The Gallery Wall(s)

It’s been a while since my last post but not for want of things happening decorating-wise….if anything we’ve had a little spurt. More because the time left between school run and back-to-work prep has been filled with said decorating projects leaving zero time to write about them. But now, with teething baby at last (hurrah) asleep on my lap I can put metaphorical pen to page and begin my one handed tapping….

I said at the beginning of the year that a resolution of mine would be to finally [gritted teeth] once and for all (as this project has taken, I kid you not, two years to complete) nail this gallery wall. And indeed, albeit most of a third year later, those nails are now in place and pictures are hung.

And I’m really rather pleased. (I’m not sure if I’m three-years-worth pleased……but I’m pleased nonetheless)

To refresh, the wall of which I speak is to the left as you enter the house and it’s drawback, in gallery wall terms, is that the area in front of it is really rather narrow. So rather than feeling like an actual gallery where one can stand back and admire, it’s really more of a through-way. That said, it’s intimate nature means that it offers little surprises when I do stop and glancing across at it I see some of my favourite pictures of my very favourite people and my heart sings.

I think though, if awards were given for curated and styled gallery walls, mine would gain none.  It is, I’ll readily confess, a little ramshackle. The first section looks pretty good as it was hung by S who whilst never very enthusiastic about DIY is really rather good at it. The remainder was hung however by the handyman….the very same one who did such a wobbly job of painting the architrave deep grey against contrasting white walls (before I Down Piped the lot) and pictures in this section tend to swing like pendulums at each passing. The cleaner also leaves them all askew but that really is a First World problem of which I have no right to complain. Doing the dusting myself would of course be the solution to that one, followed by a further hour repositioning by which time I imagine they would all be dusty again. So I’ll live with it. Until, perhaps, I can persuade S to put a couple of extra fixings on a handful of the most fidgety ones. Hmmm. I can just picture how that conversation might go. Asking me, potentially, why I employed such a handy(?)man again in the first place to which my answer would be short. Impatience. I just wanted the bloody things UP.

To get them up I reverted to my templating method and first made and numbered rectangles from old magazines to represent each frame before jigsawing them with blu-tack to the wall in my preferred collage. As the majority of the frames were from charity shops and both content and the frame itself would be made over, I wasn’t overly concerned about orientation and simply opted for the format – be it portrait or landscape – that fitted best. Despite this being explained, numerous times, it remained a confusing factor for Mr Handyman and regularly I would be beckoned by the triumphant call of “this one doesn’t fit!”, so thrilled was he to find my pre-planning lacking, only for the frame to be turned the ‘wrong’ way to match the template and hence fit snugly.  That said, I lack the precision of S who had been trying to ensure, when he tackled his section, that all gaps were of equal size so my jigsawing is at times substandard with a few tweaks still needed. And I think I know how soon that might happen. So for now…it’ll do.

In terms of content, after much late-night musing….I’m ashamed to admit I’ve lost sleep over this very trivial matter…..I’ve opted for a mix of family shots and landscapes taken on our travels with a few very welcome exceptions……a Christmas gift of a canvas taken by famous Northern photographer Joe Cornish of Rosebery Topping….atop which S popped the question. The second a close-up of a horse…his eye to be exact…taken by a cousin I love and miss and for whom horses, and other animals, were her life. The third exception to my family-photo theme is a collage of photography spelling the word ‘welcome’, another cherished gift. And lastly, from S’s collection, a canvas of a mountain dated pre-me which always reminds me of the single man I fell in love with. He now comes a little more battered and bruised for having had me in his life.

The wall continues on upstairs but this time with a different, and more colourful theme. The children’s artwork….largely O’s at this point though A’s footprints do feature, adorns the wall and I still chuckle at the portrait of S, done last year and encircled with dots. “These are daddy’s whiskers” O had announced.

And so you have it. The central column of our house covered in images which, if I’m going to get sentimental and I feel I just might, epitomise the column of my life. “This”, I think each time I walk past, “is what it’s all about”.

Then I hear the swish of a moving picture and I pause to realign….   



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