Before and After: A Boring Living Room Wall Gets a Simple Upgrade

Before and After: A Boring Living Room Wall Gets a Simple Upgrade

Since the beginning of time together, Al and I have always struggled with our living room wall; or as I like to call it, the desolate wasteland of blank space. The gigantic flat screen tv, which was one of the only items that made the cut from Al’s bachelorhood to our new domestic life, was such aneye sore for me that the only thing I could do was to ignore it and pretend it didn’t exist until future inspiration hit. The burden began at our first apartment (which we blamed on our temporary and unowned status of walls), transitioned with us to our new house and has lived with us ever since, in it’s exact same state of sorry-ness.


Sigh... I did not know how to fix this big, blank, harsh space of nothingness. Until I came across this image from a favorite designer and knew there was hope for my wall of despair.

A gallery wall! Why didn’t I think of this from the beginning? It was a perfect way to camouflage a TV without having to build a heaping entertainment unit. But wait, gallery walls can go so wrong so fast. All of the sudden you are knee deep in frames that don’t fit together and images that don’t mesh and a layout that is all wrong in ways you don’t even know how to formulate into words (maybe I’m speaking from experience). But we crossed our fingers and gave it a go anyways. I found these light bronze frames from a local craft store for somewhere in the $20 range, a couple of prints and a map from online, and we were almost complete. Almost--but something still was missing.

Living Room Wall After

Inspiration hit once again for us one Saturday morning, but this time, for my husband, Al. He was taking his weekly look through Restoration Hardware’s freshly added inventory online and found this shelf inspiration:

Restoration Hardware Inspiration

It seemed simple enough; a few pieces of hardware and a block of wood. It’s rather unassuming, but we thought it would be just the trick. So we headed over to Home Depot to treasure hunt for supplies. We found the galvanized piping in the plumbing section and a few 2x6’s in lumber, and made our way home.


A little sanding, a little painting, a little installing, and we had made our very own pair of modern shelves with an industrial twist. 

Sanding Shelf

Painting Shelf

So there you have it: a simple and affordable wall re-do that has the power to completely transform the look and feel of a room, and a way for husbands and wives to compromise on the beloved topic of TV aesthetics.

Living Room After

Shelf Close Up

After - Wall Close up

Al and Meghan Daniel just bought a house in the heart of Atlanta, Georgia, and they're slowly making the cottage into their first family home. Follow along with their adventures on their Curbly series: The 387 Cottage.

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Anonymous on May 02, 2014:

What are the measurements for the galvanized pipe that you used?

richard.kuohn.9 on Feb 27, 2014:

Looks so much better :)

Les on Feb 26, 2014:

The proportions here just look so off to me...

Kelly Brito on Feb 26, 2014:

Wow, it made a world of difference! Great job!

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