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Great Gallery Walls!

28 Oct

I’ve had a lot of questions about gallery walls lately: how to start them, what goes in (or is it on?) them, and are there any “rules” when creating them. Well, if you’ve worked with me or been in one of my classes before, you probably know my stance on “rules”: I don’t really do rules. Which isn’t to say everything goes – it doesn’t – but rather, I mean that there are so many conceivable ways to create a lovely gallery wall that I can’t even possible begin to list the process or tell you what elements you absolutely need. I can, however, give you a few suggestions and point out what makes a nice grouping. Below are some examples of great gallery walls, and some notes about how to emulate these looks. Enjoy!


Contrast is Key. I like the punch of a gallery wall that is white on black, or black on white, or white on white with bursts of color within the frames. Here are some examples of gallery walls that emphasize contrast effectively.

Great Gallery WallsWhite on Black. (via Eclair)


Great Gallery Walls!Color on White. (via Pinterest, source unknown)

Variation AND Repetition Go Hand in Hand. Got an interesting gold frame to incorporate? Great! Include a few additional gold touches. Have a bunch of thin frames in a single color? Great! Add more thin frames in additional colors. Get it?

Gallery WallMostly black and white with small, subtle bursts of color. (via Pinterest, source unknown)

Great Gallery WallsJust the right amount of gold. (via just bella blog)

Size Doesn’t Matter. Really. You have big and small pictures? Ok. Want to mix them? Fine. Want to keep them consistent? Not a problem. Let it be what you want it to be: no rules.

Gallery WallBig frames, small frames, tiny clipboards – all fine. (via Design Traveler)

Gallery WallThis one has both varying object sizes AND is small in scope. (via Pinterest, source unknown)

Start With Something Specific or Functional and Let it Grow. I often start gallery walls with a single piece of art or photography or utility that is important to the end-user. You don’t have to complete it in a day or even a week. Just hang that mirror or tv or piece of art (at eye level, preferably, as it’s the most important piece) and let other pieces spawn off of it. 

Gallery WallBegin with a mirror and let the other elements fall where they may… (via The Fashion Medley)

gallery-wall4…or begin with a television – BRILLIANT! I’ve used this a few times myself. (also via The Fashion Medley)

What Do You Do With A Stair Wall? GALLERY WALL! Enough said.

Gallery WallSimple, cool. (via Pinterest, source unknown)

Gallery WallLove this. (via Elle Decor via Pinterest)

Oh, you’re  wondering about spacing? Well, I do have a simple rule for that. If you use all the same frames, you can space them equally but the look will be less “Anthropologie” and more traditional . If you use different, differently sized frames, space them HOWEVER YOU WANT, whether it’s super organized or more crafty and uneven.

Gallery WallDifferent frames = varied spacing. (via Pinterest, source unknown)

Gallery WallsDifferent frames = varied spacing. I love the leaning art on the ground here. (via Euro Style Lighting)

Gallery WallDifferent frames = same-ish spacing. (via Arkpad)

That’s a lot of gallery walls! Which is your favorite? I’m not sure I can choose!


Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.


Visiting the Watermelon House.

16 Jul

One afternoon last week, instead of heading straight home like we usually do I took my son to one of my favorite spots in DC: the “watermelon house” in Shaw. He was AMAZED. I’ve been wanting to do a photo shoot here for a while, but life doesn’t always happen with a DSLR in-hand, so instead of doing it right we busted out the Instagram and did it sort-of-right. He had on a green shirt, which was just perfect. I love this photo so I thought I’d share.

Watermelon House!

He looks so sweet and contemplative, when in reality he was bribed to be still instead of repeatedly yelling “WATERMELON! Are you serious? Can I get a watermelon popsicle RIGHT NOW?” He was still sweet. Just not very contemplative.

Below is an image of the whole house (via What About Watermelon), and here is an article from the Washington Post where you can read a little bit about its history. Fun, right?

Watermelon House!


Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

Another Instagramed View of Durham.

