Our Gallery Wall Progress

It’s been just over two months since Nick and I moved into our new place, and I think it’s safe to say that we’ve made a ton of progress! There is still a ways to go, and my to do list is always growing, but I’ve recently made some progress on the gallery wall for our living room. For our gallery wall, I was a thinking that it would be a mix of things that I’ve painted with some photographs from various trips. I was going for a kind of teal (obviously), pale pink and grey colour palette to go with our existing decor.

It started like any DIY project does, collecting inspiration on Pinterest. I knew that our gallery wall should include some watercolours, because a) they’re gorgeous, and b) so that I could do some of the artwork myself, and wouldn’t have to pay more to get photos printed.

I had pinned a few watercolour hexagons as inspiration, and came up with this as my own version, in colours that worked for our space:

The actual painting measures 12×12″ , so with the frame it will be a decently sized piece.

The second piece that I made for our wall is one that I really love, but I’m iffy about using it for the gallery wall because of the chroma of the colours. They are all fairly bright and punchy, so after having given it further thought, I’m undecided as to whether this will work with the overall feel of the wall.

I was actually able to make this using paper that I had already. When I was at school at Ryerson, we got this block of coloured paper in our kits called Colour Aid paper. It has I think over 350 tints, tones, shades and pure colours. We had to do a lot of different exercises with it, but never came close to making a dent in the pages. So, over the Christmas holidays, under the critique of my mother, a seasoned artist, I picked colours that I thought would work together. I really like the way it came out, but I’m thinking maybe it will have to find another place in our home.

The last piece that I did was also with the same colour aid paper. It’s suppose to be a golden rectangle, but didn’t come out with the exact ratios. However, I still like how it looks, and I think that it could be a nice smaller addition to our wall, as it’s only about 4 x 7″.

So, using those 3 pieces, I started to try to add in some photos from trips that I had taken. For the most part, the photos worked better in black and white, aside from the photo of Portobello Road in London, where the pastel homes were just too perfect to change to black and white.

One other thing that I’m pretty adamant about including in the gallery wall is the Deathly Hallows. I’m a pretty big Harry Potter fan, but it’s such a great graphic symbol, that it works from a design standpoint too.

So in order to get an idea of how everything would look together, I imported the images into Adobe Illustrator, and started arranging them in different ways. This is the first draft that I came up with. The ratios for the photos are a little off, but for the first draft, I wanted to look more at how the images all worked, or didn’t work, together.

After that, I decided that I probably wanted to include some text in the gallery wall. My boyfriend actually just recently said that he didn’t know what good food was until we started dating, so I wanted something about food (also because I’m a huge lover of food/baking). Hence, I was inspired to include the saying “Eat Well Travel Often” in our wall. For this layout, I just left it in a sans serif font, but it would be really cool to maybe try my hand at some hand lettering and see how that would look.

For the other text piece, I wanted to do something geared around coffee because Nick and I both love our morning coffee - especially Saturdays when we get to enjoy it after having slept in. I initially went with the saying “but first, coffee” but I’m still going to look for other options as well, or I might even do a print with text and a coffee stain for the “O”. I would also want the words to be smaller on a big white background eventually. We’ll see.

I was starting to get happier with the layout, but still felt that the images were lacking a bit. Banana leaves are a huge trend right now, so I decided to go with a more tropical image and add a black and white photo of a palm tree. I also added in a photo of a beach to this variation, and I think it adds a nice fresh feel to our potential gallery wall. I also added a little flamingo print for some fun. I do that illustration, I found it on Pinterest, but if I were to use something like that for the wall, I would probably paint it myself.

I was starting to become happier with the layout, and I liked the way that they pieces all worked together. In the above screen shot, I think it works so well because the triangle art isn’t in the photo. Maybe I’ll just have to redo it in lighter colours!

So after having done a trial run of my gallery wall on illustrator, I feel a lot more confident about the pieces that I want to include in the wall. I’m thinking that I’m also going to include a very graphic painting of some kind of gemstone, and I might also do some kind of watercolour print. Who knows, maybe by the end of this I’ll decide to paint everything for the wall 🙂

I’m leaning towards hanging everything in thin white frames, with potential white mats as well to really let the images pop.

Let me know what you think of my progress with the gallery wall. What do you love, what do you hate(honestly!), or what do you think should be included?

Can’t wait to hear your thoughts 🙂

xo, tess.


2 responses to “Our Gallery Wall Progress”

  1. Brittany says:

    I am so intimidated by gallery walls. I love the idea of designing on someone else first. Thanks!

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