Living Room Revealed | ORC Week 6

Stick a fork in me, I’m done! Last week I didn’t know if we were going to pull it off. I even shared about the delay of our window treatments… but ya know what, we did it! Even without the window treatments, in my opinion, the living room looks pretty damn good.

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So, if you are new around here, we’ve been participating for the last 6 Thursdays in the One Room Challenge, which is a design challenge graciously hosted by Linda at Calling it Home, where 20 host design bloggers and countless guest bloggers transform one room in 6 weeks and share all the plans and progress along the way. It is intense to say the least, but worth every stress-filled moment once you make it to the end.

Here are a few before pics to remind you where we started:

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We transformed our living room with the miracles of paint, lighting and trim. It sounded easy enough when we started, and I can’t tell you how many times I was filled with excitement or tears throughout this process, but I am thrilled with where the living room is now. (I’ll be even happier next week when the Roman shades are up, but you can come back next week to see how those fit in.)

Without further ado, the full reveal:

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What do you think? I love hearing your feedback, so please comment below! It was a grueling process for sure, and the pictures really don’t do the space justice, but it is a bigger change that it looks, and we couldn’t be happier!

I know Brantley is happy to not have to hide in the bedroom while the living room is filled with noise and chaos, and I know P and I are thrilled the our living room furniture isn’t crammed into our bedroom anymore.

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The little things that we did, and the sheer work and effort we put into getting this room done, are huge! This living room project has made us love our little corner of the world that much more. And I don’t know about any of the other participants, but I’m going to have the best sleep of my life tonight!

My step-dad (Handy Dad as my mom and I refer to him) was an insane resource for us during this process. I wish he lived closer, but we talked on the phone almost daily with questions, tips, etc., throughout the challenge, and I really could not have done it without him and his advice and support. The local contractor and friend I do a ton of work with, Greg, was a huge resource for this project as well. He connected us with the floor refinishers, the lighting guys, a carpenter to help with the weird molding issues that we were unable to deal with on our own, the list goes on. My neighbor A, who came in with her muscle, not only kept me company while I worked on the room, but she was willing to get covered in paint to help me keep my sanity and my timeframe. And of course to Linda at Calling it Home, for not only hosting this great challenge, but for cheering us on through the weekly blog posts and on social media updates to keep us going especially when it was tough!

I’m so appreciative of all the advice and support from all corners… our tiny home has never looked so good!

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And if you think our space looks good at all, wait until you see the host designers revealed spaces. OMG, if you haven’t seen them yet, hop over here and prepare to be wowed. Once you recover from that, don’t forget to get back to the Calling It Home guest participant link up where other guest participants are sharing their reveal today too! There are some really incredible transformations floating around on the web today!!

Check back next week (or follow on any of the linked social spots below) to see the room truly completed with window treatments, and then a follow up post on the budget for this space, which I think it’s always helpful to see a real perspective of how the numbers break down. Thanks so much for following along, I hope to see you around the blog again soon!

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Decor Trend Alert | Layered Rugs

Layering rugs is a trend I’ve been seeing a lot of lately and when it’s done right, it can be stunning. I’ve been known to have actually used an area rug on a space with wall to wall carpeting to help delineate the use of a certain area, but what I’m talking about is more of a stacked effect with area rugs.

I wanted to explore the idea together and share some of the best examples i could find on the web, share why they work and then see what you think!

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1. This layered set balances out the bold contrast between the walls and sova, while adding in ample pattern to this home office designed by Lisa Borgnes Giramonti.

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2. Talk about pattern play. This is another great example of adding a pop of pattern into an otherwise solid space. It works well because the natural base layer rug is woven in a similar diamond pattern as the top colorful rug. Contemporary living room by Jen Talbot Design.

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3. Another great example of adding in a secondary rug with pattern. This gorgeous light bright bedroom feels extra cozy with the double rugs under foot. This sunlit stunner of a space was designed by Ryan Street and Associates.

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4. Layering Rugs is a great way to add in a splash of color to a space as well. This boho living room, designed by Weisshouse, isn’t lacking in bold color, but the textured base rug layered with the navy top rug creates a cushiony anchor in this living room space.

