Article Line Long1

Master Bedroom Update + Another Ask the Audience

Friends. If you are following along on insta-story you know that I’m styling every single room of our house right now for a big shoot with Real Simple on Wednesday. So this post is going to be brief (ish) and potentially riddled with grammatical mistakes! It’s like an olympic styling challenge. Luckily I’ve been training for 12 years, but man it’s a lot of work making ever. single. room. camera ready.

Meanwhile I wanted to give you an update on our bedroom and get your opinion on one VERY important thing.

Let’s recap: here is the bedroom before we renovated:


A blank canvas, for sure.


We put in new flooring (from build-direct) and added square footage to the still small closet (see closet makeover on friday!). That room has pretty windows and great peaceful views so we don’t care that it’s on the smaller side. I feel like the expectations for me is that I have a mansion, so I always annoying apologize that I have normal (yet totally lovely) house. Bear with me – there are a lot of you giving me feedback – some saying ‘Wow, your house is so small compared to most of America‘ and some saying ‘Stop saying your house is small! It’s big compared to us in the city!’. I’m trying to balance how I talk about the size. The truth is, it’s actually perfect for us right now. She feels big downstairs with smaller bedrooms upstairs and we think it’s just right.

Here she is before we moved in, fully renovated:


We lived like this for a few months (with some temporary blackout shades that we took out for this shoot because they looked WAY too depressing).


We had a dresser that didn’t work (see this controversial design mistake here) and Brian had to work temporarily in this room because our basement office flooded (like 3″ during the month where LA did a VERY good, but unappreciated impression, of Portland during its most rainy month EVER).

I started pulling some triggers and ordered this beautiful new dresser that was the perfect size, scale and of course a custom paint color. It’s from a company in LA whose work I LOVE and have pinned the heck out of every piece. They make new, beautiful english country inspired pieces – but all custom so you can control everything. It’s all made in LA with such stunning craftsmanship. It ain’t cheap. But this level of local craftsmanship shouldn’t be inexpensive and I’m happy to suggest them to those of you who have the budget to hire local artisans. You know I promote inexpensive mass market pieces all the time, but I also want to nudge those of you who can afford it to hire local, extremely talented and experienced artisans for special pieces. We have a combination of both special and mass market in our home and it works.

Back to the dresser. Brian loved this style the most (which shocked me) and they asked me for my custom color. We sampled 10 different colors and all agreed that Caldwell green was a classic, historic green on the darker side that would help it feel modern. We asked for it to be in a flat finish because, well, flat finish is currently cooler than semi-gloss (depending on the space).


I love that lady, although I thought that the green was going to be much darker. Paint colors are tricky and I held up the swatch of paper that I had painted, the one that sold us on the color and it was IDENTICAL. On a piece of furniture they tend to go lighter than you think they would. I still love it, though, and when it’s next to that Cherner chair … UGH. So amazing.

Then I found this huge Heywood Wakefield mirror at a thrift store in the valley for $90 (above). The wood didn’t match the dresser, obviously, but it was so pretty and HUGE so I went for it. I was on the fence for a while because I didn’t want an attached mirror to date the piece (nor did I want to paint it the green for fear of dating it even more). But I LOVED waking up to it. It was calm, simple and graphic. We decided that while it was kinda weird that we would go for it and attach it to the dresser (in the photo above a bath towel separates it from the dresser so it wouldn’t scratch it – Β it was just leaning against the wall).


On the other side of the room are my nightstands (from Made Goods) and lamps (Rejuvenation) from our last house which I still LOVE. For the bed, we agreed with your vote and ordered that Rejuvenation windsor style bed. It’s PERFECT. I know a lot of you have the ‘bed in front of window’ problem and I’m here to say that an open headboard like this is your answer.

Plus we put in the new window treatments from Calico which are stunning. We float the bed out a few inches and the curtains perfectly frame the bed.

But then, ugh, we BROKE that mirror above the dresser.

We were installing it and we put too much pressure as we drilled into the back of the dresser, and it cracked and then exploded in broken glass. FUN! We still have the frame and we can get a custom mirror made to fit inside, but truthfully it is right next to another full length mirror that we need and love so it wasn’t perfect anyway. Two huge mirrors next to each other wouldn’t be obvious in a shoot because we could cheat it, but in real life it did feel like A LOT of mirror (see below).

So I experimented a bit … as I do. And I have a couple options for you – although NOT fully styled. I threw some lamps and props up there for dimension, but please only look at what is on the wall.

Option: the gallery wall:


You may have watched that insta-story. It took a few hours to get right. It’s a combination of different orientations, sizes, mediums and frames. Some have glass, some don’t. Some are modern, some old-world. We have one big anchor piece. All are in our color palette. I love each piece so much and together they look GREAT.

We played with lamps (above are two Target lamps available now).


I switched it up and added that schoolhouse lamp, which is even simpler and feels more modern.


I love that lamp, too and in person it felt too big but in this photo it’s actually fine … UGH. SO MANY GOOD OPTIONS.

And of course we tried two different lamps and it just seemed like too much.


I REALLY like the gallery wall. I do. But I lived with it for a few days and waking up to it (our bed is across the room) felt really busy. It was just too much for my little scattered brain who needs less things to stare at at 4am when I’m trying to convince myself that the house is decorated enough and that I should sleep…..

Then I remembered that I had this huge seascape and we tried that:


I know it’s less exciting, I get that. It feels small, but it’s HUGE. I also don’t like the frame as it’s faux finished. But the overall vision for the house and especially my bedroom is calmness and yes, I preferred this when I woke up. It makes me feel more calm and frankly nothing is more important to me than that feeling.


The debate isn’t totally over.

When I asked Brian, Sara and Brady they all preferred the gallery wall. I wavered. Do I LOVE the gallery wall in this photo more? YES. It’s a superior photo.

But in real life? Hmm. The bedroom is small and I really want it to be simplified and calm.

Obviously you can tell what I want and your comments probably won’t change my mind, but I thought it would be a fun debate to just see what you guys preferred. Do you think I’m boring? It’s not like I’m shoving that art in the trash if I don’t use it in this room. There are many rooms in my house that need more art.

So option #1: get the mirror replaced. #2: gallery wall. #3 large seascape (with painted dark frame).

Weigh in, folks (and check insta-story for what I chose :)) In the meantime here are all the resources for the room.

Resources: Green Dresser: English Farmhouse Furniture | Laundry Basket: Schoolhouse Electric | Black and Brass Task Lamps: Target | Tray: Vintage | Vintage Chair: County Ltd. | Leather Nightstands: Made Goods | Bedframe: Rejuvenation | Roman Shades: Calico Corners | Curtains: Calico Corners | Wall Mirror: DWR | Flushmount Light: Circa LightingΒ | Brass Lamp: Schoolhouse Electric | White Ceramic Lamp: Schoolhouse Electric | Wooden Blanket Ladder:Β Target. Woven basket, vintage cherner chair, pendant light.


Never miss a single post and get a little something extra on Saturdays.

517 thoughts on “Master Bedroom Update + Another Ask the Audience

  1. Even the gallery is wonderful, I say go with the seascape… it lets the gorgeous dresser shine a bit more. (And I totally agree with CALM being the way to go in your bedroom.)

  2. I definitely prefer the seascape! I love the simplicity, and the seafoam green and blue tones give the space a very calm feeling. Plus there is something about the sea itself that is just soothing, and I imagine it is a lovely way to wake up!

  3. My suggestion: The three central pieces from your gallery wall. The abstract one on the left, the tree at bottom right (but hung to end at exactly the same height as the abstract one), and then your favorite one of the smaller pieces on top of the tree. Brian, Sara, and Brady are right about the seascape, it’s too small. I love the gallery wall, but I can see why you want to tone it down. Keep up the good work!

    1. I think this is a great suggestion and would be a fabulous solution. Good size and scale, but it tones it down a bit. I didn’t realize until I read this comment, but I think the smaller pieces off to the side are what make it feel so busy.

      1. I agree, it is the smaller pieces on the sides that make it feel too busy. I love the seascape, but I do think it is too small for above the dresser. You should probably go with what calms you, though. We have a huge window across from our bed so I wake up staring at trees. It’s quite calming. I purposefully kept our bedroom very simple because I want it to be a serene place.

        1. You know what, I thought that too! For a while when I was still allowing the idea of the seascape I was just going to remove the outer two on both sides. I should have shot it that way!! It looked strangely empty on both sides, then. And I know its hard to believe me but the seascape is HUGE. like 5 feet. It’s not too small, just looks small compared to the gallery wall. So funny.

          1. If it does feel small, rather than paint the frame, why not get it matted and reframed? You can then cheat it to the totally optimal size!

            Also – I like the peace in a bedroom too. Even though the gallery wall is more fun to look at.

          2. Since they think it looks a little small, why not fill in the space off to the side with a large jug/container with some leafy/branchy stuff in it? It would still have a peaceful vibe.

          3. What if you get a tall narrow floor lamp to put next to the dresser on one side and do a hanging or wall plant thing for the other side to balance things out and fill up the extra space? I think if you just stuck with a simple gallery wall and looked for things to help balance it with other options, you will be abel to figure something fantastic out.

      2. I was just coming to post the exact same thing!!! The gallery wall but with fewer pieces and get rid of those bits “off to the side” make it look a bit more uniform and calming. And keep the large white lamp – gorgeous!

    2. I like this! The seascape is lovely, calming and certainly works, but I think a three piece mini gallery could also be relaxing to awaken too, and a bit more interesting and personal. In my small living room I have my first “gallery” group of three original art pieces, collected over time, which curiously all have an amusement park theme. Two are are very minimal in design and the largest is a dreamlike collage of black and white vintage photos. They are very calming and enjoyable to look at when I sit back to relax on my sofa.

    3. Yes – I agree — simplify the gallery wall! And though the ‘ask the audience’ was about the art — loving the schoolhouse lamp balancing the modernity of the Cherner chair!

  4. I think I prefer the seascape over all. The gallery wall is dope, but I like the simplicity and calmness that the seascape brings. It also seems more “English-y” than a gallery wall too, so I guess maybe I feel like it fits the home as a whole better? It looks lovely over that green-blue dresser. I really love how the room is coming together as a whole, it looks great!

    1. I completely agree – as a Brit, the seascape reminds me of a room of a cottage I stayed in in Cornwall, especially with the style of the dresser and think this is the way you should go in the bedroom.

  5. I like the seascape so much more in this space. The gallery wall is beautiful but I agree that it would feel like too much. For a real bedroom to wake up in, I’d pick the seascape

    1. I LOVE that you guys are agreeing with me! Brian/Sara/Brady were all against me but I pulled the ‘i’m i charge card’. Ginny agreed with me (and she’s a brit!)

    2. I agree that the seascape is way more calming. I usually like gallery walls, but not here. If it seems small when above the dresser and you don’t like the frame anyway, reframe it with something a bit wider that’s more your taste!

