4 Considerations for Creating a Gallery Wall

I've set my mind on creating a gallery wall behind our TV in the living room. I've been inspired by so many options lately. Props to these bloggers and designers for having great instincts when it comes to mixing and matching artwork and other artifacts for an interesting, but cohesive display!

Some might say adding art behind, atop and aside your TV will create too much busyness. I beg to differ. If done tastefully, a gallery wall will serve as an eye-catching addition to your room, not an unwelcome distraction.

Here are four key observations from some of my favorite gallery wall designs:

Strive for color balance

I love how Tiffany sticks to neutral basics for the frames (black, white and gold) and then mixes in pops of color to keep the arrangement from looking stark. (We actually have our TV sitting on this same IKEA bookcase. This example definitely speaks to me!)

Incorporate unique frames

I remember seeing this image on Instagram and thinking, "I need that Baroque frame!" Combined with bold fabric, this frame has major "WOW" power. I also love Aniko's artwork. You can even purchase digital downloads of her work, so you can create a similar look and feel.

Consider alternative lighting

Emily can do no wrong as far as home design. I love that she took the gallery concept further and incorporated the wall sconces as an extra lighting source. If you go with a similar sconce, you won't even need an electrician. You could hang these yourself!  I'm all in favor of any design that hides lamp cords in an attractive manner.

Mix in other artifacts

Claire's right. Mixing unique objects with your print collection will allure the eye. I'm challenging myself to think beyond the typical frame when selecting wall art. Think taxidermy, shells, initials, spheres, antique keys, wreaths, masks, hats, garland, mirrors, etc. 

My game plan

With this inspiration in mind, here's what I plan to incorporate: 

I'm looking forward to getting started. What's your go-to gallery wall trick?

This "My Kentucky Tee" could be your Kentucky tee

I'm a Kentucky girl through and through. "Kentucky proud" is an understatement. Why do I have such Kentucky pride? Well, let's see...
  1. I've only lived in Kentucky - four Kentucky cities in 30 years to be exact.
  2. I'm a Kentucky Wildcat. My years at UK were some of the best of my life. What a feeling it is to be apart of such a nationally acclaimed school.
  3. I come from a family who built a business in the equine industry. Where else would you do that but in the state that earned the title as the "horse capital of the world." 
  4. Kentucky is home to the most talented cheerleading squads in the country. This sport consumed my life for 20 years, and I take pride in the legacy Kentucky teams have built.
  5. I believe there is no better way to spend a spring or fall day than tailgating on the rolling hills at Keeneland.
  6. I love bourbon. I love touring bourbon distilleries. 
  7. Every May, our state hosts "the most exciting two minutes in sports." We garner attention for fast horses, southern hospitality and big hats. What more could you ask?
There is no doubt that I'm proud of My Old Kentucky Home. That's why I was delighted when I stumbled upon a new company My Kentucky Tee on Instagram. My Kentucky Tee is a monthly subscription company that sends you a unique Kentucky-inspired tee each month. What a great concept! The "1792" shirt shown above is the first you'll receive as part of your subscription.

The best part? The subscription is only $15 a month and the t-shirts are made of a super soft fabric. The shirts are unisex, but will be a slim-fit on guys. They even offer youth sizes. There's no commitment when you register. You're able to cancel at any time.

Here's a sneak peak at the June tee, which will be perfect for the Fourth of July festivities. I'm looking forward to this one as my husband and I recently moved the city of Independence which makes this shirt even more fitting. 

Imagine how cute this soft vintage-style tee will be with your favorite pair of white skinny jeans, sandals and big post earrings. It would even look great with a high-waisted, A-line skirt.

My Kentucky Tee is partnering with Simply Sarah Style to give away one of their signature logo tees. See the details below to enter, and best of luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
This post was sponsored by My Kentucky Tee, but all opinions are my own.

A Construction-Themed Party Festive Enough for Adults

Well I did it. I threw a five-year-old-style party for adults at work, and guess what? Everyone loved it!  This just goes to prove that there's always a place for a good themed party.

When I was a child, my mother threw me elaborate themed birthday parties each and every year. From Mickey Mouse to My Little Pony to Pocahontas, you name it. I think that is why I have the compulsive party-planning bug.

