Monday, 12 March 2012

ocean-inspired gallery wall reveal

tiles close 2 A few months ago, I wrote this blog post over at JAX does design about wanting to create an ocean-inspired gallery wall. And WOOT! It’s finally done. Another item knocked off the 2012 project to-do list – YAY! I’ll post a tutorial later this week about how I put it all together, but for today it’s just the reveal.
This is the long empty wall in the hallway that I walk by countless times a day. It’s so plain and dull and boring and naked – it was just screaming out for a little somethin’-somethin’.

blank wall

So a little somethin’-somethin’ it got with a collection of photos, prints, DIY art, and a mosaic tile. The hallway gets very little natural light and it’s too narrow to take a decent head-on shot, so they’re not the best pictures.

done 2a

done 1a

done 3

done 4

I  my gallery wall! But I knew I’d love it even more if it was dark grey. This is the picture at Restyling Home by Kelly that convinced me that the colour I needed was Benjamin Moore Chelsea Gray in the ulti-matte finish (that last part I decided myself).

inapiration colour



And I was right – I my gallery wall even more now that it’s Chelsea Gray :-)


done 1

Thank god for digital cameras – it took a LOT of tries to get this head-on shot!

CG head on PN

All of the frames are from the Ribba series at Ikea, and all the artwork was created by me or talented artisans from around the world. I posted about creating this DIY shell art over at JAX does design a couple of weeks ago:

shell art

This is a picture that I took on the north shore of PEI that was made into a canvas by


I took this picture at Brackley Beach in PEI – $3.00 to have it developed as a 12” x 18” photo at Costco, can’t go wrong with that!

pei stones 2

Hubby and I bought these two prints on a trip to Cape Breton, Nova Scotia about 13 years ago.

cape breton 1cape breton 2

Close-up of waves behind the whale-watching boat we rode on in the Bay of Fundy two summers ago {the one and only time I ever barfed on a boat – oh, the humiliation!}

fundy waves

This photo is called “Dancing Light”. I bought it from Anna’s Etsy shop my little pixels in Hobart, Tasmania.

pixels etsy

A few more Etsy purchases – the Nova Scotia Love print is from Elizabeth’s shop Poppy and Pinecone, and the sand dollar print is from Kerrie’s shop Seawashed.

ns map and sand dollar

Laura Trevey’s blue crab from her shop Bright, Bold, and Beautiful.

laura trevey

Last year when parts of Australia were hit with severe flooding, Kerri at Driftwood Interiors decided to donate proceeds from her Etsy shop sales to help the flood victims. It was the perfect time to buy her turquoise coral print that I’d had my eye on.

kerri driftwood interiors

I had this glass tile mosaic custom made years ago. I can’t for the life of my remember who made it, just that her name was Michelle and I found her on the Internet.

glass mosaic

I bought a set of six fish note cards two summers ago at The Maritime Painted Saltbox in Petite Riviere, Nova Scotia. I love the bright colours they add to the mostly-blue palette.

petite riviere fish

And this piece I bought at a craft show here in Ottawa last year. I’d admired these tile pieces made by Marie-Joel at L’atelier Trema at previous shows, and this one caught my eye with it’s watery colours.


This tile says it all…

tiles close“The family to the sea”

I’m telling you, writing a yearly project to-do list really helps to get your butt in gear!

done 2

CG done 1

As I mentioned at the beginning of my post, I’ve written up a tutorial on how to create your own gallery wall. I know I was intimidated by the work involved, which is why I kept putting it off. But it turned out to not be so bad, and I hope after reading my tutorial, you’ll be inspired to create your own gallery wall too. Trust me, you’ll be happy you did! Stop by on Wednesday to check it out.

Linking up to Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch and Inspire Me Monday at Create With Joy.

kelly sig


  1. Looks fantastic Kelly. A wonderful way to showcase the art you love.

  2. wow-that's great! i love the layout and the pops of blue. that mosaic is amazing, too.

  3. I love how the white stands out against the darker gray! And it's great that you remember where each of those pieces came from, it makes it so special.

  4. This is amazing Kelly! It stands out so well with the gray wall. Love the compilation of artwork, pictures and shells to make this a very meaningful gallery wall.

  5. I thought the colours popped when they were on the white wall. They are fantastic on the grey and choosing all white frames could not have been a better decision. The wall art is gorgeous.

  6. This would be too intimidating at our house. We have a tough time lining up 2 pictures so I appreciate your courage. I do love the low time picture. Those stay in my head.

  7. i can describe this creation in three words.....FAB U LOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOW!!!!! hugs...

  8. Your artwork is beautiful! I too really love it against the gray. I love the way you arranged them on the wall- that would take me forever to line up so great. Thanks for the shoutout too!

  9. I love this! Your display is beautiful....but that artwork.... I love the picture with the pebbles on the beach. Perfection.


  10. I LOVE it. Clearly I love the beach, but this is the perfect eclectic mix of color and medium and that grey wall is the perfect back drop!

  11. Wow I love the wall gallery! Love all of the beautiful unique pieces, too. That grey is just great :).

  12. Love it! I am trying to find some inexpensive frames to create my own gallery wall. I'm excited because I have a plate rail in my dining room and want to utilize that for one. Love the seaside inspiration.

  13. That wall color is G-O-R-G-E-O-U-S!

    The gallery looks amazing. We've got one coming down the pipe, I'm definitely coming back to your How To for tips!

  14. These are lovely - thanks for sharing at Inspire Me Monday at Create With Joy! :-)

  15. I am loving your photo wall! Wow! The white frames really POP against that grey wall...just gorgeous Kelly!! All the prints and art you have are just beautiful...nice collaboration!! Well done!!

  16. Kelly I LOVE your gallery wall. The grey really makes all the framed art pop! I am honored to be a part of your coastal gallery. Now I think you have inspired me to do something similar in my own hallway. Thank you for letting me know so I could come over and see it.

  17. Love your art install and how it's shaped! Beautiful!!

  18. Can't believe I managed to miss this post Kelly, but I love your art wall! And I'm honoured to have one of my pieces included :) Looks great, and love the grey - it really works as the perfect 'canvas' :) K xx