I've already started mentally decorating the apartment we're going to move into next week. I have to confess that I've been doing it since I first laid eyes on it, before we even knew we were going to move there!

But I've learned that it's wise to live in the space for at least three months before even beginning to decorate it. Ideally, it would be six months, but I don't think I can be that patient! But you really have to get to know a space by living in it for a while and getting a feel for it before deciding what your decor style is going to be. Our new place is so different from our current place that I don't think the same decorating strategy is going to work. So I'm afraid that I'm going to have to throw out my "Southwest modern" look and start from scratch.

One thing I know is that I want the place to feel a bit more cozy. But herein lies the dilemma. "Cozy" usually means clutter, at least in my opinion. I've noticed that cozy spaces usually have a lot of stuff going on. Coziness is typically achieved by creating layers of stuff upon stuff. And the Dude and I are very much against having a lot of "stuff." We're trying to live as lightly as possible so it's going to be a challenge to cozify our new apartment while at the same time maintaining a minimalist lifestyle. I'm aware that you can create cozy by carefully choosing texture, colour, and shape. So one possibitlity is painting the walls a warm colour. Another strategy is by having puffy furniture rather than leggy, airy pieces. Creating a cozy look with as little stuff as possible is going to be an exciting challenge!

So, even though I said that I don't want to start decorating until at least three months after we've moved in, I've already jumped the gun and have decided I want a salon-style wall in the dining nook. This is a great way to cozify a space.

There are several options for doing a salon-style wall (a.k.a. gallery wall) of pictures. You can do it symmetrically or asymmetrically. Symmetrical configurations tend to look more formal. You can also hang pictures from the top of the wall to the bottom or you can just focus on the centre of the wall.

Symmetrical gallery wall:

Gallery Wall at the Shore

Asymmetrical salon-style hanging:

Here's one that takes up the whole wall from floor to ceiling (plus, the black wall makes me weak in the knees):

I love this salon-style wall because it's so clean and un-cluttery looking:

I think it's really hard to pull off a well-curated gallery wall but here are some helpful guidelines:
  • Make the frames all the same colour or choose a common theme/colour for your images. Select either option to tie the whole thing together
  • Keep in mind balance, especially if you're using different sized frames. Distribute the size of the frames evenly. Don't make it "top-heavy" or "bottom-heavy," i.e. avoid grouping similarly sized frames all together.
  • Before nailing the pictures into the wall, trace them first on paper, cut out the paper, and stick them on the wall with tape until you come up with a configuration you like. Then proceed to nail the hangings on to the wall. After, pull out the paper from behind them. 
  • If you're going to arrange the pictures around the midline of the wall, make sure that the center of the whole arrangement is around 57 inches from the floor.

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