  6. Hi Emily, I’m thinking the gallery wall for shoot with the one gold lamp. (I love those target ones but i think they get lost in art) & then maybe the large painting for after shoot as you deserve to wake up in a calm space. Megan Australua

    1. Agree with using the gallery wall and gold lamp for the shoot.
      Like the seascape, but it feels a little too small — also, is maybe hung a few inches too high.

      1. I would agree with you guys but I need that art for other rooms and while surely i’ll be changing things a lot, I would LOVE to have my favorite art locked down so that I don’t have to change it all after the shoot. The seascape is good enough to shoot. It’s not as editorial but once I style out the top it will be editorial enough (which I did, last night and you’ll see on insta-story today – as soon as Brian wakes up).

        1. Go with the gold lamp and seascape. Then sell me the frame from the mirror. πŸ™‚

          1. This!
            Also, I think you got the tone right about discussing size of house.

        2. I was going to suggest the same as Megan, but you have a good point. And for the seascape, maybe framing it with some white space around it and a blue frame would work?

  7. The gallery wall is pretty, but I’d prefer waking up to the seascape as well. It’s a lot less busy, and personally, my brain needs that pre-coffee. And it’s so pretty with your dresser. Also, definitely like the Target lamps the best.

  8. The seascape painting, for sure. I agree, the gallery wall is to busy to be the first thing you look at when you wake up..a bedroom should give you a sense of calm. I love the dresser, by the way. Actually, I love everything about your style.

  9. I’d say do the seascape with a taller item next to the drawers. Like a fiddle leaf or floor lamp. It just needs a little height in my opinion. I also prefer the “quieter” feeling for a bedroom, although the other options are all totally lovely.

    1. Yes, a nice tall plant behind the chair in the corner. Bedrooms need a hit of natural green plant life! Fiddle leaf would be lovely.

    2. Yep, I think something taller than the basket would work…. or maybe sconces on either side of the seascape instead of lamps on the dresser, just something else with height. And I have to stop myself from doing a #gallerywallseverywhere look in my own home- I love the collectedness of them but it can be busy.

    3. Ha, I thought the exact same thing. It needs a big plant and it would totally work–either a tall one or one hanging from the ceiling.

  10. Gallery walls have always been too busy for me. I vote for something calmer, especially above that beautiful dresser.

  11. If you’re taking photos of the room, I vote gallery wall. It looks more interesting and exciting.

    If you’re living in the room, I vote do what creates the feeling you desire (in your case, the calm from having a single piece).

  12. That dresser is a stunner! I love the gallery wall, but it doesn’t feel right for the space and I think it detracts from the beauty and simplicity of the dresser. I definitely vote for the mirror. I just think it compliments it the best and seems most appropriate for the space. Second vote would be the seascape, which is also a lovely choice.

  13. Seascape. I’m kind of over gallery walls in general, and I agree that in a bedroom it’s too busy. You just need to work on the lamps. Those black Target lamps are cool but they look like task lighting. So my vote is seascape with the perfect lamp(s).

    1. We talk about this all the time – being ‘over’ gallery walls. I tend to agree but every now and again I’ll find an inspiration image of a gallery wall that blows me away. usually its wall to wall and floor to cieling and the art is of course STUNNING, like gallery and of course $10k worth of art. So in the right place with the right art, and curated just perfectly I still LOVE the idea of a ton of art together on a wall, but I’m definitely leaning more towards one single piece or two that work perfectly together, etc, too. In my living room I did two mini gallery walls (just 3 pieces) and I like it a lot (as of today πŸ™‚

      1. Emily, I would love to hear more about how much blank space you can/should leave on your walls. I struggle with this often and I don’t recall you ever sharing any thoughts about this.

        I have a gallery wall over my rather large TV and besta unit that look like this but only 5 cabinets long. While I sometimes consider taking down the gallery wall, I don’t know how to navigate art around the TV any other way.

    2. I, too, am over gallery walls and am myself considering getting rid of a gallery wall in our master. The gallery wall is way more standout in this photo, but because of my previous statement, I say seascape.

  14. Seascape with new frame! Waking up to calm and serenity outweighs all else! The transformation is beautiful!

    1. I agree! Seascape in a different frame. The painting looks like an oil or maybe an acrylic so it shouldn’t be under glass which means no mat. However, I think it needs a little breathing space to have the impact you need in that space. What about a frame with a linen or canvas liner (basically a border of fabric between the painting and the frame)?

  15. Seascape for sure – calmness is important in a bedroom. But I feel like you could still add one or 2 things to the right or left of the seascape – maybe a macrame? Something textural that’s not framed. I like the idea of no symmetry and adding one or 2 more things fills up the space without the busyness of a gallery wall.

  16. Seascape, hands down. I love the mirror, but not the hassle of re-mirroring, (could you use it as a frame for a pretty tapestry?), Oor the double mirror combo. So the seascape wins! It does feel so calm and peaceful, and I like how its colors.go so well with your curtains.. peace is your wish…go after it. That chair is gorgeous!! And the busyness of the gallery takes away from the movement of the chair silhouette.

      1. I was thinking of sconces too! Maybe some plug in ones from schoolhouse electric? The seascape is Emily’s preference, but it does feel small on that long wall. So some large sconces would help fill up the empty space on either side of the painting.

  17. Definitely the seascape love it with the dresser!! I agree, I want my bedroom to be an oasis from the chaos of life!

  18. I vote gallery wall! Specifically the one with the white and gold lamp. Something about the combo of two lamps really works in this space. I get that it is visually cluttering for you to wake up to every morning but I don’t think the seascape is big enough for that wall and considering the other two major walls in the room have a lot of windows, you don’t have that much space to hang art. So if you’re going to hang it, make sure it’s worth it! My only thoughts on the seascape is that maybe sconces on either side would help fill in the space? You do have sconces throughout the main floor, so that could be an option? But I still vote gallery wall!

    1. ditto on the sconces; love the seascape but the lamps block it slightly which cuts down on its tranquility factor (i.e., craning a bit to see around/through them). I wonder if the painting is feeling small to viewers because, with the lamps, the space looks crowded but there’s lots of white wall to either side?

  19. I am so over gallery-walls, for the reason you said… they look busy! Plus, with so many moving parts, one or two of the pictures always look crooked (even in your photo, a couple are crooked). I love the seascape and I think the colors tie in perfectly with the dresser. Less is more in decorating for me!!

  20. I love the gallery wall and maybe do that for the shoot, but ultimately do what feels best for you after the shoot. If that means a single simplified art piece than so be it. You are the one who has to live with it. Personally my bedroom (and all the rooms in my house) have a lot of art in them. I love to buy original art and have way overcollected, but I like to showcase them. I think once something is up for a while you barely see it anyway. It sort of all fades together after awhile.

    I would say that I would like to see a bigger piece over the dresser. Maybe a really huge photograph or something. Despite that painting being big it still looks too small on the wall. Then again, your bedroom and you have to look at it daily so if that painting makes you happy leave it up there. I have a drawing of little people clowns over my dresser. Can’t say most would love it, but I do. Its also helps that its not in color so the clown factor is toned down a lot.

  21. #3!!! I <3 the seascape. The color from the dresser picks up the colors in the painting very nicely. I like the more minimal, less busy look more, even in photos. And I can just imagine it is better to wake up to in real life. Seascape for the win!!!

  22. I vote gallery wall for the photoshoot (get the great shot) and then go to the seascape for your own peace of mind! None of us have to live there and life is hectic enough!

  23. #3 – Seascape hands down. I think the gallery wall is busy even in the picture. The seascape with the gorgeous dresser and that chair mean that wall is absolutely visually interesting, but also restful and not overwhelming.

  24. I love how you obsess over the small details, but when it’s done right – IT’S JUST RIGHT. I can relate. My two cents: keep the sea-scape, that’s your favorite anyway, and use two different lamps to bring interest back to that wall. It won’t look busy, because the lamps won’t cover the frame like they did the gallery wall. Best of both worlds.

    Personally, I just install a picture shelf / rail, for easy changes in the future. I hate committing to one thing, even only visually.

  25. What a beautiful dresser! Great choice and amazing color. I have to say, I heavily prefer the seascape option. It feels simple and graceful. That’s my vote.

  26. large seascape with dark frame, by far! I am much more into pared-down focus these days. Gallery walls feel chaotic and, honestly, a bit dated. I think simplicity, especially in a bedroom, is so much more artful.

  27. Definitely in the minority here but I vote mirror! Having a mirror above a dresser just feels so natural and calming. If it’s too much mirror, maybe take out the full length and replace it with art there. Like a sculptural piece, wall hanging, or vertical gallery wall. I just always think a mirror wants and needs to be above a dresser.

    1. I agree. That shot with the curves of the chair and lamp echoing the curves of the mirror makes my heart sing! Maybe then a few prints on each side of the mirror?

  28. Is there a happy medium between gallery wall and one large painting? Like hanging 3 smaller paintings? I agree on the too busy feeling of the gallery wall especially in your master bedroom. I can see a gallery wall if you were going for an overstuffed look but your other decor choices in the room are sedate and calm.

  29. Definitely option 3!! I love a good gallery wall (I have one in my dining area) but for a bedroom I prefer to keep things more simple. I think the large seascape looks great and that dresser is AMAZE.

  30. I’d like to see Option C – a less busy gallery wall, with all the frames and mattes the same, just different sizes and orientations. This would also give you bit of blog content as you could talk about “busy versus calming gallery walls”. (I actually think it’s the large abstract that’s making it look too busy, that baby deserves to stand alone.)

    On a related note (that you didn’t ask about) I find two lamps on the dresser to much. I’m European and always a little baffled by the American devotion to symmetry, but I think two lamps is both more light than any space that size needs, and also it busies up the space more.

  31. I prefer the gallery wall with just the schoolhouse lamp BUT it’s your room. You wake up in it everyday, and if you prefer the calmer seascape then that’s the answer. Design should ALWAYS take into account the tastes of the person it is designed for.

  32. Seascape. The gallery wall made me grit my teeth from the beginning. Love the seascape, classes up the whole room!

  33. Love both, but agree with you on the calmness of the seascape. I’d prefer to wake up that to that also. But reframe it in a more simple/modernish canvas wood frame so there isn’t so much gold and it speaks to the chair. LOVE the dresser.

  34. Seascape, for sure; I am not digging the gallery wall. However, the painting does seem a touch undersized, and I don’t love those lamps with it… Glad you have to decide on a deadline and not me! Ha. It will be beautiful. (PS Compared to most folks, I kinda think you do live in a mansion…)

  35. The dresser is a beauty! I would prefer the seascape but maybe its hung a little high?

  36. I vote for option #2, the gallery wall cuz it works with the space and the dresser. Yes, it might be ‘busier’than you’d like but the lone seascape doesn’t seem very “bedroom” to me. Plus, I’ve heard that it isn’t good feng shui to have art in the bedroom that features water as it interferes with the positive energy or some such thing. So go #2! Lovin’ this old house and everything you are doing to make it a home for your family!

