{ Starting Some Decorating-My Gallery Wall }

I am so excited that I have finally been able to do a little decorating in this new house. I don’t know why it seems like it takes so long to get all the way unpacked and settled. I feel like I am constantly finding random boxes that keep popping up in the strangest places with a big sign on them that says “UNPACK ME”, and it stresses me out until I do. Since I don’t have a lot of time during the day without my little helpers, and nights are packed full with all the kids activities, the “UNPACK ME’s “ sits lonely for quite awhile, all the time while I stress out about it.

I decided a few weeks ago to just go ahead and put some of those little “UNPACK ME’S” out of their misery. Three or four of them were hanging out in my room and were filled with picture frames. I had quite a few pictures in various places at the other house, but just hadn’t decided where exactly I had wanted them to go here. Our main living area floor plan is VERY open-which we LOVE!! It’s what made us originally pick it, and we even altered the plans to make them even more open. The one downside to that, is that there is not a lot of wall space to hang stuff on. I tried to convince myself I was okay with that while we were building, but as I am trying to decorate it is posing a bit of a challenge.

A challenge I was up for though. At our other house we had a gallery wall above the couch in the family room, but here there really isn’t any room for it. The other thing was that I love to see my pictures. I love to walk by them during the day, it makes me happy to see those cute family faces smiling back at me. The small walls in the front room aren’t really very visible to me from the kitchen or the hallway.

I still loved the gallery wall idea, but I knew I wanted to add a little more punch to it. Our front piano room had a great wall to try out my experiment on. Here is the wall I am talking about.

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We ended up moving our piano to the other wall after Christmas. I really like it here so much more. It fits the room better being opposite the big front windows, and left the wall the piano was on open for pictures that I could see easily each time I walked past.

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This room isn’t that big, but does have tall ceilings. I knew I wanted to take advantage of that and use that whole space for the pictures. After I had collected and unpacked all the frames, I started by taking all the pictures and shelves I was going to use and laid them out on the floor. I was mostly using white and dark brown frames to start, but knew that I was going to add in some pops of color here and there. The one thing I love about the light blue color we picked for the walls is that is becomes such a neutral color and everything looks good against it.

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I set the frames out in different arrangements until I got what I liked. I didn’t bother taking any of the old pictures out, I just set them out to get a feel for how the space was being filled. I was happy that I was able to fill the space with all the frames I had, and didn’t need to buy a whole lot more..yet at least. I knew even when I was setting them out that I would end up replacing some with some others that were colorful, but this would give me a great starting point to know which size frames to even look for so I wasn’t buying random stuff that wouldn’t work in the space. I have totally been known to do that. Aaron thinks I kind of collect frames I have so many-he’s totally right. I see a cute frame in the store and I feel like I need to buy it, even if I don’t know where I would use it. This hopefully would help cure me of that… for this project at least.

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Once I had it the way I liked, I sketched it out on some paper so I wouldn’t forget the placement, and which frame (brown or white) would go where. Next, I took some brown paper grocery bags, and traced around each frame and shelf. Then I taped them to the wall where I wanted them. It was so much better once I did this to get a feel for how it would look on the wall-not just the floor, without having to nail a bunch of nails in the wall only to have holes everywhere because I didn’t like where things were. A little more work at the beginning, but a huge time saver in the end.

It’s funny how once I got the papers up on the wall how they took up much more space than I had envisioned. I had originally thought I might have the pictures stop with about 30 inches still at the bottom to put a small console type table at, with some baskets underneath, but the frames filled up the space so good without it. I might still put a table in the room by the windows, but I really liked having the pictures go all the way to the bottom of the wall. It also helped solve the problem of the two outlets near the floor. I wanted to be able to cover them up with frames so they wouldn’t be distracting.

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Some of the top paper frames  I couldn’t reach because I don’t have a ladder that tall yet, but I knew about where they would go. I was able to do all this in an afternoon, and I was really happy about that. My “UNPACK ME” boxes were happy too. I kept the papers up (kind of-Ryan kept going in there and pulling them down, or the tape would come unstuck and I would feel like I had to start all over again) for a week so I could look at it every time I went by, and see how it felt. I ended up changing around come things, and was able to rearrange some frames to make space for some “other” items I had found at the store and online. One thing I wanted in this gallery wall was some more “artifacts” that told the story of our family.

I am really happy how it is turning out so far. The best part is the reaction I get from the kids. When I pulled all the frames out, Scott was so excited to look at all of them. Some of them have some older pictures of the kids (I am not great at updating and printing pictures) so we were playing a bit of a guessing game about who was who. I could tell he was eagerly looking for pictures of himself as well. A few days later I was upstairs and he starts screaming, “MOM, come here right now”. It was the this-is-an-emergency kind of scream. I run downstairs and he has a huge smile on his face. “Mom, this picture is me!” The kid couldn’t have been prouder, and I couldn’t have felt more guilty that my poor 3 year old only had one picture of himself. Not to mention Ryan who had none!

New resolve for me, get more pictures of my kids off the computer and on the wall!

I am really excited to get this finished up, and finally have a place to see all my families' beautiful faces on this one wall.

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