Leading The Good Life

Gallery Wall

I've had a living room update post in the works for weeks now, but I'm totally dragging my heels. In the meantime, I thought I'd share one of the projects that we put together during the makeover: a gallery wall.

SONY DSC (These photos are old, I promise we don't still have garland hanging in our house!)

This is a small wall between the large opening to the dining room and the doorway to the stairs. We previously had a small shelf with a few knickknacks hanging there, but it wasn't anything either of us were attached to. I decided this would be the perfect space to fill with various pieces of art. When I first described my vision to Kate, I think she was a bit worried it'd look cluttered or sloppy. But once we got it all put together, we were both really happy with it.

Before putting any nails into the wall, I worked on the arrangement by laying things out on the floor. I measured a spot that was the same size as the wall we were working with and just moved things around until I liked how it looked.


Then I made paper templates of each piece and marked where the nails should go for hanging. Kate helped me transfer them to the wall by taping them in place. Then we nailed through the marks, removed the paper, and hung everything up.




I really, really love how it turned out.

Here's what we're looking at:

SONY DSC(I spy a Barley reflection!)

  • The top left and the one below it are prints that I purchased from 20x200 (awesome site for a large variety of affordable art!) The top one is a photo of snow in Prospect Park and the other is a movement series of a donkey kicking. Both of the frames are from Marshall's.
  • The top right is a photo of the sunset on our wedding night - in a frame that I picked up on clearance at Target.
  • The tiny gold frame in the top middle and the gold diamond-shaped mirror are both Goodwill finds. In the frame are some Turkish Lira from our honeymoon that I glued to scrapbook paper. And the horseshoe is something that I picked up for $1 at Junkstock.
  • Below the horseshoe is a lithograph that Kate's aunt made for us for our wedding. It is also in a frame from Marshall's.


  • The shadow box (from Target) holds a little project I put together. I cut hearts out of an atlas around places that Kate and I have travelled together. I glued cork to the inside of the shadow box and attached the hearts with straight pins. (I made the hearts 3D using this method.)



  • Next is a small box/frame that I picked up from Goodwill. It opens and has little hooks inside, as if to hold keys. Currently in the frame is the picture that came with it - a pencil sketch of a cabin.
  • On the bottom right is a print that I gave to Kate as a gift a looooong time ago. Maybe even in high school?
  • The bottom left is a print that I ordered with Kate in mind. It is a cross-section of an anatomical heart that was carved from wood and stamped onto paper. The different chambers/parts of the heart are numbered and labeled below it, like it might be from a textbook. The frame is from Marshall's.
  • Lastly, above the heart, is another mirror from Goodwill - this one with a wood frame. We hung it head-height so we can use it to check our hair on our way out the door.

Before I began this project, I was a bit worried that things would just look thrown up there. I browsed through a lot of pictures online for inspiration and found that the ones I liked the best used prints + objects and a variety frames (different colors, materials, sizes, & shapes, etc). That really helped me figure out what would look good together. I also think having such a defined space helped me a lot. I would have had a much harder time figuring out spacing if I were trying to use just a portion of a large wall, as opposed to all of a small wall.


Going into this I thought it'd be fun to swap out photos and prints as we got new things or as the seasons changed, but now I can't imagine changing it! I guess I'll just give it time and wait until it doesn't feel new anymore.


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  1. How brilliant to make paper templates & lay out on the floor first! Maybe now I will tackle making my photo wall I’ve put off for years!

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