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5. Speaking of color, this layered rug situation really pulls this space together. The otherwise neutral space has such great lines and details, but the bold top rug ties everything together like the cherry on top of a sundae. Transitional living room designed by Janof Architecture.

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6. Talk about adding some fun color to a room, this room makes me feel like a cozy warm summer day complete with Kohrs Bro’s Vanilla-Orange Swirl Frozen Custard goodness. (Did I go too far there??) I love how this room is so playful and so put together, an excellent example of how to perfectly layer rugs. Brilliant colorful living room design by CU-Interiors, bravo!

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7. This rug stack starts with the pattern and color at the base and tops it with plush sheepskin goodness. You can’t get much more inviting than that. Fabulous guest room design by Heide Hendricks.

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8. Another stunning stack of pattern/color and soft sheepskin goodness in this nursery designed by Natalie Myers. If you are starting to really like this trend but you aren’t sure if you can pull it off, go pick up a sheepskin style rug from Ikea and toss it down next to your bed (or any bed in your house) on top of the other more patterned or colorful rug that already exists there, and voila, you are a rug layering master.

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9. If sheepskin isn’t your thing but you are liking this idea, this room illustrates how you can add in a cowhide rug layer to complete your look. The neutral stack of rugs illustrated here perfectly balance out the color and texture in the tufted velvet sofa and the colorfully layered bookshelves in this living room designed by Crowell + Co Interiors.

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10. Last but certainly not least, this room is a textured frenzy of eye candy. This room defines the perfect stacked texture. The natural jute texture to start, stacked with the cowhide, and the layered with cozy seating complete with sheepskin stools… what more could you want in your living room? Coziest living room ever designed by Sally Wheat Interiors.

Is this a trend you’ve seen yet?? If not, you can thank me later…either for introducing you to the greatest decor miracle since paint or for saving you from having to experiment with this yourself only to discover you really hate it.

If you are now thinking that rugs on rugs on rugs is your new thing, here are some tips to take away here; Start with either a textured neutral base or a bold patterned base and layer with the opposite, add an over-dyed rug on top of a neutral jute or sisal to make your space pop; play with animal hides… a layer of cowhide or sheepskin feels luxe and adds so much texture and warmth. Can’t wait to hear what you think about this fun decor trend!

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Beauty and Simplicity

This past weekend we sprung forward for Daylight Savings and today is Pi Day, and although I could do so many other posts related to these things, and maybe I will do one later this week, for now I just wanted to share some sage advice on simplicity (on a background of Benjamin Moore’s White Heaven).

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Plato said that the “beauty of style and harmony and grace and good rhythm depend on simplicity,” and I agree! This is such a great message about the balance of things, and it is so easy to go overboard, especially when we are talking about decor, but often times, less is more.

Each element of his sentiment–style, harmony, grace, rhythm–they each have their own weight in putting together a beautiful end product or project. When things really resonate with multitudes of people it is because they have the ability to strike a chord with each of us, for many different reasons, and they just feel beautiful. Do you find beauty in this balance of details?

I’m finding after doing our massive clear-out in our space that we (or at least I) am really thriving in the simplicity of what remains. I’m able to really see the space and appreciate being in it. And I can finally see what little details we need to implement to finish our home off. Can’t wait to share more on that! But for now, the simplicity is really speaking to me, and I hope if you are struggling with your space, you can find a way to let it really speak to you too.

Does simplicity speak to you?

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Weekend Design Love

This week I have spent a fair amount of time catching up on some of my favorite blogs. I love reading along with the blogosphere, but I find it one of the things that is so quickly removed from my list that it doesn’t happen as often as it should… I would love to work on changing that, and I think this week I made a good effort in starting.

Here are some things I’ve seen over the last few days that are worth sharing from the design blogs I follow:

Area Rugs and crafting are two of my favorite things. If they are on your list too, this post, on Apartment 34, is a must read and if you don’t want to read it, the pictures are pretty gorgeous to scroll through too.

