{Ikea} | a love hate relationship

Ikea. We love the design and affordability, but hate giving credit to the big store when asked, "I love this! Where did you get it"? Why should we care though? Mixing Ikea pieces throughout a room can give you more room in your budget. Instead of spending $1000 on dresser, spend the money on a fantastic wallpaper installation, which instantly transforms and personalizes a room. More bang for your buck. In addition, it's a perfect solution for young families or parents-to-be who know all too well those little buggers are good at destroying things.

Bryan Patrick Flynn, of HGTV, has some great inspirational photos of how Ikea furnishings helped transform spaces on a budget in his Ikea Incognito post. Funny enough, the majority of his finds I've used in my own home or have specified on projects. Oh Ikea, what would we do without you. Thanks to Emily Henderson, winner of Design Star, for posting!

Also, check out the first issue of Rue magazine. My friend Crystal's home was featured on page 165 . Her place looks amazing. Check out all the Ikea furnishings.  There's even a sofa!

Photo Gallery

I finally got around to hanging up the photo gallery that our wonderful photographer, Sarah Wert of modern kids photography, shot for us.  She's amazing!  Check out her website and blog.  If you like anything kid or design, you'll enjoy it!

The architecture of our place is pretty traditional, so I went with simple frames from Room and Board to bring in our modern style.  Building a gallery is a little more difficult than hanging a single frame, but if you keep in mind some simple rules, creating one can be a blast!  Here's a few rule of thumbs to remember when building a gallery for your wall.

  1. Determine the subject for your gallery.  A successful gallery includes a "theme" of all things similar. For example: All photography, all art and or artifacts.  Also keep in mind that all frame styles should be similar in style, and if you want to modernize a traditional frame, play with how it's matted.  An oversize or off-center mat adds a modern touch! 
  2. Determine size of frames.  For a more clean look, use the same size frame, and similar size images. If your images aren't similar in size, play with the mat size. For a more random look, make sure you have a balance of similar size frames. Meaning a few large, a few medium and a few small.
  3. Always think in threes.
  4. Play around with your frames on the floor before putting holes in your wall.  You'll be amazed at how well this works.
  5. The center of the gallery needs to be hung at 5'-6" above the floor (unless you have extraordinarily high ceilings).  I promise it will look too high!
  6. Keep chair rail heights and furniture in mind when choosing your gallery location. 
  7. Galleries are generally good for areas wear perusing can be done. :)
  8. When hanging your gallery, start with the center of the gallery and work outwards.  This assures the gallery is centered in the area you have chosen!
  9. A good rule of thumb when determining spacing between frames is consistency.  I use 2"-4" inches as a rule of thumb.  Areas where you have the room to distance the frames farther apart, use 3-4"inch spacing, areas that are tight use 2" inch spacing.
  10. Measure twice, hammer once. :)  Use steel nails as they help with creating less holes in your wall. If you happen to hit something hard in the wall the steel nails do not bend and end up saving you time and frustration!

Don't be afraid to create a gallery!  It's seems overwhelming but hanging the frames actually goes by quickly once you have the first one up!