Curate An Eclectic Gallery Wall In 6 Steps

Gallery walls have quickly become an interior design staple, with many homeowners looking to incorporate it into their home décor. With limitless layout and style opportunities available, the feature can suit various interior styles from industrial to rustic.

If a room needs an injection of colour and personality, hanging a gallery wall will instantly revitalise it, saving you from the hassle of a complete renovation. 

 However, it can seem intimidating to design a gallery wall if you haven’t attempted it before. To make the process easier for you, follow these six steps.

 Step one: Select the gallery wall location.   

 Deciding where in your home to assemble the gallery wall will help you when buying the art. After measuring the space, you’ll have a better idea of how many pieces to purchase and what size art is suitable. 

 The surrounding décor of the placement may also influence the type of art you want to hang, as you could follow a similar colour palette and design.  

Gallery walls commonly feature in living areas and bedrooms but can work almost anywhere. Hallways and stairways are often under looked but with the addition of gallery walls, they can make an impressive statement as soon as people enter your home.  

 Step two: Choose a style of art. 

 There are endless types of artwork to choose from, which can be overwhelming if you’re a new art buyer. Narrowing down the style of art you want will make the buying experience simpler. 

 Following a theme, like travel, nature, or music, is often an easy way to accumulate a collection that will work together and not look out of place. 

 Also, consider what art mediums you want to incorporate, such as photographs, digital prints, acrylic paintings, and charcoal drawings. While you could stick to just one artform, including multiple will help produce an eclectic effect. 

 Step three: Source unique pieces 

 To design a distinctive display, you’ll likely need to shop around. It’s tempting to just buy from retail chains for ease and speed but, you don’t need to rush the process. Choosing the first pieces you come across just to fill the space will only lead to regret. Instead, give yourself time to explore many different sources until you find art you love.  

 The online art gallery, Bleur Art, have a diverse range of original art for sale by talented independent artists. From abstract to conceptual, there are various art styles perfect for establishing a striking gallery wall. 

 Step four: Frame the art.   

 Framing is just as important as the artwork itself. Without a frame, wall art looks bare and unfinished and is left vulnerable to mould build-up and fading.  

 The frame should complement the art’s colour and style and fit perfectly. However, you don’t need to use the same frame for each piece, as using multiple can add interest. 

 Step five: Experiment with the layout.

 When you’ve completed your art collection, start playing around with the gallery wall arrangement. For a unique aesthetic, opt for an unsymmetrical, odd-numbered, and scattered design. 

It’s unlikely you’ll get the layout right on your first attempt, so don’t skip this step. Before fitting the art to the wall, experiment with the design using one of the below methods:  

  • Place and arrange the artwork on the floor.
  • Make true-to-size paper mock-ups of the art and temporarily stick them on the wall.
  • Photoshop the art onto an image of the bare wall.

Photograph the final layout so you can refer to it when hanging the art.  

Step six: Hang the artwork.

 Fixing art to the wall is often the most dreaded aspect of this process in case it goes wrong. While it’s a critical stage, if you’re prepared, concise, and careful, you should achieve your imagined vision. 

 First, use a stud finder to detect studs and any live electrical wiring behind the wall. Then precisely measure each frame and draw a pencil marking on the wall for where to hammer the nail, drill, or place the command strip. Finally, check the frames are straight with a spirit level. 

 Forming an effortlessly chic gallery wall is relatively time-consuming as it requires sufficient preparation. However, after following this step-by-step guide, you’ll be overjoyed whenever looking at your creation. 

5 Safety Tips To Remember When Exercising In The Summer

There’s nothing like exercising outdoors while enjoying clear blue skies and bright sunlight. But before you put on your workout shoes and head out of the door, you should take the time to learn about how to exercise safely during the hotter months. This is because, if you aren’t careful, the warm weather may pose some serious dangers to your health. That being said, read on for five helpful safety tips to keep in mind before doing any strenuous physical activities during the summer:

Wear Appropriate Clothing

Putting on the right type of apparel for your summer workout is crucial to your safety. With that in mind, you should wear loose-fitting clothes made of lightweight fabric that will allow your sweat to evaporate more quickly as you exercise. Conversely, wearing tight, restrictive clothing can cause your body to heat up excessively, leading to dangerous conditions such as heat stroke. Fortunately, there are plenty of specialty clothes these days that are specifically designed to better wick sweat away from your body.

You may also want to invest in a pair of high-quality men’s compression socks, as they can provide ample pressure for your legs and feet, offering additional support as you exert yourself. Try to pick a pair of compression socks made out of a fabric that’s specially designed to keep bacteria at bay, as this can prevent conditions such as foot odor and athlete’s foot.

