Gallery Wall with Colored Mats – Tips for Making It Work!

I am so excited to share one of my absolute favorite views in our new home today…and it’s of our playroom wall! A bit random, I know! I love this view so much because not only did this space come together really easily, but the combination of textures, patterns, and colors is exactly what I want for this home. And while I’m simply ga-ga over the rug I picked for this room, it’s really the gallery wall with colored mats right above the couch that truly “makes” the space. Let me show you this little corner of our home, and share some easy tips for pulling off a similar display!

When I call this my favorite view in our home, I really mean it. Our family room and playroom are connected through a set of French doors that are usually open. My “spot” in the family room is on the love seat that is positioned in just a way that I can stare, with big ol’ heart eyes, directly into this room. Here’s my vantage from my favorite chill spot on the couch:

Good right? But let’s zoom in on the playroom a bit!

Yes…this is our playroom. But since it’s literally right inside our front door and is connected to our family room where we spend all our time, it was important to me that the space not be just cozy and functional but also cohesive and easy on the eyes.

Although we painted the boys’ bedrooms in this house, we are actually really happy with the neutral wall color throughout the downstairs (shocking, I know!). Since we weren’t going to paint, I went with a strong pattern on the floor with this rug (which is actually on super clearance right now!!!).

Sidenote: You guys know how much I struggle with finding the right rug, but I literally could not love this rug more. In my gut I knew it was the right rug for our home. But I hemmed and hawed over it and almost didn’t get it because it cost more than I usually spend on rugs (it wasn’t on clearance like it is now). But Greg suggested that buying really cheap rugs might be why I am always so disappointed, so we went for it. This rug is thick, plush and the colors couldn’t be more perfect for our space. And the trellis design is just enough for this pattern-loving girl without overrunning the room!

With so much pattern going on the floor, I didn’t want to go too crazy on the walls but the big open space above the couch begged for for something. None of our large art pieces were right for the space, but I will admit the “clutter” of gallery wall sometimes stresses me out.

Then I, yet again, came across this image on my all-time favorites pin board, and started considering colored mats for our collection of gold frames. I had a hunch colored mats would give just enough personality to the space without making it feel cluttered and messy.

Even with the paint in hand and all the frames disassembled, I almost chickened out and kept the mats white out of fear of it being just too much visually with the rug. But knowing I could always shift back to white mats, I decided to go for it.

I am SOOO glad I did because I love the results so much. Not only do the frames off-set the rug on the floor incredibly well, but the mats bring just enough color to the really light and bland walls.

I wanted to highlight this project in its own post for a few reasons:

  1. Even I underestimated how much life and personality the colored mats would bring to the room. I’ve now added this idea to my arsenal of options for brightening and coloring a room without paint or wallpaper!
  2. It can be a little tricky to keep colored mats looking chic and not junky, so let me share some tips for making a gallery wall with colored mats work!

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