DIY Artwork & Wall Decor Living Room Living Room DIY Projects

New Living Room Artwork — Gallery Wall Of Bird Illustrations

Remember a couple of weeks ago when I shared that Flickr account with all of those collections of free nature illustrations? Well, I chose six colorful illustrations from my favorite collection (these birds, of course!) and created a gallery wall in my living room. Here’s how it turned out…

living room gallery wall with colorful bird illustrations - 1

I love the color it adds to my living room! In fact, when I started the project, it was actually intended for the hallway. I was trying to stay focused and get my hallway completely done, and this gallery wall of colorful birds was supposed to go on the wall to the left of the bathroom door. But as I got the pictures framed, I couldn’t bear to stick them in the hallway. I wanted them in a much more prominent place, so now they’re in the living room. I’ll have to come up with another idea for the hallway. 😀

I narrowed down the bird illustrations to my six favorites, and then I cropped and resized them using my photo editing software. I use Corel PaintShop Pro, which you can find right here on Ebay. It’s a great program for the price, and won’t break the bank like Photoshop. I only edited them for size so that they’d fit into 8 x 10 frames, but I didn’t edit the color at all on these.

Once I had them cropped and resized, I uploaded them to the WalMart photo ordering page on their website, and had them printed out as photos. I used WalMart because they were the only 1-hour photo place in my area that uses matte paper. All of the others (CVS, Walgreens, etc.) use glossy paper for their 1-hour photo printing, but offer matte paper if you want to have them printed and mailed to you, which can take up to 7-10 days. I opted for immediate gratification and went to WalMart.

The frames I used are these simple white frames with thick white mats from Target.

room essentials white frames with white mats from Target

But after seeing the beautiful prints in those plain frames, I decided that they needed a bit of something. So I headed to Pinterest to find some inspiration, and I found several examples of white frames with gold corners that I thought were so pretty, so that’s the direction I headed with these.

I measured and marked three inches going each direction on each corner, and then taped the corners using painters tape.

living room gallery wall - white and gold frames with bird illustrations - 1

And since I initially used my favorite gold spray paint (Design Master Gold Medal, which you can find at Michael’s), I taped off everything except the corners.

living room gallery wall - white and gold frames with bird illustrations - 2

But here’s the problem. That spray paint can be kind of finicky anyway, and since I sprayed it over a glossy white finish, it was even more so than usual. By the time I got my gallery wall hung, I had scrapes and chips all over the spray painted corners. I really should have sanded the corners before spraying them, but for some reason, I didn’t even think about it.

So they either needed to be spray painted all over again, or I needed to come up with another plan. I tried other options I had on hand, starting with gold leaf. You can see the difference in this picture, with the spray paint on top, and the gold leaf on bottom…

white frames with gold corners - gold spay paint compared to gold leaf

I really preferred the gold leaf. It seems to have more depth of color than the spray paint.

I also tried liquid gilding, which was a horrible mess. That stuff dries so fast that it’s hard to get a smooth finish. The streaky finish just didn’t work for me.

white frames with gold corners - using liquid gold gilding

And you can see the tube of Rub ‘N Buff in the photo above, which I also tried. I didn’t take a picture of that one because it didn’t cover at all.

So the winner for me was the gold leaf. But I decided to go ahead and get the gallery wall installed before redoing all of the frame corners. That way I ran way less of a risk of scratching the gold leaf corners again.

To hang the gallery wall, I measured to find the vertical center of the wall, and placed a piece of painters tape on either side of center. I like about two inches of space between the frames of a gallery wall, so this was close, although painters tape is just shy of one inch wide.

how to hang a perfect gallery wall - use painters tape to mark a grid on the wall - 1

And then I measured the overall size of the frame, decided where I wanted the middle row of frames, and measured and taped off that row.

how to hang a perfect gallery wall - use painters tape to mark a grid on the wall - 2

Since my gallery wall only consists of six frames, that’s all I needed. If I were making a larger gallery wall with more frames, I would have continued until I had taped a grid for as many frames as I wanted to use.

In my humble opinion, the key to hanging a perfectly straight, level gallery wall is to put away the nails, and use something that allows you to simply press the frame to the wall in the exact spot you want it. My product of choice is Command Picture Hanging Strips, which you can find at Home Depot, Lowe’s, or right here on Amazon.

Since my frames are so narrow, I actually cut the strips in half lengthwise, and used a total of five halves (two-and-a-half full strips) on each frame. I put two strips on the top, two strips on the sides near the top of the frame, and one centered on the bottom of the frame. (The frame is obviously upside down in this picture.)

how to hang a perfect gallery wall - use 3M picture hanging strips instead of nails

And then using the taped grid plus a level, I just pressed the frame into place on the wall right where I wanted it. (If you use this method, be sure to read the full instructions on the Command strips.)

how to hang a perfect gallery wall - press frame to wall using taped grid and level for placement

And then I repeated that process on the next frame…

how to hang a perfect gallery wall - press frame to wall using taped grid and level for placement - 2

And continued until I had all six frames in place.

how to hang a perfect gallery wall - press frame to wall using taped grid and level for placement - 3

Once all the frames were in place (and after I had gone back and gold leafed all of the corners), I removed the painters tape from the wall.

I would use this exact process no matter how large of a gallery wall I was hanging. If I had to tape off a grid for 20 frames, I would do it. It’s the price I have to pay as a perfectionist. 😀 But once those frames are up, they’re not moving. I could slam my front door as hard as possible, and while my chandelier might sound like a wind chime from the vibration, those frames won’t budge. I could even brush up against them with my shoulder as I walk by, and they won’t budge.

