5 Things to Consider for an "Effortless" Gallery Wall

5 THINGS TO CONSIDER FOR AN EFFORTLESS GALLERY WALL | CLASSY GLAM LIVING

Now that the Holidays are over, I'm still reluctant to pack away the sparkly decorations and Christmas lights that line our staircase.  Actually, call it a case of mild procrastination.  Afterall, it took quite some effort to lay out the decorations, they should stay out for a bit longer, don't you think?

I blame the delay of packing up our Christmas decorations on decorating the little man's headquarters - his bedroom and playroom.   Not that I'm doing any of the installations...  Anyway...  Little man's working corner in his playroom is finally in place, and I should really unpack some packages lying around that are for a gallery wall in the room.

A gallery wall is an eclectic display of art, giving the room a casual vibe.  For our house, there's no better place than the playroom to have some fun with it!  The. Mr is not a huge fan of gallery walls, but he has reluctantly played along with the idea for one in the playroom.  So to honour that, I promise to keep it small scaled with a somewhat neat demeanor.  My plan is to have it above a future toy storage unit, with a wall space of around 5-feet wide.

I want the gallery wall to look effortlessly casual, but it still takes some effort while taking these factors into consideration:

1. DETERMINE THE BOUNDARY

The width of most gallery walls are bounded by, or just beyond, the width of the furniture below it, if any.  For dramatic effect, you can even go wall to wall, similar to the sample image below.  As for a vertical boundary, a more comfortable grouping would see the bottom of the layout at 6"-8" above any piece of furniture, up to around 2-ft off the ceiling.  You know the general rule of hanging wall art at 60-62" from the ground?  In the case of a gallery wall, treat the whole layout as a group, so that the group's centre is at eye-level.  You don't want to be crunching your neck to look up to ALL your pieces!

2. SHAPE OF THE LAYOUT

Do you have a neat and structured personality, like my Mr.?  Then a square or rectangular shape gallery wall will most likely be your pick.  Or are you more coherently random, like me?

Structured shape via  The Southern Thing

Structured shape via The Southern Thing

coherently random shape by  Lay Baby Lay

coherently random shape by Lay Baby Lay

3. SHAPES, SIZES, AND COLOURS OF THE FRAMES

Using various shapes and sizes of frames for the gallery wall is one way to give it a dose of your personality.   For little man's playroom, I originally planned on using colourful frames.  I'm having second thoughts about that, and I think monochromatic frames would play a balancing role against the pops of colours around the room full of toys.  

4. SPACING AROUND THE PIECES 

A visually appealing gallery wall should have just enough pieces that are grouped comfortably together.  The key is to avoid looking too messy.  Spaced too tight, it would look like too many pieces are crying for attention, and the frames would look crammed; spaced too far apart, then they look like individual art pieces sharing the wall.  

To be easy on the eyes, I find that the optimal distance between each piece should be around 2-3".  There're no hard and fast rules about it, and it all depends on the different sizes and shapes of the pieces.

via RH Teen

via RH Teen

5. INCLUDE WHIMSICAL ACCENTS

Gallery walls are never boring - display some loved and dearest pieces to let your personality shine through!  A touch of whimsical accessories bring these gallery walls to life!

The next time you see a casually and effortlessly chic gallery wall, you can count on the fact that the more casual it looks, the more effort it required!  A lot of planning goes into perfecting even a seemingly random placement of pieces.  But don't be boggled down by the planning; afterall, the point of a gallery wall is to have fun with it!  Once you have collected your pieces, it's definitely a fun exercise to hone your sense of design and use of space.  Let loose and have some fun!

