After cleaning, rearranging furniture, and putting together my new bed, my room was finally feeling more like my own space. I’ve been spending most mornings at my desk (which is really really different for me), eating breakfast, reading devotionals, catching up on blogs, and writing. I’ve really enjoyed being able to look out the windows at the trees and having all that natural light.
The final step in making my room a place that actually looks lived in was hanging things on the wall. I invited my friend Jacqui over to help me decide where to put things and then hang them straight. Before she got there, I pulled everything I had off the walls from the living room and hallway and had it all laid out in my room.
*imagine a picture here that I didn’t take*
Once Jacqui got there, we looked at Pinterest to get some ideas. We determined that I like things that are asymmetrical, without being chaotic. Some of the gallery walls on Pinterest are just so cluttered that it makes me a little overwhelmed, but I also knew I didn’t want to do something super organized where everything had to be perfectly lined up.
We also talked quite a bit about which walls needed stuff. I have one very long wall, interrupted only by my closet door, but you don’t see that wall unless you step all the way into my room, which no one really does. I knew I needed something above the chair in the entry way and I also wanted something above the bed, and possibly on the rest of that wall as well.
We decided to start by grouping things by color. I have a lot of reds and browns, and then I also have quite a bit of blue. We got all the red together to create a gallery wall for the entry way, since it would tie in well with the red chair and a lot of stuff on the bookshelf. Jacqui laid everything out on the floor first, and then we moved things around until we liked the way it looked.
*imagine another picture here…I am a terrible blogger*
Once we had an arrangement we liked, we started hanging things on the wall. Some of the things we eyeballed, but for anything that had a hook or bracket on the back, we used a trick I picked up from Young House Love. In order to determine where to put the nail, you line a piece of paper up with the top of the frame and poke a hole in it where the hanger is. Then, you position the piece of paper on the wall where you want to hang the picture, and nail through the hole in the paper. Tear the paper off, hang your picture, and ta da! Perfect, easy placement without rulers and measuring tape and pencil on the walls.
I then downloaded an app that has a level, plumbline, and ruler on my iPhone and we made sure everything was straight. (I really don’t know what I would do without my iPhone. I would be totally lost in the world at this point, I think.)
And here’s the finished product:
The three square panels are frames from IKEA covered in fabric; the small one on the left is a picture of the New York City skyline at sunset that I got during my first trip there; the painting on the right is lyrics from Sufjan Steven’s “Vito’s Ordination Song.”
Once we hung all of that, there weren’t really enough things left to do another gallery wall anywhere in the room, but there were some things I really wanted on the walls.
The first was a 30×30 poster by local Memphis artist Susan Kizzee that my parents got me for Christmas. I finally got it framed a couple of weeks ago and I knew I wanted it to be a focal point. We were a little worried it would be too big for over the bed, but once we got it up there, I really liked it.
The poster is the names of all the neighborhoods in Memphis, organized geographically. Here’s a larger version from Susan’s Etsy page:
You can get any neighborhood name highlighted. I have Binghampton highlighted because that’s where my school is located and where I would like to live at some point in the future.
I had one final thing that I wanted to be on the wall: a set of three hand painted cards that I bought in Nepal and put in an IKEA frame. After trying a number of different things, Jacqui and I finally came up with this arrangement above the dresser:
As you can see, “clean” is a bit of a relative term for my room, but this is really good compared to what it could look like…just ask my mom.
Finally, I hung some letters and artwork from students, as well as my old Texas license plate in between the windows near my desk.
Sorry for the darkness of the picture; the sun was streaming in through the windows when I took it.
And there you have it! It’s certainly not a professional decorating job, but it definitely feels a lot more like home now, which is good. There were some times during the past few months when I desperately needed a sanctuary and now I finally have one.