They can be removed from the wall, though. So swapping out pictures is easy. The picture hanging strips work kind of like hook and loop tape (ie., Velcro), but not quite. You’d have to see them up close to get how they work. But I’ve used them many times, and I’ve never once had them fail on me. And if I decide that I want to remove them completely, they come off cleanly from the wall without messing up the paint. (Just be sure you’re not using them on freshly painted walls.)

So here are a few closeups of the bird prints I chose for my wall…

gallery wal of colorful bird illustrations - 3

This pinkish red bird on the left below is my absolute favorite…

gallery wal of colorful bird illustrations - 2

gallery wal of colorful bird illustrations - 1

And here’s one more look at the whole wall, with a glimpse into the kitchen and breakfast r1om…

living room gallery wall with colorful bird illustrations - 1

It’s coming together! Of course, now I’m back to the drawing board for my hallway, but I think I have an idea. Stay tuned for that.



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89 Comments

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    mbrink
    November 27, 2017 at 9:35 am

    Stunning!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Karen
    November 27, 2017 at 9:40 am

    I like the prints, but honestly… I don’t understand the process here. I’m looking at the picture and there is still stain on the baseboards and no covers on the outlets. Why are you doing things that should be the finishing touches instead of finishing the core work? I get that you need to do something fun and pretty once in awhile, but it’s been months since your floors were refinished. Why not devote your time to finishing the construction aspects so you can spend your time decorating?

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Kristi
      November 27, 2017 at 9:50 am

      I don’t understand how hanging artwork on the walls affects installing outlet covers or touching up paint on the baseboards. And you might not have noticed, but I’ve been a bit busy on my hallway lately. As i mentioned, this project was intended for the hallway, which is basically finished except for the decorative touches, but I liked it so much that I changed my mind and hung it here. It’ll all get done. I promise. But I’ve never required completely empty rooms in order to do paint touchups or install electrical outlet covers.

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        Mickey
        November 27, 2017 at 2:20 pm

        Truly artistic people often times have difficulty with being so structured. There is nothing wrong with following your creative juices at any time in any room in your own home. I totally get it. It’s my pleasure to watch your creative mind work on any project at any time in any room. Keep that creativity going. Love it!!

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        Theresa P
        November 27, 2017 at 7:23 pm

        I think that sometimes its actually easier to motivate yourself to do the little finishing items AFTER you’ve done some of the heavy lifting on the decorating side. Those little things start to stick out more and have more of sense of urgency when you’re almost done. When there’s 100 things left to do, those little things just sit in the middle of that list of 100 and never take priority. Even though I’m a pretty structured person, I appreciate your process!

        Most importantly, though, I LOVE THE GALLERY WALL! Gorgeous prints, gorgeous frames. Love, love, love.

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        VA Barb
        November 28, 2017 at 9:04 am

        Kristi,
        Keep on doing things your way – its your blog and I’m pretty sure most of us like your process. You are an inspiration and those prints and frames were just the motivation I needed to create a high end look with out the high end price! Plus – now I finally know how to hang groupings of prints that are lined up! This is a perfect ‘smaller project’ that I can do during the holidays without disrupting the house. Thank you!

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        BobsGal
        November 28, 2017 at 5:38 pm

        Here….Here…!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      ame durkin
      November 27, 2017 at 9:57 am

      Seriously? She is spending her time doing what she loves, you are spending your time criticizing someone.. why? what do you care in what order she remodels her home? I don’t understand your process.. Why spend one second of your day attemoing to make someone feel bad? I do hope it did’t work.. and Kristy , I love your blog, and I am happy to enjoy whatever you choose to post! Hell, you can redo the same thing 20 different times and I’ll read it .. and I apologize, this was none of my business but I am so sick of people saying whatever pops in their head and pretending that they are just being helpful..

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        Kathy
        November 27, 2017 at 10:23 am

        Thank you for saying that ………my thoughts exactly! Critizing someone who chooses to share their home designs, decorating
        process, genius ideas and plain hard work is truly missing the point of Kristi’s blog. I love seeing the progress she makes on every aspect of the remodel. But the occasional posting of just the decorating, artwork, new and refurbished furniture, lighting,
        draperies, etc, gives us all a peek into the direction Kristi is headed without waiting months for a full reveal of a completed room. Keep up the fabulous work, Kristi, in any order you choose. I’ll be here waiting to see what is next!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Jean
      November 27, 2017 at 10:16 am

      Wow, just WOW Karen! I know Kristi doesn’t need my help however who made you chef decorator? I mean who cares? You don’t live there, it’s not your house. No one deserves a beat down because of your own personal standards. Kristi Thank you for sharing, it’s beautiful. Hoping that y’all had a happy restful thanksgiving.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Sherre
      November 27, 2017 at 10:22 am

      After I renovated my kitchen, I had an exterior garden project, a bathroom renovation, and a bedroom redo finished before I got around to caulking the kitchen baseboard. Those last touches are torture, ESPECIALLY when you’ve done a bulk of the work yourself.
      It’s easy to get burned out on the mundane tasks, and even easier to sit back and complain about the unfinished things when you’re not the one doing them. Instead of nitpicking her process, take a step back, see the bigger picture, and comment (or don’t comment, that’s an option too) on the post topic: the gallery wall.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Marianne in Mo.
      November 27, 2017 at 4:09 pm

      SMH. Not nice.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Looks Amazing from here....
      November 27, 2017 at 8:55 pm

      Creative endeavors are rarely sequential and orderly. Creatively motivated souls multitask as inspiration is sparked by associations and insights with cyclical waves of creative energy. This rarely feeds a checklist and is infuriatingly frustrating to sequentially motivated to-do listers.
      I applaud the amazing amount of creative energy and skilled craftsmanship that goes into all the projects profiled on this blog. I take on projects similar in my own home, but I am in awe of the energy and discipline taken to photograph, diagram, document and instruct the process… including shopping sources.
      Witness the process. Appreciate her generosity.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      LAURA LEIGH STROUD
      November 28, 2017 at 9:17 am

      Not your house so WHY would you care? Let KRISTI do what she wants to do! IT IS BEAUTIFUL KRISTI….. Why people have to put in their ‘two cents’ when it does NOT concern them is beyond ME…. Love everything YOU DO…when…and how you do it !!!!

