The Spice of Life

Posted on January 21, 2014 by 4 | 11 Comments

Hello! I think we're finally getting into the swing of things around here! It has only taken a week... We have had a lot of requests for a blog featuring fun and innovative ways to display children's art, portraits, family photography etc. We've all seen it done the wrong way (and hopefully some have seen it done correctly), but let us tell you, variety really is the spice of life, people!! Especially when it comes to a gallery wall! I sat down with Ashley to get her expert design advice when it comes to creating a great looking gallery wall. The overall theme of our discussion was finding the perfection in imperfections. People constantly want everything to fit in a nice little box and have its own perfect space, but when it comes to a gallery wall it really is best to use a variety of frame sizes, picture sizes, artwork and anything that really brings a smile to your face when you see it hanging on your wall. "Always keep in mind what your intention is," Ashley says, "if you have a big black frame on a big black and white photograph, the frame becomes a part of the photograph so you don't see as much of the photograph. My preference is keep it relatively small, mat it out pretty big and then do a simple frame. That way your eyes will be drawn to the picture." Ashley said that it is best to keep the pictures small...a 4X6 or 5X7 is great and the little square pictures are wonderful too! We recently did the project below for a client and used a lot of smaller family photos.

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Ashley also loves using a fillet when framing. "A fillet is basically a mini frame around the picture then matting around that little frame," she says. "A fillet really helps set things apart."

She also loves framing something with a gray background then linen mat. The picture below is a great example of this and these are all available at PARISH!

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Ashley also loves loves loves real linen mats. Some framing places will have a pretty faux linen mat, but you will have to do some shopping around for those. If you can swing a real linen mat it really will make all the difference.

Weighting the bottom of a picture is also a look Ashley loves. "If a picture is small and you want to get a bigger impact, I always suggest weighting the picture. " Some people have a hard time accepting this look, but you must always remember, it is intentional and intention is key!

The picture below is a great example of weighting your artwork.

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Another thing to keep in mind is the pictures you choose to hang on the wall. Some might be family pictures that you never intend on changing out, but some you may want to replace over time. In this case the framer can frame the photo in a way that the photo can be taken out of the back and replaced.

One of our favorite clients asked us to do a wall gallery where we framed 30 pictures in 24X24 frames. All of the pictures were different sizes, black and white and colors, framed in the center of the mat. The pictures were hung an inch apart and covered an entire wall, floor to ceiling. This made a amazing impact and we LOVED it. Doing a gallery this way will be expensive, but in reality, it's the least expensive form of artwork you're going to get and it's stuff you love to see.

[caption id="attachment_8220" align="alignnone" width="611"]gallery 2 We love the old family photos we framed for a gallery wall we did for a sweet client. What a great family tribute![/caption]

Ashley also suggests doing a series of three, "you can't go wrong there, it's just easy" she says.

Another point she made was that pictures of your children are wonderful, but should also be mixed with real artwork. You can also have your children's artwork framed. This isn't about only framing their "good" work, but framing their favorite work. We love to display children's artwork in playrooms or their bedrooms.

When it comes to gallery walls, don't feel tied down to family pictures or artwork. Some of our favorite pieces we've seen framed were old love letters or old family recipes that can be blown up and framed for a kitchen wall. If you're framing a letter it should be framed in a glass frame so that you can see both sides of the letter. Old maps look great framed as well. I know some people collect maps to all the places they visit and a gallery wall featuring all of your travels would not just look beautiful, but is also sentimental and would evoke wonderful memories.

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Postcards are also a great item to frame in the glass frames. My sister-in-law, Whitney Simon, studied architecture at Auburn. She spent 3 months in Italy studying abroad during college. She and my brother dated for a few months before she left for her semester away...I think I knew then that they would marry one day.

Cole, my brother, went to Italy to visit her in Rome during his Spring Break. They spent the week exploring the city and took a beautiful picture of the Castel Sant'Angelo. When he left she bought a blank post card and watercolored the Castel Sant'Angelo on it, wrote him a sweet letter on the other side and popped it in the mail.

Today, more than 10 years, a wedding and two babies later, that post card is framed in a glass frame and hanging in their home under the framed photograph they took of the actual Castel Sant' Angelo. What a sweet reminder of their care-free college days together and that wonderful week in Italy.

[caption id="attachment_8226" align="alignnone" width="500"]castelsantangelo_03 Whitney and Cole are in the processing and renovating a home therefore the framed postcard is packed away in a box. Above is a picture of the Castel Sant'Angelo to give you an idea of how beautiful it is in watercolor.[/caption]  

Below is a picture I found online of a postcard framed in clear glass.

 

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To wrap this post up I asked Jessica to make a "do's and don'ts " list for creating your own gallery wall! I'm so glad to have her help...I would be the person staring blankly at the wall with a nail and hammer in hand.