  37. I think the seascape is beautiful and the colors are perfect. I’m with you on going the calm route especially in your bedroom. If the faux finish on the frame bothers you (hard to tell how good or bad it is in the photos) can you update to a floater frame?

  38. Definitely the gallery wall, option 2. You like the seascape now, but you will get tired of it. The gallery wall will look less busy over time, as your eyes adjust to it. Maybe removing the black frame on the big abstract focus piece might make it feel less busy and calmer. Alternatively, maybe do a black frame on the small middle one and make its frame the same size as its neighboring black frame (the symmetry may increase feelings of calmness). I think what happened here is that maybe a minor tweak was needed that the rest of us (and by us, I mean Brian, Sara, Brady and I) don’t see. And so, instead of just doing that minor thing (whatever it may be), you went full-on “artist mode” and changed everything (which is actually usually a great thing because trial and error and experimentation are blogging gold, as well as artistically / creatively really satisfying). But, I just think in this one case, going with the seascape would feel kind of sporadic (knee-jerky) and forced, which is the opposite of calm. This is not to say that others haven’t had great reasons for choosing a different option than the one I prefer.

  39. Everything in your bedroom is turning out beautifully! I love the seascape. It is more calm and the colors are perfect. If the faux finish on the frame bothers you, can you update it to a pretty floater frame? Not sure if you have time or if it’s possible…can’t wait to see your new home all styled out!! I know it will look amazing.

  40. Usually I love me some gallery wall, but I think it feels a little busy. I also don’t usually like giant mirrors, but seems you could style that really well if you took the full length mirror out of your room. I mean do you need a full length mirror in your bedroom? If not, then the seascape for sure. I agree with wanting the bedroom more calm. Good luck on your decision!

  41. I love the seascape. I looks fantastic in that space. Go with your gut.

    Gallery walls are indeed busy – I really like the calm of the large single piece, especially in a bedroom. I’m on the fence about gallery walls overall – I like how they look in photos, but I don’t really enjoy them in person. Visually, it’s too much for me to live with on a daily basis.

  42. I like the comment suggesting to tone down the gallery wall to three paintings – otherwise, I like the seascape but maybe in a new frame with mat to make it bigger. Also liked the suggestion to add height around the seascape with a plant or something. The gold lamp on its own is my vote from these options!

  43. Option 3 – the seascape, totally. The colors in the picture mirror the color of the dresser. It’s WAY more calm. While the gallery wall is nice, YOU are the one who has to live with it and if you like the seascape then stick with it. I can envision waking up to this picture each day, taking a deep breath and smelling the salt air and hearing the quiet ebb and flow of the ocean waves.

  44. My opinion? The mirror WAS cool, but the combo is dating. (Ha!) Shoot the house for Real Simple with the gallery wall, and live in it however you like!

    PS- Do you already know which issue your home will be featured in? Can’t wait to see it!

  45. #3 it is for me too. Less crowded and more calm, also I think the dresser feels outdated and grandma-ish with all those little things on it plus the gallery wall (which per se is really great, so balanced in colour! I admire it)

  46. Gallery wall way to busy for a bedroom that should be an oasis. Like the open frame bed but some consider it bad feng shui….

  47. Yay! Expressing opinions! Here is my verdict: the gallery wall is sweet but it does feel too busy, I like the one painting better but I think it should be something more modern, possibly a little graphic to combat all the awesome old lady stuff you have going on. One big modern painting!

  48. #4: the big painting on the left + the tree photo on the top right + one of the lamps (probably de first one)
    The seascape is too serious!
    (sorry, english is not my first language!)

  49. Peaceful seascape all the way! I’m with you that bedrooms should be calming; that gallery wall would middle-of-night stress me out too πŸ™‚

  50. I’m in favor of the mirror, TBH. The seascape is pretty too, but the scale doesn’t look quite right. I don’t recall if you’ve ever done a gallery wall in a bedroom, but I did in my old place and it was a HUGE mistake. So busy, so not restful, just not what you want out of a bedroom.

  51. The gallery wall for the pictures, then the calming seascape for real life.

  52. seascape for sure but would change out the lamps for something a little more weighty and softer (love those lamps, but not loving them there)

  53. I don’t think you can go wrong. For me, the gallery wall is too wide. I’d remove the 2 far left and 2 far right and keep the art above the dresser.

  54. What about one large landscape photograph, which would contrast nicely with the dresser and have a calm effect? All of it looks beautiful, though.

  55. Seascape for sure! I love the gallery wall, but I agree that the seascape helps the room calm down a bit. Definitely think a fun textured piece like a chunk macrame on the small wall beside the window, adjacent to the chair would help fill up the space a bit πŸ™‚

  56. i am not a fan of the gallery wall in this space. it seemed too modern. with the dresser, that art piece is perfect, as the waves really pull out the green color in the dresser.

  57. Seascape, hands down. I’d go nuts with the gallery wall too; our bedroom has only one thing on the walls and it looks boring but feels great.

  58. I honestly feel there’s no question- sea scape! But maybe it’s the frame that’s giving your team and others a pause? Painting it would help but maybe a slightly wider and flatter frame might help too. Love the room so far!

  59. If it were my room, I’d prefer to replace/find a mirror as the mirror reflects light coming in the windows and/or any landscape outside the window. If I were selecting between art, I’d choose the seascape while I appreciate gallery walls they all start looking the same to me. You see a gallery wall but don’t really notice each piece of art.

  60. The gallery wall is way too busy for the space, especially with the black lights. That is 9 pieces of art on one wall, and almost nothing on other walls. Additionally it’s a lot of smaller pieces that are trying to compete with a massive dresser. I will say the gallery wall looked better with the modern brass lamp (less cluttered) but it still overpowers a room that’s supposed to be calm. While I loved the round mirror, it is a lot of mirrors in one space, and I think that I’ve read it’s bad fung shui to put a mirror across from a bed. As for the ocean painting, I would like it here with a little more on the walls (maybe a piece on each side of it too?), but I know you’ve talked of it downstairs in the tv room (an idea I like).

    I think my favorite would be if you used the large, abstract painting from the gallery wall, lowered it a bit and moved it to the right side of the dresser; used a lamp on the left side of the dresser (to balance out its height of the large painting on the right); and used two other medium size pieces, floating around the lamp (above and to the side, not behind it). I think I’d like that because I really like that abstract painting in the room and I like that the three pieces would be different sizes for some visual interest.

  61. Large seascape, definitely! Tweak it a little to better fit the scale of the dresser and wall. Maybe move it to the right and add the large, white lamp on the left to balance? Or add a couple of wall candle sconces on either side and ditch the lamps?

  62. The gallery wall is a beauty, but a lot of look for what should be a calm and peaceful place. Alternatively, it could be more calming in a more monochrome palette. You don’t seem to love the mirror. Either the seascape or… something else genius that will inspire us. No pressure. πŸ˜‰

    Did you find a home for the string art? If no, it would look perfect in my stairwell.

  63. No brainer – seascape FTW!

    I agree that one’s bedroom should illicit calm vibes. Maybe keep the gallery wall for the shoot and then switch back to the seascape if you really like the photo of the gallery wall better. But I love a more minimal bedroom. Your tranquility trumps anything else.

  64. I like the simplicity of the seascape because the gallery wall is too much, but I think that it’s too “old-on-old” and “painty-painty” with the seascape and the dresser. I think you need a piece with more oomph and modernity to pair with the dresser for more interest. That’s why I like the abstract painting, or a I think a black and white photograph would look good.

  65. gallery wall just like it is in the first pic of it with the 2 Target task lamps! Seriously, that shot made my heart flutter instantly! do it!

  66. I think go with the seascape with those black target task lamps, though the galley wall is pretty too. I have a similar sized seascape in an ugly brown frame so I can’t wait to see how yours looks painted! Also I would love the source for the little rounded terracotta planter on the dresser. Obsessed with it!

  67. The seascape with those lamps ? Definitely my favorite! Love everything that you do though!

  68. No question – the mirror! It’s beautiful and so great to have in a “small” space. Hands down winner.

  69. I do like the gallery wall with the brass/black crossed lamps but I can understand why it would feel so busy in a small room.

    I think you’re best to stick with your gut and go with the seascape BUT along with a darker frame I would add a white mat (4-5″?) around it so that the painting doesn’t feel so confined by the frame like it does now and it would make the painting more substantial on the wall in comparison to the dresser. Plus the lamps would layer better over top of the slightly larger size

  70. I actually like the seascape, but I hate that frame. It makes it look like a cheesy hotel painting. If it was re-framed in a black frame, I think it would help pull in other darker tones in the room- the black in the lamps and the curtain rod, etc.

    I also think you could do the large mirror on the wall next to the window (just to the right of the dresser when you’re facing it). It might help break up that wall a bit, and it would mean that the light wasn’t bouncing off the mirror. Last thing… I’d try re-orienting the rug so it is a bit closer to the dresser- it feels a bit naked on that side of the room- especially with the new floors.

    Actual last thing- ditch the shearling on the Cherner chair. It’s too pretty to be covered up, and aren’t shearlings over?

  71. The mirror. I don’t mind the mirrors next to each other, because it’s in the bedroom. “Too much mirror” is just what a girl needs when she’s getting dressed. Especially because you have a small closet. I think it’s clean and simple to wake up to, and visually calm without being boring because it’s different from the dresser. That’s my vote.

  72. Love, love, love the gallery wall. I kind of felt like I never wanted to see another gallery wall but this one is really good.

  73. Oh man stick with the seascape!! Go with your gut, plus I think it looks better anyway.

    I have to say, you must have quite a thick skin and clear head to work under this much pressure, making design decisions and pulling triggers with all our voices in your head yelling different things. Haha! I appreciate that you take the time to interact with your audience though, and acknowledge our advice or criticisms. This is the only blog I read consistently, and have been reading for almost as long as you’ve been writing it. <3

    Everything in that room looks so great! Can't wait to see the magazine feature!

  74. Hi Emily! First time poster here and I’ll probably be in the minority (I haven’t read the other comments) But I love the seascape….it’s soothing and the colors go great with the dresser without being too matchy matchy. I would paint the frame black….it makes a world difference!! I do that with thrifted pieces all the time if I don’t like the frame. And I think the picture needs to be lowered about 2 inches closer to the dresser. Right now it’s in “floating’ territory….it’s hard to see without being in the room, but to hell with the height rules! I think it will bring it all together more and warm it up. And keep the black shaded lamps…perfect! Can’t wait to see it!