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        Karen
        November 28, 2017 at 9:21 am

        Yeah, well…. it’s not your house either… so why do you care what my opinion is? Constantly doing and re-doing and never finishing anything is not normal.

        • Reply To This Comment ↓
          TRR
          November 28, 2017 at 10:06 am

          It’s not that anyone cares what your opinion is, it’s that you are compelled to make a snarky comment on a blog that obviously irritates you. That old “if you can’t say something nice” thing.

          And, “never finishing anything” may not be normal for you, but it’s normal for LOTS of us!

        • Reply To This Comment ↓
          Linda
          November 28, 2017 at 10:50 am

          Only in your mind!

        • Reply To This Comment ↓
          Kismetique
          November 28, 2017 at 10:52 am

          Karen,

          I cringed when I saw your post and however much I agree with you or not, Kristi, for all her wonderful prowess in decorating, don’t take constructive criticism very well. I debated whether to post at all, but since everyone of her “yes women” piled on you, I thought you could use a partner in crime so to speak.

          What we all need to realize is Kristi makes money off this blog. It takes talent to make the kind of money she is pulling in, it also involves a lot of time and effort and hard work on her part. I give her huge props for that. Her blog is very successful, in part, due to all her “yes women” that never disagree with her or offer constructive criticism.

          Something to think about, in order to perhaps alleviate some of your frustration with her many many do-overs, is – how can she continue to pull in the clicks if she finishes the house? She must keep the project moving along slowly in order to keep the money rolling in from the ads and affiliate links. There is no shame in this and she certainly isn’t the only person on the internet to do so. If she put all the finishing touches on the wall and room before she took a picture of the beautiful bird gallery paired with that gorgeous rug, she’s jipping herself out of probably 2 more lucrative posts!

          I just wished that she were a good sport to take criticism in stride. Perhaps with a bit of honesty, she could keep everyone happy. I fully believe it was intended for the hall that is supposedly finished today before she changes her mind on the wall color or design tomorrow, but just say…..stay tuned for the completed picture post in the near future – rather than getting her panties all in a wad and taking offense. You are correct…..my eye kept going to the uncovered socket and the little details that aren’t finished. At this point, because I love her color choices and decorating so much, I just laugh when I see these kinds of pics and move on wondering how much is she making off this half-finished photo?

          It’s the internet, there is no way you will please everyone 100% of the time. I’ve seen her rip through people before that dared to comment less than positively – so mostly just the “yes women” comment. Kudo’s for voicing your opinion in a very nice, even if frustrated, way. Shame on Kristy and her “yes women” for attacking you for doing so.

          Yeah, why comment honestly since there is a comment section and it would seem clear that Kristi is inviting comments? If she wants only positive comments, she should post that disclaimer.

          • Reply To This Comment ↓
            Val
            November 28, 2017 at 3:09 pm

            Where did you see Kristi attacking Karen? I think she was a pretty good sport in her reply, which has the same degree of politeness as Karen’s initial comment. While Karen’s second comment that doing things this way “is not normal” is obviously rude.

            And anyway, what is the purpose of criticizing the way somebody refurbish their own home? Was Karen trying to be helpful? To give some potentially useful information? To prevent anything bad happening? Was it a genuine question, so that she understand why Kristi does the things in this particular order? I don’t think so and the “it is not normal” comment confirms it. There are a lot of people, following this blog, who have different taste or would do the things differently, but they state it in the comments without being rude.

            • Kismetique
              November 29, 2017 at 2:50 pm

              I didn’t think it was rude at all. I think it was the first thing that popped into het head and she was honest and sincere in her questioning of Kristi’s work process.

              Kristi has never liked constructive criticism. Granted, I don’t usually read comments, because the gushing that her “yes women” lavish is more than I can stomach most times. Perhaps it’s just me, but I would WANT Karen’s comment, to know how to better serve my audience.

              Doesn’t mean she needs to change a thing about her work process or even how she posts, just be mindful there are going to be negative comments… thats how you learn and grow. Kristi didn’t attack her, exactly, but she was very defensive… why? There just was no reason. Karen had a very good point, especially if she doesn’t understand Kristi needs to create new blog posts to keep that money rolling in.

              For that very reason, I wouldn’t alienate a single clicker to my blog!

              Sorry, didn’t mean to offend, just wanted to back Karen up and maybe give a different perspective. No disrespect intended. I love Kristi’s style, color palette, and talent!

          • Reply To This Comment ↓
            Kristi
            December 4, 2017 at 8:55 am

            I let this comment ride for a few days now, trying to just make myself move on and ignore the idiocy on parade, but frankly, I’ve had a change of heart. Commenters like you are quite the challenge for bloggers like myself. We have three choices. We can (1) delete the comment and be accused of “hiding the truth,” (2) ignore the comment, which basically means you have the final say, giving the appearance that your comment is undisputed truth, or (3) respond and be accused of “being defensive.”
             
            Well, you know what? I’ve decided that there’s a time and place to defend myself, and this is that time.
             
            You have the audacity to come here to MY blog, and not only presume to know me, know my mind, know my intentions, know my motivations, and know by business, but then you proceed to condescendingly “school” my readers on those assumed intentions, motivations, etc. And as if that weren’t bad enough, you then proceed to insinuate that I’m a deceitful liar who just need to “be honest” with my readers. And all of this, based on YOUR (very false) ASSUMPTIONS.
             