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Earnest Home Co, Living Room Refresh Plans

I love Erin’s plan to revamp her farmhouse living room over on Earnest Home Co, she shares why she chose to work with a designer friend and gives the low down on all the details they are planning to incorporate. Can’t wait to see the after, hop over to the post to read more!

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The Bungalow, New Old French Doors

First of all, if you don’t follow Justina Blakeney and her blog The Jungalow, what are you waiting for. She is full of awesome projects and so much creativity, I always love seeing what she comes up with. Her hunt for the perfect reclaimed french doors in this post was no different. It’s such a good look at the hunt for reclaiming things and how the process works. The final result is beautiful!

apt therapy outdoor spaces roundup

Apartment Therapy’s Spring Exteriors

The weather has been warming up over here and giving us a real taste of the Spring weather to come, so Apartment Therapy’s roundup of sunny outdoor spaces has me dreaming of sun-soaked weekends. (If only we had outdoor space in our condo…)

What have you seen on the web lately that is worth sharing? I love reading blogs and finding good home and lifestyle blogs. I also read a lot of random other blog genres…so feel free to leave me a link to your favorites (or your own) in the comments and I’ll go check them out!

This weekend, we are busy all day Saturday, capping the night off with dinner with a friend and then Sunday, my goal is to not get in the car. I would be happy just checking off the to-do list, taking a long walk with B and spending some time relaxing on the couch with P. What do your weekend plans look like?

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Home Style Motivation

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This quote breaks down design for me. Whatever fears you have in decorating your home, let these words alleviate your stresses.

Your home should be a reflection of you. If you and your family are fun loving and bold, your home should reflect that. If you thrive on living a minimalist life filled with experiences not things, your home should be a reflection of that. If you love jewel-tones (like this Benjamin Moore Gentle Violet in the quote graphic), metallics and all that is luxe, you should use these colors and textures and layer them in your space.

Don’t over complicate the process either. It takes time to build your home, but I love seeing houses that really speak to their owners and what brings them joy in life. What story do you think the style of your home is saying about you? What do you want it to be saying instead? I like to think we are the minimalists with great experiences, but a little more lived in… I’ll try and get some good pictures of our living room as is to share later this week… it’s something that has been on my list for a while now, and I plan to check it off this week.

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

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10 Tips for Hosting & Attending Thanksgiving

This holiday is one of my favorite holidays of the year. As you can probably tell from the last few DBKwords posts I’ve shared, there is just something about this holiday and all of the appreciation that goes with it that just brings out all the good feels.

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That said, if you are the host of the Thanksgiving Soiree, you are likely in panic mode right about now… it is less than 24 hours before your guests will be arriving (and maybe some are coming tonight), and you still have little things to get ready!

Well, let me ease your woes. If you still have to set the table, and add some festive decor around your abode, here are 5 things that are so easy, you can be ready in an hour.

  • Add some festivity to your front door. You likely don’t have time to hang a wreath on the door, but you can easily take some card stock, construction paper, etc., and cut out some leafy shapes, write out “Happy” “Thanks” “Giving” or “Give” “Thanks” on the leaves, (one word per leaf) , attach a string to each leaf, and hang them on the front door. Greeting your guests with something cheerful will get them in the spirit right away. Here is my front door wreath for the season and an idea from That’s My Letter of wooden door tags.
  • Add some festive pumpkins around the house. If you really have zero time to do anything, just grab a handful of mini pumpkins (you can find them everywhere at this time of year). Group them together in a few different areas around the house, and voila. If you have time to do something, check out this doily covered pumpkin from Allyson Baker Design, or this paper pumpkin from Shelterness.
  • Use those mini pumpkins for place-cards  on your Thanksgiving table as well. You can add names, or festive tags, or just put them on top of the salad plates to add a pop of color to your table. Taryn Williford made glitter dipped pumpkins to make for a more glam tablescape, while Jennifer at Celebrating Everyday Life tied ribbons on pumpkins and then wrote on the ribbons.
  • Light Candles. The glow of candlelight adds a nice warmth and ambiance to any space, but make sure on this food filled holiday, you are using basic unscented candles so they don’t interfere with all the smells coming from the kitchen! Get out all your candlesticks and tapers to make this glowing candlestick grouping from Snippet and Ink, if you don’t have a stash of similar candlesticks, then group the pillars you’ve got to create a good focal point like West Elm is showing all together on a tray or cutting board.
  • Don’t forget the food! Take a clear container and fill it up with apples, cranberries or mini pumpkins, as shown on Good Housekeeping. If you are cooking all the food you have on hand for the main event, look outside and use things like leaves or acorns to create layered centerpieces like these ones from Being Better 2Gether. If there were ever a perfect night of hosting to use food as a centerpiece, Thanksgiving is your night!

