Small Changes, Big Impact: Gallery Arrangements & Other Living Room Updates

While it might be nice to give your living room a major overhaul, it may not be in your budget to repaint and add new flooring and furniture. But with the winter blues kicking your nesting urge into overdrive, there are plenty of small projects you can do to make a big impact, all without breaking the bank. Here are four ways to add some joie de vivre to your living room:

Gallery Wall

You’ve probably already pinned a few of your favorite gallery walls to your “Home” board on Pinterest, so what are you waiting for? Go! Start by finding six to ten picture frames in a variety of sizes. Ikea is a great resource for inexpensive matted frames in simple, modern styles, but Walmart and Target have a great selection too. Is your expression more eclectic or shabby chic? Scour local thrift shops, Goodwill stores and flea markets for cheap vintage frames. To achieve a finished, professional look, mat all photos. You can purchase mats to fit any frame at a craft supply or framing shop.  You can give your gallery wall a custom look and add colour to your living room by simply painting the mats a bold colour and framing black and white photos.

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Choose photos that feature unique settings and subjects. No one wants to see an entire wall of photos of you and your husband in the same pose in different restaurants. Instead, mix it up and include a blend of posed shots, candid snaps and beautiful landscapes. After you’ve framed all of the photos, determine how you want to arrange them. Design experts at Huffington Post advise arranging the wall layout on the floor first, to get a clear visual of the finished product. To ensure proper spacing, trace over the arrangement using a large piece of tracing paper. Tape the trace paper to the wall, hammering all nails through the paper to keep spacing precise. Hang your frames and voilà!

Window Treatment

Window dressing is one of the most often overlooked aspects of decor, but new curtains or blinds can really alter the look and feel of your living room. Start by taking the measurements of your windows and determining what kind of covering you want to add, such as wood blinds, drapes, roman blinds or roller shades. If you are having trouble finding blinds to fit your window, custom shades are less than you may think! Check out The Shade Store for some great options!

Art of Arrangement

Add arrangements of interesting details throughout the room, adorning the mantle, coffee table and end tables. When styling the mantle, Houzz decor professionals advise first hanging a piece of art, centered over the mantle, that’s roughly two-thirds of its size. Add interest by arranging a small grouping of two or three objects in various smaller sizes at each end of the mantle for balance. Garnish end tables with personal items that have a rich story, such as your grandmother’s candle holders or a vintage globe that you found at a Parisian flea market. For a coffee table that looks like it’s right out of the pages of Elle Decor, add a short stack of oversized fashion, architecture and art tomes.  When arranging a group of objects, my rule of thumb is placing things in groupings of 3,5 and 7.  Odd number groupings are just more pleasing to the eye!

You need symmetry in a room, and it is my number one go-to trick when decorating any space.  Make sure to have your living room feel “even“.  This can be achieved easily by simply balancing similarly sized items on either side of  say, a sofa or fireplace.   You can transform the look of your living room and give it that “magazine feel” by introducing symmetry in your main focal area.

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