Gallery wall, take 2. Last time I gave some tips to consider when creating a well curated gallery wall so today I’m creating a gallery wall and explaining how I picked each piece.
To begin, you have to start with one piece of art. The piece I started with ended up being my anchor piece but that doesn’t have to be the case! Can you guess which one the anchor item is? Ding ding ding… if you guessed the top left, Valley by Jess Engle , you’re correct! This piece immediately jumped out at me and although sure I could have picked it’s mate, I decided to spice things up and build a gallery wall around it.
The white space and shapes are what I used to help decide on the complimenting pieces. For example, the bottom right print, Escape Routes #8 by Massimilano Massimo Borelli, matched the half circle and contained lines. They’re diagonal from each other so it doesn’t look too matchy-matchy but continues the same vibe. The splat print also mimics the lines and diagonal direction. I primarily used black and white pieces of art and photographs, however I pulled the yellow out just a bit more by adding the watercolor, New York Street via Minted. Again the yellow isn’t right next to each other, allowing your eye to venture to all the photographs, not just the ones with yellow. Three of the photographs have a primarily black background, creating a very edgy theme. And the two photographs that feature people, are opposite. One is David Bowie’s face, facing forward, and the other is a man waiting for the train, with his back to us. This opposition also creates a good balance and repetition without being duplicates.
I totally picture this gallery wall in a loft, over this sweet daybed, draped with a mongolian sheep skin in front of some white washed brick scenario. Yeah- I’m taking this gallery wall a little far by now envisioning a whole room around it but hey, a good gallery wall warrants it!
Tell me this thing isn’t beautiful. The front porch, the transoms around the door- ah! It takes you back to a bygone era where sitting on the front porch with a glass of lemonade didn’t have to be pre-planned and scheduled into your day. My gosh golly this house makes me want to stop tinkering around with ours and just move on out to the Virginia/West Virginia line. The stained glass, screened in porch, exposed beams – it’s all too good! I got some good messages from the previous post I did explaining some of my design ideas so I figured I’d do it again with this old farmhouse built in 1896 on more than 6 acres! The wheels were turning as I clicked through the post’s pictures and for less than $350k, this house really only needs a little bit of TLC. A couple cans of paint would do wonders, maybe some fun wallpaper or antique finds but who ever buys this house… please please please don’t knock down the walls. Don’t do anything to those beams, and please don’t replace the stained glass windows. In old homes like these I envision taking it back to the way it was intended. Working from home was working on the land at this estate so here’s my idea for an office/library in this room with these beautiful windows…
I’d keep the wood floors (they’re in perfect condition from the looks of it), build up the shelves to the ceiling and fill them with books, color coordinated of course., and probably give them a fresh new stain- potentially in a richer shade of brown. Remove the old ceiling fan and replace with a light fixture like this or keep a fan and replace with this one, wallpaper the remaining walls, and add some very old school furniture that you can’t help but curl up with a book on.
Going from a 700 sq ft apartment to a 2100 sq ft row home was a big difference. When we were moving in and transferring boxes from room to room, I literally could not find J anywhere in the house. I called down, no answer. I walked downstairs, no J in sight. We laughed that we passed each other without even noticing! Much different than what we were used to with our one bedroom, one living space apartment! But with the increase of space means more rooms to furnish, which can get a little bit overwhelming, and expensive!
I decided to focus on the furnishing the living room, dining room, back sun room on the main floor and our Master and Guest Bedroom upstairs. The basement, additional bedroom rooms (which is acting as my closet), and office are on the backburner for now.
All the interior doors in our house are painted black- which I love!!- and the majority of the walls are Sherwin Williams Agreeable Gray (SW 7029). We still loved our bedroom furniture so we brought that with to use, and moved in a floor length mirror that we previously had in our apartment hallway. We changed up the bedding, replaced the ceiling fan, bought two new matching nightstands, a rug that would still showcase the original hardwoods, and added some pictures from our Italian honeymoon above our headboard to give our Master a fresh new feel. I’m sure I’ll be tweaking it here and there, re-styling the nightstands, etc. but I am super happy with the outcome! See the progress below!
