Sometimes I just crave change. Change of seasons. Change of scenery. New shoes. It can take many forms, but I guess that’s pretty obvious given how many blog posts we do about changes we make in our house… yeah, a lot. That’s actually kind of what this whole blog is about, right? Sometimes our changes are huge, structural and expensive, but sometimes just a couple of small changes make a huge difference. I recently decided that we needed to switch things up in our bedroom. A new duvet cover, new lamps and new art, and it feels like a whole new room.
So this is what the bedroom looked like last fall when we showed you our new awesome headboard, which we’re still so madly in love with.
And here it is now. Bright and sunny and ready for summer.
We replaced one West Elm comforter for a West Elm duvet cover (both no longer available). It’s fluffier and cozier and it’s making it very difficult to get out of bed in the morning, so basically it’s fabulous. The bright yellow stripes are a lot of fun.
We also finally got a matching set of bedside lamps. For years there’s only been a lamp on Andy’s side of the bed because I’ve never been able to find a set that I liked. Then a couple of weeks ago I accidentally stumbled on these dipped cement lamps at Target. I love how they are simple and industrial, not too feminine, and the stripes match the duvet. We ended up buying a bunch of different shades to see which one worked best and liked the Threshold white linen lampshade the most. I have a real stripe thing going on right now, with the striped duvet, striped lamp, gold and mint striped phone case from ban.do, and my hot pink-striped notebook for when I wake up in the middle of the night with great ideas (it happens!). The pencil is from The Standard Hotel in LA, because the hipster-est of hotels hands out pencils instead of pens, and the rest of the little things on my nightstand are old. (Obviously these photos were all taken over the course of several days, hence things moving and changing and different lighting.)
The biggest change is that we took down the tree that we used to have on the wall and replaced it with a collection of art and photos. The tree decal had been such a pain in the butt to put up, so I was not looking forward to taking it down. Each leaf is a separate piece of vinyl. I started using my fingernails and when that got uncomfortable, I used the corner of a credit card to sort of push at each piece of vinyl and then slowly peel it up. It took me about two hours total. The decal did peel off some of the paint, and actually a whole layer of plaster wall in a couple of places, so keep that in mind if you ever want to put up a giant vinyl tree in your bedroom.
To hang the gallery wall, I started by gathering all the prints that I knew I wanted to include, some of which I took from other places in the house, like the Lisa Congdon birch print that had been in the kitchen. I’d actually been slowly collecting prints with shades of yellow for years, all with the purpose of eventually putting them up in the bedroom, so I didn’t have to buy anything new now, which is awesome. I knew I wanted to stick to a pallet of yellow, grey, and a little bit of teal, to match the duvet, so I also pulled out a few black and white Instagram photos of us that I got printed last year, to fill in the spaces between the prints. I laid everything out on the floor and kept moving them around until I found a layout that I liked. It really took me a couple of days of fiddling and rearranging and starting over before I settled on a final pattern that I liked.
I really wanted my gallery wall to have a casual feel, so I didn’t want to worry about measuring everything, but I did want to make sure it was all level. I thought it would work best if the two frames were even at the top, since they aren’t the same size (don’t you just hate when prints aren’t standard frame size? Ugh).
(Oof, frizzy hair!) Once I determined where I wanted the first frame to go, I used a level to draw a line across the entire wall with chalk. I love marking with chalk since it can just wipe away, unlike a pencil that can be hard to remove. Since we have old plaster walls in this room that are crumbly, there was no way I was going to take a risk with nails. Those velcro Command picture hangers are a life saver for old houses.
When the first frame was up, I worked my way across the wall, right to left, using Command picture hangers on the heavier things and washi tape on the unframed prints and photos. (Ignore the leaves that are still on the wall above the window. I wasn’t tall enough to reach those — a job for Andy!) I hung the second frame along the chalk line that I had drawn. I ended up putting a few things in different places than my original design, and I also added a couple of other things to fill in space.
I’m really enjoying sitting in bed looking at our wall of memories and funny pictures, and I’m looking forward to adding to this wall as time goes by.
This is a t-shirt wrapped around a frame from when Andy grew his beard for an entire year for charity.
I kept the little bird that was part of our tree decal. There’s sort of a recurring bird theme throughout a lot of these prints.
And that time we accidentally photo bombed all our friends and pretended to throw up at the exact same time without planning it… aka, maybe my favorite photos of all time.
(Resources: Gallery wall, top row, left to right: “Birch Tree Forest” by Lisa Congdon; Andy’s “Year of the Beard” t-shirt; random photos of me and Andy; print by Grey Cardigan; bottom row: party invitation; photos; unknown print that I’ve had for many years; photostrip from the Ace Hotel in NYC; “Love Nest” by Roll & Tumble Press (old); photo of us; “Every day is Saturday” by Kate Spade Saturday; print by Lab Partners (old). All bedding by West Elm, except the throw pillow in front from Crate & Barrel (last year). All window coverings by West Elm (old). Lamps, Target. Wall color, Sherwin-Williams “Evening Shadow.”)
So what do you think? Do you have the urge to change anything around your house for spring? I’d love to hear about it!