We have been l.o.v.i.n.g. decorating our kitchen over the past year. A lot has changed from our basic beginnings:
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…Although we were thrilled with how the space was coming along, there was a huge piece of the puzzle missing… something to fill this wall:We 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):In 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:
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. The 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.
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…
…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:
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.
The 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?
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.
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!
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.)
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!