            So yes, I’m going to defend myself, as anyone would when someone makes up lies about them and spreads those lies as though they’re absolute fact, and then insinuates that the person is lying based on those ASSumptions. Here goes…
             
            First and foremost, I do not get defensive about decorating. There’s not a post that goes by where someone doesn’t disagree with a decision I’ve made about decorating either on the blog or on my Facebook page. Just recently, the post where I shared my decision to buy a green loveseat brought many who disagreed with my choice. That didn’t bother me at all, and I felt zero need to get “defensive” about it. The post where I shared my plans to hang pendant lights in the entryway brought out even more who disagreed with my decision. That didn’t bother me either.
             
            People disagree with me on just about EVERY SINGLE DECORATING DECISION I make in my house, and it’s fine. And if you had even one ounce of integrity, you’d be able to go back, read those posts, read the comments, and admit that.
             
            What DOES make me prickly are the comments where they seem to go beyond comments on just decorating and turn into jabs against me personally. Those are few and far between, and I may or may not respond to them. But when I do, I feel absolutely no qualms about responding in the same level of snark that they brought to my blog or Facebook page in their original comment. If you can’t handle it, don’t dish it out. And don’t dish it out and then whine about me “being defensive.” Just don’t be a jerk, and we’ll be fine.
             
            I have NEVER hidden the fact that I make money on my blog. In fact, I’m pretty open about the fact that this blog supports our household, as my husband is disabled and doesn’t work. This blog allows me to stay home and take care of him while also bringing in a good income. I’ve NEVER EVEN ONCE hidden that fact from my readers.
             
            But now to the real meat of your comment – this idea that my “many many do-overs” is for the purpose of blog fodder so that I can “continue to pull in the clicks,” and that I can’t ever finish my house because then I’d have nothing to blog about so I must “keep the project moving along slowly in order to keep the money rolling in.” This is absolute, unadulterated BULLSHIT.
             
            I realize that tripe plays well on GOMI so that the bored, bitter housewives have something to bitch about, but quite honestly, it’s so ridiculous on so many levels that I feel embarrassed for you that I even have to explain this.
             
            First of all, I haven’t had “many many do-overs” this year. I did in 2016, and I’ve said time and time again that 2016 was a horrible year for me, and I just couldn’t find my footing with this house. That wasn’t for blog fodder. That was because it was a horrible year all around for many different reasons, including my step-father dying.
             
            This year has been different. I started the year with a vision, a clear to-do list, and I’ve had forward momentum this whole year. I went back and looked at EVERY SINGLE blog post from this year, and here are the projects that I’ve started this year and ending up redoing:
             
            1. I bought a credenza from Pier 1 for the entryway, changed my mind, returned it and bought something else.
            2. I built the cabinets in the hallway, and when I got them completely finished, I realized that I had made a mistake that wouldn’t allow the door to open all the way or the drawer to open past the door trim, so I had to undo quite a bit of my work, add a spacer, and redo a lot of the trim work. If you think for one second that I did that on purpose for blog fodder, then you clearly have never built anything in your life, and have no clue the planning and effort that goes into it, or the headache and frustration of having to undo and redo.
            3. I got about half of the painting done on the hallway doors, decided that the color was wrong, and went with another color.
             
            That’s it. THREE REDOS of projects that I started this year and either changed my mind or had to redo for some other reason.
             
            But even if the rooms from my 2017 house goal list were completely finished – kitchen, breakfast room, pantry, music room, hallway, entryway and living room – do you honestly think I’d have to rely on redoing projects for blog fodder? SERIOUSLY?! You may suffer from a severe lack of creativity that would force YOU to do that if you were a blogger, but I don’t.
             
            I’ve got PLENTY to do without having to redo projects to create busy work and blog fodder for myself. I have a guest room that needs to be completely stripped down to the studs and redone. Matt’s game room hasn’t even been touched yet. I have a brand new studio that’s still at the studs and subfloor stage of the process and needs so much work I can’t even wrap my head around it. I have a new half bath that needs all the work done. I have a mudroom that hasn’t been touched. I have a complete front porch/front elevation project that’s going to be pretty extensive. I have a front yard that hasn’t been touched and is in desperate need of landscaping. The front of my house needs quite a few projects like shutters, window boxes, lighting. I have about 2/3 acre in the back that hasn’t been touched, where we want a chicken coop, walkways, landscaping, koi pond, etc. And we have an entire addition of a new master bedroom, laundry room, and family room to add on.
             
            And even if all of that were done, I STILL wouldn’t need to redo projects just for blog fodder. Matt and I have discussed flipping houses, or buying and remodeling houses for rental properties. I have considered various ways I could start doing client work again. And above and beyond those things, I have ideas for about four different ways that I could take my blog after our house is finished that would give me projects and posts for as long as this whole blogging thing is still around.
             
            So no, I have ZERO need, motivation or desire to redo projects that I’ve already done just for blog fodder. Not only is that a huge waste of time, but it’s financially stupid when you consider that as long as I’m working on and spending money on my own house, none of the materials I purchase for my projects is a business deduction on my taxes. But if I were just doing throw-away projects solely for the purpose of teaching on a DIY blog, all of my purchases for those throw-away projects would be tax deductible.
             
            And finally, you say I “must keep the project moving along slowly in order to keep the money rolling in”? SCREW YOU. (And that’s something I don’t think I’ve ever even once said to another person before.) But seriously, SCREW YOU.
             
            I am working on this house pretty much by myself on a daily basis, while also acting as the full-time caretaker for my husband who’s basically bedridden with MS. And even with that, let’s take a look at what I’ve done this year.
             
