Creating A Meaningful Gallery Wall

I have been dying to create a gallery wall for several years, and I'm not sure what has been stopping me.  I think I was unsure of what wall I could use - we had a large blank wall in our empty downstairs living room, but it seemed silly to decorate that wall without getting some furniture first.  So I convinced myself I couldn't start yet, and I have been sitting on the gallery wall idea ever since.

But then last year, I read The Nesting Place.  It was a great book, and had so many ideas for using the space you have.  The thing that stood out to me most about her decorating philosophy is to not let your perceived limitations stop you from creating a space you love, because often those limitations can get you to think outside the box.  It can lead to more unique, beautiful results.

So I followed her advice, and took down all my knick knacks and wall decorations in my upstairs living room, which is the space that I felt needed the most help.  After that exercise, I realized I do have a good gallery wall!  I began to work on it, and it has evolved several times.  I finally have it the way I want it, and I love the way it has turned out.  

This is my gallery wall, as it is now:

My favorite suggestion for creating a gallery wall is that you shouldn't just try to put together a random assortment of pictures that look like something in a magazine - you should pick items items for your gallery wall that have personal meaning to you.  I think that is why I like the way it turned out so much, because so many of the pieces mean something.  

My mom gave me that bike when I was first married.

My grandpa made that tree stump clock.  

I painted that watercolor based on a picture of Wyatt and Gwen.  

I'm a science nerd, and the vintage botanical textbook prints fit right in with that side of me. 
The print from Lindsey Letters has traditional vows that are similar to the ones we said on our wedding day.

Not every piece has to have personal meaning, but the more meaningful pieces you include, I think the better you will like your gallery wall - and every other area of your house where you can incorporate some of your history.

What should you think about as you try to find meaningful pieces?

Your Interests 

What are some of your personal interests, hobbies, and pastimes? What about your husband's? See if you can find some art or creative displays to show the kinds of things you like to do.

Your History 

Where are you from originally?  What were some of your favorite childhood memories?  Where did you go to college or meet your husband?  Do a search on Easy and find something that reminds you of your past.  Do you have any momentos you can include from major family events (weddings, births)?  Try making a shadow box or finding other creative ways to display special objects. Is there anything unique in your family history or genealogy?  Find something that can represent that in your home, or use those antiques from your grandparents in your decor!

Your Art 

Do you have any paintings or decorations that you made yourself?  If not, get busy on Pinterest, and find something that you can make yourself and personalize! If you are just not the crafty sort, what about something that a family member made?  

Your Faith 

One thing I have been trying to work on is incorporating more scripture in my home decor, because I know what kind of impact that can make on kids. I still remember the words of every faith-based decoration my mom had in our house growing up. Include some symbols or words of your faith in your gallery wall, so that someone could come into your home and know this most important part of your family without even meeting you. (I don't have a good example in my gallery wall, but I am incorporating this into other areas of my house.)

Do you have a gallery wall?  How did you go about putting it together and making it personal?

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Topaz & Sapphire said...

Omg, I love this space you have created in your home. What a great wall that has so much meaning. Love that you shared this!!

Rebecca Lobb said...

I LOVE this!!! I have a travel wall as I'm scared I'll lose my memories from the trips I've been on. I like you tips on creating one too Callie!

Rachel G said...

Very pretty! I definitely agree that it's important to choose things to hang that actually have special importance and meaning to you. I have a gallery wall, but it's solely composed of our personal photos--photos that date back to when I was in high school, and I love looking at all the memories. I think we counted once, and there's over 80 photos on the wall right now, haha!

Valerie said...

Hi Callie! I LOVE your gallery wall. It looks great and I think its a great way to incorporate special meaningful pieces. I always have such a hard time with placement and I like the way you arranged the wall. :)

Ashley LaMar said...

Cute!!! I love how significant everything is. I keep wanting to put one together in our guest bedroom of friends and family (people who would actually use that room) but I haven't found the time yet either. It's on my "one day..." list.

Callie Nicole said...

Thank you Valerie! I actually just found some arrangements I liked on pinterest and tried to duplicate them. I like the way it came out!

Callie Nicole said...

Oh wow, that's cool! I have a photo wall too, but definitely not 80 pics worth. ;-)

Callie Nicole said...

Thanks Rebecca! I love that you have a travel wall!

Callie Nicole said...

Thank you so much! So glad you stopped by! :-)

Kaitlin @ Homemaker Design said...

I'm a gallery wall junky!!! :P I have at least three in my home...hahhah!! I'll have to take pictures some time and show you, if you like! :) I like the bike on yours, I love adding dimension to these and this is great!! And I really like your watercolour of your two kids there!

Elizabeth said...

I read in an article recently how furnishings should look "more collected than contrived," or something like that. You could go out and buy a bunch of pieces to put together, or you could work with what you have and gradually add to it. I think that's sort of like what you were talking about, and it seems like you've accomplished that with all your personal pieces! The only decent furniture around here is IKEA, so that makes it all the more special when we are given something one-of-a-kind. I am really lazy about actually putting holes in the walls and hanging things up, though.

Callie Nicole said...

I love the idea of doing one with pictures of friends and family! I'm still trying to figure out a good wall that I can use in my house...

Callie Nicole said...

Thank you Kaitlin! And yes, I love gallery walls - they are always so interesting to look at! I'd love to see yours! :-)

Callie Nicole said...

I have read that too, that it looks more natural when things are collected instead of bought as a set. That's what I have been trying to go for too as I update some of the rooms in our house!

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