This is a project that has been in my head for a while now. 

It all started when I was a Hobby Lobby one day and saw these two distressed wood trunks for half off. I had been looking for a bench t to place at the foot of our bed, because our little full-sized bed is swallowed up in our huge master bedroom. I figured something at the foot of the bed might make it seem a bit more proportionate (on a side note: yes, I’m aware I have never done a post about about our master bedroom. Although it is “decorated” I’m just not 100% pleased with it. I’ve got big plans for a makeover in there…one day…eventually. I do plan to post some pics of that room and talk about those plans sometime soon! Promise!)

Anyway, when I placed these two trunks at the foot of the bed, it just didn’t feel like the right vibe. I was trying to bring in some rustic contrast to all of our slick IKEA white furniture in there, but the contrast didn’t really compliment, it just seemed out of place. 
Then I thought about the empty wall between our living room and our kitchen. I had been trying to decide what to do with this space since we moved in. Seating area? Sofa table? China cabinet? 
Once I put the trunks there, it all seemed to come together. When pushed together, the trunks made a sweet little bench (especially once I added some pillows). All of a sudden I was picturing a sweet mudroom-type vibe, like this:
And just like that, it was decided: a gallery wall was in my future. ๐Ÿ™‚
Unfortunately, this is how it sat for at least two months:
I just couldn’t decide which approach to take–

All-white collage? Seemed a bit too modern and clean-lined for the room.
A large grid? This appeals to me but felt a bit too calculated and formal. 
What about on a shelf? I like the casual, collected look, but finding enough coordinating frames was a bit intimidating.
And we haven’t even considered finishes. I really like the mixed finishes of this photo:
But I felt like I might should go with some type of metal finish (gold, brass, bronze) to cordinate with the mirrors above the fireplace.

Finally, I laid eyes on this simple gallery wall from where else but the Ballard catalog:
It felt like the perfect mix of casual but traditional. Although the finish looks slightly gold in the photo, it is described as charcoal wood, which reminded me of the weathered grey wood frames I have on the fireplace:

Since the gallery wall is directly across from the fireplace, I thought it would be nice to tie in that same wood again (Candace Olsen always says to repeat design elements in a couple of spots in a room to make it feel intentional).

Luckily, Michaels still had the same frames I bought for the fireplace. And they were on MAJOR clearance for $9.99 each. They didn’t come with a photo mat, but I was able to find mats on major clearance as well. Altogether, the frames, mats and printed pictures came to about $14.00 a piece. I’m pretty proud since the Ballard version cost a whopping $159.00 PER FRAME!! So my whole gallery wall cost less than ONE FRAME from Ballard. Love it when that happens. Seriously, there has got to be no better thrill.
So here are the after pictures:

I tried to keep the pictures very light and airy. Basically evoking a summer day on the water. The photos are from our wedding on Lake Ray Hubbard (we left the reception by sailboat!).

In that last photo you also get a peek into the dining room, which is another room I have yet to share with the world (aka: the blog). I was in the middle of a time-consuming, outside-of-my-box type project in there, and kind of lost steam and haven’t finished it up (or even attempted in months). But when I get around to it, and you will be the first to know. Can’t wait for that day, because I have another Ballard-ripoff project I was able to do for less than half the cost! Oh, don’t you love how I leave you hanging in suspense?? ๐Ÿ™‚

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