In general, you should also avoid dark-coloured clothing. Why? Dark colours, especially black, absorb all the wavelengths of light that hit them. White or light colours, on the other hand, reflect all or most wavelengths of light instead of absorbing them. The sunlight absorbed by dark colours gets converted into other forms of energy, such as heat, which is what causes you to feel warmer when wearing dark-coloured clothing.

Stay Hydrated

As you sweat, your body cools off through the natural process of perspiration. However, this same process causes your body to lose a large amount of fluids. Remember that, on average, at least 50 percent of the adult human body is made up of water. As such, not drinking enough water may cause you to experience symptoms of dehydration such as dry lips, a dry mouth, dizziness, fatigue, headache, or muscle cramps. If left unaddressed, dehydration may be seriously debilitating or fatal.

The simplest solution is to carry a bottle of water along with you so that you can take a sip as often as needed. You can also switch out your regular drinking water for sports drinks, as these products can help replenish electrolytes that are lost when you sweat them out. As a post-workout snack, you can also pack some slices of water-rich fruits and vegetables such as watermelon and cucumber.

Apply Sunscreen

When exercising outdoors, excessive exposure to the sun’s harmful UV (ultraviolet) rays may lead to premature aging and serious health conditions such as skin cancer. Fortunately, these conditions can easily be prevented by applying sunscreen to your skin, preferably one with an SPF of 30 or higher. Just remember to reapply sunscreen after a couple of hours, especially since you’ll be sweating profusely while working out.

You can also put on clothing that is specially designed to provide UV protection. Those made of materials such as nylon and polyester can more effectively block UV rays because of their compact weave. There are also workout clothes made of fabrics that are treated with special chemicals, making them better able to absorb or deflect UV rays.

Don’t Stay Out in the Sun for Too Long

In addition to the above tips, you’ll also want to figure out the best times to exercise outdoors. Generally speaking, you should avoid working out under the noonday sun. During this time of the day, the sun is at its highest point in the sky and emits the most intense and pervasive light and heat, thus exposing you to extreme temperatures.

That said, mornings are a great time to go out and enjoy some physical activity, as the sun’s rays are usually not as harsh during this period. Alternatively, you might want to take a walk in the late afternoon to early evening, when the sun is setting and the breeze is way cooler.

Know Your Body’s Limits

When working out in the summer heat, your body might not be able to handle vigorous exercise like it would during the cooler months. Thus, you should listen to your body and take note of any uncomfortable feelings, such as dizziness, fatigue, or nausea. These may be symptoms of serious medical emergencies such as heat stroke. With all this in mind, don’t push yourself too hard. Know when to stop and take a rest.

If your summer goal is to get into tiptop shape, follow the tips above to avoid any discomfort, injury, or disease. Invest in the right clothing, always stay hydrated, apply and re-apply sunscreen throughout the day, limit your exposure to the sun, and listen to your body. Stay safe out there!

Helping Your Child With Their Essay Writing Skills

Essay writing is an important skill that children will use throughout their academic life and may even crop up in adulthood depending on their chosen career path. Whether your child has a knack for words or struggles with writing in general, writing an essay can be a pretty daunting undertaking. To help make things easier, I’ve teamed up with an independent school in Merseyside who have provided their top tips to help your child hone their essay writing skills. 

Master the Basics 

Once your child has the basics nailed, they’ll find essay writing a whole lot easier. Make sure they have a good understanding of sentence structure, paragraphs and grammar, as this will set them off down the right path. Reading journals and other essays will familiarise them with appropriate writing styles and allow them to form an idea of what an essay should look like. You could even have them practice writing short essays based on topics they’re familiar with to get them started. 

Know The Subject 

Writing an essay about something you know little to nothing about will most likely prove to be a fruitless endeavour. Your child will need to have a solid foundation of knowledge before they start writing, otherwise they might very quickly run out of things to say. If the topic is opinion based or referring to a personal opinion it may still help to bullet point things they wish to cover. This will help to keep their writing relevant and concise. 

Make a Plan 

Staring at a blank page can be pretty unnerving, especially when you don’t know where to start or where you want the words to take you. Making an easy plan will make the process much easier and will give your child a clear structure to follow. Have them write down all their ideas and then start to organise them into paragraphs, they can then bullet point anything they’d like to include in an introduction and conclusion. Not only will this help them to organise their points into a traditional essay format, it will also give them prompts and ideas along the way should they start to get writers’ block as their essay unfolds.