  75. The seascape is stunning and so calming. It looks so much better for a bedroom than the gallery wall.

  76. Definitely like the seascape best with an updated/different color frame – for the exact reasons you listed!

  77. Option #3. Serene, calming, and uncluttered. The set of lamps gives a nice balance to the art on the wall.
    No need for another mirror, when there is a lovely wall mirror on that other side. No need for the expansive art wall in this room, when you have other places for much of it elsewhere in the house.

  78. I love the gallery wall, but I agree that it is too busy for a bedroom. For me, the seascape is the winnder!

  79. I prefer the mirror, option 1. Second would be the Seascape (3), and third is the gallery wall (2). The gallery wall is too busy for the space and fights the focus of the anchor pieces. The mirror looks really good because it’s not another rectangle like the dresser and frames. The mirror contrasts very well with the dresser. But if you decide to not replace the mirror and want to sell the frame, let me know. πŸ™‚

  80. Replace the mirror! It’s so so gorgeous. I totally get that the gallery wall is too busy, and I just don’t love the seascape. But the mirror? Love it.

  81. I love a gallery wall, but on the main wall I would see every time I woke up. Seascape for me! Of course in my room, the seascape is a TV. LOL!

  82. I’d say gallery wall with the schoolhouse lamp! If you want to simplify it a bit, maybe remove the smallest piece on the bottom left side?

  83. YOU DO YOU GURL! As Orlando would say. If you want peace and serenity that seascape is perfect. I do love the gallery wall with the simple modern schoolhouse lamp, so maybe you could try to get those incorporated somewhere into the house…maybe the playroom/tv room downstairs? So exciting watching your home come together! Thank you so much for sharing!

  84. Seascape! It’s a calmer vibe for a bedroom, and enhances the beautiful dresser. I’m in the process of redoing everything myself…mom’s moving in!

  85. I immediately thought the gallery wall was too busy for a bedroom or maybe for any where. Seeing the seascape with the dresser was such a relief and joy for my eyes. The mirror is lovely but it just makes me think of narrcicism.

  86. #3. Gallery wall doesn’t say English Country house to me–keep it simple. And even if you weren’t doing English Country, that gallery wall is too much for me. It overwhelms the dressers. Maybe some sconces on either side of the seascape.

  87. This blog is so much fun! But can I answer “none of the options above”? The gallery wall is amazing but I totally get that you want something peaceful to look at as you wake up! The mirror was cool but two mirrors next to each other might drive you crazy and although the seascape is beautiful, it’s just now working for me there. I would suggest either a big minimal abstract piece like the one on Mel’s living room or a big framed photo of the ocean/ trees/ beautiful landscape. And would love those Target lamps in brass, would feel lighter with the green of the dresser than the black (I can imagine the lamps in Orlando’s new guest bedroom working there as well!). The dresser is amazing, by the way! Can’t wait to see a full house tour πŸ™‚

  88. What about re-framing the seascape? With a bigger frame and a mat added, it will scale up and feel balanced with the dresser. (I know you say the painting is big, but it’s just not the right scale for that dresser right now.) Then two lamps on each side and done.

  89. Another vote for the seascape, reframed! I also love the idea of trying sconces.

  90. I was going cross eyed from the gallery and I don’t personally enjoy having my gross, swooshed face greet me in a huge mirror every morning so a single piece is what I would do. You always make it look great!

  91. The OCD in me rebels against gallery walls. The pictures always wind up wonky and I’m forever straightening them. I love one big statement piece and the seascape just calms me right down. It looks absolutely lovely with the dresser. It’s very calm, the way a bedroom should feel. Beautiful.

  92. Even before I read the post, my first reaction to the top picture of the gallery wall was to say out loud to the screen “WHOA BUSY.” I hope no one was walking by my office because that’s an odd thing to exclaim to yourself in an office setting. Or, maybe it’s a good thing and they thought I meant “whoa, I am very busy” and did not correctly assume “oh she’s reading a blog on work time.” But I digress, I prefer the seascape and think it would look best with a simple, natural wood frame.

    1. Just had to say your comment made me laugh out loud!
      Also totally agree – seascape in simple wood frame.

  93. I love a good gallery wall, but I was preferring the calmness of the single painting even before I got to the text where you said the busy-ness of the gallery was bothering you. Maybe with some more substantial, taller lamps, too.

  94. I prefer the seascape! I think gallery walls are great, but maybe just too much in a bedroom? Or maybe just this bedroom? Too much going on, too visually cluttered for what I would want I think. It is a very impressive gallery wall though πŸ™‚

  95. What about doing the gallery wall but only including the pictures directly over the dresser? You get the gallery effect but it’s calmer.

  96. You are so right about the beautiful seascape, it is the way to go! It lets the dresser shine and is more peaceful. The gallery wall is great but I would pick the large seascape! Lyn

  97. Large seascape no question – the gallery wall feels out of place here.

    I like the schoolhouse lamp better though here. Maybe a vase on the other side. The two identical lamps with two shades each is too much.

  98. reframe the sea scape and add a plant either on the dresser or a larger one on the ground. Not enough variation in height as is. Also, I would maybe vote for replacing the mirror except we can’t get a decent view of it. πŸ™

  99. my 2 cents for what its worth πŸ™‚ I don’t love gallery walls except in english houses, which I think is what you are going for. The english ones I do love are from floor to ceiling and wall to wall and its that structure that I find appealing. What about a gallery wall where all of the edges of your pieces form the size of art you would like. The size of the pieces doesn’t matter so much but the placement so that all of the edges form a perfect rectangle. I hope this makes sense? Can’t wait to see what you do.

  100. Eeesh, you have 800 people saying it already… but… SEASCAPE! Gallery walls are my kind of thing for areas of the house with more ‘energy’ and movement (lounges, hallways, stairwells) but I would totally want as calm as possible in the bedroom – Xx

  101. Seascape! The size looks just right to me, and it makes your room look so peaceful and vintage-y. I don’t love those lamps, though. The mirror over the dresser looked great, too. I wouldn’t rule out a custom mirror insert, but in the short-term, the seascape is the way to go, in my opinion.

  102. All pretty options but the gallery wall looks better in photos. Maybe keep the gallery wall up for the shoot and then put up the seascape afterwards for your real life!

  103. Seascape…though I liked the round mirror too. Gallery wall seems busy for bedroom.

  104. I love the seascape best (#3) – it looks so great with the dresser and, although I love lots of art on the walls, it felt super busy for a bedroom

  105. Emily– I love all the pieces in the gallery wall, and I love the IDEA of the gallery wall, but I don’t love the gallery wall. It’s almost like you need zero pieces (like, no styling) on the dresser to make it seem less anxiety-inducing. Like Tim Gunn says, “It’s alot of look.”

    When I saw the seascape, I literally let out a calming sigh. That’s what it feels like. You can BREATHE in that space. Agree, though– frame is no bueno.

    I wish I had a pulled-out shot of the dresser with the mirror option, but it looks promising. So far, though, the seascape is the jam and shows restraint.

    Can’t wait to see what you do! xo.

    1. Keep the seascape but add a tall plant so that you have something organic and sculptural. I think that will make it more dynamic.

  106. I vote the seascape but I think the lamps distract from it. Not sure what lamps would work. But not those! lol.

  107. I like the seascape with a different frame, those lamps and basket for me make it busy and heavy. They take away from the calm of the mood your trying to create. The gallery wall with the metal lamp looks best with the basket and Cherner chair . The Cherner chair looks great no matter what!

  108. Seascape! Yes! Please take the laundry basket out! You need a lovely plant there, please please! Love the dresser. Love you! Use that beautiful mirror somewhere.

  109. Emily-

    Seascape FOR SURE! I’d think about flanking either side with maybe a rustic/handmade-looking candle sconce to help fill the space and give warmth at night when you just want to relax and light a candle. Something like the ARTISANAL CIRCULAR WALL-MOUNT CANDLE SCONCE from (Gasp) Pottery Barn. I think that the lines are pretty and play well with the curvature in the chair and mirror!

  110. Can I just say ” hey take that LEX” ! dumbo…

    That awful conversation about questioning your talent all started from your bedroom dresser switch out, and this goes to show… you know what you are doing….

    *****gold mushroom lamp( bought it) & gallery wall

  111. Love the green on the dresser.
    What about using something other than a mirror or painting over the dresser (i.e. what ever is the new big thing, i.e. like the tobacco baskets of past).

    Like the gallery wall though. Maybe remove a couple of the pix to make it less busy? Or add a small round mirror with the pix?
    Other than that, prefer the smaller brass lamp that doesn’t hide the big painting.

  112. The seascape. The Gallery wall is too busy for a bedroom but also IMO too modern in way that clashes with the style of the dresser and the room. Don’t love the lamps right there (though they are cute!) Beautiful dresser.

  113. No actually I’m with you – seascape is better. When I saw this in your Insta story and it looked like you had changed it FROM the seascape TO the gallery wall I was like, aw, I liked that seascape better. But also I’m not super into “busyness” either so it could easily be that the gallery wall is the better designer option and I’m just…a simple gal.

  114. Definately #3. The gallery wall would be awesome in a foyer or other public space, but it’s way too busy (for me, anyway!) for a bedroom. And that seascape is gorgeous and the color works so well with the fabulous dresser!

  115. #3. I agree that a bedroom should first and foremost be calming. Mirrors are bad feng shui in a bedroom as they bounce around too much energy. Adore the chair!

  116. Love the gallery wall, but gotta go with what makes you feel calm and happy in your bedroom.

    Quick question – When you do a gallery wall vs. one painting post such as this one – how do you put the pieces up on the wall? Do you use nails? We have a room that was just painted, and I want to experiment with art, but am nervous about nail holes as I try and try again to get it right.

    1. I have the same question. How did you hang up a gallery wall and then take it down without us seeing nail holes? Are they photo-shopped or did you use something else that I need to know about immediately? πŸ™‚

  117. I vote huge round mirror (though its a bit hard to see in photo), I LOVE the schoolhouse lamp, but then I’m always hungry for more modern, and the mirror with the cherner chair just melts me. If you choose the gallery wall I feel like the dresser and chair should be moved a little to the left (not centered) and whatevers on the floor beside the dresser (basket, ladder) should be gone, moving the dresser to the left a bit means you could lose the small gold picture making it feel less busy. In the end, go with what makes you happy, its what we all do eventually and I’ve learned if it bugs me a little bit at first it will drive me crazy in a week!

  118. Style if for the shoot and afterwards, make it the way that calms you when you wake up. I like it both ways … slight edge for gallery wall, but I don’t live there, you do!.

  119. Like most here, I vote seascape but add in some plants or tall branches or other accessories for the shoot. Most days of your life the simplicity of this option will be perfect!

  120. Hi Emily,
    I would do the seascape, but get it re-framed. If you matted it like the tree print and then gave it a larger frame (in terms of length and width, not necessarily thickness), that would help give it more visual presence. Just my 0.02 πŸ™‚

  121. Love the seascape. Maybe a floor lamp where the chair is to take up some of the empty space above and instead of two lamps.

