If you’ve been following along over on Instagram lately then you already know a few things about my current life status: 1) Eric, baby, and I moved recently, 2) our new home is substantially bigger than our old 2 bedroom apartment in the West Loop (understatement of the year), and 3) I’ve been drowning in projects trying to get everything up and running. As exhilarating as it may be to double your living size, it’s also a lot of work. For real.
I’m a firm believer in checking off the most important things first. You’ve got to have a functioning – and by functioning I mean stylishly functioning – bedroom, bathroom and living room before you can move on to the ‘vanity projects.’
Well, here we are three months after our move-in date and we can check functional off of our list. The time has (finally) come to have a little fun and first thing on the docket was a gallery wall. I know, I know, gallery walls are everywhere these days. From NY Times to Huffington Post, everyone is featuring on-trend gallery walls and the tutorials sharing how blissfully simple it is for you to DIY one of your very own.
The only problem? That shit is hard, yo.
Have you actually ever attempted one of these large scale masterpieces yourself? Well, I have and my first foray as master gallery wall architect was abysmal. Nothing was straight, the frame-to-wall proportions were off, the prints didn’t jive and I learned rather quickly that this was a job left to a pro.
Enter the fabulous and effervescent Matt Morgan from Matthew Morgan Designs. Matt and I found each other on Instagram of all places, thanks to a friendly follower who sent him my way! Knowing I was struggling with my gallery wall woes, she recommended Matt and I reached out immediately to say hello. It was a match made in heaven!
Of course, I had a million questions right out the gate. Who sources the pieces for the wall? How long does it take? How does it work? What if it’s not in budget?
Matt made everything so simple. He immediately assuaged my fears on cost (he works with all budgets and will stick to a cap you set) and he was happy to work with some prints I already had that I knew I wanted to use. For the rest, Matt was in total control. He expertly sourced a mix of (in budget) prints, shelves, decorative items, and even custom-made a Matt Morgan original art piece (can you spot it?) for the wall using canvas and cabernet. LOL. That’s my kind of guy!
He even added a bunch of personal little touches that I didn’t ask for or expect. After a few of our conversations he was able to keenly derive a few fun facts about our little Firdman fam. Included among the prints I supplied was, a print of the San Diego skyline (my husband’s home town), a greyscale map of Hawaii (our fav vacation destination), and a print out of one of my earliest Instagram travel images. It was such a thoughtful thing to do, I was so happy and touched.
I loved Matt’s idea to mix multiple elements in the gallery wall. My initial thought was to do art pieces only, but Matt opened my eyes to how fun and special a gallery wall with tons of varied focal interest could be.
Matt shopped at most of my usual suspects to source the mix of decorative elements, shelving and prints (think: Target, HomeGoods, World Market), so everything stayed affordable and chic. He kept everything pretty monochromatic with touches of botanical elements peppered throughout. I love the mix of metals and woods for the frames, and all of the fun plants and dimensional items that pull away from the wall. It was the perfect mix of everything, It felt so me, and just MADE the room. Without sounding totally cliche, he nailed it.
Start to finish, the gallery wall process only took a matter of days and we had the most fun working together on it. So much so, I’ve already asked Matt to help with my next project and we’ve already begun brainstorming its details. Stay tuned!
A million thank you’s to Matt and Matthew Morgan Designs for breaking me out of my wall rut and giving me the most beautiful gallery wall I could have ever dreamed of.