If you are a guest, there are some things you should remember on Thanksgiving (and well, every event you attend).

  • Manners are key, that turkey make look so good you can’t wait to get your hands on it, but wait your turn and remember to say please and thank you, it goes a long way.
  • Bring a little something for the host. Something as simple as a bottle of wine that can be enjoyed with the meal, or saved for after all the guests leave, is a great gesture that any host will appreciate.
  • Compliments are key. Be sure to offer your host at least one compliment (which should be easy on Thanksgiving). Compliment the decor, the food, his/her ability to be so stylish while cooking up a storm… you name it, a compliment or two will make them feel so appreciated for bringing this all together.
  • Offer to help. There are so many things your host has to stay on top of with cooking alone, be sure to check in to see if you can help with anything from opening more wine to clearing the table, and for the love of all things, please don’t make your host do the dishes by themselves.
  • Respect the hosts Thanksgiving style. Many people will say a special prayer on the holidays when everyone is gathered. Be respectful even if it isn’t your thing, bow your head and go along. Some hosts will want to go around the table and say what you are thankful for. This can feel like a cheesy gesture, but give it some consideration and truly offer up some gratitude before you dive in.

Whatever you are doing this holiday and whomever you are spending it with, I hope you have many blessings to be thankful for, and that you have no trouble finding ways to share your gratitude.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

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Benjamin Moore Color of Year and Trends for 2016

The color of the year announcement for each of the leading color experts in the industry is always a big time of year. it is something that we all get in a tizzy about and look forward to. This year Benjamin Moore announced the color of the year as Simply White, OC-117, and had this press release which if you have any interest in color and interiors I think both of those links are worth the read. I have to say that although many people were looking for more of a color, I’m not surprised.

Benjamin Moore 2016 Color of the Year 2016 Simply White OC-117

If you scroll through your favorite home decor Instagram account, flip through a magazine-be it modern, traditional, transitional, or otherwise, when you are looking at the decor images, you are seeing a vast array of whites. Whites in kitchens, whites in bathrooms, whites in living rooms, great rooms, and bedrooms. Whites are vastly used in commercial spaces, including boutiques, big box stores, and even restaurants; not to mention the use of white in the hospitality industry.

So at the end of the day, no matter how much you love color, whether it is bold or pastel, cool or warm, white is always there. It provides a base and neutral. Not only that but it works in such myriad of spaces (as suggested above) that it makes for the best base color to work with. And if you have a crisp neutral base, then you can add almost anything in the way you layer and decorate. Your color pallet can change seasonally and you can add different colors as pops to brighten things up and add interest from time to time.

One of my old professors in design college when I first started mentioned how the most common color schemes she would use were combinations of neutrals: whites, tans, grays, and then build from there, because if you have a neutral base, you can always evolve the design of the space without making major changes. Not a bad concept, although I must admit that I’m often of the mindset that it is only paint and you can always change it without too much hassle but I do understand the appeal of wanting to have a solid foundation of color that you don’t have to worry about changing.