I love to plan celebrations. Yes, I live for the creative details, but I also enjoy planning events because the feelings they can evoke within the attendees and guests of honor. I always want people to leave an event feeling like they had a memorable experience. Even more so, I want the guest(s) of honor to feel loved and celebrated.

That brings me back to the premise of my work party. After a year of preparation, our client, a regional construction company on the east coast, finally went official with a new brand. My team had led the rebranding process and touched countless pieces of this project. The wrap-up of this project deserved a drink and a proper celebration. With that on my mind, I did a quick Pinterest search for inspiration and then headed to Target, Kroger and the Party Source to make the details come to life.

Luckily, I had the black and white tablecloths from H&M Home, chevron favor bags, gray star napkins and confetti from Celebrate by Kate already sitting in my party pantry. I also sifted through my collecting of servingware and pulled out platters, bins and scoops.

I picked up a CAT mini machine set of toys from Target and used them to make the tablescape seem like a construction zone.

I searched Pinterest for the free printable place cards I used to label the refreshments. (I have a full refreshment list below.) 

We even had a "build your own cupcake" station complete with "dirt" and "concrete mix." I also threw in some peanut M&Ms because they were the right color.

And of course, we needed adult refreshments for "break time." The MadTree cans were on point in their yellow coloring.

Want to throw a similar party? Here's my refreshment list:
  • Pretzel rods as steel beams
  • Pretzel sticks as nails
  • Fritos Twists as drill bits (By the way, these are absolutely addicting) 
  • French onion dip as concrete mix
  • Veggies as building blocks (of your health)
  • Nuts as nuts & bolts 
  • Oreos as black truck tires 
  • Crushed up Oreos as dirt (for the cupcakes)
  • Gray sprinkles as concrete mix (for the cupcakes)

Now it's your turn to build the perfect party!  

How I stumbled upon $40 chairs from Ballard Designs

If you've been following Simply Sarah Style for awhile, you know that we moved into our new house last summer. To be honest, our house is still bare, and I'm okay with that. Slowly, but surely, I've been making decorating decisions. Recently, I've been on a Craigslist kick selling numerous furniture pieces we had at the condo. While they were in great shape, I craved something new and wanted to break out of the Pottery Barn look.

One of the first things I sold was the dining set, bench and rug we used in a small nook at the condo.  I was ready to move onto something completely different. Plus, I'm pretty over browns. Here's what we sold:

With cash from our Craigslist sale in my pocket, I set out to IKEA to purchase a round pedestal table (the INGATORP). I loved the table's round shape and also appreciated the fact that it had a leaf which made it perfect for parties.

When I saw this IKEA table in person, I was disappointed with the quality. For $349, it showed a lot of finger prints and scratches. Granted, it was on the showroom floor, but I was still disappointed.

So I left IKEA and headed to my other favorite store in West Chester, the Ballard Designs/Frontgate/Grandin Road outlet.  I walked in to find these bistro chairs 75% off.

They were listed as $320.99 (originally $429).  My thought was that they would be $80 each after taking 75% off. 

The $80 price per chair was pretty reasonable considering Target has a similar style listed as $268 ($134 each).

Shortly after spotting the chairs, I set my sights on a pedestal table. This one was not the color I had in mind, but the price tag caught my attention. It was marked down to $300 with an additional 50% off. Considering this table was less than half what I was ready to pay at IKEA, I knew it had to come home with me.

I had $320 in cash remaining (after a couple of bookcases and other miscellaneous items at IKEA).

I approached the counter giddy about my great finds, and the cashier tells me that I'm getting a great deal. I smiled because I knew it's true. Then she says, "Oh girl, these chairs are amazing. One set is only $80." WHAT?!? I thought I was paying $80 per chair. With this news, I was over the moon to learn that I was only paying $40 a chair.

She told me my total was $330 and some change. With that news, I happily handed over my $320 in Craigslist cash and paid $10 on my debt card. Wow! Talk about the deal of the century for an entire dining set from Ballard Designs.

I have to take a second to also  tell you about my new cowhide rug. I picked this one up at Home Emporium's booth at the Cincinnati Home & Garden Show. It was only $99! That is the cheapest I have ever seen a cowhide. That's even cheaper than IKEA's $200 version.

I purchased these dining additions over a month ago and still get excited about my purchases! Isn't funny what a great deal can do for your mood?

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