The glory of a small cottage is that every room has a distinct purpose. There is no guesswork. No extra rooms that you struggle with how to use. We use every inch of our house and we use it well. With one exception...our 'whatever you call it' space.

It isn't really long enough to be considered a hallway, and its not a vestibule or an alcove. Its just a weird purgatory place that has no purpose.

It has been three different colors and had countless pieces of furniture in it - bookcases, dressers, arm chairs, tables you name it. For such a small space, it's had more changes that any other room in the house. I'm afraid I've made it a bit schizophrenic. Poor little 'whatever you call it' space.

empty, except for the time-out chair
After its latest iteration I cleared the space and figured I would leave it blank until it talked to me and told me what it wanted. It is schizophrenic after all, so talking to me isn't such a crazy idea.

And this is how it sat for some time. And for those that know me, you know how difficult it is for me to live with blank walls. But with my new moto 'slow and deliberate' comes patience. Begruding patience.
It may be a nothing area but Eve finds it a good crawling path

Then, finally. What? What's that you say walls? You want to become a gallery? Ahhhh (that's the choirs singing in praise) Finally! A decision, a direction. No problemo, a gallery it is. Personally I think it was Pinterest seeping out again as I pin quite a number of gallery walls, like these...

via Young House Love 
via Pinterest

via Pinterest

But whatever, I let the space think it chose. I'm a team player.

I've had gallery walls in the past, but most were pretty organized and followed the 'rules'. You know, all the same type of frame, all the same finish (b&w OR color - heaven forbid both) blah blah.

However this time I wanted more quirky, a bit messy, and color. Luckily, due to my addiction to wall coverage of all types, I had plenty of frames to choose from. Wahoo, a $0 project. My favorite!

I also thought this would be the perfect time to test out a tutorial I see on blogs and in magazines all the time - creating templates of your frames to organize your wall before hanging. If nothing else, my plaster walls would thank me.

To be honest I was skeptical at first that it would be too much time for not much of a difference than the old eyeball method I've honed over the years. But I am an official convert. This is the best way to hang pictures...ever! Period. (and a great way to get some additional use out of the Sunday paper) I'm gonna become a picture handing fool now. Watch out.

I'm sure you've read these before, but to recap in a few simple steps:

Trace each frame onto a piece of newspaper/craft paper (luckily several of my frames were the same so this step didn't take very long).

Cut out each template, marking with a pen where the hook will be, and start to play with the layout.
measure twice, nail once
Once the layout is looking good tape those suckers onto the wall.
'suckers taped to the wall'
After taping, stand back, move templates around as needed and stand back again. Repeat several times.

Use that trusty mark you made earlier on your template to nail thru the template and onto the wall.

Thank to some help from my husband, the whole process only took about an hour from start to finish. And now our little 'whatever you call it' space has purpose!

Doesn't it look so happy?
With two beautiful girls it wasn't hard at all to find pictures. I also included the chair prints I've been dying to use from Danielle Oakey. You'll notice her lovely red Chinese Chippendale in the top left and the blue Shield Back Chair in the bottom right.

Artwork by the lovely Amelia.

The silhouette is Amelia from a few years back. The black and white is a favorite picture of my great-grandfather holding my newborn mom. And yes, that is a pipe in his mouth.

Now there is some good eye candy for anyone who has to do time in the timeout chair.

So there you have it. An easy way to add some jazz and purpose to an otherwise unused space. Have any of you tried the Gallery Wall tutorials out there? Have any tricks for hanging things on plaster walls? Anyone else LOVE getting fresh flowers from Trader Joe's?


Post a Comment