  122. For the photo shoot I would stick with the seascape but for daily living I prefer the mirror. It adds depth to the room and as you said it’s calming in a bedroom.

  123. I think that the gallery wall looks the most interesting in photo, but if it were my house I would want the seascape for the calm it brings to the bedroom. Totally agree that the frame needs to change though.

  124. I think the room looks absolutely gorgeous. I especially love the dresser. Can you clarify for me the paint color? Are you saying that it is indeed Caldwell Green or that they went lighter? I am considering a color like this for kitchen cabinets!

  125. I understand your explaination of headboard in front of window concept visually being better but how about functionally? How do you open those casement windows? I have this problem in my guest bedroom. Only one place to put the bed not against a casement window and i hate the spot. We need to open those windows because it gets so hot in there. Do you just have HVAC and never open them? Or do yours swing outward?

  126. I like the large seascape for the reasons you mentioned – calmer and more serene for the bedroom.

  127. Why not do the large landscape and a couple of smaller pictures on both sides. You get the impact of a gallery wall with a more calming # and arrangement of art. Win-win for all!!

  128. I love the gallery wall with the single gold mushroom lamp. But it’s your room and it should be the way you like it. I would go on Minted, select some gorgeous prints, frame how you’d like, then take screenshots and photoshop them in. Then chose one and buy it! The seascape feels like a stop gap and not actually the perfect single piece for this space. If you want a single piece, find the perfect one!

  129. option 2!! When I saw the gallery wall with the two target lamps, I thought “wow! Now thats fit for a magazine!”

  130. Must say I LOVE the seascape! I agree that the gallery wall is too busy. I bedroom should minimal and peaceful. The painting does that. Looks great!!

  131. Definitely seascape with a different frame, perhaps even with white matting? I would also replace the small basket on the side with something bigger, taller, like a large plant.

  132. My vote would be for the seascape which I really do like. I loved the mirror (but appreciate your comment and opinion regarding proximity to full length mirror). Your did a nice job with the gallery wall but in general I don’t love a gallery wall for a master bedroom. Tranquility is so important for me in the room I wake up in, and I find them too busyin a bedroom. Good luck making your decision

  133. Pleeeeease don’t tell me that gallery walls are out! I JUST bought my first house (still living with my parents currently) and for years I’ve been dying to put a gallery wall somewhere in my own space!

  134. Large seascape. I love it. It does not look too small and one cannot underestimate the rejuvenating properties of a calm and relaxing bedroom.

  135. I actually breathed an audible sigh of relief when I got to the seascape option. It makes the most sense with all other factors considered. I agree that I would update the frame to something darker and simple, but otherwise I love it!

  136. I like seascape. Makes it feel more calm. But you have beautiful taste so whatever you chose will be lovely.

  137. I think the calm painting that makes you happy seems like the best way to go for real life. But maybe a different more modern frame?

  138. The seascape. Hands down. I was recently debating this same set of ideas in my bedroom and I came to the conclusion that a mirror right across my bed was too energetic, and a gallery wall presented the same problem. Like you, I need my bedroom to be calm in order for my brain to be calm.

    So, while I loved that mirror and I thought that gallery wall was stunning, the quiet, calming energy of that seascape will lull you to sleep much better. Plus, it is lovely.

  139. I prefer the single landscape. It’s the first thing you see when you wake up and I think it’s important to have something calming be the first impression of your day. Perhaps if you get it reframed they can add a linen matting to make it feel a little more finished. Would you consider a dark frame and maybe some gold detailing. I know, that sounds really fussy, but I think it could work.

    Yes, design is of course about looks. But it’s also how it makes us feel. And that’s an important message, too.

  140. Seascape and then 2-3 smaller pieces (arranged vertically) on the side wall between the corner and the window.

  141. Seascape! The gallery wall would look great over a buffet maybe in a dining room. Waking up and having your eyes jump around just isn’t my idea of a calm view.
    Good luck with the shoot.

  142. Mirror 1000%. The gallery wall looks frenetic. It’s too much and if you want calm that certainly is not it. The seascape is a lovely idea but the scale is off. Or maybe it’s the lamps that I don’t like. Get the mirror reframed and it’s perfect. Please, anything BUT the gallery wall. As I see it, you’re too mature for that now. Excited to see what you choose.

  143. You need to stick with the seascape in the bedroom. For any other room, the gallery is great, but it is just too busy in the bedroom. Could you find a similar soothing piece that is just a little bigger- I agree that particular piece is a little too small. Maybe mat the piece and go with the larger frame?

  144. A) That chair is one of the sexiest pieces of furniture I’ve ever seen. B) Definitely go with the seascape in a darker frame.

  145. Most definitely go for the seascape! The gallery wall is just too busy. That dresser is gorgeous.

  146. I never comment, but I’m commenting now – go with #3!!!! And maybe switch out the double lamps for just the brass Schoolhouse Electric lamp?

  147. I’m in agreement with the seascape. Gallery wall is too much for a calm bedroom. I also like the suggestion of some sort of greenery/tree in the corner.

  148. While I love, love the gallery wall and all of the individual pieces, I agree that it’s too busy for that particular bedroom. I vote for #3 seascape with painted dark frame. I also agree with another comment that it lets the dresser be the star of the show, which is feels right. It’s a calmer, more traditional look that can be edged up with accessories and lighting. I really like the target lamps you have on there now, they call back to the black sconces in the kitchen.

    That gallery wall as is would be perfection over a simpler console/buffet in a space that wants more energy.

  149. 100% single seascape painting. I totally get the concept of not having a busy wall in your bedroom We have an oil seascape/beach painting opposite our bed and it gives me such pleasure to look at.

  150. I like option #3 and totes feel you on the calm calm calm in the bedroom vibe. I love those target lamps and will be purchasing (thanks for the tip!) but I think I would like the metallic lamp instead maybe (?)

  151. The gallery wall looks great but I also wouldn’t want that in my bedroom. In the bedroom, I prefer simple and calm, so I’d go with the seascape. I’m not sure about the lamps with it though. I think that might be what’s making the artwork look a bit small, although like you said, it’s huge. I look forward to seeing what it looks like with the painted frame.

  152. Question: what do you do about all the nail holes?? I have purchased many new pieces of art that I can’t wait to hang but I’m perpetually second guessing where they should live. This leaves me in a state of comatose because I’m afraid of making the holes and then changing my mind. HELP! Any advice on what to do? Are there any great solutions for an indecisive lady such as myself??!??

    1. THANK YOU!!! I just asked the same question below (I didn’t read comments first!)

    2. Nail holes are really easy to cover up on a painted wall. Just fill them in with a little spackling paste, sand it when dry, and slap a coat or two of paint over the spackled area. I always do this when I move out of an apartment and my landlords are amazed at how clean my walls look.

    3. Unless you are talking about a heavy mirror or huge art- 3M command strips! I’ve used them on pictures and gallery walls all over my house. Just pull down, not out away from wall when removing. They are miracle workers

  153. Definitely the mirror or seascape. The gallery wall is too busy for a bedroom, but I agree that it photographs well!

  154. Although the gallery wall looked great, I agree about it not being as calming in a bedroom. I LOVE the seascape, and think that the darker colored frame will anchor the piece even more. I say go with your gut, if you feel like the gallery wall is too busy then you’ll continue to think that if it’s left up!

  155. Get the mirror replaced for sure! Everyone needs a mirror in their room to check out their outfit & to open up the room more

  156. IMO, the gallery wall without the three smaller frames on the left, and the two hanging off the right seems like it could work.

  157. The gallery wall is gorgeous but the sea scape matches the dresser way better. The gallery wall contrasts the dresser and the wall looks like it’s been split in half. I do think you need something else vertical beside it though…maybe a lovely floor lamp??

  158. I really like the gallery wall in the space, but I would reduce the size/number to fit within the dresser size. Simply removing the 5 pieces outside the width of the dresser simplifies and calms it down.
    While I like the single painting, adding the black lamps feels too mid-century to me and not really your new home style. Just my humble opinion.

  159. So I like the seascape – for the very reason you mentioned…it just feels calmer.

    But my reason for commenting is to ask HOW do you do a gallery wall and then take it down and not have a million holes in your new wall? Do you just use On Command Sticky tape until you are sure? Are there holes that you have to go back and patch up? Is this all photoshopped in? These are the questions that will keep me up at night. πŸ˜‰

  160. Seascape gets my vote too. Is the photo with the tree from Target? I thought I saw it tagged on instagram, but I can’t find it online. Also, I am dying to get the target armchairs from your living room and older posts, but it has been out of stock forever. Any idea if they are coming back, please!? Thank you!

  161. I would like to suggest option #4 if I may – use the big blue picture from the gallery wall and put it as a single piece of art in the middle of the wall above the dresser with the two Target lamps. It will balance out the black lamps and blue pillows on the bed side of the room. If that doesn’t work, I would go with the seascape and replace the frame.

  162. #3 large seascape with dark frame – for all the reasons you list – even tho the gallery wall is fabulous. You’re onto something here.

  163. I like the big round mirror in the original frame…..put a lamp on the dresser that is the same color so that they look like they go together. I am getting a little tired of gallery walls because I think that that they are often too busy. Your house is coming along just great. I love what you have done with the patio and the children’s fort.

  164. The seascape all the way! It’s gorgeous and to my eyes the gallery wall looks too busy.

  165. I vote mirror first, second would be the seascape but with a larger frame and mat to balance the dresser better. Also I’d suggest removing the cover on the chair so the beautiful wood shows through. Being a faithful follower for years I’ve noticed over time when you “finish” a room and are totally in love with it it’s usually because it’s more calm and simplified (for example your mid century home when you were “styling to sell”).

  166. Even before I scrolled down I was thinking, UGH that gallery wall is GREAT but I dont know if I could have it in my bedroom. And then of course you said the same thing.

    I think my issue with is isn’t necessarily the gallery wall – but the pieces within the gallery wall. The mix of “combination of different orientations, sizes, mediums and frames” is what did it. But its a GREAT gallery wall, and that may be whats making it successful? I’m not sure.

    The content of the seascape is great for the room… is there a way to do a gallery wall in soothing images, or does that make the gallery wall unsuccessful?

    This is a doozy.

  167. Seascape with a new or painted frame. Add a vase full of eucalyptus and a nice lamp to balance out either side.

    1. Agree. Totally died when I saw THAT MIRROR………then totally cried when THAT MIRROR broke…..ACK!!!
      LOOOOVE the seascape! And THAT CHAIR…….Dying here……..!!!

  168. MAN do I love that round mirror! It’s so wonderful. But if you’re going to keep the full length wall mirror then it doesn’t really seem to make sense. Maybe you can use it in the hallway? And the gallery wall…it’s dynamic, visually stimulating, and super well done…but I really love the calming presence of the ocean painting. It’s my favorite of the two, for sure. It seems like such a peaceful image, and the wall feels so much more uncluttered.