            I made a custom 5-foot-tall hand painted mirror for my niece.
            I built a massive personalized bulletin board for my niece.
            I installed, wood filled, sanded, primed, and painted trim in my niece’s bedroom.
            I installed trim on my niece’s bedroom and closet door and then wood filled, sanded, caulked, primed and painted those doors.
            I decorated my niece’s bedroom and got it completely finished for her.
            I stained and polyurethaned the hardwood floors in my house.
            I installed grasscloth wallpaper and trim in the entryway.
            I installed new woven shades in the living room and breakfast room.
            I purchased new furniture for the living room so that it’s an actual usable room.
            I rebuilt the top of a credenza, then sanded down the entire thing and repainted it for the entryway.
            I painted three large pieces of artwork and then built and painted custom frames for the artwork to put in the entryway.
            I painted and stenciled the walls in the music room.
            I completely stripped and refinished my piano.
            I widened a doorway in a load bearing wall in the hallway and installed a new door.
            I built cabinets from scratch for the hallway.
            I installed a new light in the hallway.
            I installed crown moulding, baseboards in the hallway, then wood filled, sanded, caulked, primed, and painted them.
            I installed door casings on five doorways in the hallway, then wood filled, sanded, caulked, primed, and painted them.
            I painted stripes on the walls in my hallway.
            I built a console table for the hallway.
            I painted the cabinets in my kitchen.
            I refinished my concrete countertops in the kitchen.
            I installed new casings on 11-foot opening between the kitchen and the breakfast room where the previous casings had gotten damaged beyond repair during the breakfast room remodel.
            I wood filled, sanded, caulked, primed, and painted the casings around the doorways in the kitchen.
            I built and painted a vent hood cover.
            I bought and installed a new kitchen sink and faucet.
            I painted the kitchen ceiling bright white (from Polar Bear).
            I painted all of the grout in the kitchen with white Grout Renew to go with the new cabinet and countertop colors.
            I finished building the breakfast room side of the peninsula and primed and painted it.
            I installed door casings, baseboards, and crown moulding in the breakfast room, then wood filled, sanded, caulked, primed, and painted them.
            I made draperies for the breakfast room.
            I stripped, painted, and reupholstered four dining chairs for the breakfast room.
            I stripped and refinished a dining table for the breakfast room.
            I painted the buffet for the breakfast room.
            I painted two large pieces of artwork for the breakfast room and made frames for them.
            I installed wall sconces in the breakfast room.
            I built not one, but two benches from scratch for the breakfast room, the primed and painted the wood and upholstered the top and added a nailhead trim.
            I reframed the pantry door and installed French doors on the pantry, and then painted the doors.
            I painted and sewed four pillows for the dining chairs.
            I built a custom frame for my wall-mounted TV in the breakfast room, then wood filled, sanded, caulked, primed, painted, and installed it.
            I got the breakfast room completely decorated.
            I drew up several plans to convert the garage into a studio, and then finalized those plans, including designs for half bath, mud room, studio cabinets, etc.
            I oversaw the construction of the studio, having to deal with contractors and subs in my house for six weeks.
            I built a portico over the side door of the studio.
            I caulked about 2/3 of the new siding on the house.
             
            THAT has been my last 11 months, even with being laid up for a total of five weeks with a severe nerve issue in my neck, shoulder, arm, and back. And I still have another month before the year is over.
            Moving along slowly to keep the clicks rolling in? Again…screw you. I work my butt off on this house, and I try my hardest to produce actual quality blog posts (which is why I sometimes go days without posting, which is something that a person only interested in blog fodder and clicks wouldn’t do).
             
            I already know your response is going to be be, “Wow! So defensive!” Save it. Don’t bother. Yes, I’m defensive about the crap you wrote in your comment. NO ONE gets to come here to my blog, presume to know me, know my mind, know my thoughts, know my motivations, then arrogantly school my readers on those assumptions, and THEN insinuate that I’m a deceitful liar who just needs to “be honest” with my readers.
             
            YOU DON’T GET TO DO THAT without a response from me. People have the right to defend themselves against people who slander them, and that’s a right I damn well exercise when need be. This was one of those times.

            • Valerie
              December 11, 2018 at 12:50 pm

              Well said and well deserved response. I don’t know who the “yes girls” are, but I am a new and appreciative reader. Now I am going to trot off and try to make the wooden bathroom counter top so I can actually have a sink in my bathroom–or should I do this lovely bird gallery wall? Gallery wall it is!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Alma Miranda
      November 29, 2017 at 10:59 am

      This is an underserved comment. Not your house, not your blog. End of story.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Carol F
    November 27, 2017 at 9:44 am

    I love love how this gallery wall of pictures turn out! I don’t think I had ever noticed the width of the wall between the two doors before. What a perfect and look!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Joyce
    November 27, 2017 at 9:51 am

    Wow!!! I will never use a nail to hang pictures again!! And using the tape!! Fabulous!!!

    I also see furniture in the living room? Did I miss a post?

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Kristi
      November 27, 2017 at 10:05 am

      You haven’t missed anything. I got my little loveseat last Wednesday (the day before Thanksgiving), and I believe the recliner came last Monday. I’ll get it all put together and show y’all the progress so far later this week.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Sherre
      November 27, 2017 at 10:25 am

      I was thinking the same thing. I’m excited to see the loveseat. I almost bought the same one but I got a little scared of ordering such a big item online. Your post is two weeks too late- I went furniture shopping and bought blueish-gray couch (but I still secretly think I’d like the blueish-green one more).

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Dale
    November 27, 2017 at 10:02 am

    I love them! The gold acents really makes it & gives them the finishing touch!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Kelly
    November 27, 2017 at 10:10 am

    Love love love this!!! I am now inspired to do something like this in my house. Just wasn’t sure how to go about it.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Justin
    November 27, 2017 at 10:10 am

    I love how the gallery wall came out! While the birds would probably never be to my taste, I like how you hung it almost to the floor (I’d never have thought to do that) and I love the punch of color the bird photos add.

