Monday 8 May 2017

Creating A Gallery Wall in my Home Office with Wayfair

This year I was thrilled to be selected as one of Wayfair's 'Home Expert' Bloggers - I love interiors, as you all know, and I'm always working to bring interest, colour, quirk and ultimately style into the rooms of my home. 

One of the rooms I spend most of my time in these days is my home office. I work from home part time running my own social media consultancy - it's pretty full on and takes up at least 15-20 hours of my time per week. As a creative the space that I work in is actually really important for influencing how I feel, and therefore influencing how I work. Busy, cluttered and disorganised spaces really fog my mind, and my home office was tired, cluttered and very unloved! It was full of random bits and bobs stuck up on walls with blu-tack and lacked any thought: it needed some love pouring into it. 

The space is an extension off of my large kitchen/diner, it has one small window, two large floor-to-ceiling book cases either side of a big desk, which faces the window. It is actually a very dark space, and doesn't get a huge amount of daylight, so it can feel gloomy, especially during the winter months - I hoped a little facelift would help perk it up, despite the lack of light which I can't do too much about. 

Mrs Bishop's office before
Mrs Bishop's very messy/unloved office
messy office before

When Wayfair challenged me to create a Gallery Wall at home, I knew that my office would be the perfect location! I was determined that I would really think about it, selecting very special pieces that would fully reflect my personality and passions. 

This project is in collaboration with The Art Group, and I got to select three pieces of art work from The Art Group on Wayfair's site to add to my gallery wall...I chose pieces that I knew I would enjoy looking at while I work - I wanted pieces that made me feel happy and calm, with colours that complemented each other and the space, and ultimately would look stylish and purposeful. 

I selected two acrylic on canvas pieces by Chris Forsey called Birch in Spring and Sun and Meadow Thistles. I loved the colours and the abstract nature of the canvases, but I also felt they provided a visual escape to somewhere beautiful, tranquil and calm.

Anyone who knows me well will know that I have an obsessive love of Highland cows! They are my favourite animal, and I think they have so much character and charm. When I saw I Need A Haircut by Louise Brown I knew I had to buy it! I wanted this gallery wall space to reflect my personality and passions - and Highland cows are definitely included in that for me. 

Once I had selected these pieces I began to piece together the other pieces I wanted to include. I needed functional aspects like my monthly wipe-clean calendar which I use for work and blog deadlines, meetings and so on. I also needed to include my client colour codes chart, which I use for creating branded graphics and content for my clients' social media platforms. I wanted to create the gallery wall over three wall spaces and decided I would theme the left hand wall to work related media. I had one more space on that wall to fill when I found the At Shape Metal Wall Decor, perfect timing! I knew I had to include it, what could be more perfect for a social media consultant? 

I already had three framed post-card size prints of landmarks in my hometown of Bedford, created by one of my graphic designer clients, Tabitha Mary, which I wanted to include. As well as a cute floral watercolour print which says "Do what you love and you'll never have a problem with Monday" which I found as a free printable from Kristen Laczi here.

For the second and third walls for my gallery space I decided to reflect my vastly eclectic nature and many interests by including a mis-match of items... from a light up hashtag and ampersand, to the recent newspaper article in the Daily Express about my weight loss. I've included the three pieces from The Art Group as well as some free motion embroidery I created, a family tree piece by my best friend and artist Carmi Latham, a Spineless Classic print of Beauty & The Beast (my favourite Disney film!), a cute Avocado hanging wooden sign I found in Primark which says 'Let's Avocuddle' and of course, a biscuit-themed print that says "You've gotta risk it to get the biscuit". I have also included my WIFI code in a frame for guests when they visit, and a framed postcard which says "Tea is a religion of the art of life."

selecting art for my gallery wall space

....Tea, biscuits, avocados, the great outdoors, highland cows, free motion embroidery, weight loss, social media, my family tree... an eclectic mix for sure, but it's so me!

I purposefully choose a mixture of frames - in size, colour and material, to provide interest and texture...I'm not one for matchy/matchy - I wanted the overall look to be rustic, varied and to look like a collection curated over time. 

Now the pieces had been selected it was time to decide how to arrange them - I took tips from Wayfair's blog and created templates for each piece by cutting out a black plastic bin bag to size, and stuck these to the wall using Washi-tape/masking tape, rearranging as necessary until I was happy with the balance of the layout. 

planning a gallery wall
Using templates to design the layout of my gallery wall space
planning a gallery wall

I would definitely recommend this method if you have multiple things to hang on a wall together, especially if they vary in size, colour and media. It really helps to visualise what it will look like, and stops you making mistakes and making holes in the wrong parts of your walls. 

Once we were happy with the layout my lovely hubby set to work hanging each piece, and we are utterly thrilled with the final result...

Mrs Bishop's office gallery wall
The practical work-themed part of of gallery-wall

Mrs Bishop's office gallery wall
The main gallery wall space

As you can see, doing the gallery wall forced me to have a big sort out and to tidy up and de-clutter the space as much as possible. 

Obviously, this is still a functional space for me - and as much as I'd love it to be perfectly minimalist and tres-chic, that is not realistic when I need access to my laptop, printer, stationery, work folders, client notebooks and filing cabinet. 

It's busy but it is certainly a more fun and much brighter space that has finally been shown some much needed love. It now reflects me, my work and my personality much better than it did before. 

close up metal at sign

close up gallery wall

close up light up ampersand

I loved the added quirk provided by the two light up elements: a hashtag I found in Aldi a few months ago, and the ampersand, which I found on Wayfair (but which seems to currently be out of stock..) I often work very late at night, so these little little up elements will be a fun way to provide some extra light for me during my twilight working hours. 

close up Chris Forsey gallery wall

Have you ever created a gallery wall space? 

What tips would you give someone creating their own?

Mrs B


How-To: The At-Home Gallery Wall with Wayfair & The Art Group

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