The Do's & Don'ts of a Gallery Wall

Do's:

  • Use different frames! Different shapes, finishes, sizes and...variety is best!
  • Mix different artwork! Mix pictures with artwork and taxidermy
  • When hanging pictures for a gallery wall, they need to be spaced between 1 and 3 inches apart
Don'ts:
  • NEVER hang art or pictures yourself. Always hire a professional. (Your husband is not a professional)
  • Don't feel like you have to use all black and white photos or all color. Mixing it up is a good thing!
  • When it comes to framing never take your artwork or photos to chain locations. It is so important to take your special pieces to a framer who does good work and will take care of you. You will also have better options for framing and will get a much better finished product in the end.
  • The fun of a gallery wall is to add more pieces with time...don't worry if things look random, that is how it is supposed to look
I hope this post gives you some inspiration for your current or future gallery wall! These kind of touches are what really makes a house a home. In honor of our gallery wall post we are doing a GIVEAWAY! Bet you didn't see that coming :) The winner of the giveaway can pick one of our hanging glass frames to take home with them! The picture below is of some we have in PARISH right now!

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Excuse the bad quality of this photo...I snapped it with my iPhone specifically for this post! To get your name into the pot for this giveaway, simply comment on this post with your favorite photograph or piece of art in your home! Be sure it holds some significance to you!

Until next time!

rebecca

     

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11 Responses

Lala
Lala

August 14, 2015

Wow, What perfect timing since we’re working on our gallery wall now! I love the Cole and Whit story :)
My favorites we have collected so far are the very old pictures of our Grandparents. (Rebecca, you will love some of Nani!). I can’t wait to hang them.
Picture collecting is underway and framing will be next. One of these frames would be amazing to add to our wall!

Susan J
Susan J

August 14, 2015

My favorite displayed photograph is of my husband holding our newborn son. I am looking forward to visiting your shop.

Kristen Van Hooser
Kristen Van Hooser

August 14, 2015

Looooveeeee these galleries. One day, one day. My favorite pictures are all of our wedding pictures taken by Holland this summer. I could not ever pick a favorite or have enough frames! As for art, I’m starting to collect Mose T’s. I’ve loved them since I was a little girl and I’m loving having two of my own now!

Rebecca Wise
Rebecca Wise

August 14, 2015

Love the post! Our favorite pieces of art are pieces we bought from a local artist when we lived in Florida. He paints on pieces of wood that he finds on the shore or in the woods around his home. They remind us of when we first got married!

Ashley
Ashley

August 14, 2015

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! for this post! I have been so excited about it! It’s hard to pick one favorite! I have so many pieces that I love for equally as many different reasons! My newest love is the oil painting my mom gave me of my 3 year old son this past Christmas. It is something I will cherish forever! I cant wait to get him framed using some of your excellent tips!

Ashley
Ashley

August 14, 2015

I have been collecting photos and artwork for quite some time (and some fab frames!) for my gallery wall installation. I painted a picture of a little boy splashing in a puddle when I was a freshman in high school, and it hangs in my son’s room. It reminds me so much of him every time I see it, even though I created it ten years before I met him. It’s my favorite.

Rachel Barley
Rachel Barley

August 14, 2015

My favorite pictures are in a window pane hanging in the wall. They are wedding pictures of my husband and I, our parents and their parents, all on our wedding days. In the center is: “love never fails.”

Melissa McInnis
Melissa McInnis

August 14, 2015

I would love to have that picture frame! It’s hard to pick one piece of artwork that I love in our house, but I have to say the wall of Mose T paintings in our stairwell is my favorite. It’s so whimsical and fun-loving that it adds a folky and youthful touch to our home. I love it because it’s homegrown art—straight from Montgomery!

Cate
Cate

August 14, 2015

I love gallery walls but am often afraid of the “commitment” of it. I tend to get overwhelmed by the pieces I want to use and how they are always random. I am glad to know that random is good. As for my favorite piece of art, it’s a painting I received for Christmas during my senior year of college. It’s an abstract, colorful oil painting of downtown Auburn, reminding me of the many great memories made during my years there. It hangs above my couch and receives compliments often.

Lucy Freeman
Lucy Freeman

August 14, 2015

My favorite piece of art is a watercolor called ‘The Grand Catch’ portraying the grand catch in John 21. It is very colorful, and looks great in my daughter’s room.

Jennifer Cieslak
Jennifer Cieslak

August 14, 2015

one of my favorite pieces of art is a huge framed map of Lucerne, Switzerland, dating back to the late 1800s. my husband lived in Switzerland for work the entire year we were engaged and he bought this piece in a tiny antique store in Basel while he lived there. i think it cost just as much to ship it home overseas as it did to actually buy the piece! but it now hangs proudly in our home and is a reminder of that season of our lives.

p.s. LOVE the glass frames! :)

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