    I could totally see this technique used with some other theme or maybe even a series of duo-tone photos (like those black and white photos where a selected object in the photo is photoshopped red or some other bright color).

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Nita
    November 27, 2017 at 10:11 am

    Beautiful 👌👌👌👌

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Theresa M
    November 27, 2017 at 10:15 am

    Your choices of the bird prints are beautiful. I love all the colors and how well the go with everything. I’m also loving the glimpse of the table and chair! This is something I could see myself doing in my home as well. Love, love, love it! and…..I’m happy to see it in the living room. Too pretty for the hallway (not that your hallway doesn’t deserve pretty and will get something pretty I’m sure).

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Arli
    November 27, 2017 at 10:19 am

    I love how the colorful birds pull out the beautiful colors in the rug! And now with furniture! Looking good. 👍🏼👍🏼

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Linda Soncasie
    November 27, 2017 at 10:20 am

    You are one of my favorite bloggers! I have yet to see a project you do that I don’t love. You are a little hard on yourself sometimes – I am in awe of things you can do!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Julie Sikora
    November 27, 2017 at 10:21 am

    I really like this! The gold leaf is just wonderful, and not something I’d normally be drawn to but it really livens up a bunch of pale frames on a pale wall. You’re right, the leaf adds a ton of depth and “real feel” instead of the flatness of spray paint. Your living room is looking so pretty!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Adrienne
    November 27, 2017 at 10:32 am

    The pictures, the way you arranged them, and the way you did the frames–It is so beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing exactly how you do this. So helpful!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Lisa E
    November 27, 2017 at 10:40 am

    Love it! Anxious to see the teaser here of the rest of the living room. 😉

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Shannon
    November 27, 2017 at 11:03 am

    Kristi, I love it! And the little tease of seeing your new table, rug and lamp! I have been wanting a gallery too, this is my motivation!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Susan C
    November 27, 2017 at 11:05 am

    Hope you do a video panning the whole room when it’s done. And can’t wait for a walk-through video of the house. And seeing the hall from the music room. I have no visualization ability! Love the printable art tip, hanging tips and the frames!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Melissa
    November 27, 2017 at 11:41 am

    I love the frames! And prefer the collected look! I am always drawn towards art with subjects instead of art with landscapes. I saw several capiz shell frames on sale for cyber monday and thoight of your hallway.
    Cant wait to see more of the rooms

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Mrs Mike
    November 27, 2017 at 12:59 pm

    wow, this looks amazing! I love how the artwork flows with the kitchen cabinets and the rug. I can’t wait to see the finished look!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Carol
    November 27, 2017 at 12:59 pm

    This is the part of the remodel/re-do’s I always struggle with. Thank you for sharing this–it’s just beautiful!!!!

    (The obsessive part of my brain would like to suggest swapping the middle right and lower left pictures–for a more symmetrical look, based on the direction of the birds. But the rest of my brain is telling it to shut up, so, for what that’s worth…)

    SO anxious to see the rest of the living room!!!!!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Dori Garbutt
    November 27, 2017 at 1:04 pm

    Perfect. Simply Perfect. SO INSPIRING! I have a gallery wall planned for my Dining Room~Love the metal touch on the frames. GREAT directions on HOW to hang the gallery without many, many, way too many random holes in the wall trying to get it evenly spaced and level. I READ and Bookmark and USE your blog posts. Currently working on how to make pleated curtain panel~Very Clear Instructions. (Guess What~I, too, spend time on other projects and I eventually get back the slightly unfinished project, WITH A FRESH ATTITUDE.)

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Kimberly
    November 27, 2017 at 1:57 pm

    So beautiful! And they look so good with the rug and the colors of the cabinets! Thanks for sharing your tip on getting the pictures perfectly spaced and level.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Sassy
    November 27, 2017 at 2:12 pm

    Really beautiful work

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Kate
    November 27, 2017 at 2:19 pm

    This is genius – on so many levels! Keep up the amazing work.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Sheila F.
    November 27, 2017 at 2:25 pm

    Wow, this does not look like the same house! I love the peek through to the breakfast room! I also love that you brought birds into the living room! I still thinkabout your Peacock pulls in the music room. You have gotten the “public rooms” almost done and it is beautiful!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Jamie
    November 27, 2017 at 3:29 pm

    The wall of birds is perfection! Thank you for sharing another fun idea that I am going to reproduce. On a side note to Karen…I had to go back to the pictures to see the missing outlet cover she mentioned. I think for most of us we are looking at the big picture and the big picture is coming along beautifully.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Marianne in Mo.
    November 27, 2017 at 4:19 pm

    Bird prints and foliage prints are timeless, and my favorite to use. Architecture also is a favorite in black and white. These are lovely. I love the gold leaf corners! And thanks for the info on the Command strips —I need those for when the grandkids are here! They SLAM the doors, and I have to go around fixing the art after they leave!
    Thanks for including the shot of the kitchen and breakfast room; you can see how it’s all coming together into a cohesive home! I can’t wait to see what’s next!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Linda
    November 27, 2017 at 7:44 pm

    I absolutely love these! All of them, and agree with someone else who said they wouldn’t show up as well in your hallway! So glad you did this.
    (Small note to Karen, if you have nothing nice to say………) I believe you get the picture!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Julie Brown
    November 27, 2017 at 8:07 pm

    How do you determine how much space, i.e white space… between the subject of the painting and the mat?

    I haven’t connected with my own proportion sensibilities on framing/matting yet. Exploring.

