Curating a Dining Room Gallery

If you follow me on Pinterest you’ve seen these inspiration photos from (I think) Pottery Barn Australia’s 2013 catalog.

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I’ve been thinking about my dining room for 3 years and once I saw these photos I knew what it needed.

Neutral.

I had been trying to use bright pops of color as contrast to my gray wall when I really just needed to go neutral and incorporate some textures, patterns and wood grain.

So I gathered a bunch of frames that were collecting dust in the attic and lined them up on the dining room floor.

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Then I traced the outline of each frame on scrap paper (saved from the recycling bin) and used painter tape to arrange and rearrange the shapes on the wall.

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(Have no idea why this picture is sideways. It doesn’t look like that in the file!) Anyway, you get the jist.

Once I was happy with the layout I started putting nails in the wall. And I really liked it!

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I had a bunch of white mats to reuse but decided to cover them with linen fabric for some texture and variation on the neutral theme. (I will post another time about that very easy DIY project.) Here are close-ups of two of the linen covered mats.

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All the photos or artwork are from our travels and each holds a particular memory. It’s a collected space in the purest sense.

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It’s funny how many times I’ve come dangerously close to repainting this room to a more lively color but now I’m really happy with the moody, shadowy drama of the gray alongside dark wood frames and the black table.

 

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The chandelier gives a nice bit of reflection and glow to the room, adding to the drama, especially at night.

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Well the gallery wall was great, but there was another blank wall that had to be finished before I could call this room “done.” So I went shopping through the rooms in the rest of my house and came up with this mirror and 6 frames/mats I wasn’t using for anything.

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The frames actually sat empty for about 2 months before the idea hit me last night for how to fill them. Hubs and I have fondness for some special places in the world that hold good memories. So I went googling for pencil sketches of these cities and found all kinds of things to choose from. I settled on a style I liked and found 6 sketches that were similar enough to work. Dropped them into a Word doc, put the name of each city at the bottom of each picture and for exactly zero dollars I have a sketchbook gallery perfectly to my liking.

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Here are some close-ups.

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It ties the room together really well.

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So thanks Pottery Barn!

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