Spring Has Sprung…, In My Living Room!


April 11, 2013 by Decorum DIYer

Well, sort of.

Although spring officially started less than a month ago, I think Mother Nature has been confused.

If you recall, just two short weeks ago, this was the scene in my backyard covered in five inches of snow!


Fast forward two weeks and Mother Nature must be losing her mind because it is 92 degrees here in Maryland and THIS is my backyard now:


Pretty crazy, huh?

Spring, or faux summer as it really is this year, is slowly showing herself in other places.  Most of our flowering trees are starting to bloom.  Here is the one in my front yard:

(Darn power lines.)

(Darn power lines.)


Spring has also made its way into my living room, but not in the way one would think.

A few weeks ago, I made an impromptu stop into a thrift shop on the way home from dance practice.

There were some lovely things, but a few framed prints on the floor leaning against a back wall caught my eye.  I am not one to normally go for girly, floral things, but something about the botanical prints excited me.


(Sorry this is so blurry, but I was balancing on one leg while trying to take the picture – don’t ask.)

There were six, well five identical and one identical print, but with a horrible 80’s framing scheme. Each botanical print represented a month of the calendar.  My excitement grew as the first one I saw was June (my husband’s birth month), the next was August (my youngest son’s birth month), but then the pattern fell apart.  Oh well, it would have been nice to have each family member represented, but I still sort of wanted them, even though one framed print was missing the glass and one was framed differently and had a blue mat.

I decided to go for it, even though I had no idea where I would put the prints, once I got them home.  $30 later and they were mine.  I should have pushed for $20, but I needed to rush home and it took forever to find an employee to take my money.

So, two days ago, Ascher was taking an epic long nap (not complaining) and instead of cleaning, I decided to make a change to the living room.

After my last thrift shop experience, I found the two little birdies and hung them above the sofa.


Sadly, that arrangement did not last long, as I had stolen our foyer table to use as a console table and my husband kept knocking over the lamp when he sat on the couch.  So, I was left with this for a while:


I love the metal art piece and the bird prints, but they looked so puny above the couch.  I’ve been thinking of relocating the metal art piece to an outdoor area and maybe find a new nest for the birdies.

So, I thought, “Why not?”

Can you see my crazy pencil lines?

Can you see my crazy pencil lines?

I started the time-consuming and frustrating task of attempting to hang a gallery wall in a perfect grid of six frames.  Why was it frustrating?  Well, the frames are hung by wire, so each nail (or in my case, screws) must be placed on the wall at different points, as each wire hanger was not identical.  Furthermore, the one framed print that was different is slighting smaller than the other five, to further complicate my crazy grid, O.C.D.-must-hang-perfectly-pattern.

Then, I stumbled upon A View Along The Way‘s ribba frame grid gallery tutorial! She’s a genius.  I guess that makes me a pseudo-genius, because I was thinking the same, but using a 3-ring binder ruler (the kind with the holes in the center, oh and measurement tick marks).

So, a two-hour nap’s worth of sweating, measuring, leveling, cursing, etc…, this is what I was left with:


Hey, don’t judge, I have a plan and a vision.  Here is goes:

  1. Find a replacement frame and mat for the invasive species botanical frame and mat in the top center.
  2. Spray-paint, or some other method, all of the frames a distressed golden hue (not shiny).
  3. To further the perfection of the grid, assist the wire hangers hung from screws with some 3M velcro picture hangers.  (This will also lessen the chance that my husband ‘children’ will knock the pictures off of the wall.)
  4. In the not-too-near future, paint the wall a dark green.  You know, like my moodboard.

I’m thinking something like the below images:

The symmetrical grid aspect, but with six (unless I find more, there are twelve months after all).

The symmetrical grid aspect, but with six (unless I find more, there are twelve months after all).
[Via House Beautiful]

Six identical prints/frames with table and two lamps.  Although, I would use a narrower wooden ledge "L" bracketed to the wall.

Six identical prints/frames with table and two lamps. Although, I would use a narrower wooden ledge “L” bracketed to the wall.
[Via 320 Sycamore]

Something like this, but symmetrical/identical frames, no table legs, and sofa flush to shelf. [Via Remodelista (KLM Design)]

Something like this, but symmetrical/identical frames, no table legs, and sofa flush to shelf.
[Via Remodelista (KLM Design)]

And lastly, everything about this image makes me weak in the knees.  Alas, I am not taking it this far:


[Via The Enchanted Home]

So, can you see what I see?

Do you think it is possible that I could make this work?

I’d really love to hear your thoughts, as the first thing my husband said when he came home was, “That looks awful.  I don’t like it at all!  It is too much!”

So, that’s us.

I’ve shown you where I am with this and where I’d like to go.

Here’s another photo just to take it all in:


Oh, and don’t worry, your opinions, any opinions, will not cause us marital strife.

We’re a pretty happy couple and I always take my husband’s thoughts into account. Although, maybe not as to the ‘botanical/floral’ prints this time. But hey, I was drawn to them because I saw his birth month first.  Clearly I was thinking about him in some small way. However, I feel that sometimes he can’t see the forest through the trees (oh, yeah, botanical pun intended!) in terms of decorating.  I usually use Pinterest to aid me in helping him see my vision.  I’ll be waiting to see what everyone thinks about this one, or six.

