Sep 3, 2013

At-Home Beach Retreat (Vacation Gallery Wall)

This weekend was all about finishing off our half-done projects. While Tom installed a new toilet at his parents' house on Saturday, I finished staining the deck furniture and left it to dry. Then on Sunday we framed and hung some of our favourite vacation pictures in the computer room that was recently painted. (Go here to see the before.)

gallery wall

The computer room is really a multi-purpose room - Tom has his computer there, but there's also a television and a loveseat so other people can hang out with him. And Sasha has claimed the ottoman as her own. That window is her big screen TV.


So why not make it a little more comfortable to hang out in? On one of our last visits to Ikea I bought a bunch of 8x10 Ribba frames, but then I got home and didn't know where to put them. I had considered putting them in the living room, but with the white photo shelves it was just too much white. So they've been packed away for months. But now I had this expanse of blue wall that was looking bare and begging for some accessorizing.

I couldn't decide if I wanted them to hang horizontally or vertically, so I did a little photoshopping. It was just a quick-and-dirty job and nothing is to scale, but it gave me an idea of how it would look. Horizontal definitely looked better.

gallery wall - photoshop
gallery wall - photoshop

I went through our vacation photos and picked out the ones with the brightest colours - lots of oranges, reds, and greens, and a few with every colour of the rainbow. The frames come with white matting, but I wanted to tie into the colour of the loveseat and ottoman, so I used tan dropcloth material as additional matting and printed the photos out as 5x7's. Getting dropcloth to lie flat is a chore, people. I ironed that sucker forever and there are still a few wrinkles that I'm just going to have to live with.

dropcloth photo matting

To hang them, we found the centre point of the couch and made a mark above it on the wall. Each frame had a piece of paper inside that was almost the same size as the frame so I used those as templates and taped them to the wall to get an idea of spacing. We moved them up and down until we liked what we saw, but it soon became apparent that the wall would look better with eight frames rather than six. So I had to go back and find two more colourful photos that I liked.

gallery wall

Our method of hanging:

The frames are 16¾ inches wide with 3 inches between them, so we measured out 38 inches from the center mark (16¾ x 4 frames plus 3 x 3 spaces, divided by 2) to find the outer edge of the last frame. The first hook then went in 8⅜ inches (half the width of the frame) from that mark (and about 2 inches down from the top). We used WallBiter hooks because we've used them before and they are very strong. To hang the lower hooks, Tom first hung all of the top ones and then measured down from them. The frames are 12¾ inches long with a 3 inch space between them, so he measured down 15¾ inches from the top hook to the spot for the lower one. Once the frames were hung he made slight adjustments to the hanging wire on the back of each frame to get them level.

I pulled some square, white napkins out of my fabric stash and quickly made a couple of throw pillows. I used Polyfill to stuff them so they are nice and squishy. I'd like to find some pillows with blues and greens in them, but until I do I've added a super-soft throw that I found at Goodwill. The white pillows are small so I added the map cushions that I had in the living room (Benzy Land from Ikea but I don't think they have them anymore).

gallery wall

The rest of the room looks like this - we still need something for the wall above Tom's desk. He's thinking maybe a large framed map - possibly an old one of the Hawaiian islands.

front room nimbus gray

The word cozy keeps coming to me whenever I try to describe the room now. I'm so drawn to the beachy look, and this makes me feel like I'm hanging out in my very own cottage.

gallery wall beachy


Barb @ Turtles and Tails said...

gallery over the sofa is a classic!

Barb @ Turtles and Tails said...

Thank you!

Barb @ Turtles and Tails said...

What a great gallery arrangement! I love the wall color too btw :) Thanks so much for linking up to All My Bloggy Friends! I hope you'll join us again - the new party starts tomorrow {Tuesday} at 7 am Eastern time!

Barb @ Turtles and Tails said...

Thanks, Jamie! I wasn't loving the colour at first but with some decoration it's looking better!

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