Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Our very own gallery

The gallery wall in the bedroom will probably always be a work in progress (as I add more art and photos over time), but I just did a reconfiguration/expansion (one of the to-dos on my summer goals list!) and thought I'd share a little write-up with some close ups of what I have so far. Things had stayed pretty constant since I took a first stab at it last summer, using a few frames I had on hand and a bunch more I picked up at Goodwill. Most of them got a few coats of white spray paint, but I kept a few unpainted (gold and silver ones). I used the technique suggested by Young House Love to lay out and hang the gallery wall (cutting out newspaper templates for each frame I had in order to figure out what arrangement looked best). I filled the frames with meaningful items I've saved, as well as a few purchased pieces, a lovely gift from my dad, and some art I made.

Here's where things stood up until this weekend:

I liked a lot of things about it, but it didn't have quite the right look -- it seemed a little too small, and a little too jumbled. So I decided to expand it, swap out a few of the prints, paint some of the non-white frames white, and switch out the mats on a few pieces to make it look more cohesive.

Here's what it looks like now:

I really like the change up. One of the biggest things I did was add two antique dresser drawers (left over from the TV stand project I'm working on, and hope to post about soon), which I painted white and hung in the middle of the wall sort of like shadowboxes. Below are some close-ups on all the various pieces.

I framed a few pictures from some of our favorite vacations. Clockwise starting in the top left: Napa Valley, CA; Portland, OR; Peabody Pond, ME; and Cancun, Mexico.

These are the drawers. I had an old calendar of vintage maps, and I cut out two of the pages to use as a backing for each. Maps are pretty overplayed in the design world these days, but I have an actual interest in maps (plus an obsession with calendars...), so I don't feel like I'm just mindlessly jumping on the bandwagon. Sitting on the bottom shelf is a decorative miniature teapot that my mom gave me because she knows I love turquoise. Next to it are some tiny figurines from various travels -- a little blue turtle from Panama, a platypus from Australia, and another carved wooden turtle from Panama. On the second shelf is just a simple blue bottle I found at Goodwill -- it seems I really can't get enough turquoise.

A Panamanian flag I bought when I was studying abroad (this is one of the frames I just repainted -- it was silver before)

A Valentine's Day/Anniversary card from Sam

In the top left is is a scrap of fabric from a dress my mom sewed me when I was little. Next to it is a card my mom gave me -- it's a dolphin balancing a sea turtle on its nose. Giggle. Below that are some photos of me and Sam, one from when we went camping the first summer we were dating and one from our trip to the West Coast last summer. On the far right is another card from my mom (I have boxes full of old cards...in case you can't tell, I'm kind of sentimental like that).

This is a print that Sam bought. This past weekend I swapped out the mat -- it was previously more of a yellow/cream color, and I wanted something whiter. Unfortunately, I cracked the glass in the process, so I'll have to buy a replacement.

The top frame has tickets from three Red Sox games we've been to. Below that is a print that my dad gave me for Christmas one year -- a gorgeous watercolor by Deborah Holmes. Yep, I firmly believe I grew up in one of the most beautiful places ever!

This is a print I bought from one of my favorite artists on Etsy (Erin McNulty). I've bought a bunch of things from her in the last few years - everything she does makes me smile! I've got a thing for cardinals -- it's the Wesleyan mascot. 

A photo that Sam's dad took of Sam, me, and my dad walking in Hartford, CT as the sun rises on the way to our race there last fall -- Sam ran a full marathon, and my dad and I each ran 10K legs of a relay. It was a really nice weekend with our dads, and I'm so glad Phil was there to capture so many amazing moments for posterity!

On the top, a scrap of fabric from the chair upholstery project I did. Below that is card that I saved. It reads "Vermont: 9 months of winter, 3 months of bad skiing." Heehee. But really it's more like 6 months of winter, 1 month of mud, 3 months of ungodly humidity and mosquitos, and 2 months of tourists peeping at our leaves.

A print I made. Mr. Darcy, you make me swoon. The light switch cover is part of a set my brother gave me when I moved to Boston -- they're Vermont-themed, he said to help me take a piece of VT with me to my new city. What a sweetie. Plus it's a cardinal, double points.

This I made from the paint chip strips I collected for the bedroom painting project. I just cut out relatively equal rectangles from a bunch of the paint chips and glued them to a white piece of paper.

This one I made using an old atlas. I picked six places that are special to me and Sam: Beijing, where Sam lived abroad (Peking on the atlas I was using -- how vintage!); Boston, where we live now; Middlebury, VT where I was born and raised; Middletown, CT where we went to college and started dating; Harleysville, PA where Sam grew up; and Australia, where my dad, brother, and I lived for six months in 1999. Not only are these places that make me smile to think about, but as mentioned I like maps and am a big believer in how major a role the places we live play in shaping who we are.

So that's the gallery wall as it currently stands! It's definitely on the sentimental/mushy side -- I'm a little bit of a romantic, I admit. This is the wall we face when sitting in bed, and I just love to have so many meaningful things from different parts of our lives collected in one place. And I look forward to continuing to add to it!


  1. Oh sage, is is all absolutely charming. I'm so impressed by your ability to make your living space so special and intimate. Boy, am I going to pick your brain when you get to the lake in July! Janet and I are here now, doing basic painting chores....could use your input!

    1. Oh, thank you! I would looove to help on the lake house! If there are any spaces in particular that you're mulling over, feel free to send photos -- I always love new spaces to fixate on! :)

  2. What a great gallery!!! Wonderful to gaze upon!! I didn't know (or remember) that you had a scrap of fabric from that little dress. I have the dress, you know!

    1. Thank you -- I bet it was more interesting to see with the pictures visible! :) I'm glad you still have that dress! xoxo