The Perfect Desk for Little Man

Kid Desk Work Area Design Board | Classy Glam Living

The first week of back to school has come and gone.  I sure am glad the little man is finally back to his old self, thanks to a normal school routine.  It has been a busy summer for us, starting with our trip to Chicago, gatherings, to packing for our move last month.  The never-ending activities meant that little man barely had the chance to enjoy some quiet time at home, which for him is colouring or arts and crafts.  I had wanted to get him a desk before we moved, so that at least he would have a place in his room to spread out his colouring.  The back-to-school season once again got me started on searching for his perfect desk.  

What makes for a perfect desk for the little man?  I'm actually not too concerned about a kiddie's height desk, since he has no problem getting in and out of adult chairs.  I would much rather get him a desk that he can grow into.  

  • Size:  Looking at his room size in our new house, a desk of around 4' or less would fit perfectly in a furniture placement plan I have in my head.  
  • Style:  Either a traditional looking desk in a fun colour, or a modern-looking desk with legs in chrome.
  • Storage:  He always wants more blank papers, so I think a desk with drawers to store his supplies is a must.  Of course, we also need those drawers to store his craft supplies to free up space in the office =)
  • Leg room:  As a child, I had a desk with leg room the width of my chair.  I found that extremely uncomfortable, and just trying to skirm in my chair for comfort made me lose concentration while I studied...  Ya, blame it on the desk for my lack of motivation to study.  To avoid that for the little man, he would need a desk with lots of leg room.  Preferrably, leg room as wide as the desk.  Now I just hope that he doesn't lose concentration from swinging his legs too freely ;-)

These are simple things that I'm looking for, but a desk with the right combination of all of the above AND at the right price was not easy to find.

In order to maximize leg room, I'm basically looking for a desk with no obstructions under the surface.  That means the drawers need to be right under the desk.  Here are some examples:

Sources:  1.  IKEA Alex desk ; 2. Target  Threshold Campaign desk ; 3. Wayfair  Cascadia Laptop desk ; 4. West Elm  Parsons desk

Sources:  1. IKEA Alex desk; 2. Target Threshold Campaign desk; 3. Wayfair Cascadia Laptop desk; 4. West Elm Parsons desk

I love all the styles above, but the IKEA one is too long, and #3 and 4 are more than what we're willing to pay for.  We're price sensitive, and would like to get a desk that's bang for the buck that can still be a long-term piece.  

That leaves the Target Threshold Campaign desk, and that fits the bill perfectly.  I also love the drawer pulls in the campaign style.  I actually don't mind the desk in red, it'll definitely be a statement piece in his room.  Not to mention, 3 drawers are always better than 2, right?

Unfortunately, it's not available in Canada, so hopefully Target is planning to make the piece available shortly...  or I'll have to lug one across the border!

With a desk in his room, he will finally have a spot to work on his colouring.  I'm sure he will then want us to showcase his masterpieces.  I've always loved the idea of a gallery wall, but not really sure how it would fit in with our home decor.  What better place to try it out than the little man's room and with his own artwork!  I think the wall space above his desk will be a great spot for a gallery wall.  This is such a cute and easy way to change up the display as quickly as those pieces of artwork are churned out:

The little man has been reminding us occasionally to get him a desk for his room.  I know he's looking forward to having one, as he probably equates having a desk as being a big boy.  I just love little kids' logic and thought process =)

He's right in a sense though.  Getting him a desk is exactly the first step to a big boy room.  It seems like little man has fully grown out of his toddler years in lightning speed, and I assume he'll just keep growing up at the same rate, if not faster!  With our move to the new house, little man's room will be decorated with some funky-ness appropriate for "little men".  And I'm looking forward to that as much as he does!  

Here is my design concept of his little artwork area, with the perfect desk for his space.

Kid Desk Work Area Design Board | Classy Glam Living

Sources:  Gallery wall via theprojectcorner (above); Desk - Target; desk lamp - IKEA; storage basket - redinfred.com ; ghost chair - Structube; cushion - Etsy; desk accessories - Restoration Hardware; zinc letters - Anthropologie.

How do you like the workspace with the desk?  Do you have other art hanging ideas to share with us?