Here is a look at the color palette Benjamin Moore released for 2016 with their color of the year announcement:

Benjamin Moore Color Palette Color of the Year 2016 Simply white

They have selected 23 colors in total, of which 8 are whites or white-based tones (Paper White, Ice Mist, Simply White, Marscapone, Ballet White, White Heaven, Cream Puff and White Satin); 7 are soft or muted, more pastel hues (Morning Sky Blue, Gray Owl, Lemonade, Enchanted, Kittery Point Green, Luxe and Weimaraner); and 8 that are more bright or bold offering a color pop or at least something with more depth (Banana Yellow, Ravishing Red, Patriotic Blue, Black Ink, French Press, Blue Echo, Gentle Violet and Royal Flush). Of all the colors in their 2016 palette, I have specified 2 of them in current or past projects and they were both of the white or white based family. What can I say, Benjamin Moore might have some inclination as to what they are doing when they talk color.

Do you have any white based rooms or neutral rooms in your house? Would you use any of the 2016 color palette in your home? Every time I see the announced colors of the year I feel so inspired and start itching to re-paint our condo. We only have one room that hasn’t been painted, but I think it’s fair to say that at least one of the painted spaces could you a fresh coat. Hmm….

All images shared in this post are from Benjamin Moore’s website and their color of the year 2016 announcement. Links have been provided throughout the text.

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Craving A Little Fall Decor

I know, I know, I heavily pushed back the fall season when it was new and people were celebrating it the day after Labor Day. I was all #SummerForever! But let’s be real, we would all die if there was really summer forever (die or move to a desert state). Fall is a very welcome season of fresh air, but because I so heavily pushed back on the season, and because life has been a little hectic on the to-do list side of things, my house doesn’t seem ready for fall at all!

I am really wanting to spice up our space! So here are some fall spaces I’m inspired by right now… maybe this weekend I can find some ways to implement some fall flavor into our home.

Fall Decor Inspo Neutral

Inspo from the Liz Marie Blog.

Fall Decor Inspo Neutral

Inspo from A Diamond In The Stuff.

Fall Decor Inspo Neutral

Inspo from Opulent Cottage.

Fall Decor Inspo Neutral

Inspo from Sarah Hearts.

Fall Decor Inspo Neutral

Inspo from Dear Lillie.

I think I see a pattern in the fall decor I’m liking… lots of neutrals and whites and words of thanks. All of the inspiration pictures are linked with where I found them and they are all worth a visit if you have time to check them out, the spaces they are shared with are all quite lovely and you might just find some fall decor ideas of your own to run with!

What are you up to this weekend? Are you all decked out for fall yet?

Transitioning to Fall

Fall fashion week is all about the spring season, and my mentality right now is all about holding onto summer. But, whether we like it or not, fall is looming so we might as well begin transitioning.

I’ve been adding cardigan layers back in with my bright, flowing, summery skirts and tees, along with breaking out a few pairs of booties. Cardigans and booties are the perfect layers to add to your wardrobe this time of year. Scarves are also a favorite fall layer to add on, but I am so not ready.

For your home, fall inspires light layers of coziness, all things pumpkin and leaves and at least for us, the transition to sleeping with the windows open at night.

Fall for me is always a good time to declutter — make sure our surfaces are clean and that a gust of wind isn’t going to come in and blow over a pile of papers. It’s a good time to make sure things like window treatments are in order (so you can easily open and close them for day and night), pillows are cozy and you can break out your light-weight cozy blanket to toss over the back of the sofa.

So if you are like me and you need a slower transition to fall, here are some ways you can transition a bit more slowly:

  1. Wash your windows to let all of the sunlight in. If we are really trying to have summer forever, sunlight is key!
  2. Work on decluttering your surfaces. There is nothing like a fresh, clean tabletop to make you feel good about life.
  3. Start considering some of the fun accessories like pillows and blankets for the living room. You don’t need to cover everything in leaves and pumpkins to start to feel a little cozier.
  4. Treat yourself to a new candle. The smells of fall might just convince you that it’s okay that fall is in fact just a week away and remind you why fall is your favorite season. (*It’s my favorite season, but I’m feeling very resistant this year!)
  5. Relax and enjoy your bright, clean and cozy living room!

When October rolls around we can start talking about adding in some pumpkins and leaves.

Mapping Out Your Gallery Wall

Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer and Labor Day marks the unofficial end (despite the fact that temps here reached 100 today). So, even though summer’s not really over yet, we are all diving head first into fall. Out of the heat, into the fall layers, kids are getting back to school, and our fall projects are lining up.

