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LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT | GALLERY WALLS

August 11, 2014

Now that we've been in our house for just over a year I feel like I'm finally starting to feel like maybe this is really where we'll be for a while.  I'm picking up speed on completing small projects and finding a home for everything.  Part of my commitment to hanging things or painting things stems from the fact that I have moved a lot in the past fifteen years.  A whole lot.   In fact, I've lived in 12 different places in 15 years.  Seeing as how I slept in the same room in the same house for the first 17 years of my life, this leaves me feeling perpetually unsettled.

So you can see why many design things live forever in my pinterest files alone.  I'm ready to change that, but my old fear of commitment comes creeping back and I'm curious about your thoughts.

Love it or leave it, gallery walls?
One of the design elements that I've always wanted to try but haven't for fear of repairing nail holes, is a gallery wall.  So now that I finally feel like the time is right and I have accumulated some art and family photographs that I want to use for it, is it over?  Did I miss the boat?


I know we've seen about a million and a half gallery walls floating around Pinterest.  Some organic and others more uniform in scale.  Mostly filled with calligraphy, free printables, and deer antlers.  All things collected for the sole purpose of meshing well together on a wall. 

Or the later, a series of Ikea Ribba frames in a grid.  Mostly used for family photographs or a grid of calendar page art.  I love the idea of displaying lots of photographs of our family in our home in an organized manner on the walls, keeping small frames from crowding our tabletops.

It's basically a prerequisite for any good blogger house tour.  But is that because they're the fad de rigeour?  Or because they're awesome and translate well into real homes full of pictures and memories and quotes we love and don't want to miss stuffed in a box somewhere?


So tell me, do you love it or leave it?

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18 comments:

  1. I have always been a fan of gallery walls for the small, precious stuff. I love a gallery wall in an upstairs hall with special family pictures and framed kid art. I think keeping it one-of-a-kind prevents it from being too blogger-y.

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  2. You know I love them. I have them throughout my house, and have had them in our last 5 homes in one form or another. Maybe the types of images/art or the style of frames are things that can go out of style, but I don't think the gallery wall itself will ever go out of style. Also, don't worry about it being over done in blog world. Your home is real world.

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  3. I love them! However, you have to be careful not to over do it, it can look like hodge podge. I'm working on one above my sofa now and struggling terribly to find the right frame.

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  4. I like them in doses! For example, I think a gallery wall can add a lot to an apartment, home office, family room etc. However, in more formal areas like a living room, dinning room, or master bedroom I generally prefer a big statement piece.

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  5. I'm so with you! (on loving and hating) And I feel this way about a lot of "blogger" fads. Do I like it because I saw it and XYZ blog or do I really like it?? I kind of hate the giant gallery walls with no real useful art, but just the random stuff and deer heads like you said, at the same time, they really a great way to put a bunch of stuff on display. I have a small one in the playroom and hope to make it a bit bigger with some of the girls art as they grow and other family photos and things that are our family without it looking like a college dorm room. I also like the more streamlined galleries, like the square ribbas with larger mats. That's just because I'm OCD.

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  6. I love a gallery wall when the art is thoughtful and collected. I am over throwing up some Etsy prints and calling it a day. Been there, done that and it was not pretty.

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  7. I love them, fuck the haters. Make it unique and own it.

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    1. Katharine, you crack me up. Thanks for your candid comment and starting my day with a belly laugh!

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  8. The gallery wall is forever in style. However the gallery wall filled with nothing but etsy prints and sayings always feels a bit cold to me. I say go with photos and items that have special meaning to you and you will love it.

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  9. My gallery wall is my favorite thing in my home! I LOVE art and have a bevy of it. It makes me happy that I can display it all and enjoy it everyday. My gallery wall is truly reflective of my taste and style.

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  10. I personally love them, and I really want to do one in my house and well, but I get imtimidated. I need someone to come help me!

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  11. I definitely feel like gallery walls with a certain look are a blogger dad. That said, I remember most of my friends' families (and mine) in the 80s having gallery walls of family pics in their homes. I think when they happen organically you can tell and they look nice.

    We have one running along the staircase wall that I free formed and one in my office that's a little more trendy (all colorful photos and quotes against a white wall). I get more compliments on the family photo one that I just hung willy nilly.

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  12. LOVE LOVE LOVE a gallery wall :)

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  13. I love gallery walls, especially of family photos or children's artwork. If I see one more antler, though, I'm going to impale myself on it.

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  14. Gallery walls have been around forever! I say go for it! I just finished one with all black and white family photos from both my family and my husbands. I love it!

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  15. Leave it. Your style and home both reflect your classic sensibilities. I don't tend to think of gallery walls as classic and timeless. Many tend to look juvenile, particularly when not executed properly or when the decorator uses items you can tell were purchased specifically and only for the gallery wall. The non-uniform walls always look cluttered, which seems opposite of your aesthetic. You could pull off a symmetrical, orderly gallery wall, if you really want to give this trend (and it is a trend!) a whirl. Or, an eclectic gallery wall full of typography/words, animal heads and other whimsy would work in one of your children's rooms.

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  16. I leave it, and agree with JMM that they are stylish rather than classic. My home is an old one, and I collect antique oil paintings in original frames. To me, they are too special to be hung in groups, so a gallery wall is not my style. However, I have seen them in blogs and on Pinterest, and think they fit that fresh, modern, chevron/ikat/graphic print aesthetic very nicely. Our homes reflect our taste and style - if you like a gallery wall today, go for it! You can always take it down and repaint if you change your mind in the future :)

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