21 Apr

The other weekend my husband and I got away for a much-needed trip to Durham, North Carolina. We went for his law school reunion, but we really enjoy the town, so we spent time visiting places we love and enjoying the awesome weather. Last summer we took a similar long-weekend, during which I took a lot of pictures with Instagram. So I decided to carry on the tradition for this trip as well.

The town is filled with lots of old (mostly tobacco) warehouses which have been converted into any number of new uses: housing, communal art space, restaurants, and other creative adaptive-reuses. Here’s the side of one of the old buildings, featuring one of my favorite combinations: candy and soda.

Durham 2013

Another old building, this one a showroom for Organic Transit, which sells what I like to describe as a space-aged green golf cart. They were parked out front one of the days we were there, but I didn’t snap a picture that day. I adore the signage.

Durham 2013



An old building in the middle of downtown. Loving the green…

Durham 2013



…and you know I’m not lying. Look at my pants:

Durham 2013



Not all of the architecture is so hipster-y. The Carolina Theater at night is pretty classic.

Durham 2013



And the new Cupcake Bar and The Parlour, and ice cream shop, are pretty cute. Here’s a shot of the exterior of the cupcake shop – prime real estate on a prominent corner, plus a very “apple store” aesthetic – and a shot of the neat art inside The Parlour.

Durham 2013

Durham 2013



Of course I can’t resist a photo of a dilapidated public health building. This is what Instagram was made for.  Not sure why, I just think it’s beautiful.

Durham 2013



But all else aside, you can’t go to Durham and not go to Parker and Otis. Because candy. That’s why.

Durham 2013



Can’t wait to return again!


Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

A Quick Trip to Durham…

24 Jul

Last week my husband and I went to North Carolina for a quick trip and we spent a lot of time in Durham. We’ve been there a number of times together, and my husband knows it very well after being there for three years in law school. It’s changed a lot…he tells me (because I didn’t know him in law school, I’ll have to take his word for this). On our first evening after dinner we spent a lot of time driving around both the more vibrant and revitalized area of the city, as well as the, well, not so revitalized part (of course, we were headed to an auto parts store to find some obscure air filter for our a/c). I ended up downloading Instagram for my iPhone that evening, and I got some really fun pictures. In fact, I didn’t take any photos of people on our trip, just a few places. I love the way these turned out. Here are some of the photos I took that I really like.

I downloaded Instagram in the parking lot of this store we love visiting while in Durham; it’s called Parker and Otis, and if you know me and have been there, you know that I love it mostly for its selection of candy. This is in that parking lot right at the end of a huge rainstorm; luckily, we were under a covered roof.


The porch at this store has a ton of reclaimed/industrial materials. This is the case with a lot of downtown venues, as the area was once chock-full of tobacco warehouses and southern industry. Now, it’s just mostly southern charm and re-furbished lofts. Here’s the porch: I have to assume this was a fan.


While it was still drizzling, we set off on a drive. Here we are at a stoplight looking toward the stadium area. (In case you’re wondering, yes, there are a lot of railroad tracks downtown.)


I took this at another traffic light. The restaurant isn’t necessarily somewhere I’d want to eat – oxtails, anyone? – but the moment the red Cadillac pulled up I wanted to take a picture. Great color!


I may have made my husband circle back to capture this rundown building. The graffiti! The horizontal graphic black and white stripes! I really like it, purely in terms of gritty aesthetic.


What a cool green door. There were two of them. So neat.


This was actually taken on another day, but it’s a food truck that sells ice cream. On a school bus. My son would be in heaven. My limited understanding of the food truck culture in the Triangle is that they’re fairly new, people like them, and they’re still struggling with how to regulate them. Durham clearly has the most friendly food truck climate of Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill, and given my numerous encounters with black-framed glasses and waxed mustaches during our time there, it has the biggest hipster culture as well. In fact, lots of food “trucks” are actually bike carts. We went to the Saturday morning farmer’s market and it, too, was a food truck gathering spot.


