apartment update // the gallery wall

Just like that, it's Monday again. 

But! I may have some good news for you. If you read here regularly, you know that we moved this May and are currently redecorating our new apartment. You also may know that I have been doing some interior design work on the side. When I wrote about painting our front hallway, I said I wasn't going to show final pictures because I was hoping to have the apartment published eventually (even if only on a website).

Well, I changed my mind. 

You see, without sounding like "OMG blogging is SO hard," writing this blog does take a lot of time. Most posts take me at least an hour, (if not more like two or three) and since blogging is not my full-time job, that can really add up. I started this blog as a creative outlet and it seems silly to hide one of the biggest creative projects in my current life. Plus, coming up with unique and meaningful content five days a week can be a challenge. I have a plethora of original content right here (after all, no other blogger lives in my house) so why not share it?

Honestly, I have no idea what I was thinking before. 

So, after all of that, I offer you the gallery wall...

No, that's not it. That's the apartment when we moved in.

When we moved in, we were excited because this apartment has tall ceilings (10ft) and really good natural light. The challenge to tall ceilings of course, is that they require either a large piece of art, or a gallery wall so they don't look so sad and lonely. Since all of the large pieces of art I wanted could have also paid for a semester of college, we decided to go to for the gallery wall. And by we, I mean I. Mike just nodded and asked when it would be finished.

Gallery wall at Serena & Lily

Originally, I had looked at this image for inspiration (you can see my full inspiration post here). I loved how it brought so much color into the room. We had already hung some of our favorite art pieces in other parts of the apartment, but I decided we would move them over the couch. Here was what I was thinking…

This is what I texted to my mom and BFF. Hence the use of the term "nudie." Moms and BFFs accept this kind of shorthand. 

We hung them up one night and honestly, I just hated it. I didn't like the way the frames looked together. The pieces look amazing alone, but together I thought they were lost. Plus, I had liked where they were before. I was so annoyed (mostly because then I had to go re-hang them). So, back to the drawing board.

By now, I knew wanted something a bit more toned-down and monochromatic. I looked to these pictures that I snapped at different J.Crew's around the city for inspiration. I collected some art we already had, and ordered a few things I had always admired like the Diana Vreeland quote from Furbish and these animal prints. I also got two of these dog prints from Graham Yelton. It turned out that as we collected things, the gallery developed a bit of an animal theme. Unintentional, but now I'm embracing it.

The gallery in progress.

When my parents came to visit in August, I recruited them to help me hang. It really takes more than
one person to do it well, and nobody loves you quite like your parents. They were of course happy to help and my dad, who has a fantastic eye, was the brains behind the grid-like layout. While I liked the curated look of the J.Crew galleries, we thought it made things look busy and messy in our space.

Overall, I'm thrilled with how it turned out…

I got the frames from IkeaTarget and T.J. Maxx (even the big one with the dog). Here's a good tip, I had paid a small fortune to have our Gray Malin framed only to discover that you could get an almost identical frame (and mat) at Ikea. While art is something you should absolutely take care of, if you're on a budget or need a short term solution, I highly recommend this Ikea frame. I'll probably upgrade it eventually, but it does the job for now.

I loved all of the frames at Target this summer, so I bought any that caught my eye. Right now, we're filling a few with black and white pictures from our wedding (and wedding photo booth). We may swap them out down the road (the beauty of the gallery wall).

The Detroit quote is from a Shinola ad that I had saved.

The donkey piece is actually a greeting card and so is the XO (also a gift from a dear friend). You have to get creative when decorating a big wall on a budget.

As I said, there are a few things I will probably change. I'd like to swap out the Stop & Drink the Rosé print because it's pink (plus it will look good over by the bar) and the Diana Vreeland quote could be in darker frame...my neuroses go on and on. But sometimes in life, good enough is good enough and decorating is never done, right? 

Please let me know if you have any questions! 


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