  169. I would definitely go with the seascape. The gallery wall, although fantastic, is too busy if you’re looking for calm and and restful surroundings.

  170. Seascape. Different lamps though. Do they have to have such dark shades? What about that neat white one? Is it too big? What do I know?

  171. I do love the gallery wall, it photographs beautifully! But if it isn’t calming, that’s ultimately most important! I vote to put the wall back up for the shoot but then replace the mirror as a permanent solution.

  172. Seascape all the way. The gallery wall is awesome but too busy for a bedroom. I feel like the seascape just says, “Ahh.”

  173. I agree with not the gallery wall for the purpose mentioned, but the seascape seems lonely and so rectangular. I personally think the two double black lamps are overpowering. How about something in between? And I’ve always wanted to ask you this question, how come you never use photographs to decorate your wall (art and/or family-type)? It’s always paintings or drawings.. just curious. Do you have something against them? I have a couple of artistic bw photos of my kids that are on my wall, and they’re the first things I see when I wake up and they always put a smile on my face every morning. Just a thought.

    And no, never a mirror to wake up to … sheesh, I wouldn’t want to see MY face first thing when I wake up..LOL.

  174. Seascape, but leave the frame as is, and find a large dark frame or that has ornate detail similar to the edge of the dresser or the legs, and just frame around the current seascape like a double border.

    1. SEASCAPE!
      Very English, as is your house, very calming, which is what you want, and it complements your beautiful dresser.
      Emily, stick to your instincts!

  175. Calm seascape. Once you style it out with a different lamp (maybe with color or a small fabric pattern on the shade to go full Brit?) and additional greenery/flowers, it will both look great and live great.

  176. I agree it would be too busy to wake up to every morning but for the real simple shoot I love the gallery wall.

  177. Seascape. Seascape all day long. It’s so serene. I read somewhere recently: I love looking at bold spaces more than I like living in them. That’s so true, right? The gallery wall looks amazing but I can see how this might not be the room for it.

  178. Large seascape with those fabulous matching black/bronze lamps is the clear winner. I think you will end up hating the gallery wall after a while.

  179. So my favorite is the gallery wall with just the schoolhouse lamp because it is as you say, simpler, but still has the flair with the gallery above. However, you should do whatever makes you feel better, especially in your bedroom so I recommend going with the large painting which is still gorgeous.

    Love your work!

  180. The only time I never got tired of a gallery wall was when I put one on a stair landing with a double height ceiling, you could see the gallery from either upstairs or downstairs and obviously when you were either walking up or down the stairs. I already commented and loved the huge oval mirror, just don’t want gallery walls to get a bad rap.

  181. Seascape, and a pair of lamps but not necessarily the ones shown from Target ( nor either of the other two. I love the globe lamps Orlando used in his master bedroom, or maybe even wall mounted options.

  182. I think the structure of the gallery wall is wonderful but I don’t think it’s right for the master bedroom. I completely agree with your thoughts of having an open, care-free, cluster-free bedroom; and I think that would best be achieved by the single seascape art. While I don’t love that particular seascape art, I love the idea of that piece.

  183. Totally agree with you: the gallery wall photographs better, but CALM is what you need in your bedroom. And the colors in the seascape play so wonderfully with the dresser — Gorgeous! Calm and gorgeous is a win-win. I love the mirror, just not in this context, so use it someplace else in the house.

    1. And my additional 2-cents on the lamps: one lamp, on the left, but I’m not crazy about any of them that you’ve tested here today.

  184. Definitely prefer the large piece of art. As I watched your Insta story I couldn’t help thinking how busy it was, even though it was lovely. My only feedback is that I don’t love the black shaded lamps. Curious how the large art + one of the other lamp options might look?

  185. Large seascape! My bedroom is incredibly similar to yours, and I agree that it feels better to have larger, calmer pieces in a small room so that it doesn’t feel overwhelming in there. Plus, like you said, a bedroom is where you want to REST and relax. That being said, I’d even remove one of the lamps to zen it out even more πŸ˜‰

  186. I love these questions! My vote is for the seascape, but not with a black frame… It would be an added expense, but (is it on canvas?) I think it would look nice with a natural wood frame, similar to your floors, the kind that look like the canvas is almost floating within the frame (no glass, I hope you know what I mean, just a small space between canvas and frame). Your eye wouldn’t go to the frame, and it might melt into the wall more and not call attention to the size. Then you could lighten it up with a white lamp.

  187. I like the seascape but, maybe just adding a large plant would next to the wall would add some life/movement/contrast that I think it needs?

  188. Replace the mirror for sure. The gallery wall photgraphs well but man, it would be way to busy for me in the bedroom. Maybe in a hallway or dining room or something, but I want the bedroom to be serene.

    The seascape is pretty, but I don’t think its tall enough in photographs. Looks like there is too much space between the dresser and the bottom of the painting.

    Mirror for sure. Looks the best in the pictures and would be the best thing to wake up to. I like the wood too don’t paint it!!!!!!!!

  189. Aesthetically, my vote is for gallery wall without the lowest right abstract piece, get rid of the chair and put a plant there for some greenery and height. Any of the lamps besides the black ones! I feel like the space needs a plant to make it warmer and more homey.

    But if the seascape brings you calm, go with that one!

  190. I like both the gallery wall and the seascape, and since your husband prefers the gallery wall, why not give him this one as so many other things in the house are to your preference?

  191. I totally love it more calm and serene so no gallery wall. I just removed a gallery wall from my home for the exact same reason.

  192. I vote gallery wall, but maybe quiet down the collection of images to simple & muted ones. Maybe a gallery wall of seascapes…

  193. Seascape or mirror for sure! Though I am leaning towards seascape because you said you already have a full-length mirror close by. The gallery wall is a good gallery wall, no doubt, but I 100% agree with you that it’s just too busy for a bedroom, especially on the wall that you stare at while laying in bed and waking up.

  194. I vote for the gallery wall with the mirror a close second. And the mirror is really calm and relaxing, but then, I don’t get this whole vintage seascape/portrait thing going on now. I’m in my sixties and my parents had a seascape over the fireplace in their living room (and most everything else was original Kinkades.) So this whole vintage art thing seems very granny to me. But whatever you pick is going to be perfect because it always is when you style it out! And that dresser is gorgeous! Custom for the win!

    1. Is it just me, but that ceiling light feels too big. But it could just be in relation to the siZe of the photos you chose and it could be totally fine in proportion to the room (although you did say the bedrooms are small.) That’s why you get paid the big bucks and all I decorate is my studio apartment! Maybe a post in the future on choosing the scale of ceiling fixtures? I know you did a round up of ceiling fixtures but how does one decide how big to go? You also touched on this with the chandelier in the dining room of your old house. I can’t afford to buy something just to try it and see if it works.

  195. I really dislike the gallery wall, so by all means, go seascape.

    The gallery wall feels like it is exploding off the wall–too much in too small of a space. I don’t love the seascape over that dresser, something about the color of the dresser and the seascape feels very dated to me, but I’m sure the styling will be more modern.

    1. Seascape but with some alterations!

      The colors are perfect, however the proportions are a challenge as it reads as vertically challenged.

      Perhaps you could have one of the team use Photoshop and mock up an image of the seascape with a mid tone mat color pulled from the art. Make the bottom of the mat larger than the sides and top, then use a dark frame like you mentioned. Place that on the wall over the dressers with Photoshop and see what you think of it.

      Or maybe someone has another idea for “cheating the height”. It’s a stunning painting, but a difficult size.

      And, I love, love, love your use of painted furniture in this house. Can’t wait to see the final result.

  196. My vote–Large seascape with tall green plant left of dresser…go for gallery wall in more public space for wow factor…stay calm in your private space.

  197. Surely you can get a few gallery walls in elsewhere in the house?? Its obviously gorgeous but the second i saw it, knowing where your bed is and the apparent smallish size of the room–i thought “i wouldn’t want to see that first thing in the morning/last thing at night in my bedroom” bc I’m all about peace and calm in the bedroom too. The seascape is super pretty but maybe there’s a happy medium with a large piece of art that’s more graphic?? Using similarly inspired tones??? Do you exactly now want any more choices right now??? Haha sorry! Looks great though!

  198. The seascape, which I immediately felt was more calming to look at than the gallery wall, with something like candle sconces on the wall either side. The sconces give it that wider presence but add a bit of old world and sparkle

  199. I think the gallery wall looks amazing! I love those pieces.
    BUT — at the end of the day, it’s only you and Mr. Hendo in that space and if you need/want/love the calming seascape? Go for that.
    Totally. All the way.

  200. Personally I would do the gallery wall but paired down to only the four pieces directly over the dresser…

  201. Prefer the seascape. Or perhaps a smaller collage with the seascape and two smaller pieces. Prefer the brass lamp. And the corner needs a tall plant instead of the chair!

  202. seascape for sure
    over gallery

    if you decide on mirror
    replacement, hang on
    wall, if possible, rather
    than attaching to dresser

  203. I for one am not and never will be over a good gallery wall. My issue is that the dresser is just so lovely and traditional and that gallery wall is frankly too edgy for her. That gallery wall drinks vodka and that dresser sips tea.

  204. I see why this is such a hard call. I think that the seascape is the right choice for you – and like other commenters have said, I agree that it really picks up the beautiful color of the dresser, and lets it shine.

    I think part of the reason it looks so small is that we usually expect a little more layering/height in your styling (I’m pretty sure you said it’s not all the way styled yet, and that we should be paying attention to the wall, right?). I feel like there must be something you can put in that corner that would make the wall look a bit less empty around the seascape – a tall/hanging plant? Something a little more like the beautiful ceramic bells you had in the living room in your previous home? I almost feel like something even like a hook on the wall next to the chair and a pretty robe hanging from it would help? I’m not sure.

    I do think that the gallery wall looks more magazine-y, but sometimes when I look at home decor magazines the rooms feel difficult to live in, and it seems like it makes more sense with your life and your brand to go with the calmer/more livable version.

    Good luck!

  205. Hello
    What is the paint color in your bedroom? Love it. And while I like gallery walls, I like the single seascape for your bedroom, more calm & less busy. Thank you!

  206. i agree with you that the gallery wall looked great but felt busy. have you tried taking that mirror on the side wall, turning it horizontally and hanging it above your dresser? otherwise, have you considered reframing the seascape in a frame with a matte so it looks better scaled to the wall?

  207. Jumping on the seascape bandwagon! Although I also liked the gallery wall with the gold lamp, I agree that the seascape is more calming and lets the dresser shine πŸ™‚

  208. seascape, for sure! I do love the gallery wall, but if I had to wake up to it at 4am I would start to not love it so much after a few days…

  209. Imho, the gallery wall is much too busy, made even busier with by the assorted lamps.

    The seascape with the black lamps is beautiful and gives the bedroom a calmness every bedroom deserves.

