Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Black and White Gallery Wall

I know this blog is called "Lady Kay's Kitchen," but since I can see this wall from the kitchen, I think this post is justified being here! ;)

Anyway, I have been wanting to put up some pictures since we moved into our house.  I used to just hang a few pictures up haphazardly on the wall wherever I felt like putting them, but then I started looking at house decorating blogs whenever we found out we'd be buying our own house.  I saw a lot of people putting up gallery walls.  The first time I saw them, I thought I would never want to make one because they all looked very cluttered!  Then, I starting seeing gallery walls with all black frames, or all white frames, which looked a little more unified.  I still wasn't sure about the whole gallery thing but then I saw this particular one on the blog Being Brook:

That's when I really, really, really wanted to make my own.  She had arranged her frames so carefully and everything looked very neat and organized with the black frames and the black-and-white photos.  And besides, we had a whole big blank wall right in our living room that we didn't know what to do with:

Do you see the wall just left of that art niche?  That is where I decided to put up a gallery of black and white photos.  We already happened to have a bunch of black frames, and I bought some more at Ross.  They have great prices on frames if you are willing to spend 5 years taking off the gummy residue left from the price stickers which are so thoughtfully stuck right on the glass.

I searched through all our pictures on the computer and made a folder of our favorites.  We already had a lot that were in black and white; any that were in color, I changed to b&w using (a free online photo editing program).

Here are some of my favorites:

We took this picture of the bridge over the Passagassawakeag River in Belfast, Maine.  How do you like that name for a river?  I guess we are immature but we shortened the name to Passagassa River and we laughed and laughed every time we walked over the bridge.  

This is from a botanical garden we went to on our honeymoon.  I love how we were able to capture the drops of water on the petals.

From the same garden.  This lamppost reminds me of Narnia.

These stepping stones are from the Japanese Tea Garden in San Francisco.

Choosing the photos to put on the wall definitely took forever and a day!  I ordered the prints from, because they have great prices and fast shipping.

Next I laid out all the frames on the floor to figure out the arrangement, using the picture of the gallery wall I printed out from "Being Brook" as a guide.  

I took an idea from Young House Love and cut out pieces of paper the size of each frame.  I numbered each piece of paper and put a sticky note with the number on the corresponding frame.  Then, I taped all the pieces of paper on to the wall.  I measured to figure out where to put each nail and then nailed right through the paper.

Then, it was easy to just pull off the paper and hang the frame.  Here it is halfway finished:

And here it is, finished:

It took a lot of time and planning to make this gallery wall, but I think it's so worth it!  I just love how it turned out!  I was worried that having all black and white photos would end up too cold and stark, but it's not cold at all (rather elegant, actually), especially because we have a lot of other color in the room (such as blue couches).  It warms up the room a lot more than having a plain blank wall.
  What do you think?
  Do you have a gallery wall?


  1. Wow, wow, and some more wows! This is just fantastic! Your photography skills are wonderful! Your planning and preparation made the gallery wall absolutely perfect! Will you come and create a wall in my home now? I love how you mixed nature and family---perfectly mixed. You must smile everytime you look at that wall....every day, since it's "in" or "near" your Lady Kay Kitchen!!! Hugs!

  2. Your new gallery wall looks fabulous!! Thanks for using mine as an inspiration!

  3. Thank you!! :)
    Heidi it was my hub's idea to put in lots of nature photos...he was worried I would make the whole thing full of our wedding photos haha ;)

  4. Gorgeous! I love that not all the photos are of people. I think that can make gallery walls look cluttered. You did a beautiful job. Visiting from Remodelaholic. Have a great weekend!