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Category: DIY

nailed it: building a gallery wall

You know what’s fun? Decorating your own place. You know what might be even more fun? Decorating your friend’s place. Getting to play with art pieces- it’s like playing dress up, but with walls. This weekend I got to dress up my friend Caroline’s wall in her and her husband’s bedroom with some great art that she had collected but wasn’t quite sure exactly how to arrange.

building a gallery wall | awfully big adventure blog

Such a great collection with pretty blues, teals, golds, and hints of pink. There are a million different ways to create a gallery wall- maybe you prefer the classic look that comes with having the same frames in different sizes, like two of Young House Love’s projects here and here. I definitely love that classic style, but I am also a big fan of the organic look that happens when you pair pieces of different color, size, and material, like we did in this room.

building a gallery wall | awfully big adventure blog

I try not to get too mathematical in the approach, because math sucks and that would kind of ruin the fun. But generally speaking, we worked with three different types of art for this gallery wall. The 1’s are large-scale pieces. The 2’s are medium-sized pieces. The 3’s are small or uniquely shaped items. We laid our items on the floor and played with them until they fit comfortably into the dotted line rectangle that was about the size of the space on the wall we were trying to fill. To be clear- that line was added to the photo after the fact, we didn’t draw on Caroline’s rug and floors. 🙂 But we could see the rectangle in our minds. #superpowers

caro's gallery wall | awfully big adventure blog

Ta-da! The arranging on the floor step is probably the hardest part, just trying to get the pieces to fit and look right. Once that’s done, I snap a picture on my phone for reference and get to nailin’. Again, no measuring, because math sucks and I’d rather have a few extra holes to spackle than to measure out a whole gallery wall. Especially when you are working with the more organic look- it doesn’t have to be grid-like with perfect distances between pieces.

gallery wall | awfully big adventure blog

Seriously, aren’t her pieces wonderful? A few vintage art finds combined with a newer wood-plank creation, a sweet print, her and her husband’s initials spray-painted gold, a shadowbox with all of their wedding-related graphics, and of course the large print of her and her husband on their wedding day. It all works together so well!

oh darling let's be adventurers | awfully big adventure blog

A close-up of the small print. Cute quote. 🙂

gallery wall | awfully big adventure blog

There was a teeny bit of negative space under the wedding day canvas print which we were able to fill with a tray of Caro’s metallic tchotchkes. Girlfriend has no shortage of tchotchkes- one of the many reasons we are friends. I love how the golds on the tray compliment the gallery wall.

I think the whole process took maybe 30-40 minutes? Such a quick way to update a room. I adore how it turned out! A romantic little space. <3 Have you guys made any quick updates in your spaces recently? Or maybe you prefer to play with your friends’ places instead? I like both. 🙂


Project BGA: Moving is the worst.

Tried to think of a clever title, but I couldn’t avoid the truth: moving is the worsttt. But it is done! I woke up at 4:30 a.m. on moving day because anxiety. (The movers aren’t going to show up the couch won’t fit through the door the boxes will never get unpacked, etc. etc. None of those things came true.) My wonderful movers, Javier and Alex (from Army Ant Moving), showed up on time and made me laugh through the whole move. The internet guy showed up on time and I have working interwebz. All of the boxes got unpacked on the day of the move. Best of all, Matt carried out all of my boxes at the end of the day when my legs felt like jello.

I’m still pretty worn out, so I don’t have much to say, but here’s some snapshots from the weekend to give you a quick update on Project BGA.

Cabinet Update: Contact Paper | Awfully Big Adventure Blog

The cabinets at my new place leave something to be desired. I made a quick update in the cabinets using this fun patterned contact paper I found at Target. Makes me happier when I open my cabinets, and is way easier to wipe down than plywood.

Google Chromecast | Awfully Big Adventure Blog

Chromecast is ahmahzing. It is the reason that I am going without cable and just sticking with internet. It works better with my iPhone than my computer, for whatever reason, but still. Very convenient if you want a cheap, easy way to control Netflix or HBOGo from the comfort of your couch.

Project BGA Living Room | Awfully Big Adventure Blog

New living room set up! The tufted ottoman is from Target. It seemed bigger in the store…definitely a smidge too small in this space, so it’s going back. Still hunting for the perfect coffee table, and still want a little poof to put under the blue chair. Overall, pleased/relieved that everything fits in my fun size apartment.

Project BGA Dining Room | Awfully Big Adventure Blog

New dining room table! (with the old chairs.) Guess where the table is from? If you guessed Ikea, that is correct! If you guessed that it is produced by Ikea but that I got it off Craigslist, you get me. You just get me. Ultimately the old set will be going to my sister, but until then, the chairs are hanging with me. I’m keeping my eye out for chairs that are smaller and will fit the table/space better.

Finnegan | Awfully Big Adventure Blog

Most importantly, Finn is settling in nicely.

Did you guys do any backbreaking labor over the weekend? Anyone else unpack boxes for 10 hours straight because you can’t stand the idea of not finishing and having to wake up to unpack more boxes the next day? Or are you all just enjoying your summer like normal people, relaxing by the pool?


DIY Handpainted Basket

One thing I quickly discovered after adopting Finn is that dogs come with a lot of STUFF. And by “come with” I mean I buy a ton of things I don’t end up needing. If there is one thing I despise, it is a bunch of stuff without a place to put it. Hence, Finn’s DIY handpainted basket.

DIY Handpainted Basket | Awfully Big Adventure

Credit where credit is due- I got the idea from my favorite blog ever, Young House Love. It is such an easy, affordable way to give a somewhat boring storage solution some personality. To start, I headed to Homegoods to find a cheap basket. Honestly, I was hoping to find something in the $10 range, but ended up spending about $20 on this guy. It was the perfect size, shape, and I loved the chalkboard detail. The chalkboard is awesome because if I want to someday use the basket for something else, it can be re-labeled easily. And if you know me, you know that labels and really anything organizational make me weirdly excited.

DIY handpainted basket | Awfully Big Adventure

I was planning on using acrylic paints that I already owned, but whoever created the shopping center where Homegoods sits is an evil, sinister being and decided to put a Michael’s next door. So, obviously I had to grab some new acrylics. I went with a blue/black/gold palette- just cause I felt like it. I did use the always-available Michael’s coupon for 40% off one regularly priced item, which means I saved about thirty cents, so that’s exciting.

DIY handpainted basket | Awfully Big Adventure

To get started on the project, I used a small craft paintbrush and just brushed the paint right onto the basket. I went with the grain and just followed the basket’s pattern. I really didn’t worry too much about it being perfect- the goal was really just to slap some color on the basket. You can see a more detailed picture here that highlights the imperfections.

DIY handpainted basket | Awfully Big Adventure

This was another great, relaxing project. Super easy to complete and didn’t take much time at all. I didn’t use any spray finish and haven’t seen any noticeable chipping after using the painted basket for the last four months or so. I keep most of Finn’s stuff in here, so I’m in and out of it every day. It makes me happy to look at it, even when I’m pulling out his shampoo because he stepped in something disgusting. Literally, that happened yesterday. #glamorous

Where do you hide your random crap?