    I have discovered what works for me on the kind of floral patterns of fabrics I choose… I like those that are bigger & bolder with more space between the print… not little, fussy or dense. The field of the fabric print ends up being like the background of the painting to me. Still ….. wanting to master the proportions in framing art… matting, frame size/color.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Kristi
      November 27, 2017 at 8:11 pm

      As far as I know, there are no rules regarding that type of thing. I think it’s just a matter of personal preference. I actually had my pictures printed too large (i.e., I cropped them too much and didn’t leave enough white space around the illustrations for my own personal taste), but I didn’t want to pay for more prints and wait another hour and make another trip to Walmart, so I just dealt with it. I really don’t like to have the mat overlap the illustration at all, but you can see that my mats do overlap the illustrations on a couple of them.

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        Julie Brown
        November 27, 2017 at 8:45 pm

        Well I will just have to play around with framing. Seems like some art I enjoy frameless, others with more space. Must depend on the subject matter for me.

        Will relook at your presentation in light of your remarks….

        In most cases would think of your bird/plant prints as traditional but your interpretation and selection has a modern twist. I love the pink birds.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Deb
    November 27, 2017 at 8:39 pm

    Love, love, love, love, love those birds! I think the frames are like jewelry to the prints! Aren’t you amazed when something so perfect comes out of a “Wait! Let’s try this!” moment. Great job!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Kimberly
    November 27, 2017 at 9:35 pm

    Kristi, these bird prints are beautiful! You really elevated the frames with the gold leaf, it’s just the perfect accent to the frames and really brings a ‘wow’ factor to the entire gallery wall.

    Thank you for sharing the Command strips tip, I’d have never thought of that. I wonder how earthquake safe they are? I’m here in So Cal, and I’m trying to pay a bit more attention to EQ safety when putting up stuff that can fly off the wall in a large shaker! The Command strips are probably better/safer than the old fashioned picture hanger wire on a nail or picture hanger hook!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Deb
    November 28, 2017 at 7:55 am

    They are gorgeous and go perfect there. But now I want to see the rest of the living room, not just the sneak peak. The rug is amazing (I bought one too), the coffee table looks fantastic, but I want to see the rest. Such a restful, but still colorful palate. I think the living room wants to be worked on. The hall can come later.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Coco
    November 28, 2017 at 7:58 am

    Gorgeous, as always. I definitely have ADD when it comes to projects and completing them. It seems more the norm than completely finishing. Keep up the amazing work and inspiring us all.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Melissa K
    November 28, 2017 at 8:10 am

    Have you ever had a type of frame that the command strip wouldn’t stick to? I did a large clock out of 12 5×7 black frames (IKEA) and they all fell off the wall because the strip wouldn’t adhere to the frame. I was so frustrated that I had to end up using nails for every frame.

    Beautiful gallery wall!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Jessica
    November 28, 2017 at 8:12 am

    Yep, love the gallery wall…but that rug, though. *deep sigh* even just that small corner is a beaut!! Sometimes it’s so hard to appreciate the beauty of something until it has context…and what context it is! Love it!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Heather Gillett
    November 28, 2017 at 8:21 am

    Great project, thanks!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Sue
    November 28, 2017 at 8:25 am

    I really like those and your placement is perfect! The frames are beautiful.

    I think you could do another set in your hallway, maybe with flower prints?

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Lisa Johnson
    November 28, 2017 at 8:47 am

    I am in love with your prints! And the way that you added the touch of gold to the corners of the frames just makes it! Love, love, love!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Angie
    November 28, 2017 at 8:58 am

    I have to be truly, TRULY honest with you here . . . . out of all of the art projects you have completed, and quite possibly any project you have done, THIS is my absolute favorite! It is so beautiful! Don’t get me wrong . . . while our tastes are quite different (a good thing, otherwise, this would be a boring world 🙂 ) I ALWAYS admire everything that you do. But girl, I would have these in my home! LOVE!

    You are an amazing person and I tell my husband all the time that I would love to be more talented “like Kristi!”.

    So . . . me, wanting to be more like you, am proud to say that I work on the project that most inspires me at the time! So any room I’m working on can go “unfinished” if I feel more inspired with a project for another room! Ahhhhh . . . I feel accomplished! Kristi and I have something in common 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Dana
    November 28, 2017 at 8:59 am

    LOVE LOVE LOVE!!! I am going to do this but I have to decide where as I have several places in mind. thank you for sharing!! One question, Is gold leaf expensive?

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Kristi
      November 28, 2017 at 11:41 am

      Not at all. I bought mine on Amazon (this is what I bought), and I got 100 sheets for about $7. You’ll also need the adhesive size (this stuff) and that tiny bottle goes a very long way. This project only took 24 sheets (four sheets per frame), so I have quite a bit left over for another project that I have in mind.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    LAURA LEIGH STROUD
    November 28, 2017 at 9:34 am

    Beautiful !!! Everything you do is Kristi; you are truly amazing at what you do. I live vicariously through you…lol….I agree with other readers; ‘I wish I could be more like Kristi’.
    And to “Karen: Not your house…so what do you care what she does and how she does it…Let Kristi do what Kristi wants to do…WHEN she wants to do it….It is HER house NOT YOURS….
    LOVE your house Kristi…

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Rebecca B
    November 28, 2017 at 9:34 am

    I really think those bird prints turned out beautiful and go well with the new rug. I would love to see pictures of the whole living room with the new furniture and everything. It seems like the only thing left to do there is the curtains?

