How to create great gallery walls

 

wall pennant diy

A large central print with smaller items hung at the side.

There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to creating gallery walls, but I find a few gentle guidelines can make the difference between an ordinary gallery wall and an extraordinary one. I don’t like too many rules, especially for interiors because it make a home seem contrived and a bit cold, but I think these tips are helpful for anyone who isn’t confident enough to let loose! Here are my three main tips and some images of my own gallery walls –

Tips gallery walls

Gold frames help to tie this gallery wall together

Tip #1 – Unity :  I like to have an element that ties all the pieces together whether it be colour, subject,  frame or shape etc. For example, a cluster of unique frames work well when they are all the same colour. In the parlour at the guesthouse I’ve used all gold frames to tie everything together. And below, our family portraits are in a variety frames,  but the tones and colours in the photographs are similar which makes the cluster work.

vintage wooden crate ideas

Family portraits in similar colours and tones

Tip #2 – Organise by size : if you have items of varying sizes it’s best to have the larger items towards the centre with smaller frames or pictures tapering off at the edges. This rule doesn’t always apply,  but it is definitely easier to achieve balance if you arrange your items this way. In the gold bedroom at RedAgape Guesthouse I’ve hung a large oil painting over the bed, in the centre of the wall, with smaller frames and items around this central painting.

layering interior design

The Gold Bedroom at RedAgape Guesthouse – layered with lamps, books and pictures

Gallery wall

A large central framed oil painting with smaller frames tapering off around the edges.

Tip #3 – Balance : A poorly composed gallery wall will look and feel awkward. There are a couple of ways to achieve balance – symmetrically or asymmetrically. Try to arrange your items on the floor until they feel right or alternatively, use cardboard or paper to represents your items and blue tac them to the wall. If you are unsure, check out my Pinterest board on gallery walls for layouts that you can reproduce.

navy bedroom tufted headboard

Symmetrically arranged vintage prints above a bedhead at RedAgape Guesthouse.

Teen bedroom gallery wall

Gallery wall in my daughter’s room

I love gallery walls and can’t recommend them enough. They can inject lots of life and personality into a room. So take the plunge and give a gallery wall a go! 🙂

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DIY Headboard at RedAgape Guesthouse

navy bedroom tufted headboardI was really excited to finally hang my DIY tufted headboard on the wall in the navy room at RedAgape Guesthouse. You can find the tutorial here if you are keen to make one for yourself. It is a challenging project but well worth the time and energy, as it is so cost effective when compared with buying a new headboard. 
beige headboard DIY bedhead tutorial beige bedhead navy room navy red beige bedroomYou can find more images of  RedAgape Guesthouse in my Instagram feed or my FaceBook page. 🙂

 

Gallery Walls – Progress in the Parlour

 

layering with cushions

The Parlour at RedAgape Guesthouse

Gosh I love a good gallery wall! I have a slight obsession with them and have included them in the guesthouse and my own home. Painting the parlour walls this deep rich navy was one of the best decisions I’ve made at the house. The room was smallish and dark and rather than fight against the natural moodiness,  I decided to embrace it. It’s surprising how the dark walls make the room feel welcoming, cosy and warm. I began planning a gallery wall against the navy base even before I’d picked the paint colour. And gold seemed like the natural choice.

layering interior design

The Gold Bedroom at RedAgape Guesthouse

I have a small gallery wall featuring gold in one of the bedrooms too, which means I have to split my gold framed finds between to the two spaces. Neither wall is complete yet, but that’s ok because I love how each wall is growing and evolving. Over the weekend I went treasure hunting again for gold frames. flower oil painting gallery wallThis pretty oil painting framed in gold was a stand out during my treasure hunt. It’s so pretty and feminine. I did find another larger framed oil painting of flowers, which was stunning, but the budget didn’t allow it this time. Pictured below is the progress so far. What do you think?
dark wall gallery wall

My Favourite Images of RedAgape Guesthouse and My Home

dining table styling

My Home – dining table styled with candles, antlers and flowers

world map in office

My office….when it’s tidy.

Monochrome pink and gold bedroom interiors

My cheap and cheerful bedroom

layering in interior design

My favourite bedroom at RedAgape Guesthouse

layering with cushions

The Parlour at RedAgape Guesthouse

Recycling old copper pots

My dining table at home

Gallery wall for girls bedroom

My daughter’s gallery wall at home

Teen bedroom gallery wall

Gallery wall in my daughter’s room

styling with vintage maps

My kitchen at home…plus an awesome vintage map

using vintage maps in interiors

My son’s room – with an awesome vintage map

Bookcase sorted by colour

My colour coded bookcase at home

Layering in Interior Design

how to layer interiors

Dining Room at RedAgape Guesthouse

When it comes to interior design, layering is all about what we include in a room to make it feel complete. For example – cushions, throws, books, curtains, candles and magazines are all objects we include when we layer our spaces. I believe the most interesting and welcoming rooms are those that have just the right amount of layering.