And finally, this is entirely irrelevant to the vintage/gritty vibe I’ve been harping on here, but DID YOU KNOW THAT IN THE SOUTH THEY HAVE A SNACK WAGON FOR KIDS AT WHOLE FOODS WITH FREE SNACKS? I almost passed out. They also have towers of PBR…in Whole Foods.


Hope you enjoyed my very limited photo tour as much as I enjoyed capturing it all! I wish I’d taken more pictures!


Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

Fantastically Indulgent Art for a Monday…

11 Apr

A friend of mine flagged this photography series in Google Buzz this weekend (by the way, who else besides me and four other people actually use this feature?) and I was floored.

The Excess Series by Rebekka Guðleifsdóttir (images via Rebekka Guðleifsdóttir Photography)


The artist’s name is Rebekka Guðleifsdóttir, and she’s a young photographer from Iceland. Apparently she was recognized as “the web’s top photographer” by the Wall Street Journal a few years back, but sadly her photography is new to me. Now that I’ve found her I’m happy to say that I’ll continue to follow her innovative and powerful work. This is my favorite image of hers from her “Excess” series:

(image via Rebekka Guðleifsdóttir Photography)


This series is apparently her personal favorite work, and focuses on bringing to light the inequitable division of world resources and the complacency that surrounds that injustice. She says, clearly and simply: “We take what we have for granted.  Most people, even those who aren’t rich or living some charmed life have access to more food than our ancestors could have imagined in their wildest dreams.  There’s an overabundance of material wealth surrounding a large percentage of the worlds population, and yet those fortunate enough to experience that, are usually the ones constantly complaining about ridiculously inconsequential little ‘problems.’ ”

Obviously, I have a thing for writing Monday morning blog posts about artists whose work focuses on over consumption.

On a lighter note, in each of the five images the photographer made virtually all of the props, from the huge “slice” of cake to the grotesquely over-sized drinking glass (which was a vase that she had cut to a proportional height at a glass cutting shop) to the huge mock Cheerios and foot-in-diameter burger bun. Love it: a cook AND an artist! She even had her brother craft huge metal utensils for this project. You can see all five photos from the “Excess” series, or read more about it on Pixiq here. These are the utensils I was mentioning…

(image via Rebekka Guðleifsdóttir Photography)


You can purchase your own prints here at the photographer’s online store.  A 12×12 cm is $105, a 20×20 cm is $220, and a 30×30 cm is $415. Note the centimeters, because you don’t want to anticipate a 20×20 inch print and wind up with a smaller-than-8” square.  I’d love to have a 4×4 foot print of this on my walls for sure!

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

Snow Blind: Matthias Heiderich

25 Jan

I came across a profile of Matthias Heiderich, a Berlin-based artist, this weekend.  I am so glad I did.

A lone, cold tree. (image via

His “Snow Blind” series features photographs of powder-covered urban landscapes.  For me, the images inspire an overpowering sense of calm.  Not only do they capture the way that the city just seems to stop suddenly under a freshly fallen blanket of snow, but they beautifully document the way that snow changes the color of everything: what was brown in the harsh sunlight is suddenly a rich mustard color, and what was a simple shot of dingy blue or rusty orange becomes a burst of tropical brightness amidst the stark white.

Pretty service doors. (image via

I remember being a little kid and noticing how all of the houses in my neighborhood totally changed color after a new snowfall: these images are just as captivating as the magical transformation of my environment was as a nine year old. The injection of the subtlest of colors into a white background is unlike most scenes I see in my urban environment, and the way that Heiderich frames his landscapes is energetic yet understated. Another artist to add to my “When I Get Rich List” — and this time, my husband agrees with me!  Hooray!!

Bolder colors, but still effective. (image via

I can see these photographs shining in a very neutral space — lots of cream, beige, brown, textured woods and metals, and THESE.  I think that kind of environment would highlight the subtlety of his use of color even more.  …Ok, maybe throw in an orange or blue upholstered piece for good measure.

So many "whites" -- and they don't look white at all. (image via

You can see more of the “Snow Blind” series here at the artist’s website and here at his Flickr page (there are some bonus photos here!).  Heiderich is represented by the Spot Galerie in Berlin.

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.