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Teresa Thomsen
    November 28, 2017 at 10:30 am

    Would spray painted metal 90-degree angle braces work for the frames’ corners too? They could be glued in place. I love the look of this wall!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Lisa
    November 28, 2017 at 10:33 am

    Just gorgeous! I love what you did to the frames and the pictures are just perfect in your living room! Thank you so much for inviting us into your home and sharing!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Devra
    November 28, 2017 at 10:55 am

    It’s the first time I’ve seen your capiz she’ll chandelier… GORGEOUS!!! Thanks for your blog Kristi.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Andrea
    November 28, 2017 at 11:00 am

    Love the gold accent on the frames. I always enjoy seeing your creativity. Beautiful addition to your living room.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Cindy
    November 28, 2017 at 11:05 am

    Beautiful as always, Kristi! I love how your house is evolving and getting to see your creativity pour forth in all that you do. Keep up the amazing work!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Jayme S.
    November 28, 2017 at 11:19 am

    Looks fabulous….Love me some bird artwork. Regarding the “gold issue” that you were having made me remember that I follow another blogger “The creativity exchange” (she is all about paint) She recently did a review of “Testors” paint. It is the small bottles that you use on model cars and whatnot. I have attached the link as it might be something that might work for you for future projects. She gave it 2 thumbs up for coverage and durability. Also, since you are all about beautiful paint finishes, she also did a review for PPG Timeless paint which is just being made available to the public. It really is amazing all the things that are out there in the paint world.

    https://www.thecreativityexchange.com/2017/10/tips-and-tricks-for-using-testors-paints.html

    https://www.thecreativityexchange.com/2017/08/theres-a-new-amazing-paint-in-town-ppg-timeless.html

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Tamara
    November 28, 2017 at 11:23 am

    I’m very inspired by your gallery! It is quite lovely.

    I’ve used these command release for pictures before. They are wonderful, except….after about three years a picture crashed to the floor. I went and checked the other pictures and many of them were losing cohesion. So I would suggest just periodically testing them to make sure they are still in good shape.

    My husband recently hung a heavy mirror for me. The hooks were on either side of the mirror and not evenly attached. Normally not an issue, but with it being so heavy we didn’t want to struggle. He (ingeniously I might add) grabbed some silly putty, lightly stuck it to the back of the mirror where the hooks were. We lined the bottom and sides up with tape (we used the same tape method as Kristi for levelling), pressed it to the wall and the silly putty then stuck to the wall and showed a perfect outline of where each hook would be. We put a pencil through the silly putty to mark the wall and then easily added the hanging hardware. Worked perfectly! Hope this helps for the things that the command release won’t work for.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Connie
    November 28, 2017 at 2:53 pm

    Its easy to see why you moved them to the living room. They are so striking! Love the frame idea and may have to steal that one. It would work well with black frames too (or black with silver).
    In our hallway, since it is in the “family” part of the house, I intend to do a gallery wall using family photos, including one each of my husband and I as children of about 4 yrs. old. The photos could have been made with a purpose. About the same age and I am wearing a yellow dress and he has on a yellow shirt. Also, we have some great photos of family which were made in the 1920’s. I may try to work in some family memorabilia with the photos. I have my great-grandmother’s wedding band from late 1800’s to early 1900’s, my grandmothers ring and a ring belonging to my mother which I intend to put in a shadow box frame. My husbands mother and her parents immigrated from Poland in around 1900. He has the register from the ship they were on as well as an early census from Dayton, Ohio. I think things of this nature can add a lot of interest to a gallery wall. Can’t wait to see your finished hallway.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Rebecca Neustel
      December 3, 2017 at 3:21 pm

      @Connie, your gallery wall sounds like it will be stunning! I also like to include items in a gallery wall that aren’t necessarily conventional art. I’d love to see a photo of the wall when it’s completed.

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        Connie
        December 4, 2017 at 1:01 pm

        Thank you, Rebecca. It may be awhile before I get to it. I have a kitchen remodel coming up next but I hope to have time to get the family items framed while the remodel takes place.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Holly C
    November 28, 2017 at 4:06 pm

    Absolutely stunning in every way.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Barbara
    November 28, 2017 at 8:25 pm

    I love your birds!
    The Command strips can and do fail…..
    I have had at least 2 things drop to the ground. One larger picture was put up with double the amount of strips for the weight. After 2 or 3 years it just dropped one day without warning. The other item I remember was only up for a year or so. The strips just came off the wall.
    Otherwise, I also love them and use them a lot. But be careful.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Jessica
    November 29, 2017 at 10:41 am

    I wish I had as much luck with the command hooks as you do. I used to use them, but after having several things crash to the ground and break, AND my drywall be ripped in the process, I have stopped using them. I don’t know why I’ve had such bad luck with them. I’ve always used them exactly as the directions state and never put them on a freshly painted wall. I now use the “hercules” type hooks. Pictures do get off level sometimes with slamming doors and such, but at least my picture is still in one piece!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    D
    November 30, 2017 at 10:31 pm

    Absolutely love it! Perfect placement in the living room! Thanks for the tips on hanging..had never thought of using the painters tape, but will be placing it in my “wall hanging tool box” for regular future use!

    May I ask about the rug in the living room….? LOVE it and have been looking for something in those same colors! Thank you!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Rebecca Neustel
    December 3, 2017 at 3:32 pm

    The birds turned out really pretty! Could you do another, smaller gallery wall in the hallway of butterflies, maybe, or flowers, as someone else mentioned? How difficult is the Corel Paintshop to use for someone that’s not tech savvy? Does it come with decent tutorials, or I assume they’re available on YouTube? Can you resize prints like this despite the pixel size? I’ve ordered several of those DVDs that have art that’s in the public domain and want to use smaller sizes for decoupage and larger for framed art. Thanks!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Kristi
      December 7, 2017 at 7:38 am

      The PaintShop Pro program definitely has a learning curve, but I didn’t find it very hard to learn. I’m sure there are plenty of videos on YouTube. How large you can print a picture and have the image turn out clear and sharp will definitely depend on the pixel size. The site where I got my bird prints had download options where you can download the file in its original size, and they were pretty large.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Willmia Johnson
    December 4, 2017 at 11:19 am

    I LOVE your work everything is Gorgeous! It works for you on whatever way you wish to proceed. Keep on doing your thing!!

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