layering interior design

A bedroom at RedAgape Guesthouse – layered with lamps, books and pictures

Getting that right balance of layers into a room is really important. Too little and a room can appear very cold, clinical and unwelcoming. Or too many layers and a room may feel cluttered and disorganized.

dining table styling

My table at home layered with books and flowers

Ok, so getting the balance right? Firstly, I hate staged rooms. Don’t layer with items that serve no logical use in a space. Don’t sit a lamp on the dining room table if you don’t intend to use it, or coffee table books in the kitchen unless you plan to read them. When layering occurs organically then it’s more likely to look natural. I’ve added lamps to both side tables in this bedroom along with reading material, layered with purpose.

layering in interior design

Layered bedroom at RedAgape Guesthouse

Try using different patterns and textures in your layering, but make sure there is a connection between layered objects. The striped throw on this bed adds interest with a contrasting pattern to the florals, but works well because the green stripe ties in with other green elements in the room.

layering with cushions

The Parlour at RedAgape Guesthouse

Layering with cushions! Ahh…my favourite type of layering. A lounge with no cushions is so boring and sad. Once again, try mixing patterns and textures. It’s been suggested that you shouldn’t have cushions in the same fabric that match your lounge. While I agree, it’s hard because lounges are often sold with matching cushions. I think the only exception to this rule is when the cushions serve as a structural component of the lounge.

coffee table styling

A coffee table at RedAgape Guesthouse

And don’t forget your coffee and dining room tables! Add books, flowers and coasters with different heights and textures. A layered coffee table is a warm and welcoming invitation to come on in, sit down, and make yourself at home.

dining table styling

My Home – dining table styled with candles, antlers and flowers

Affordable Wall Decor – Interior Inspo

 

7 vignettes stripes I am always on the lookout for affordable ways to decorate my walls at home. I don’t believe that beautifully styled homes are reserved only for those who can afford the best of everything. I dislike snobby interiors (and people) and sometimes the challenge of a limited budget can yield the best results!
Rory Dobner framed napkins Framing napkins is an easy way to fill some walls. We bought these Rory Dobner napkins at the The Liberty Department Store, when we were in London at Christmas.  I couldn’t bear the thought of using them as napkins, so I found some square frames at a cheap shop and hung them on the wall. Black and white bedroom interior decorMy bedroom is a great example of how to decorate walls on a budget. We have recently moved into a fantastic new home, but having invested so much money into the house we need to be sensible about the amount we spend on furnishings and decor. I can’t justify the $$ for a new headboard right now, or the stunning wallpaper I’ve got my eye on, so I have hung an IKEA print as a temporary option. Inside Out Magazine featured my bedroom on their FaceBook page a few weeks ago and my image received over 3000 ‘likes’ and was shared 170 times. Stoked! Featured on inside out magazines facebook pageI love handmade, so making my own wall decor was an obvious option. Wall banners are a fun DIY project and can be custom made with words or quotes that have meaning to you. You do need to be able to sew in a straight line and have a little patience with the hand stitching, but overall, they aren’t difficult to make. Please visit my Wall Banner Tutorial for instructions on how to make the banner pictured below.
wall banner craft tutorialI made the wall banner in the image above to fill a blank space on the wall in our bedroom. It was quick and easy to make and extremely affordable. The “have fun, regret nothing!” wall banner below, is also handmade and hangs in the rumpus room. 7 vignettes fun handmade banner I’m currently working on a gallery wall in my daughter’s room, so stay tuned! It will consist of more affordable, handmade and creative ideas to decorate your walls at home.

 

 

RedAgape featured on Recycled Interiors

accommodation millthorpeIt was pretty exciting to have RedAgape Guesthouse featured on Recycled Interiors last week. Helen Edwards is passionate about homes with heart and i was honoured to have been invited to share my house on her blog.

Her site is perfect for anyone wanting inspiration and styling ideas using recycled items and materials. I’m so proud that RedAgape is full of character filled pieces that i’ve sourced from various locations, often saving them from landfill.

You’ll find my feature here and all sorts of inspiration throughout her blog.

Thanks Helen!

millthorpe accommodation

Before and After – The parlour living room after the big makeover!

dark navy walls fireplace and carver chairWhile I was painting the parlour at RedAgape last week, I remembered that I hate painting! I painted the entire inside of my home a few years ago, and I swore I’d never do it again. I guess, like childbirth, the pain of it disappeared quickly and my promise to never paint again was forgotten. The pain of it started to return when i began preparing the parlour for its makeover. The prepping and cleaning time involved with painting is easily equal to the time spent actually painting. Prepping is very important, crucial really, and it’s a big part of why I hate painting. The taping up of skirts, doorways and windows, as well as covering furniture and floors, is super time consuming.

parlour makeover before and afterHere are my top tips for painting –
1. If you can afford it, hire a painter to do the job for you. No, i’m not joking. 🙂
2. If you choose to paint yourself, prepping is crucial for a quality finish and less mess. Use drop sheets and take the time to tape up properly.
3. Don’t paint at night, especially dark colours. After an undercoat and two coats of navy I thought I was finished. Unfortunately, the next day in the morning light I could see a few patchy areas and I knew another coat was needed.
4. Use a cutting in tool for the edges. This saves soooo much time and gives a nice clean edge. I used one of these when I painted years ago, but I forgot this time around. I used it for the final coat and i was kicking myself for not using it sooner.
5. Wear old clothes and a head scarf. I’m still picking blue paint out of my hair five days after the final coat.
parlour makeover before and after