Thanks to all for you anticipated assistance!

(Psst!  You can see the near final version of this gallery wall here.)


21 thoughts on “Spring Has Sprung…, In My Living Room!

  1. Amber E. says:

    I have a few of those prints myself! They’re sitting in my storage building right now because I couldn’t figure out how to update them either! Your vision is totally doable, though. I love the idea of a dark green wall and the little bird pictures, too. Maybe try a new picture configuration with everything you have on the wall now? With all six of them perfectly aligned, it’s kind of blehh and heavy.. which sucks considering the time it took you to achieve that! I’d pull some of the colours from the flowers to use for new matting. 😉

    • Thanks! I was considering adding in the birdies to break it up, but then the layout got really complicated and busy. I leaned towards the six grid gallery because I thought it would be more simplistic. I agree, it is bleh and heavy, as is, but I wonder if that is because there is no contrast: wall color, bleh; frames, bleh; etc…. That said, I think I am on the right track compared to the previous decor of metal artwork and birdies. Before removing those, I thought about incorporating everything together, but then it really seemed like too much.

      I really appreciate your input.

      • P.S. You wouldn’t happen to have one May, one December, and one October, would you? If so, I may need to persuade you to trade with me. 😀

  2. Amber E. says:

    I agree with the lack of contrast! I went out to see which ones I have.. I have March, October, November, and December, BUT… the prints look more aged and they’re matted in green! I’m working on posting some pics of them for you. 😉

  3. […] my new blog friend, Decorum DIYer, posted about her Spring inspired living room, I remembered that I had these beauties hiding away in storage. My mother gifted them to me, as she […]

  4. I like them! I can ‘see’ your vision and think they will look awesome with dark green walls.

  5. I really like the idea, and I especially like inspiration picture number one. I see the vision. 🙂 I’d like to do something similar above the bed in our master bedroom. I imagine that if you can find a pretty calendar these days, they’d be quite inexpensive.

  6. What I love about this is the fact that if I had seen those prints in a thrift shop, I wouldn’t have given them much of a chance. But seeing them up above your couch, I see great potential! Already, they’re on their way.

    My first instinct would be to add color. And I know you mentioned giving the walls a fresh coat of emerald green (which would look really dramatic! I love it). But in the event that said paint job might not be for a while, I had the idea to add some colorful mattes (pulling a color from the pictures) or maybe even painting the frames blue or rose. That might be totally bizarre to you and not at all what you’re thinking, but I think that a splash of color somewhere will help bring these puppies to life.

    I’m personally torn between going symmetrical (as you have) or changing it up and maybe keeping one or two of these prints on the wall and adding in the bird prints and a few others…maybe even some found objects and photographs into one big gallery fest! (Wait a minute…isn’t that my living room we’re talking about?) Either way, I think the key is going to be to go BOLD. These prints are muted in tone, which is lovely…but that will be a great contrast to some drama…somewhere…either in color or design.

    Can’t wait to hear the next chapter to this story / soap opera! 😉

  7. Yes, Lauren, I was having all of those thoughts. As to painting the frames, I’ve definitely thinking metallic – I did consider navy blue, though. I even considered busting out some leftover paint to create a large spot of colored wall (different than the remainder of the wall) to give the prints some extra ‘pop’. I know these prints look terrible as is, but I think there is a way to add other things to make it all work. If it were any other room, I’d be more drawn to an organic arrangement of prints/items, but for the living room, I’m feeling really ‘straight and symmetrical’. I’m sort of stuck in an OCD loop with this living room in that everything is aligned, squared, matched, etc…, maybe I should step out of that? So many possibilities.

    • The spot of colored wall could be a great solution…or perhaps the one entire wall…. And trust your gut if you’ve got the ‘straight and symmetrical’ vibe going on. I do think it could work really well, especially once that wall color allows the prints to really “pop.”

  8. I do see your vision. What I am seeing in your inspiration pictures is that each gallery wall is framed. The first three pictures are framed by lamps on either side and a table below. I really think you need to start looking at how you can frame your pictures. The blah-ness on either side of your gallery I think is what’s doing it.

    I really like the picture with the green walls and board and batten. The white of the board and batten and the molding above add to the framing effect.

    What about framing with paint? The way you did your nautical prints? Maybe like this, except with green: http://pinterest.com/pin/182677328606696496/

    • You and I think a lot alike. Yes, yes, yes, and yes. I stated more about my thoughts in others’ comments. I do plan to place a table and lamps (much like I had when the birds lived there). I was thinking of ‘framing’ it with a darker green. I see it as an opportunity to find the perfect green that will hopefully one day be throughout the living room. I like how the pinterest image you supplied was banded on either side. Last night I was staring at the wall wondering how I could make a ceiling to floor band look more interesting, I think the smaller bands to either side is a great idea. Thanks for you input!

  9. […] that we picked up for $90 via Craigslist, new lamp shades, and the almost finished botanical art wall gallery with a painted accent on the […]

  10. You revealed this wonderfully!

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