The Project from Hell

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Nate and I have been at this home improvement thing for over a year now and if there’s one lesson we’ve learned, it’s that nothing is ever as simple as it seems. And every time we start a new project we forget that. We think, “Oh, we know better now. We won’t make those mistakes anymore. This project will go much faster than that one.” And every. single. time. we’re proven wrong.

This project should have been so easy.

I saw a few gallery walls on Pinterest that I was inspired by and wanted to recreate. I loved the modern, clean lines, the repetition and simplicity, the size. I loved it all!

Gallery wall. Simple.

image via Decorpad

Gallery Wall

The only problem is that I wasn’t willing to spend 100s of dollars on frames. In August, Nate held a charity auction for his work. I bid on nine oversized black frames with large, white mattes for $5 a piece which were donated from a local hotel that was redecorating. I was pumped to spend only $45 and the money went to a great cause.

The frames had been sitting in my garage since August because I just wasn’t sure what I wanted to put in them. Black and white wedding pictures? Can’t find our wedding CD. Scrapbook paper? Never felt like driving to Michael’s. Finally, I came up with what I thought was an ingenious idea! When Nate and I were “just friends,” we used to email back and forth every day. I thought it would be so sweet to print out some of those emails and frame them. Well, good news- both of the email servers we used no longer exist so all of those memories are gone. Awesome. I spent all day complaining about the missing emails and then I finally came up with something better; actual letters.

I found our keepsake box with letters Nate and I had written to each other from the time we were just friends, to dating, to engaged, then married. Perfect. I’ll throw these in the frames and hang them up in a hot minute. I always forget home improvement projects nev-er take anything less than forever.

This is what we started with. I’ve had our wedding pictures up for 3 years now and all of the frames, except for the center painting done by my mother-in-law, are from a thrift store. It was my first attempt at a gallery wall so my style has changed a bit since then.

family room before

I started to take apart the picture frames from hell and everything kept being stupid. I couldn’t get them apart, couldn’t get the letters to stay in place, couldn’t find the screws to put the frames back together, put the letters in upside down, screwed the frame together too loosely so it fell apart, and then once I was “done,” realized you could see the old picture through the letter. I wanted to punch something, which was probably pretty obvious from all the yelling and growling I was doing. P.S. That was just on the first frame. I still had 8 more to go. I told Nate I was over it and he jumped in to help me finish. Yesterday, I pulled up all the carpet from the basement by myself, but apparently I can’t put together a picture frame. You win some, you lose some. After about an hour and half of work, Nate started to hang up the frames.

Nate hanging a picture

Gallery Wall 1

Gallery Wall

I love that our home has art displayed that is super personal and a great reminder of what a sweet husband I have. I think this is why I forget how much projects actually suck. Because in the end, you’re left with a beautiful project and all of the swearing frustration of the project is long forgotten. That could be it.


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