Before I knew such things as gallery walls existed, back in 2007 I started hanging photographs from various trips and vacations on the staircase wall open to the front room. Over time I added more and more photographs in a mish mash of frames and sizes. I may have a photo of it somewhere and if I ever come across it I'll post it here.
In November 2009 when I listed the house for sale, that wall was deemed part of my "clutter" and so the photographs came down, and when the listing contract ended the photographs didn't go back up on the wall.
I wanted to do another wall, though, so the thought was in the back of my mind.
When I got turned on to the world of D-I-Y and decorating blogs -- an entire fantastic and crazy universe I'd never known existed -- I came across several gallery walls, and then I stumbled across Houzz and other sites with incredible photographs of decorated rooms, including awe-inspiring gallery walls.
Those walls caused a case of design paralysis. You know the walls I'm talking about - 20 foot high walls filled with identically framed and matted art prints or black and white photographs; floor to ceiling arrangements with keys and cameos and mirrors and who knows all what else filling spaces in between white-painted frames against dramatic dark gray walls. Dreamy and gorgeous arrangements that would look ridiculously pretentious in Maison Newton.
So, what's a girl to do?
I saw many examples of less formally-arranged less intimidating gallery walls, and some of them looked like something I might be able to pull off myself, like the below, from Houzz:
I took this photograph on October 27, 2012:
It was the start of my gallery wall in the dinette area of my kitchen. It stayed this way until 3 weeks ago...
I read articles on how to go about putting a gallery wall together, about have an anchor line, about cutting out paper sized to the frames you want to hang and working out a pleasing arrangement on the floor first, and then taping the cut-outs to the wall so you can drive your nails in exactly the right spots and not end up with a wall full of nail holes, etc. etc.
I did - none of the above. Nope, not a single one of the rules did I obey. I winged it right from the start, because there is no way I'm creating an arrangement that will stay static. I know I will be adding things here and there, until there is absolutely no more room left on the wall to hang one more photograph. And switching things around, too. Right now there are 24 photographs and 3 mirrors on my dinette wall and I'm not going to take them all down and start all over again to come up with a new arrangement just because I want to add 1 or 2 more photos.
Soooo, I ended up with quite a few nail holes in the wall. This is what the dinette wall looked like a week ago, last Sunday:
And this is what it looked like last night:
Me bad, photographed part of myself in the mirror taking the picture!
Last night it occurred to me that if I add three more photographs, I'd have the equivalent of the ancient Egyptian game of Senet a/k/a 30 squares, a senet game of my life! But, I would also add an "end" photograph showing the Egyptian pyramids, as a symbol of the Land of the Dead in the Western Desert, where all good kas went to rock and role if their hearts weighed less than Maat's feather of justice on the scales. That photograph would represent, in effect, the invisible "31st square" that the successful senet player "lands on" off the board in the after-life.
But I don't have the kind of frames I want to hold the photos I would like to put up in the last row -- less than 2 feet off the floor. Since there would only be four photos in the bottom row, I want the frames to be substantial to "anchor" the arrangement. And while I love the idea of the senet game of my life, I'm not so sure I want to lock myself into that design, because adding another photograph, or a row across the top which, right now, does not go all the way up to the ceiling, would totally blow the senet board concept.
Soooo, I'm hemming and hawing, and will look around for some frames in the meantime, and just stew on the senet idea for awhile.
It took a ridiculously long amount of time to get to this point. Technically, I should have put the smaller pictures on top and the heavier pictures near the bottom, but I didn't decide to hang any of the smaller pictures until yesterday and I wasn't about to start over! Perhaps when I paint the kitchen, which I hope will happen later this year once I'm able to keep the windows open. Then I will use a comprehensive, organized approach to putting up my gallery wall...
December 4, 2016: Hola everyone! Winter has arrived in Milwaukee and there are snow flurries today. Despite several hard freezes remarkably my "spikes" in two of my patio planters have absolutely refused to die. The rosemary and thyme plants I nursed inside the house through last winter spent the summer in their pot outside next to the side stoop off the driveway, where they get plenty of sunshine all day long. I transplanted them into a cozy sheltered spot right next to the stoop in October and they are still green and growing, too! With the delay in getting the drywall patching done in the relatively minor "reconstruction" work I had done in my kitchen, I am way behind my time in getting the house decorated. But yesterday I got my wreath decked out with extra lights and dressed the front door of the house, and my battery-operated traditional candles were put up on the window sills all around the house Friday evening. It becomes a ritual to go around at dusk and turn the tops to the right to turn the candles "on" and at bedtime to go around and turn the tops to the left to turn the candles "off." Today I put some "glittery" throw pillow covers purchased new last month from H&M on three of my sofa pillows to glam things up a bit in the living room and add some sparkle. Later on, after I sufficiently fuel myself up with wine and snacks and probably to distract myself while I listen to the Packers game on the radio, I will huff and puff and pull my artificial tree up from storage in the basement. I will decorate it simply this year. Every year I say that, and every year I end up throwing just about everything except the kitchen sink on the tree. I am very proud of myself this year, though. I did not buy a single new ornament or Christmas doo-dad for the house (throw pillow covers don't count!!!) Happy Holidays to all, with hope and fervent prayers for 2017. I've a feeling we're all going to need a lot of help from Goddess in the coming year. Jan