I’d been contemplating how to solve the “empty” look in my living room. My decorating style is minimalist (big surprise) but it still looked too empty for my taste. I like a safe middle ground between simple and decorative.
I was performing my daily Pinterest browse when I stumbled upon a frame gallery board. Light bulb! That’s when I knew I wanted to add a gallery of frames above the TV.
Here’s how to organize your own frame gallery without making a million holes in your wall:
Decide on an arrangement. Search the web for common size arrangements, or use this guide if your stumped and want some frame arrangement ideas.
Get out some paper and cut (or tape together) the shapes for each frame you’ve chosen for your gallery.
Begin taping your paper to the wall. The idea here is that this isn’t permanent. You’ll quickly figure out what works best for your space, without consequences for moving the paper around.
Once you have your arrangement, go ahead and purchase the frames. I was looking at these from Pottery Barn, but cheaped out and went with IKEA alternatives. Hey, I’m a girl on a budget… But if you have change to spare, Pottery Barn currently has their frames on sale online!
Measure the location of where you’ll need nails on the frame. Take that measurement and place it onto the paper hanging on your wall.
Hammer nails in place!
Remove the paper. Just rip it right off the wall, and the nail shouldn’t budge.
Hang your frames.
Don’t sweat over imperfections. Not every frame will be perfect and some space may vary. Imperfection adds character! Mine aren’t perfect, but I love the results.
Simple, isn’t it? I used to use the trial and error method. Let’s just say my last apartment needed some serious TLC when we moved.
Now comes the fun part — filling the frames with artwork!
When it comes time to decorate, I often have a hard time imagining what would go well in a room. I have to see it with my own eyes!
I’ve started making mood boards, inspired by professionals I’ve seen work on some of my favorite TV shows and online blogs. These have helped me figure out what I want. (And just as importantly, what I don’t want!)
Here’s a recent mood board I made for our bedroom. It’s one I’ve just started, with the goal of finding colorful accents. I put in items I already have, and then slowly add in items I need to buy.
As you can see, I still need to add in my colorful accents. Right now, this is my base.
Here is how to start creating your own mood board:
Choose a medium: Decide which medium — digital or paper?
Digital tools: If you decided digital, you can use an image editor like Photoshop or a free tool like Picasa. (Here’s a Picasa tutorial for mood boards.)
Paper tools: If you decided paper, get a blank scrapbook and use it to collect all of your mood boards in one place.
Decide on a canvas: You can use a white background color, or you can do what I did and put in the color of your floor and walls. It’s up to you! I find putting these in help me with the overall color scheme.
Use what you have: Begin with what you already own and add it in, but remember you may sometimes not have anything to start with.
Adding pictures: To add pictures digitally, find them online and use your image editor to remove the background. Then paste them onto the mood board and resize to fit. For adding pictures on paper, simply cut them out of magazines or print photos from your computer.
Add new items: Now the fun begins… Using the same process, experiment with adding new items into the board. Remember nothing is permanent, you can always change it.
Annotate carefully: If you get a final vision you can go out and purchase the items that look similar. However, if you want to purchase the exact items you used on your mood board, remember to add the proper annotations so that you can remember where to buy them. Even better, write down the price. Then you’ll know how much you need to invest to create your dream room!
This process helps plan a design, and is incredibly helpful for seeing an overall picture of what something will look like when completed.
I especially have been loving my mood boards, because they keep me from being indecisive and I know exactly what I need to grab the next time I’m shopping for interior decorating supplies.
Don’t like interior design? That’s fine! You can also use mood boards for outfit planning, wardrobe overhauls, and makeup looks.
Have you ever made a mood board? Would you find it useful?
We all need a space to escape to, preferably one just as comfortable as it is isolated. I could probably see myself taking a nap, reading a book, or browsing through magazines in my own little nook somewhere at home. It’s important to have your own little zen area somewhere.
One could argue creating a little comfort nook not only looks cute design-wise, but can sometimes save your sanity.
I’m hoping to create one somewhere in our new place, probably in the bedroom. It will be a challenge to do so in such a small space but that seems to be my major challenge with all the things I’d like to implement.
Here’s my current inspiration board. Give me a cup of coffee and my iPad with this set up, and I may never get out of the chair.
There’s a gray area between minimalist decor and clutter. I would consider my decorating style somewhere in the middle.
As far as simplifying your life, I think it’s important to bring a room down to the bare minimum you can handle. Some people can get rid of everything, others need more to stay happy.
The easiest way to figure out what works for you is starting with a bare room and gradually decorating until satisfied. It’s much easier to do things this way rather than take away from what already exists, because you’re likely attached to many items.
Why is this important? Walking into a room with just the right amount of objects for decor can provide various benefits:
It relaxes you. The view eases stress, rather than immediately overwhelming you with eye-candy overload.
You focus on art. Having only a few items allows focus on special pieces or artwork, rather than having too much competing for attention. Quality versus quantity!
You’re inspired. Until I decorated my area of the office, I wasn’t inspired to blog. The right amount of decoration will neither overwhelm or underwhelm you, which allows room for inspiration and ideas to flow.
It centers your mind. You should have functional pieces and decorations, but not too much of each. You should feel comfortable and happy walking into the room to focus on why you walked in there in the first place.
After unpacking from my move to a bigger place, I found it too minimalist for my taste. I’m still adding quality pieces that make me happy, and I hope soon that I can experience the points above in every room!
If you’re having trouble limiting the amount of decoration you have, look out for a post on handling collections and holding onto items for decor.
Where is your line between minimalist and clutter? Do you need to do some organizing?