Living Room Changes – Part 2

Last time I checked in I showed you guys the beginning stages of some small changes that we’ve been making in our living room over the past few weeks and today I’m back to show you what else we’ve been up to.
The next set of changes we recently made involves a part of our living room the blog hasn’t even seen yet – our media wall. Decorating your home to accommodate that uber important TV is often challenging, and in our case, was only made worse when we purchased a larger, more obnoxious television to replace our old, on the edge of death, TV. After purchasing the larger TV, we were forced to do some furniture musical chairs when it became clear that the wall that used to house the TV, was way too small.
The previous media wall, as seen in this really bad cell phone pic, shows just how cramped the previous situation was to begin with. The TV and media cabinet were smashed up against the curtains and sliding glass door leading out to our patio leaving no extra room to accommodate a larger TV.
So…with a new TV and the realization that the existing wall was too small, we did some rearranging and moved the TV, the media cabinet, and Anthony (the antelope) to an adjacent wall with a really annoying nook that I’ve hated since the day we moved in but since it was the only other place for the new TV, we had to make it work.
The nook is off center on this wall and for a person that really gravitates towards symmetry, it’s always been a nightmare for me to decorate around. This little nook has seen quite a few changes in the 2 years that’s we’ve lived here which I plan to document in a future post, but this go-around in the nook is by far my favorite.
After moving everything over into the nook, the entire wall felt visually heavy on the left and really empty on the right, making the nook all that more prominent and irritating!
I didn’t have much space to work with on the left but I knew that it definitely needed something to visually balance everything out and with all the craziness going on to the left, I thought something clean and symmetrical would be the best solution to both my problems.
I decided to do a gallery wall of frames filled with pictures from some of our most memorable travel adventures. The inspiration for this came directly from these two awesome bloggers as seen on their sites here and here.
Ready to see how it all came together?
For the gallery wall I chose to go with these warm wood toned frames that I scooped up at Ikea. I’ve been on a mission to bring in some wood tones and textures into our home to warm things up a bit and balance out our other black furniture pieces and I think these frames did just that!
I chose vacation photos that were bright, bold, and full of vibrant colors! It’s the perfect way to display our personal memories in a very subtle way while bringing in some fun colors at the same time.
To put my own little spin on our travel adventures gallery wall, I used my all time favorite (but sadly discontinued) Martha Stewart bookplate labels on the glass of each frame to name the travel destination pictured. Great thing about this is no matter what picture you showcase, the label can always be updated easily as you add more destinations to your passport! And for those with a short term memory, you’ll always have a handy reminder of where your photo was taken!
To hang the pictures, I used every renters BFF – 3M Command Strips (you can see the little bump out of the Command Strip on the top of each frame in the photo below). Using 3M Command Strips saved me from putting 16+ nail holes in the wall and from having to patch all those holes when we leave. Plus, 3M Command Strips are re-positionable and made it easy to make sure my grid lines were nice and straight. Can’t beat that!
All in all, for all the challenges this wall & the larger TV presented us with, I’d say I’m smitten with the results! Plus I think Anthony is enjoying the new scenery too…
There’s still one more change I’m working on to round out our living room refresh, be sure to check back soon so you don’t miss out!

Gallery Wall Changes

 If you’re anything like me, then you love a good gallery wall and that also means you’re a frame hoarder too. I’m guilty as charged. In our small apartment alone, we have 4 areas where gallery walls have emerged and 4 gallery walls means A LOT of frames.
Gallery walls can make a huge statement and bring life to blank apartment walls but they can also go very stagnate, very fast. That’s what I’m currently struggling with at the moment. In my haste to hang something, anything, on the walls when we first moved in, I did so without much thought or intent and now I’m left feeling meh about most of it.
I haven’t quite landed on my ideal design solution for any of these areas so while I’m pondering over my options, you know I just can’t leave well enough alone. So! I decided against ripping everything down and starting from scratch, but believe me I considered it, but then where would I store all the frames? Instead I just decided to tweak a few frames throughout the house and see what sticks because who knows…maybe I’ll end up loving it all over again.
So while I’m busy giving my gallery walls a mini-makeover I thought I’d share with you a few quick and simple ways to tweak a boring ole picture frame.
Ready to see the results?
The first frame tweak I worked on was this “all of me loves all of you” print I had framed in my go-to Ikea frames. I downloaded this print from an Etsy shop a while back and I think the bedroom is the perfect place for a print like this. Just not sure I’m digging the whole composition of the gallery wall above the bed just yet…I have nightmares about giant earthquakes and the gallery wall crashing down on our heads as we sleep blissfully unaware.

Just as a reminder, here’s what the gallery wall above our bed looked like pre-tweaks:


The print had a white background and basically just blended right in with the white mat, which for me was no bueno, so I took the mat out and gave it few thin coats of my favorite gold spray paint. Although I love the look of this gold spray paint in other applications, I’m not so sure I love it here. But hey…it’s just paint, right? And speaking of paint…did you know that mats can be painted for an instant new look? No? Well now you do. And not just with spray paint…with any paint! Just be sure to let your painted mat dry ample time before re-installing it in the frame. This frame tweak was easy-peasy!

The next tweak happened in the kitchen and although these frames aren’t technically part of any of our 4 gallery walls, they were still fair game.
To jazz these bad-boys up I picked up some cheap flat corner braces from my local home improvement store and screwed them into each frame corner for an instant campaign style look. Just be sure to remove the glass before doing this to ensure you don’t accidentally crack the glass as your brackets are going in. For less than $5, these cuties were looking better already.
The verdict? Dig the frames, hate the kitchen. Faux maple cabinets with dark speckled granite countertops? Bleh.
 Next up…
A pop of color! Using my go-to Ikea Ribba frame, I painted the inner edge of this extra deep Ikea frame a coordinating pop of color to match the print I downloaded here. The pop of color gives the print an extra layer of dimension and interest.
This extra deep frame from Ikea has a square insert that can be removed or kept in place to allow for different picture display options. To achieve this look, I removed the insert, primed it with some spray primer, mixed up some pink, red, and white craft paint to mimick color of the flamingo and then painted all 4 inside edges of the square insert. I let the insert dry for a few hours before re-installing it.
Here’s the result! You like?
I’m loving the pop of color this little update adds to the space. Can’t believe it took me this long to make such a simple & easy update to a boring frame!
All 3 of these “tweaks” took me less than 10 minutes to complete, not including dry time. While I’m not head over heels in love with the gold painted mat, it’s an easy enough fix, and these tweaks may just hold me over until I figure out what to do, or not do, to these spaces.
What do you think? Will you try any of these ideas out in your own home? Do you love gallery walls just as much as this girl?