Thursday, May 16, 2013

cluttered or zen: frames vs corkboard

I've been contemplating my decorating style lately.  I'd say that my style in previous houses could be described as....hmm, lets go with "maximalist" instead of the perhaps more accurate "cluttered", shall we? I think my taste may be changing.  Since painting this house a nice fresh white....I don't want to put any holes in the walls.  I don't want to cram too much furniture into my rooms.  I want to keep this clean, spacious vibe that we have going on.

This has kind of put a damper on a few projects I have been planning for years. For the longest time I have wanted this gallery of pictures, but now I feel like it might be too much.  (But I still love this picture! Maybe I will. Maybe I won't. I cant decide.)

image via Rachel Hazelton Interior Design   

In our last house I put up a gallery wall around the tv, comprised mostly of the children's art.

Princess, who created the majority of the art hung in that wall, keeps asking me when I am going to put up all her framed art in our new house.  I have, in truth, been procrastinating on that particular project.  Not because I don't want her art on the walls, but because there is SO MUCH OF IT.  Like, a hundred million gazillion pictures.  Princess creates in a week more art than Peter and Greg have created in the last two years.

Not only is Princess prolific, but I LOVE her artwork--she has fabulous composition and use of color.  The kids really enjoy having their artwork displayed prominently, so it is also important to me that we have a special place specifically for their artwork.

I am contemplating putting up a large corkboard over the half bookshelves in the family room.

When I say "large corkboard" I am thinking of taking up the entire upper space with a framed corkboard, painted the same white as the wall.  Like this picture from HGTV Magazine, which I took in Barnes and Noble and cannot find online.

This white framed corkboard seems very minimalist, and I notice that there are only about a dozen very vibrant pictures on the wall.  I am afraid that we will have 400 very vibrant pictures on our corkboard, which might give it a different feel than this picture.

My fear is that regardless of whether I put up one enormous corkboard with 400 pictures, or a couple dozen framed pictures in a gallery wall, that space will look maximalist cluttered.  Since I want the kids to have a display space for their artwork (not relegated to the garage, and there are no "out of the way" corners to be had here), this is pretty much the spot.

- allows for frequent and easy rotation of new artwork.
- would be good for Princess's massive collection of 5x5 pieces of paper she brings home from school
-  I'd have to build it, since I don't have anything that size.
- May get overloaded and look more clutter-y.

- I have an enormous number of black frames (I pick them up whenever I see them on sale under $5.)
- I do not have any 5x5 frames for Princess's 5x5 pieces that come home from school.
- Would look more like an intentional gallery wall and presumably less clutter-y than the corkboard.

Discuss, please.  


  1. I don't think the gallery wall would be too much at all if it were the only large scale display in a fact, if it were the only display in a room. The bare white walls in the rest of the space would be very zen.

    You don't have to display all Princess's artwork all the time - how about putting a limit on the number or on the time a particular piece spends on the walll? Then stick the older piece in a box for keeping.

  2. Frames! In a grid! ...but I'm kind of OCD about stuff like this. I love seeing other people's randomly hung gallery walls, but in my own house, I get all annoyed with the unlevel-ness of it all.

  3. We are huge fans of our art line. (The photos in this old post are now all wonky, but linking to it anyway:

    Easy to swap out, can be make to look as clean as you want, easier than putting stuff in frames. The post shows photos in mats, but we currently have photos hanging not in mats:

    I could see you putting two lines in your space. The lines (from Ikea) are so inexpensive, it wouldn't cost much at all.

    Just a suggestion... :-)

  4. The zip line is fantastic. It really does keep things corralled and organized--and it is way easier than cork, lol! I put one up in my son's room. (Scroll to the bottom)

    I'd suggest three lines--they'd look like your picture ledge photo only the art hangs from the top instead of leaning from the bottom.

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  6. I say go for the corkboard, but get very cute/fancy push pins (maybe numbered ones or something like that?). Be strict about ONLY using those pins -- so if you are limited to 15 pins or whatever, you have to switch out an older painting to pop up a new one?

    That, or just embrace the clutter. Her drawings are so cute, I bet it is hard to narrow them down...

    Can't wait to see what you choose!


  7. I vote for the large corkboard (or foamboard?), heavily edited down to say, 3-4 pieces per kid. (If that.)

    I think once they're in frames, I'd be verrrry lazy about switching them out very often.

  8. Corkboard. Princess is a good artist! My daughter is so awful, even her teacher made a comment that its "not her thing". She still produces an insane amount of it though.


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