Sometimes decor inspiration can come from the most unexpected places. I grew up on old movies, and I still get such a nostalgic pleasure from watching my favorite Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn films over and over again. I was re-watching the move Indiscreet when I noticed that the gallery walls in Ingrid Bergman’s London apartment featured black and white prints with colorful matting surrounding the prints—I loved it! I decided that it would be the perfect inspiration to finish the gallery wall in my art room. Bring on the color!
-colored cardstock or mat board
-various black and white prints & corresponding frames (make sure the frames are several inches bigger than the print so you’ll have a good amount of colored mat per frame)
You can use colored mat board to mat your prints, but I find that it’s easier (and much more cost effective) to work with colored cardstock instead. So, the first thing you’ll want to do is pick out several colors of cardstock in sizes that are at least as big as the frame that color will go into.
Once you cut the outside edge with your ruler and X-Acto knife, you’ll need to measure the window that you want your print to show through, and center those measurements in the middle of your cardstock. For example, if your print is 8″ x 10″ and your frame is 12″ x 16″, that means you want your mat to be 2″ wide on either side and 3″ wide on top and bottom. Mark those measurements on the inside of your cardstock, and cut out the middle opening of the mat.
As always, the best way to map out a gallery wall arrangement is to use paper placeholders that are the exact size as your frames, and move them around until you find a grouping you like.
Once arranged, simply measure on the real frame how far the nail needs to hang from the top of the frame, and place a nail the same distance from the top on the corresponding paper placeholder. Once the nail is in place, simply pull the paper off the wall, and your hanging placement will be just right!
I made a few of the prints myself to make the gallery wall more affordable and add a personal touch to the wall (we simply adore Steve Martin’s The Jerk, so I wanted to add a quote from that movie). I love the pop of color that the gallery wall adds to the space, plus, if I ever change my color scheme I can always redo the mats for a quick update. What are you waiting for? Get color happy in your home! xo. Laura