After nearly three months of living together as newlyweds in the little condo we are renting, we are proud to have finally hung some photos around our home! Not just any haphazard photos, though. Nope. We now have a perfect gallery wall.
If you can imagine, our not-so-little little gallery wall endeavor actually began four weeks ago at a trip to IKEA. We made the trip to pick up a few items for my new classroom design. When we walked past the display of SILVERHÖJDEN frames in IKEA’s Marketplace, we stopped to take a closer look. Creating a gallery wall of framed photos was on my long term to-do list for the condo, but these frames were such a bargain (just $7.99 for a matted 12×16″ frame and $3.99 for a matted 5×7″ frame), I immediately purchased enough frames to complete a gorgeous framed wall collage (or so I thought) and added them to my cart.
Within a few days, I was ready to dive head-first into our gallery wall project. I had no idea the entire process would take Rob and I four weeks to complete.
I am a spatial-visual thinker, so I began by experimenting with several layout options on the floor. Using the floor allowed me to easily turn and move the frames with minimal time and effort.
Once I decided on an ideal arrangement of the frames, I cut some sheets of old wrapping paper into the same size as the frames so that I could fine-tune the layout on our wall.
I began by placing a sheet of wrapping paper to represent the central photo of our gallery wall at eye level in the center of the wall. From there, I added the small frames I had designated to go on each side of the central frame and continued to work my way out from that central location. I used a small piece of painters tape to secure each corner of the paper. The tape is easy to use and even easier to remove. I worked hard to paint the walls a few months ago and I didn’t want to do anything that would damage them.
This process only took one day, but we still had our work cut out for us. As it turned out, I didn’t buy as many photos as I needed so we had to make another trip to IKEA (which was ok because I also needed a few more items for my classroom). We also needed to decide which photos to place in each frame. This was a far more daunting task than I anticipated. I searched through my computer to find any photos that I loved of Rob, myself, and our family members. I printed smaller versions of each photo at home on my printer and used scotch tape to attach them to the wrapping paper sheets. It look a lot of mixing, matching and rearranging before I finally got it right.
I ordered our photo prints from Shutterfly. By now, it’s no secret that I will have anything delivered to my door to save myself a trip to the store. The extra time gave me several opportunities to stare at the layout of our gallery wall and decide for certain that I liked it before we committed to hanging any frames on the wall.
Preparing my classroom for back-to-school unfortunately put this entire project on hold for a few weeks. After countless days of staring at papers taped to a wall, we finally had time to hang our frames! Like me, Rob also began at the center of the display. I am definitely the creative free-spirit in our relationship and I had just eyeballed the location of the each frame based on the space designated for the central frame. Rob is a bit more detail-oriented so he measured and used a level to ensure that the gallery wall would have a uniform layout. Bless his heart.
After 4 weeks of thinking about our gallery wall, it is so nice to finally see it completed! These are the first items we have actually hung on the walls of our condo. Our dining corner definitely needs a little more finesse and the first item on my list is doing something about that hideous gold chandelier. It needs to be replaced and it also needs to swag so it hangs directly above the dining table.
But that’s a different project for a different day.