Okay – whinging over. As much as I dislike painting I do love how paint can completely transform a room. I love the new colour in the parlour.  It really feels like it was always meant to be a dark and cozy room. I’m planning on adding more wall decor behind the lounge, but for now I’m completely happy with the outcome. Not to mention, just plain thrilled I’m finished.

parlour gold wall decor hung on dark walls gold antique framed painting

I really love the gold wall decor against the dark navy. There were so many beautiful rooms on pinterest that used the gold and navy combination. You can see other rooms here. I’m going to add more wall decor behind the chesterfield (as i find treasures) to create a wall display.

plate display on dark wallsThis old gold framed convex mirror is definitely one of my favourite things in the room. I love the way it reflects the opposite side of the room almost in entirety. antique gold framed convex mirrorI was pleasantly surprised with how the chesterfield looked against the dark navy. I think they compliment each other nicely. With the gas fire now installed the parlour is now a cozy and inviting room to relax in during the evening.
parlour before and after chesterfieldparlour makeover dark navy walls

A sneak peak – the parlour is getting a makeover!

gold framed vintage lady

I’ve been finding some great inspiration for painting dark walls on Pinterest lately! I stumbled across some inspiring images by accident one day, when i was looking at wall displays.  I was instantly drawn to the rooms that had navy covering their walls….and no, not one feature wall, but the entire room painted in dark blue. The parlour at RedAgape Guesthouse is the smallest living area and struggles to get natural light, so while i thought it would be a good candidate for navy walls, i was worried it might close it in even further. I wasn’t keen to start painting until i was sure.

megan morton home love

Then, browsing through Megan Morton’s book, Home Love, i stumbled across this page dedicated to night time living rooms. She writes about how some rooms are morning rooms or night time rooms. My parlour is definitely a night time room. It’s a room where you want to cosy up in the evening by the fire with a good book and a wine in hand. Or as Megan Morton describes, “some rooms are born for serving whiskey sour, playing backgammon and reading Keats“. The helpful information on this single page of her book gave me the final bit of confidence to commit to a makeover for the parlour. 

megan morton dark room

The first thing to do was get a gas fire installed in the fireplace. I didn’t want guests to fuss around with firelighters and wood during their stay and gas fires are the next best thing, plus so very easy to use. This is the parlour getting a nice new gas fire installed. I know, it looks a little scary, but i can assure you everything is now back in place.
parlour makeover

With the fireplace installed, i headed to the paint shop for some samples. I grabbed four sample pots of varying navy as you can never quite tell what the paint will look like on your wall and i didn’t want to mess it up. I settled on Dulux Harpoon…..a lovely deep shade of navy. If you check out my Navy Wall Inspiration board on Pinterest you’ll understand why i have this gold frame against the wall. So many of the beautiful navy rooms have gold accents which look amazing again their dark walls.

navy paint wall samples

These golden beauties i found in Peak Hill, at two different antique shops. I adore vintage gold frames, as you can see from the gold frames on the wall in the reflection. This painting caught my eye instantly and the round convex mirror will look gorgeous hanging nearby. I’m still searching for some more gold wall adornments as they will look gorgeous on my navy walls. Stay tuned!!

vintage gold frames

The Great Wall of China Plates

treelinedstreetautumn

Millthorpe is beyond beautiful in Autumn. The changing colours of the leaves, the warm days, brisk nights and the relaxing atmosphere makes it the ideal time for a weekend away. I managed to finish my plate wall display over the weekend. I have been acquiring plates for a while now and last week i was able to find a few vintage items to complete my collection. It took around three hours in total to get them onto the wall. Here are the steps below that i followed –

 Step 1. Sort the plates by colour, size and shape. Lay them out on the floor until you are happy with your arrangement.

Step 2. Trace the plates one by one onto paper and cut them out.

Step 3. Stick the paper templates to the wall using blu tac.

Step 4. Attach a paper clip using a hot glu gun to the back of the plates.

Step 5. Measure from the top of the plate to the paper clip and then, using that measurement, hammer a small nail the same distance down from the top of the paper template.

Step 6. Hang the plates onto the nails and tear off the paper template.

I know, i know. A hot glu gun and a paper clip!!? It sounds like the MacGyver method of interior decorating, but i can assure you these plates are not going anywhere. I researched the best method for hanging plates and this method is VERY popular. I was sceptical myself, but after the first plate dried i was convinced it was rock solid. Of course, do this at your own risk. I probably wouldn’t hang plates over a bed or passage where people walk.

I’m keen to do another wall of plates at my own house, so i’m going to start collecting again. All in all it’s a pretty great way to decorate a blank wall!

arranging a plate display

plate wall display

wall display plates

old and vintage plate display

mozi plates on a wall

mozi plate display

redagapetree

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