  210. I have a question: On your window treatments, why are there 4 pleats and then one non-pleated section? Is it just an illusion?

  211. totally with you on the seascape! might try a different frame -maybe even a modern, minimalistic one? – but overall I love it a lot. I loved your old house and I’m loving this one and one of the things I love about it, is that its so calm and cozy – and if theres any room that should totally represent that, its the bedroom, no? (:
    Gallerywalls can be lovely and while this one is fine, I agree that its too bussy for the room and additionally I think it makes the room look low and somewhat cramped, while the seascape gives it room to breathe (that might be the photos though…)
    tl,dr: I’d say go with the seascape! πŸ˜€

  212. I like both the seascape and gallery wall – but I think it is important to do whatever makes you feel most calm when you wake up/go to sleep.

    Side question: do you use the command strips to hang your gallery wall pieces or what do you do to prevent having one million holes in the wall?

      1. Yes! I was wondering the same thing. How do you switch around your design options without destroying your walls?

  213. Seascape or gallery, and they key is the matching black table lamps. Symmetry = calm. Love the close up of the sea scape, but is pretty plain zoomed out. What about adding a some greenery (one hanging plant) in the right corner? Regardless of what you chose, all the options are beautiful.

  214. Seascape, different lamps.
    My reaction, before you even asked was that the gallery wall was too busy.

  215. I don’t like the gallery wall, and while I love the seascape, I don’t think that’s right either.

    Have you tried leaning the large blue abstract, with another smaller but still large piece together on one side. And then a large lamp on the other side. And then of course some chotchkies and a tray maybe.

  216. Ok, I’ve lurked on this site for a long time and kept resisting actually commenting because I need to dial back on the internet, but whatever. The community here is so kind…not to mention the wonderful content. πŸ™‚

    Anyway, I vote seascape, too. I have to stop myself from creating gallery walls all over my own house, so I do enjoy them. But our bedrooms should be a serene, calming retreat from the noise and busyness of the day. I think the seascape adds interest without overpowering the room. It’s lovely.

  217. option 3: large seascape. They’re all beautiful, but the simplicity and calming effect of the single large piece are more important that how it looks in a photo. This is your everyday life – go with your gut.

  218. i think the gallery wall is too busy in the pic and for a smallish bedroom, IRL, way too much.

  219. All about the seascape! For me, it’s no contest. Especially since creating a calm space is the priority. But I must gush about the dresser. Perfection! I love everything about it. It’s the perfect inspirational/aspirational piece. And it reminds me of other things I’m loving about your house, like the climbing roses on the back patio. I’m so glad you jettisoned the other dresser and found this!

  220. Both of the options are gorgeous! You can do no wrong Emily! This room will be stunning eather way.
    Ps. Such beautiful lamps, I love the golden one and the white one πŸ™‚

  221. I’m with you I like the seascape better (with your frame modification) but instead of two lamps I’d do one just on the right side. It still feels like two much with the double-double lamps sitting there.

  222. Seascape all the way!! It is much more relaxed and calming…..just what a bedroom should be. Love it!

  223. I am in the minority but I like the mirror…also I know this is off topic, but would you mind sharing the color/material of the drapes? They are beautiful!!

  224. Seascape! The gallery wall is very nice but a calm bedroom is very important. I wonder if it could be hung just a little lower though?

  225. Seascape or fixed round mirror FTW. Simplicity is best here. I didn’t even notice that fantastic chair with the gallery wall, there was too much going on IMO.

  226. # 3 (large Seascape)definitely! It’s such a gorgeous piece, and what really matters is waking up to something that doesn’t make your head spin! The gallery wall might photograph well, but you are the one who has to wake up to that wall every morning. Go with your gut, go with the seascape!

  227. What about re-framing the seascape with a darker frame? It would make if feel a bit more substantial and modern?

    Do you and Brian have enough storage with only one dresser? Do you have folded clothes storage in your closet too?

    I wish my husband and I could share a dresser. With master bedrooms that require two dressers, is it better to have two mismatched dressers, two identical matching ones or one long dresser and one tall dresser that match?

  228. The gallery wall looks pretty flipping masterful… like someone with amazing taste curated it! (My favorite version of the gallery wall was with the Schoolhouse lamp.)

    But your peace in the morning trumps that, so keep the seascape! Also, I’m loving the balanced look of the same lamp on either end, but the silhouette and black shade on the Target lamps seem a little punchy in that calm space.

    I love all the experimenting… it helps me so much with my own choices! Thank you.

  229. I can’t handle a gallery wall in the bedroom for the reasons you mentioned. Stick with the painting. Hang it a tad lower. πŸ™‚

  230. #3 Seascape for everyday life and use the heck out of the gallery wall photo on social media πŸ™‚ Beautiful work both ways.

  231. I like the seascape the best, most calming and works the best with the dresser, but can you live in a bedroom without a mirror?

  232. I like the seascape painting better too. and maybe you could put sconces on either side of the painting or a floor lamp where the chair is…? to fill up the extra space. love your blog! πŸ™‚

  233. you know the saying: “keep calm and carry on”. Done, seascape it is. Now get a google home or some kind of white noise machine to play waves for you before bed and as your alarm. But seriously the google home abilities as white noise or calming noises is AMAZING!!! You can thank me in a future blog post.
    xx LL

  234. Use the Gallery Wall for the photo shoot, then change to the calming seascape afterwards. The mirror looks nice, but as a girl who has a large mirror facing me every time I get out of the shower, the thoughts of waking up to that much mirror every morning would put me over the edge!!

    Lastly, I like the white lamp.

  235. I’d go gallery wall, but with further editing. I don’t love how it takes over the whole wall and that is undoubtedly contributing to the busy factor. Maybe lose the big pieces and go with the smaller pieces, just directly over the dresser? Or keep the big ones plus 2-3 small ones and, again, stay on top of the dresser vs. entire wall? I just personally love the art pieces in the gallery wall so much more than the seascape which feels dark and heavy to me but I also tend to have poison eye for oil still life so YMMV. πŸ™‚

  236. Wow. I don’t usually feel so out of step with the comments, but I am going to throw a minority vote out for fixing the mirror. I think the proportions work much better and lots of mirrors seem normal ina bedroom. Especially since they are opposite a bunch of windows next to each other. The seascape option makes the wall feel naked to me (not minimal), and I have a personal problem with too much symmetry… but it will look great.

  237. I liked the mirror. But since it is no more and you have the seascape, that would be my choice. I thought the lamps were not quite right, they fought with my eye and read as equal to the painting when I wanted to just look at the ocean. It’s a lovely room πŸ™‚

  238. Mirror – 100% way to go.
    Gallery wall is WAY too busy for a bedroom that you’re seeking to make a calm space. The Seascape, candidly, looks like one of those old paint by numbers pieces. The mirror will reflect light from the window over your bed as well as the sky outside … creating, in effect, another window in your room.
    As for the lamps, I think you need to keep looking.
    Love the blog, Emily!

  239. You probably don’t want to pay for electrical work but I think the seascape with really awesome vintage sconces on either side would provide the scale and balance you need on the wall, with the lighting you want without cluttering the dresser top with lamps or cluttering the wall with the not-so-soothing gallery.

  240. Seascape. But not with those lamps. More substantial lamps should give your tableau a bigger presence.

  241. The seascape! Sometimes you just have to go with how it makes you feel. And I totally get wanting to declutter your mind, especially in your bedroom. And if you re-frame it like you mentioned, I bet you will fall more in love.

    The gallery wall looked amazing though!

  242. I say, go with the gallery wall but simplify it. Keep the pictures that are directly above the dresser, but ditch the two on the far right and the three on the far left. I like the big white lamp on the dresser, or consider using a curving floor lamp instead, placed in the corner.

  243. I agree that the seascape is calming. I’d go with a larger frame; one that is twice or three times the size of what you’ve got there, in a lighter-than-black color so that it doesn’t distract too much from the dresser or painting. Also, I’d get rid of the dresser clutter- it’s not calming at all. Instead of table lamps, go for sconces on either side of the wall which will fill in that empty space. I really don’t like those black Target lamps in that space (sorry Target). I prefer the bronze one if you’re going to do a table lamp. Good luck!

  244. This is where you hang the submarine/dirigible poster thingy you got in New York.

  245. Seascape definitely. I love a valley y wall as well, but I also prefer to keep my bedroom decor simple. Plus that seascape is beautiful and pairs perfectly with the dresser and matching lamps.

  246. Option #3 – the seascape, but maybe add a sconce on the wall on either side of it to help fill the wall space just a little more without making it busy.

  247. Gallery wall pretty, but too busy for a bedroom. I say seascape with a floorlamp or tree next to it? Or simple mirror to fill some space?

  248. Love, love, love the dresser and it should be the star of the show. I vote for the seascape with a more subtle frame. How about two sconces, instead of lamps, to add to the calm, uncluttered look.

  249. Such a pretty room. I like the seascape or the mirror. The gallery wall was a little much ?

  250. The gallery looks like it should have the latest west elm dresser, but a stylist assistant named Melissa coveted the west elm dresser so much that she switched it out late one night with her great aunt’s dresser she had inherited but never felt like it was quite right, hoping that the next morning no one would notice. The seascape looks like what her more worthy sister who should have gotten the dresser, except Melissa always threw a fit and got what she wanted even if she never really appreciated it. Samantha, the worthy sister, would pair it with an oversized seascape that brought out the beauty of the dresser’s unique coloring, and counter balanced its traditionalism with just the right touch of angular and curved modernism.

      1. Thanks! Maybe I will ? . . . ?‍?. I kind of already love these sisters, I think they might have a good story to tell. If so I am including you in the credits (tv shows can have credits like in the forwards of books right?)

  251. I would love to see a nice tall plant on the right side and maybe some texture over the dresser….are Juju hats still a thing? Or not…..

  252. I still love a gallery wall and have one hung over an extra long console behind my sectional and a smaller gallery wall in my guest bedroom. I always tell clients if they don’t love it we’ll do something else. Living near the beach in Florida, I love beach and sea pictures. For me the lamps need to be swapped out. The four shades is throwing me off. I would love to see one large lamp, maybe with a lighter shade that disappears and makes the seascape the real focus. On a side note, I love the dresser and the color looks fab in photos.

  253. Why not a compromise of #3 with just a few more sea-scapy things alongside? That might totally take the fun out of the gallery wall (by making it less eclectic and more coherent) but it would also calm things a little, while retaining some of the fun? Any options for a gallery wall in the hallway?

    But whatever you do, I’d give the job to that brassy lamp! A keeper.

