eyesore (comfortable though) and I am dying to repaint this room. Half sky blue and half poop brown is pretty much depressing me.
Last week I was having a particularly productive night running around doing housework when this wall caught my eye and I was filled with the motivation to make it better. I’d never had a gallery wall before and wanted to try it. I just didn’t think I had enough art to pull it off. I decided to indulge in an experiment and gathered every single art piece in my home and laid it out on the living room floor.
I was like whoa… I actually have kind of a lot of art. Emboldened, I set to work trying different arrangements. I didn’t want to use every piece, so I could have at least a few to use in other rooms. And I knew I wanted it to be a loose asymmetric grouping.
I ended up with this. It took me maybe an hour of squinting at the floor to commit. Then began the arduous process of actually getting it up on the wall. I measured the length of the whole collection and then took that measurement to the wall to make sure I got everything centered. I started by nailing up the biggest piece, the VanGogh potrait. Then I just made my way from left to right, trying my best to keep things even and level.
I’m pretty dang happy with it. It isn’t the gallery wall of my dreams, but for my very first attempt I’m proud of what I accomplished. And there’s no questioning that it suits the wall way better than one too-small painting and makes the room feel more “decorated”. Not every piece is perfectly spaced or perfectly level, but perfection is overrated. I say that genuinely, if not also a little bit just to make myself feel better. 🙂 But in seriousness, some of the greatest potential for exciting decorating is in the ways we allow things to be imperfect.
It’s really encouraging to see that by slowly picking up pieces here and there I’ve actually already amassed a bit of an art collection. They’re from all different sources like antique stores, thrift stores, estate sales, and Etsy. I’m also quite fond of the one photo of my sister and I when we were wee ones, all dolled up in frilly white dresses posing with a picnic basket full of flowers. Classic.
Oh and yes, that is a pair of antique 3D molded Victorian-style portraits that I bought for 50 cents a piece and lovingly cleaned decades of dirt off of. Some people probably think I’m crazy for loving them, but honestly they’re the coolest thing ever and I’m not ashamed.
Young Man in Yellow Jacket by Vincent Van Gogh, print found on Etsy
“green cat” by Maria Elina on Etsy
“Goblin Market” by Arthur Rackham, print found on Etsy
“Can You Imagine” by Trey Speegle