Saying 'I Do'? Save These 6 Wedding Essentials for Your Home Decor
Here's how to incorporate your big day into your everyday.
Those post-wedding days can be bittersweet. You’re finally married to your favorite human on the planet, but the day you’ve been planning for months went by in flash. While it would be unrealistic to save everything from your big day, there’s lots of special wedding accessories to keep and upcycle into your home's decor so you always have a piece of your wedding within reach. You’ll have sweet reminders throughout your home, and have less to buy later on. I’ll say "yes" to that!
Put your editing skills to the test by picking up a supermarket bouquet and taking out any filler. Next, separate flowers by species, group them together in bunches, cut them to size with floral shears and place them in their own individual vessels.
If you selected flowers as table centerpieces, save those vases! There are so many creative ways to upcycle vases, or simply use them to display flowers in your home. For the non-traditional route, turn them into outdoor chandeliers.
Lots of couples rent china for the big day, but consider purchasing special china for the bridal party and save it for later to display at home. Bonus: You can keep it for everyday use and not have to worry about purchasing more dishes.
Metal Touches for Shine and Depth
In addition to well-coordinated dinnerware, chargers, linens, runners and flowers, consider adding ambient light to your tabletop with polished pewter, brass or silver candlesticks. Once placed among the all-white elements, the shape and finish of the candlesticks will add depth while also bringing a warm glow.
Seriously, who doesn't love candles? If my wallet would allow it, I would have them everywhere. Save your candle sticks from the wedding reception and use them for special occasions...or that special Tuesday night dinner.
If you have a family like mine (we love the wines!), you'll probably have a good amount of empty wine bottles after the wedding. Keep them all and make a wine bottle chandelier. For simpler uses, they make great vases and candle holders.
Make This: DIY Wine Bottle Chandelier
If you wrote your own vows, you know how special those words are. Save those special scraps of paper (as seen in this photo from Woven & Spun Photography), then frame them and place them on the nightstands next to your bed. You'll have your partner's sweet words to look at every day!
Stylish Living Room With Black and White Gallery Wall
This living room is far from boring. The gallery wall with black and white photos has real impact, as do the punched-up pillows and colorful art. Keeping neutral sofas in the room allows the accessories to sing, and plants add a breath of life that completes the space.
Allison Corona Photography
You paid a lot to have them, so they should be a part of your home. Make a gallery wall dedicated to the special day. When the family grows, you can always add more photos or switch them out.
Make a Statement
Jen Bekman, founder of the popular online art shop, 20x200, finds that creating a gallery wall is the perfect way to make a personal statement at home. "This is your opportunity to make a statement about who you are and what you like. Mix paintings and photography, black-and-white and color and combine high and low pieces," advises Bekman. Image courtesy of 20x200
Have Fun With the Layout
Before placing your collection of pieces, Bekman suggests playing with a few layouts until you identify the best one for your gallery wall. "I recommend laying your framed work on the floor to try out a few setups. You can even use painters tape to outline the size of the wall to help you visualize. Take cell phone snaps of a few variations that you like as you go. To start, use two to four pieces hung in the center at the same height to establish your anchor or focal point and fill in from there." Image courtesy of 20x200
Think About Placement
As you are designing your gallery wall, think about the placement of each piece, particularly when you're hanging art over a sofa or chair. "When installing artwork over furniture, leave at least eight inches between the base of the frame and the top of the furniture," says Bekman. Be sure not to hang pieces too low or too high. Eye level is best. Image courtesy of 20x200
Develop a Palette
You can showcase art with a variety of shades for a colorful display, or use works in a similar color palette that will complement the space that your art hangs in. Christiane Lemieux, founder of DwellStudio and curator of its new Art Shop, is a fan of a gallery wall with a specific color palette, “Design a whole room around modern abstract paintings. I'm loving working with the bold black and whites. It's so graphic and chic — a palette that works all year!" Image courtesy of Dwell Studio
Create a Wall Story
Gallery walls can also be used as a unique way to document and tell a story of your travels and experiences. You can include photographs from recent trips and prints and artwork that you bought while on vacation. Lemieux is a fan of identifying pieces that have a sense of story to them. "I'm always inspired by the vintage art I find while traveling and have developed a deep love of collecting pieces from flea markets and galleries all over the world. I love artwork that has a back-story. It's a real conversation starter." Image courtesy of Dwell Studio
Frame Your Work
Your gallery wall is not just about the art on display, but also the frames that highlight the art. For a clean look, frames in the same color and style are the perfect fit. You can also mix and match picture frames so that you work feels like it has been collected over time. "Frame your artwork with unique frames. Go for something distressed for an old-world vibe. I'm always finding vintage frames at flea markets. They can add so much visual interest to the home," remarks Lemieux. Image courtesy of Dwell Studio
"Ideally you'll have one picture to build from, but this doesn't necessarily have to be centered," interior designer Hillary Thomas advises. When building your gallery wall, try hanging pieces to the left or right of center for an arrangement that is less formal. Image courtesy of Hillary Thomas Designs
Mix It Up
Illustrations, paintings and a menagerie of distinctive pieces can all have a home on your gallery wall. "Do mix in drawings with photos and paintings. The more eclectic, the more you'll get a 'salon' feel," says Thomas. Image courtesy of Hillary Thomas Designs
The final and most important thing to remember when creating your gallery wall is that there is no specific formula for creating a great display. Thomas's final tip: "Creating a gallery wall can be intimidating, but don't overthink it. Just jump in!" Enjoy the creative process and have fun creating a unique gallery wall that you will enjoy over time. Image courtesy of Hillary Thomas Designs