Home is where love reigns and family matters! I believe the purpose of a home is to: warm the hearts of all who enter, provide physical and emotional shelter to those that live inside, and celebrate the great memories made along life's journey. These goals do not just happen accidentally, they must be cultivated and nurtured. Each home has their own style but fundamentally the purpose is the same in every home. My favorite homes to visit are those that go above and beyond to celebrate their family and decorate with personal one-of-a-kind touches. The effort to personalize your home is never cheap but it is always priceless!
During our spring break I have finally hung the first of several galleries I am working on. We own a 155 year old restored french farm house near the main entrance of the popular Zion National Park. This piece of history was purchased and restored by my husbands grandparents in the 70's. Josh and I started our relationship here in college on a backpacking trip through the famous Narrows on his 23rd birthday. We had the opportunity to buy it out of the family estate about 6 years ago. This house doesn't just represent an important piece of Utah's history, it is an important piece of MY family history. Not only did we fall in love in the red rocks, we raised our kids hiking, climbing, cycling, boating and exploring this beautiful area. The red rocks define our family culture as much as the mountains and snow of Park City.
For more than a year, Josh has been wanting a wall gallery that showcases our love of the area and our vast experiences in the back country of Zion. Josh's Christmas present this year was 25 framed pictures captured through the years of our red rock adventures. I finally had the chance to hang the first installment in this gallery yesterday. Here's some valuable tips on how to create your own gallery.
1. Decide on a theme- Wall galleries can be a breathtaking addition to any home. But often times wall galleries can get too chaotic when you don't pick a theme and stay focused. There is definitely a danger of having too much of a good thing when it comes to wall galleries. So pick a theme and carry it through from start to finish. This wall gallery is focused on our red rock adventures through the years.
2. Focus on the photos not the frames- The focus should stay on the photographs not the frames. It is easy to overwhelm the pictures if you bring in too many frame variations. Keep it simple by sticking with simpler frames that don't over power the memories inside them. I worked with a frame wholesaler to keep my woods the same color but varied the widths.
3. Lay it out on the floor and snap a picture- Working through the design on the floor helps in several important ways. First, it helps you know if your display will fit with the dimensions of the wall. Try to create several straight lines in your design so the eye can find some consistency and some places to rest. These straight lines will also help with the ease of hanging the photos. Second- Once everything is perfect, snap a cell phone photo of the whole lay out so you have a road map as you work.
4. Important tools- I used the 3M command strips because I don't want to pound nails into my historic, 3 feet thick, walls. These command strips really do make creating wall galleries so much easier than with nails. These command strips are rated for weight, so I could pick the sizes that worked best. Most of my frames have 2 strips on each back. Other essential tools are tape measure, level, pencil and a friend if you can find and extra pair of hands.
5. Hang from the middle out- I measured out the center point of my wall and the center point of my display and started there. I used the pencil to draw a middle line and bottom line across the whole wall to follow. Yes, I wished I would have had a laser level that attached to the wall but all I had was old school tools. I believe in using whatcha got.
6. Level, level, level- Make sure each photo is level both horizontally and vertically. This is where that extra pair of hands is really essential. I would remove the adhesive cover on the command strips and hold while the other hands leveled. Once everything lines up I just pressed the command strips into the wall to adhere. This was actually the easiest part.
I can't believe how much this wall gallery changes the energy of the room. As my kids grow they will always be able to look at these photos and be reminded of the great times we had here. This wall gallery has helped our home fulfill its divine purpose of celebrating the memories made together. My project took over 6 months from start to finish and took a good investment into printing and framing these photographs. But now I am left with a priceless wall gallery to share with all who enter this piece of history.