Gallery Wall 012Gallery Wall 0

For me, things will start to settle down a little bit as every night and weekend won’t be jammed packed with running around (whether for me or for clients), and I should be able to get some projects done around my own house!I need to put the finishing touches on the bedroom still and then take some pictures of that space to share with you all here and I can think of about a dozen other things I’d like to do around the house as well.

The first thing on my list, and something with probably the largest impact is to finish hanging our gallery wall. These pictures are from early Spring of this year when I had one of my friends over to take some pictures for the blog to not only map out my own gallery wall, but to document the process to share with all of you as well. About six weeks after these pictures were taken, we had a few friends over for brunch, and as I had been so busy, I hadn’t made time to get the gallery wall hung at that time. The morning before we were meeting with them, I broke out my notes from this planning session and started to try and get the gallery wall up on the wall. I was able to hang one painting before we needed to head out to meet our friends and I’m ashamed to say that that one painting is still the only one up on the wall.

But then, that’s life, right?! So now I want to share with you the process of mapping out your very own gallery wall, and how I mapped out mine, and then hopefully in a week (or so…) I will be able to share more pictures of my gallery wall completed!!

The process:

  1. First things first, you need to know the size of the space you intend to display your art on, so break out your tape measure and get to measuring. note the width (more important for now), and we will come back to the height later.
  2. Once you know how wide your space is, use your tape measure, some blue painter’s tape and your trusty assistant to mark out the width of your gallery on the floor.
  3. Get all of your frames and pieces of art together in one place so you can see what you have to work with.
  4. Once you have a good visual, start laying the larger pieces into your mapped out space.
  5. Build out from the larger pieces with smaller pieces, keeping in mind your spacing. Each area should use the same spacing so that the pieces group well and look balanced even when using different sized pieces and different styled frames.
  6. Swap out pieces to find the arrangement that you like the best and then take pictures so you can remember what it looks like in case you put it off for 6 months.
  7. Measure the overall height and width of your gallery wall. The center of the overall height of the gallery should sit at 57″ from the floor, placing the gallery at a good viewing level for yourself and your guests.
  8. Measure the spacing between your groupings as well as the spacing from the edges of the tape (your available hanging space) to the edges of the outermost pieces.
  9. Lastly, measure from the overall top of your gallery wall to the top of your central piece or your largest pieces and the overall edge of your gallery wall to the edge of your central piece(s), as you will hang these pieces first.

Once you have your gallery all mapped out, and your measurements determined and noted, you can clean up your mess on the floor and then start mapping out your hanging on the wall. Depending on your overall height of your gallery wall (x) and the measurement you got from the top or bottom to the center of this piece (y), you can determine where the screw will need to go. (x/2) will sit at 57″ from the ground. So if your gallery wall is 40″ tall, then it will span from 37″-77″ in height. Again, I like to break out my handy blue painter’s tape and mark the top and bottom of my gallery wall off so that I can use them as a reference while I’m working through hanging the pieces without having to measure it over and over again.

To begin hanging, I always start with the largest piece that sits most centrally located in the wall, or in my case, I have two large pieces balanced out with several smaller pieces, so I started with the largest piece on the left. Using hanging wire to support the pictures, pull the wire on the back to where it would sit if it were hanging on the wall, and measure from the top of the frame to that point (a). Add this measurement to the measurement that you got from number 9 and jot this down. this is the distance from the top of the gallery wall space to the height you will put the screw in at.

Next you need to use the overall width of your gallery wall, and the width from the edge (again, noted in 9), measure from the edge of the picture to the center (where the screw will go), add these two together and you will have the position of your first screw.

It sounds like a lot of steps, but once you have your first piece hung, you will build out the wall from there. You have all of your spacing measured and noted from mapping out your gallery wall on the floor, so you can easily fill in the wall with the rest of your frames until it is complete!

Is your head spinning yet?? What projects do you have planned out for the fall? Hopefully I can get this project wrapped up soon, with lots of images to document the process so I can share more with you soon.

Images By Lindsay Perry, click to expand.