We’ve Been FRAMED!

We have been l.o.v.i.n.g. decorating our kitchen over the past year. A lot has changed from our basic beginnings:

new 001 berwick 058

We made a lot of tweaks to bring us to where we are today. The process started by painting and adding beadboard, bringing in some “cozy” elements, installing floating shelves to add some decoration and free up some much-needed cabinet space, and updating our chandelier. After all of this, the room was looking more like…last 001Although we were thrilled with how the space was coming along, there was a huge piece of the puzzle missing… something to fill this wall:the blank canvasWe know, we know- is has such potential! But at the same time, the wrong thing could completely throw off the entire space, so we wanted to be sure of whatever we ended up hanging there. For the longest time, I wanted a blown up print of some sort, broken into four long canvases… kind of like this (but length-wise and all in a row):canvasIn the end, we couldn’t decide what print would make the cut (a wedding or engagement shot? a photo of the Chesapeake Bay?). I was about to give up hope until Pinterest swindled me into falling in love with gallery walls.


Our dream for the space then began to morph into something a bit more structured… and in the end, I am so thankful that we did not jump right in with our initial ideas, but rather let the plan develop as we lived in the space for a bit. The new plan: a giant square gallery wall, made up of nine perfectly uniformed smaller square frames. Something like this:

gw 9

So off we went to Michaels (with coupons in hand) to try and snag some square frames for the wall. Obstacle #1 hit us when we realized that all of the nice, square frames were a bit outside of our budget. It would be one thing if we were only buying one or two, but our display called for nine (!), so $20 or more per frame was just not going to cut it! It was beginning to look like a square display was not in the cards for us.

There was a bit of moping about on my part, before we realized that you can still have a square display without square frames! We found some white 8×10 frames on sale (that ended up coming out to $5 a piece), played around with some different layouts and positioning on the floor, and after coming up with a plan, happily added nine of ’em to our cart.

Once at home, we carefully laid out the frames on the floor, to make sure we liked the look before transferring it to the wall. gallery wall 004The idea was to alternate the position of the frames (vertical and horizontal) so that although the frames themselves were not square, the overall layout would be. Once we had a look we liked, we took some measurements and began to transfer them to the wall.gallery wall 002

Obstacle #2 came about as we realized that no matter how meticulously we measured, once we transferred the frames to the wall, the spacing came out much differently than we anticipated. With only three frames up on the wall, it didn’t bother us too much, but then we got the rest up there and…

gallery wall 006

…even before we got to number nine, Obstacle #3 clearly reared its ugly head. For some reason, the frames were so far apart! I could not figure out what I was doing wrong and at this point, had to take a break and a breather from the project.

As much time as it took to do what we had done so far, they just didn’t look right, so the end decision was to adjust the frames to be much closer together. After counting to ten one hundred and taking deep breaths, we dove back in. After much adjusting and re-measuring, our new wall turned out looking like this:gallery wall 010

gallery wall 008

You can rest assured: at this point in the process, there was a major happy dance happening. The frames were hung! And now for the fun part- FILLING! Obstacle #4 loomed as we realized that we had virtually nothing in an 8×10 size with which to fill the frames, so as placeholders, we relied mostly on scrapbook paper.

gallery wall 068The end result? Pretty darn good! As you can see, at that point we were still missing two frame-fillers, but for the most part, we were thrilled with the final product. I even squeezed a wedding present into the display… can you spot it in the picture above?

gallery wall 014 gallery wall 015

These were hand embroidered tea towels that I just couldn’t bring myself to use, for fear of ruining them. Having them on display ended up being the perfect way to enjoy their beauty without running the risk of dirtying them with everyday use. Obstacle #6 was figuring out how to fit them in the frames without any cutting! In the end, a bit of intricate folding, another set of hands, and some tape on the back of the frames did the trick.

Today the frames are still sitting pretty and doing their job just fine! The display actually turned out to be our favorite part of the room. The white frames bring an airy feel to the space and the collection of them seems to brighten the whole kitchen.gallery wallgallery wall

One of the best (and unexpected) features of the end result is the height that it adds to the room. The ceilings feel so much loftier and the room, larger!

gallery wall

Another fun bonus? This display can be changed up at any moment, just by switching out the “art”. As you can see, we left all of the scrapbook paper (we kind of like it!) in, and have added a few pieces. Every so often, we pull a quick switcheroo for some additional holiday decor, should the season warrant such. (Please excuse the funny camera angles- sometimes it makes the frames look a bit crooked.)

gallery 2

In the end, we’re smitten and loving our newest kitchen addition. Anyone else have a gallery display gracing the walls of one of your rooms? Shoot us some pictures- we’d love to see!



29 thoughts on “We’ve Been FRAMED!

  1. Fun indeed! My gallery wall was born of necessity. We moved from a traditionally built home to one with a newer “open concept” floor plan and I suddenly found myself with not enough walls to hang treasures collected over the years. High ceilings made homes for our larger pieces and most of the left over ones were petite. I was collecting them in a corner of my office when it occurred to me that an awkwardly shaped wall could accommodate them all. I selected items which had a special place in my heart and tied them together by painting some of the frames silver (some already were). I’ll send you a facebook message with the photo. XOXO

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  3. Great job Leslie! Love reading about how your beautiful wall came together and I like how you used scrapbook paper and embroidered tea towels for displaying.

  4. Wow, I love this gallery! I agree that any picture hanging at my home involves many breathers in the process, lol. I totally love the look of your gallery and the varying shapes really add a lot of character! THanks for sharing at Creative Spark Link Party, hope to see you again Wednesday!

  5. Really looks like that wall was meant to be gallery. Looks great and I love the framed bottle prints! The white is so crisp against the pale yellow. Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  6. I loved your Tip Me Tuesday link . {thanks girl!}

    Would you like Tip Junkie to feature your blog post to over 200,000 creative women? If you upload this blog post into your Tip Junkie craft room using at least 2 images, 2 steps, and blog post URL then I can easily feature it in my RSS feed, home page, and all my social networks instantly. {squealing with delight}

    ~ Laurie {a.k.a. the Tip Junkie}

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