Memories & Art in a Tiny Apartment (How to Hang an Eclectic Salon Wall)

My husband and I both miss my little apartment in midtown, a revitalized area of Reno, Nevada. I lived there when we met and dated. We miss it on Friday and Saturday nights, when midtown is the place to be. We sometimes fantasize about having two houses, one for the weekdays and one for the weekend, even though we only live 20 minutes away from midtown.

My tiny apartment was the first time I lived alone. Best part of that? Do whatever you want. Paint your toes on the bed. Shower for an hour. Hang art wherever you want. And I did.

I arrived in Reno with the art I had collected in in my 20s. In our new home most of it is still in a box. It is a youthful collection that I haven't quite figured out how to integrate now. I have framed Blondie and Joni Mitchell albums, a piece of skateboard art I had bought as a teenager, some of my very first paintings, my photography from my trip to Italy at age 15, my great-grandfather's photography, art by my cousin Athena, art by friends, prints I bought on Etsy, and an oil painting from Brazil that my grandmother had collected decades ago.  

It is an eclectic mix, that's for sure.

When I got to the apartment I designated the main wall across from the front door to be my gallery wall and I thought I'd share how I set it up.

First a stacked up all my art on the floor, leaning against the wall. That way I could see what I had.

Next I would select a piece, make a blue tape box outlining the size of the piece, and then position the blue tape box on the wall where I thought it should go.

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Once I had blue tape boxes arranged the way I wanted them, to hang a piece I would measure down from the top edge of the piece to wherever the hanger would hold it (sometimes this was a wire, sometimes a sawtooth hanger). Then I would measure down the same length from the top of the blue tape box on the wall and put the wall hanger in the wall at that spot. Once the blue tape was removed, I would hang the piece in that exact spot. Voila!

I loved this living room once I got it all set up. It was such a colorful, yet modern space. Moving to this tiny apartment from a house was a big adjustment, but aside from not having room for an art studio, it was the perfect size. I even successfully threw a holiday party with around 20 people in this tiny place. It worked.

My challenge to you is this: don't let the quality/size/style of the artwork you own discourage you, nor the price of buying all new art deter you. Start with what you have and it will be beautiful. Hang something today!