At the time I made the memory wall for my mom (2009), we were also doing a (LONG overdue) makeover in her town home. Since we had already selected a sage green color for the walls, and she knew she liked the espresso furnishings (vs. black or white) this photo from a Pottery Barn Catalog was a wonderful starting point.
Next, we choose a location to feature this grouping. I suggested the tallest wall she had - it was also thin, and a great focal point in her space. It's the first wall she sees when walking through the front door, as well as the first wall she sees when she wakes up in the morning and steps out from her bedroom.
Two abstract wall art pieces we found at HomeGoods
was the color palette inspiration for the space.
After choosing the style and location, she made a pot of coffee, and together we sat and went through a TRUNK load of photographs. I'm not joking - my dad LOVED taking photos - of family, of friends, of events, and of all the parties they use to have up in New Jersey in our basement. We sat on the sofa, flipping through albums, sifting through boxes, and reminiscing about the stories behind the photos (HINT: another wonderful idea to do for Mother's day: Spend TIME Together). Since there were so many photos to go through, I asked my mom to pick ALL her absolute favorites. Afterwards I grouped them by category:
Friends as Bonnie & Clyde from a Halloween Party
(GREAT conversation photo for the living room memory wall!
Friends and immediate family
They looked SO cool!
Mom & Dad dating
Mom with her sisters and brothers
Mom and HER immediate family
Since most of her fave photos were of friends and immediate family, that became what the focus of the memory wall was about. I used the other two categories to create two other memory statements for her. More about those shortly, but here's a sneak peek:
Mom & Dad dating
Mom with her mom, dad, sisters & brothers
Book Shelf Styling - also with HomeGoods goodness!
I brought home all the photos she selected and scanned them into my computer. Since we would be using espresso frames in the living room, and I knew she liked the sepia look of photos, I edited the photos for the memory wall to sepia. Since she likes the beach, I also tried to pull together some of the beachy pics from what she had selected...
One of the original photos...
Family of daughter of one of her best friends.
Scanned and edited to sepia...
One of her best friends from New Jersey - Gail.
Yup. That's me with a bowl haircut - courtesy of dear ole mom.
I think this was from 1979, the year after we moved to Florida.
I hunted around clearance sections and discount stores such as HomeGoods, Ross and JCPenney to find frames to hang on the wall, as well as scored a few to use on the bookcase later...
HomeGoods frame on clearance...
Linden Street frames at JCP...
I think this set was marked down to 17.99 at JCP, and I had a coupon, PLUS my (then) associate discount. The savings really added up!
Since I was making this from my home to hang in hers, I used the floor in our home office to layout a composition I thought would fit on her wall. Next, I printed an INDEX SHEET of all the photos I was going to frame. I cut all the index images and started to place them on the frames. This helped with grouping like stories together within frames PLUS then I knew which photos to print and in which size from each fame...
Gallery wall planning tip:
Layout wall grouping on the floor with printed index photos - helps to know which size to print special photos.
After deciding which photos for which frames and printing them, I cleaned and framed each and took another photo so I would have my idea to refer to install at moms... In case you're wondering - Yes. This was basically all done by eyeballing.
Space after painting + fitting in new (thrifted) furniture pieces and repuposing some existing accessories...
I relocated the buffet to the dining area and used the original two prints I got from HomeGoods over it. Having the abstract wall decor is a nice break for the adjacent photo gallery wall...
The built-in bookcase (built by my father) also got an update - painted white plus restyled with finds from HomeGoods...
Although not EXACT - the vision and plan still came together for the gallery wall...
Inspiration for the vision...
End result - a HAPPY mom!
Found the wood X-bench on clearance at Target.com It was a weathered gray-wash finish. I painted it espresso, to coordinate with the other pieces I thrifted & refinished for her space. The candle holders, books, ting-ting and glass vessel she already had. I found the basket at Ross while looking for frames, and filled it with some weathered bark chips I picked up on clearance at Pottery Barn. So although not an EXACT copy of the PB wall decor, it still has the look and feel of it - for a HECK of a lot less. And most all, mom has a gift that keeps on giving her a smile everyday!
Give mom the gift that keeps on giving -
Make Mom a Memory Wall.
Happy Mother's Day Moms!!
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