Staged Master while on the market:
My Master Bedroom Design:
The finished Master Bedroom:
I bought three of these wall hooks/knobs from CB2. I have two next to my dresser to hang purses that are in my current rotation, and J has one next to his closet to hang up any shirts, belts, etc. It’s a great way to keep things off the floor, avoiding things from piling up! (These are the small size)
We’re attempting to keep things simple and not over crowd our night stands and dresser tops. A leather catchall is a great way to keep collar stays, pocket squares, and loose change tidy! I’ve also been much better at my night skincare routine now that I’ve been keeping my creams and oils on my night stand. I’ve been loving this Vitamin E oil. Already seeing a difference in my skin!
While our almost 100 year old row home is in great condition, and it’s evident the previous owners really took care of it, there was one major thing that they did that completely bugs the heck out of me. (Even more so than the dated kitchen appliances!) They bought fans and light fixtures that are completely the wrong size – either entirely too big for the rooms, hanging down too low, or just plain ugly. I don’t know if it was what was on sale or if their taste is really that different than what mine is, but I knew switching out light fixtures and fans were a top priority!
Since we just recently settled on and purchased a dining table, my search for a chandelier and wall sconces are in full force! (I can’t wait to get rid of the fan they put over the dining table. Talk about cold food!) Here’s the first “Save vs Splurge” post rounding up some really pretty chandeliers & pendants to hang over your dining table! It’s amazing that if you want a certain look for a certain price, it’s out there! Or if you want to splurge because you know it’ll just make the room – go for it! Either way, pick the one that you love because lighting really makes or breaks a room!
With each house that we considered I started dreaming about how I was going to decorate the interior. I would scroll through and find chandeliers, sofas, tables, and more that would fit the “vibe” for that particular row house and DC neighborhood. J and I have similar but different tastes when it comes to decor. I am a little more adventurous where as J tends to lean toward more of the traditional with a little modern spin on it… as long as it’s comfortable, but he lets me take the decorating reigns.
I love the idea of adding more modern pieces in a hundred year old home so when we found out that our offer on our place was accepted, I immediately began searching for items that I wanted to fill the house with. I probably know every coffee table, sofa, and dining table out there- I give the sales associates a run for their money knowing what’s in stock right now! A way that I keep track of which items I like, and what would look good together is by plopping it into my test design.
For example, I’m on the hunt for the perfect coffee table for our formal living space. Our sofa and chairs arrived this past weekend but without a coffee table, there’s a major missing piece! I’ve narrowed it down to a few that I keep going back to but just can’t seem to put my finger on which one I think would work best! What do you think; Option A, B, or C?!
Option A: Rectangular marble slab and brass table
Option B: Round marble and brass pedestal table
Option C: Round black and brass pedestal table
I’ll be sharing my ideas of each room with a “before and after” so you can see my ideas on paper in real life! If there’s something specific that you’re looking for, let me know!
If you’ve watched my instagram stories recently you might have noticed I’ve driven by a certain house a couple of times. Although it’s been a quick 30 days, some days it has felt like years waiting to finally announce that… J & I bought a house!
It was a looong journey. Starting in February, we toured over 60 houses, spent many weekends popping into Open Houses, and made FOUR offers. (Almost 5 but we pulled out the last second.) The D.C. Market is CRAZY! We got really good knowing which days and times to check for new listings, got to explore different areas of the city, and figured out just how much of a “project” we were looking to take on. Some of the houses were eye sores but in a great location, others we wouldn’t have to lift a finger, but we’d be far away from the action. After losing out on some of the homes, I was sad. And angry. But looking back now, I’m so happy we lost those other offers. They were great homes, and I hope that good people are making them into a home, but man am I glad that we were available for this one. This was meant to be our house and I knew it the minute I found it on Redfin. (No joke.)
I cannot wait to share my decorating ideas, before & after pictures, and homeowner adventures with you all through C’s Collection. I’m excited to embrace the original details and charm this house, learn how to be a little handier, and maybe even try out my green thumb. I have a feeling it’s going to be a really fun journey ahead!