Home Decor How-To: Gallery Wall

Hey Cats!

Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a good weekend! On Saturday, I volunteered with the Junior League and then cleaned my apartment, which was much needed, and on Sunday, I went to the Mumford and Sons concert with my friends Ashley & Biz. It was great! I’m not so sure I’m ready for this busy week ahead, but it’s here whether I want it to be or not.

As I’ve mentioned before, one of the things I was most excited about when moving into my own apartment was decorating it. I actually had most of it planned out before I even chose my apartment, my living room gallery wall included. Since then, I have added another in my bedroom above my dresser, and I am obsessed.

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This wall in my living room is a combination of literally every single piece of art I had hanging in my house in college, plus one or two more. I actually painted the cat, the bird, and the Gatsby quote myself!

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My newest gallery wall is above my dresser in my bedroom. I’ve had the prints since Christmas, but I was waiting for the perfect addition (the rhino) before hanging everything!

Before I created the gallery above my couch, I was under the impression that it was a difficult process and you basically had to be an interior decorator for it to look halfway decent. However, I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it is! So today, I’m sharing with you my tips on how to make the perfect gallery wall:

  1. There are no rules. Seriously. It’s like abstract art, so you can basically do whatever you want, and as long as nothing is crooked, it will probably look good. So keep that in mind.
  2. A mixture of size and shape can add interest, but a few pieces of similar size and shape can give some balance. On my living room wall, nothing is the same size, but most pieces are a horizontal rectangle. The straight lines draw the eye up and down from one piece to the next. In my bedroom I have some unique shapes, but the four prints of equal size and shape anchor the collage.
  3. Try to have a general color scheme or theme. For my living room wall, I drew inspiration from the two colorful paintings with the cat and the bird. They gave me lots of options, and while nothing “matches”, they don’t just look like a hodge-podge. In my living room, I went with a more concentrated color scheme of pink, gold, white, and gray.
  4. Play around with layouts before getting hammer happy. A simple way to do this is to just lay everything out on the floor! That way you can be sure you like how it looks before it’s on the wall and get the spacing correct. Once it’s how you want it, snap a picture with your phone for reference. I hung my bedroom wall by myself, and I left each item in the layout on the floor and hung them one-by-one so I could have a good idea of the spacing as I hung everything.
  5. Leave room to grow! As you can see on both of my walls, there is room to expand, but it doesn’t look incomplete. You never know when you may find the perfect addition, and you don’t want to have to take it all down and start from scratch.
  6. Have fun with it! I mean seriously, I have a marble rhinoceros head, a painting of a cat, a painting of a bird, and a glitter quote about partying on my wall. But neither one of those things looks too bizarre because they’re surrounded by normal things. Remember, “in the Southern home, there’s room to display all manner of elegance & eccentricity”. So there: do what you want.

If you have a gallery wall of your own, I would love to see it! I’m always looking for inspiration (even though I’m running out of walls).

That’s all for meow!

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A New Direction

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Hey Cats!

With the exception of the rushed Instagram Round-Up I threw up on the blog a couple of weeks ago, it’s been quite a while since we’ve chatted! And to be honest, I have missed this little blog SO MUCH. I’ve been wanting to get back to it for months, but I couldn’t quite bring myself to write one post and then fall off the face of the Internet again. There are a few reasons I’ve been absent:

Time. I have been way too busy the past few months. Between work, Junior League, friends, family, and just being tired, there wasn’t any time to blog. When I was at home, it was only long enough to sleep and maybe do a load of laundry. However, the crazy has died down some, and I’m confident that this blog is something I’m ready to make a priority again.

I was a little discouraged. To be frank, comparing myself to other bloggers got the best of me for a while. I’ve been blogging since 2011 and have yet to “hit it big”. Granted, this blog is more of a hobby for me, but I felt like I was producing top-notch content and no one was noticing. Not to step on any toes, but it’s almost like blogging has become a competition of who has the prettiest pictures, not the best writing, and that really bothered me. I wanted to work with brands and it just wasn’t happening, and it was frustrating. I forgot that I started Sweet Cats! to share my ideas with the world, not to become Instagram famous. And I had to get over that.

