How to Style a Gallery Wall for Spring
Spring décor can feel a little tricky on those years where Easter falls “early”, as it did this year! How do you decorate with a spring feeling when you’re ready to put away the bunnies? Well, first, a little story:
Last year, when we were home allllllllll spring (just like most of you were!), we spent a lot of time outside. One day, we noticed that a cardinal had made a nest on the old basket-turned-light fixture under our gazebo. The kids checked it every day and we turned into avid bird watchers! To be honest, it was incredibly refreshing to be spending so much time at home and be so much less busy that we had time for these moments. The kids were excited to find the baby birds had hatched and one morning in early May of 2020, we spent a couple of hours just sitting outside, watching as the baby birds got ready to take their first flight.
One baby cardinal seemed to struggle. I remember getting tears in my eyes, watching both the mommy and daddy cardinal fly in and out, over and over and over, coaxing and encouraging their baby. All of the other babies had flown away. Slowly, but surely, the baby cardinal made its way further out to the edge of the wire light fixture, eventually to the edge of the gazebo, and then took off awhile later.
The tears weren’t because I am a bird-lover. Honestly, I guess I’ve never paid a whole lot of attention. But that day, that baby cardinal got my attention. How gently, yet firmly, that mommy and daddy cardinal worked to give the baby the courage to take flight. How gently, yet firmly, God works with each of us…giving us just what we need, understanding our fears, nudging us toward freedom
Around that same time of being home 24/7, I was redecorating anywhere and everywhere. I always find peace and enjoyment in being creative and we did a lot of it as a family. I came across a vintage Birds of America book that I had tucked away. I wanted to find a picture of the cardinals to show the kids and as I browsed through, I got so much spring decorating inspiration from the beautiful drawings.
I redecorated our mantel and gallery wall using some of the vintage audobon prints. It doesn’t take a lot of something like that to make a statement in a room! I found prints that had warm tones to blend in with my terra cotta pots and brass accents. I used two gold frames from my décor storage and taped the audobon prints inside. They had a framed look without any extra expense and without having to cut the prints either!
Fast forward to April of 2021…Easter is past, the bunnies are put away, and I’m breaking out the vintage audobon décor again! I’ve been enjoying some touches of light blue this spring, so I chose a couple of prints from my Birds of America book that have more of the cool tones. I love how they still mix beautifully with some brass accents, but I’m replacing the terra cotta with lots of white, light grays, and light blues.
Since the wall in our family room is such a focal point and sets the tone for the rest of our main living spaces, I decided to start with this room. So, yes, I’m restyling the gallery wall again for spring, but now you understand why!
Here’s what is going on my gallery wall:
What, exactly, is a French lavabo? Well, according to a quick google search, these wall-mounted sinks date back to the early 1900s. They were made out of cast iron and hung on the outside wall of European homes. They were used for hand washing before coming inside.
I need a lavabo with running water outside my door. Anyone else relate??? Ha!
French lavabos are so fun to decorate with and I was thrilled to find this one last year from White Flower Farmhouse. You can find some similar ones HERE, HERE, and HERE!
For my spring décor, I decided to hang this over the mantel and fill it with greenery and flowers! I started with fresh greenery branches from my yard. I simply added a little glass of water in the bottom of the lavabo and the fresh branches will stay looking beautiful for weeks! Since they are in a place where they aren’t touched, they will just turn a deeper green once they begin to dry and I can leave them right where they are!
Next, I added a few white blooms from Flower and Home Marketplace. These long stems are so perfect for big arrangements and the nice thing about great faux flowers is that you can bend them around until they fit perfectly where you need them!
Before adding the last layer, I took some brown kraft paper and scrunched it around the top of the lavabo. This gave me a base to add some moss. Allowing a bit to “spill” over the edges of the lavabo adds a more realistic and whimsical look to the flower arrangement.
When arranging flowers, whether faux or fresh, I like to remember that flowers and plants don’t grow with perfect, symmetrical shapes in nature. We are drawn to wildflowers in nature because of their natural look. The same is true for the flowers you assemble in your own home! A little bit of irregularity and imperfection helps any floral arrangement to feel like you plucked it straight out of nature!
You can pay a lot of money for beautifully framed prints and they can be found lots of places, from big-box home décor stores to antique malls. I found my Birds of America book at the thrift store and I love that it gives me so many choices of prints, plus it’s just a really pretty coffee table book too!
Keep an eye out at flea markets, antique malls, and thrift stores! Many editions of these books have been printed and they are full of beautiful prints! I carefully pulled out the prints that tied into my décor and taped them into vintage frames!
You can also find some nice copies of the Birds of America books HERE, HERE, and HERE!
I love adding unusual items to a gallery wall and even more so when they provide extra texture. For spring and summer, the light color and style of these nets adds a soft texture. I got lucky on these and found them at Rehab Vintage Market last spring when they were doing porch pick-up sales!
You could add the same kind of look with baskets or canvases. Flat and shallow baskets make such great wall décor and you can often find them very inexpensively at thrift stores! In fact, I think all of my baskets have come from thrift stores! I’ll link a few online basket wall options for you as well!
Other Items to Use in Gallery Walls
Empty frames, architectural salvage, vintage signs, and vintage mirrors are always my go-to items for gallery walls and mantel décor. I like to choose one or two general colors and then mix different materials in those colors. White, wood tones, and antiqued gold are great choices that go with everything! You can make a neutral color palette interesting and exciting by adding items with great patina and a variety of textures!
I always watch for these kinds of items when I’m out vintage hunting, thrifting, yard sales, and at flea markets! You can find out more about that over on these posts HERE & HERE.
Whenever I’m out thrifting, I always look for these kinds of items and if I really love them AND the price is right? I grab them! Over the years, I’ve collected a nice stash of these “fillers” that I love and enjoy using. It makes it easy to restyle and refresh without spending any money, just by shopping my own home!
Spring Mantel Décor
Since I have a lot going on with the gallery wall, I kept the mantel décor very simple with a few vintage books in the white, light blue, and gray tones. I added some vintage brass swans to carry over the audobon theme and a couple of simple, white pots with plants. My plant babies seem to be loving this mantel spot and thriving, so I decided to leave them right there!
You can find several more spring mantel décor ideas HERE.
I hope this gives you some inspiration to refresh and restyle your home, even in simple ways, during this spring season!
And you’ll be happy to know…the momma cardinal came back, made another nest, the baby cardinals have been born, and we are watching closely to see if we can catch their first flights again this year!
Not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. So don’t be afraid, You are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.” Matthew 10:29, 31
Beautifully written and beautiful decorating!
Love the mantel!🪴Especially love the cardinal story how sweet!
I love your blog and your references to nature . Your style is beautiful.
Hi Robyn, this might be a dumb question but do you have everything hung on your gallery wall with nails? I think you must move things around often!!
Thank you for all of the tips and tricks!!
You’ve done such a beautiful job here Robyn. Love all your styling and the precious cardinals story!
I love how you styled this and loved reading your blog. I’d like to share a link to this post on my Sunday, Dirt Road Adventures. Would that be OK? I will link back to your post and give you full credit.
Oh that is so sweet of you. I would love that! Can’t wait to see your post Saturday!
Thanks so much. I’ll send you a link on Sunday so you can see it. Thanks again.