I was in a creative rut. My job now takes the largest chunk of my time, and I also write at least one blog post per week, and run multiple social media accounts. So when I get home, I don’t have any words left. Sure, I write about the healthcare industry all day, but I can only string together witty sentences for so long. Also, I felt like I was outgrowing my niche, “Styling the Single Girl Closet on a College Girl Budget”, but I didn’t know what direction I wanted to take the blog. Did I need to launch a complete re-brand? Can I just change the look of my site? Is this even something I want to do anymore? Basically, Sweet Cats! had an existential crisis and I didn’t know how to handle it.

That’s why it took me a while to come back to blogging. I wanted to be at a place where I’m sure that it’s something I have time to make a priority, something I do because I love it, and something that reflects who I am at this point in my life. And I believe that now I can say with confidence that all of those things are true. So here’s what you can expect from the “new” re-directed Sweet Cats!:

A more grown-up feel. I started this blog when I was 18 and had college-girl taste and an annual income of roughly zero dollars. I feel like in the past year or so, my tastes have changed and there are things I’m more willing and able to invest money into. I’m at a point where I draw more inspiration from Southern Living than I do InStyle. I care about my clothes still (duh), but I’m also interested in home decor, a healthy lifestyle, helping others, and succeeding in the professional world. So you’re going to be seeing more of those types of posts from now on.

A more lifestyle-focused approach. My vision for this blog is to become almost an online magazine, something that captures every aspect of life. Not every aspect of my life, because privacy, but life in general. Like I mentioned above, there’s more to my life now than just school and social events. I want to be able to share things that will resonate with girls in my stage of life, and maybe beyond! That’s why I’ve changed the tagline for my blog to “A Modern Southern Belle: Dressing, Eating, and Living Well”.

The same sass, snark, and Sweet Cats! writing style you love. Well, I don’t know if you love it, but I do. One thing that will never change no matter what is the focus on wording. If we’re being honest, it’s never really been about the crafts, or the outfits, or the inspirational quotes, or the lifestyle. For me, it’s always been about telling a story about those things. I love to write, and that will always be the most important part of this blog. It will always be about the words for me. And I hope you will stick around to read them.

I’m so excited to see where this new direction takes me. That’s all for meow!

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In My Closet-Chino Shorts

Hey Cats!

This is my last week at home before I head back to College Station for the fall! I’m just hanging out at home, packing up my stuff and making last-minute purchases for my new house with my besties! I can’t wait to live with them! Today, I’m doing another “In My Closet” post, a series that features an item of clothing that I personally own, and feel is a staple in the wardrobe of a fashion-forward young woman.

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Today, I chose to feature my chino shorts. In case you’re wondering, “chino” is a type of twill fabric that is 100% cotton (thanks, Google.) They are a major component of my summer wardrobe, and they are so versatile! All three pairs, khaki, gray, and black are from JCrew-once I bought my first pair, I couldn’t wear anything else! They are so comfortable, and I love the way they fit me. They ring in at about $45, but you can definitely find them on sale multiple times throughout the summer- even though they are worth the investment, considering I’ve had my khaki pair for going on 4 years, and they’re still good as new! The cut and pockets make them look a bit more dressy, so I can wear them with a cute top and wedges to go out, but not too dressy where they will look out of place with a tee shirt and sandals. Neutral colors, like I have, make them even more versatile and beneficial to your wardrobe. However, there are some really great bright colors out there as well! Next on my list are cobalt blue, neon yellow, red, and white. I might as well stock up, because I don’t see these shorts going out of style anytime soon- they’re a new classic!

What’s your favorite way to wear chino shorts?

That’s all for meow!

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