  254. you need to dump that terrible seascape — put it on the flea for cheap so i can buy it. πŸ™‚ while you’re at it, put the cherner chair up too, i’ll grab both. so jealous. think my hubbie would mind if i propped the seascape in front of our HUGE tv? sigh.

    but what i really want to know is what happened to the FAB custom bed from last house????? loved it.

  255. Normally I wouldn’t offer my opinion on someone else’s house, but since you’re asking… I prefer the seascape. It’s beautiful and calm and mood matters so much more than a “perfect” photo. The gallery wall looks a little young, less natural and less effortless and like it’s trying too hard. It’s like me when I was 27.

  256. Absolutely #3! Calmness rules in the bedroom and the frame is easily painted.

  257. Seascape is definitely the more peaceful, but not quite big enough to hold the space. I like the ideas of paring down the gallery wall. Maybe bigger lamps would fix the scale a bit

  258. Wake up to calm and peaceful #3. Maybe with something smaller and ethereal on the side of it? Like a way smaller version of your ribbon art or one of the wooden hanging thingamabobs?

  259. Fo sho the seascape! Gallery walls look terribly dated to me, a trend that died about a year ago, and lack conviction. Go big, bold and decisive!

  260. I vote seascape! I think gallery walls are pretty played out at this point. They look cheap and ubiquitous––the sort of thing you could find in any suburban house in America. I love that you’re constantly pushing the envelope (even if that means going more historical, with this English Tudor house) and I think your seascape instincts are right on!

  261. I like the idea of a single big piece of art but maybe not THAT piece or art? Something more graphic or with more blank space? Maybe if it was matted and reframed I would like it better but that view with the dresser just doesn’t look like you.

  262. I think bedrooms should always be simple. Its a place that’s main function is REST and business can disrupt that feeling we soooo need as busy moms, always tidying up. I vote for for the clean, simple, minimal option, its feels restful and peaceful! Love it!

  263. I totally agree that the bedroom should make you feel peaceful and calm, I think the gallery wall is too busy, maybe get rid of some will be better? I prefer #3 large seascape (with painted dark frame) I think if you pair the schoolhouse mushrooms lamp with the large painting, it might visually feel much in harmony πŸ™‚

  264. Seascape for the win – not just because it is calmer, it is also better! The scale is obviously huge and with a new frame would be totally perfect.

  265. I love the seascape. Who says you have to fill an entire wall? It works great with the dresser. Not so sure about the lamps – how about the schoolhouse lamp?

  266. I like the seascape. I had a gallery wall facing my bed in our last home and not only was it not calming, I got kind of sick of it. You look at that gallery wall so much. I still love the gallery wall in my living room but there’s something about a bedroom that gets old. I also think your bedroom is so light and bright that it feels fresh in a simple and elegant way. I would let those natural elements shine and quiet the dresser wall.

  267. what color is the paint in your bedroom? i love it and am looking for a nice non-white white.

  268. Seascape. It is not too small. It’s calm and interesting and lovely for that space. I might consider a larger more interesting frame (maybe light wood like the mirror but carved). I adore a gallery wall but not there.

  269. I loved them all, and that gallery wall is one of the best … love how it wraps slightly beyond and around the Bureau …. but what woould be best and most calming is seascape, but lowered about 3-4 inches… it’s a little high, and then center above one simple mirror. :). Maybe a round or curved mid century type??? But who knows. The symmetry will be calming and the small piece above will draw your eyes up, and the small mirror will pull in your full length but not compete

    1. Or how about lowering the seascape a smidge and putting a 3-light sconce over it?

  270. Seascape. I had a perfect gallery wall in my living room. PERFECT! But then I had a piece I bought in Amsterdam framed and it was so WOW that it screamed for the prime real estate over the buffet. So down went the gallery wall and up went the newly framed art. BAM! It’s so good. Calmer, less fussy, more impressive because of the size of the piece. I’m now over gallery walls. At least for the next couple of years!

  271. The picture you love pics up the Colour’s in the dresser but I would do only one lamp the brass schoolhouse lamp on the dresser. I did like the gallery wall but a bedroom is supposed to feel calming so go for your favorite picture!

  272. I love the simple, soft, calm, a bit spare feeling of the seascape. Perfect.

  273. I say seascape. That gallery wall is just too much noise for a bedroom.

    I mean, I also would be down with fixing the mirror or getting one just like it, but that sounds like it might be more complicated, and at the end of the day mirror or art is a more practical day to day choice.

    No on the gallery wall though. I agree, it’s a really nice photo. It’s way too much to look at in bed.

  274. The seascape, no contest. Paint the frame or get a new one.

    When I first saw the gallery wall image, even before reading your text, I thought it looked way too busy for a bedroom. Gallery walls are better in offices or living/dining rooms.

    I think some space on a wall, especially in a bedroom, can actually be really nice in person. But you could try sconces on either side of the seascape–either lamps or taper candles (I’ve always thought this was cool: I am really not liking those two double lamps on the dresser. That just makes it look busy again! If sconces are no good, consider finding a smaller, more traditional pair of “dresser lamps.”

  275. I love the gallery wall but not
    For a bedroom. Too busy, you’re right. The seascape is much better.

  276. I myself love a gallery wall and maybe way too much. I like it as you had it with the one brass lamp. HOWEVER, I’m with you on the single painting. It’s much more relaxing for a bed room. Maybe ooph it up by changing out the frame. In this case, I think the gallery wall is for another room.

  277. I opt for smaller gallery wall. I can see the large abstract painting with two smaller ones to its right and leave out the other pieces.
    I know you love your vintage landscapes/seascapes and the colors in that seascape compliment the dresser color beautifully but, as an artist, it is not necessary to match art to the decor. I think a three piece gallery wall would be a wonderful option.

  278. I see the seascape, a standing lamp, and get rid of the sheepskin so that the midriff of the Cherner doesn’t disappear into the wall. Let that gal show off her waist while she still can! I’d introduce her to the Revolve Floor Lamp by Bert Frank, with the blue shade.

  279. Hi Emily,
    I feel it not the length of the seascape but the height that prevents it from looking perfect for the space. The seascape and the dresser essentially create two parallel lines with their almost identical proportions (1:2). I do love the calm it brings, do see if you can frame it differently or go for another seascape in different proportions (closer to 2:3).

  280. I vote 3- large seascape. I’m all about the calmmmm. Maybe add a plant as well to really make it zen πŸ™‚

  281. I already ‘voted’ seascape and I am still 100% Team Seascape.

    But I wanted to add that what the dresser really needs to make the whole thing work is a big beautiful bouquet of flowers that looks like it was picked this very morning from Gertrude Jekyll’s own border. And the flowers should be in a beautiful vase – maybe Arts and Crafts or Chinoiserie or even a Victorian faded floral transfer print pitcher/ewer from a washstand set. That is the touch that will make it rock the California meets English Country House look.

    Add a modern lamp or tchotchke if you like, but flowers are the thing.

  282. So from a Feng Shui perspective, big mirror across from the bed is a BIG no, no…so energetically, your leaning towards what you want–CALM! For balance, perhaps have the central seascape, what your eye is drawn to, and add perhaps two small–less busy of the bunch frames on either side. Compromise!

  283. I am an artist and while I love galley walls I agree that it is too stimulating for master bedroom. Also I think the pieces should be closer together, and maybe you could move them to a hall. I don’t like gallery walls to look overly styled. It’s about the art.

    Also the seascape to me is too small for that large chest. I would prefer the mirror because I am assuming it will reflect light from a window on the opposite wall. It doesn’t appear that the floor mirror reflects anything special.

  284. I like the seascape, and I actually don’t hate the frame. I don’t like faux painting so maybe it looks different in person? I like two simple lamps but maybe not the one’s you’ve shown. I do like the black shades against the seascape just not four of them. Whatever you do it will look amazing.

  285. Seascape with giant brass pots full of long, trailing plants hanging on either side!

  286. Have not read all the comments so sorry to repeat I agree w many people that one painting is calmer but the problem with the gallery was is that it is wider than the dresser Take off the two on either end and maybe change the smaller ones a bit and it should feel much better

  287. I am all in to your last photo! I know what you mean about calm. I’ve done gallery walls and love them but a couple of times I have put them in places only to find that I couldn’t stand the “commotion” of it and changed them out for one large picture that was calming. I also love the two black lights….

  288. Stick w your plan for calm or you will be annoyed everyday. Seascape! (And maybe there is another place for that gallery wall?)

  289. Hi Em,

    I would go for either the mirror or the seascape. I think our room, above all, must make us feel comfortable and calm so we can have a good rest. I absolutely love that mirror of yours but if you are not willing to give up the full length mirror then I would rather stay with the seascape.
    1st place: Mirror
    2nd place: Seascape

  290. LOVE the dresser! I agree with you about the gallery wall though. It would look amazing in a living room, but it’s a little too busy for the bedroom. The seascape feels simpler and calmer (and is a nostalgic choice for me because my grandparents had a set of these kind of seascapes in their house when I was growing up). I think it would fit in even better if you painted the frame white. It would feel more modern but also more serene and would be a nice juxtaposition with the vintage feel of the painting. Just my 2 cents! This is my first time posting a comment, but I’ve followed your blog for years. I have my own design company (interiors, fashion, graphic design) and you have helped me SO much to figure out what the hell I’m doing, so thank you πŸ™‚

  291. I prefer the seascape or the mirror. Perhaps leave seascape until the mirror can be fixed, but the gallery wall would be way too busy for me, especially waking up to that every morning. The seascape photos felt like a nice exhale after the photos of the gallery wall. Warm regards!

  292. Gallery wall. In the pictures it looks the best, though I get how it would feel busy in real life. My back up would be the mirror, it’s simple, modern, and will make the room feel bigger.

  293. I’m totally on your side!!!
    Calmness in the bedroom – CHECK.
    The gallery seems too busy to me… esp for the bedroom…
    AND.. the bonus is that some of the colours in the seascape painting look like they’re pulled directly from the dresser!
    If that’s not a sign, I don’t know what is πŸ˜‰

  294. I know I’m like comment #431 so the chance of it being read are fairly slim but I cant help myself…

    I say one large painting, photograph, textile (I will never consider gallery walls over but like everything they gotta be good and appropriate for the space).

    However Id like to see something other than a seascape. We see a lot of seascapes from you Em. A nice pastoral would be stunningly soothing. Maybe get inspired by what your pal Orlando has done and think about an amazing triptych, textile, or screen. Obv don’t rip him off but he puts great stuff in his walls and it never feels wrong

  295. The Seascape!!! I would feel similarly to you waking up to the busy-ness of the gallery wall. The gallery wall is beautiful — but doesn’t deliver the calming effect of the single seascape piece. I’m with you.

  296. Gallery wall. I love the interest it provides with each individual piece and the overall effect of it all working together!

  297. I love the gallery wall but I’m with ya on waking up to calm and simple vibes

  298. A real debate! I will go for seascape too. I love too keep it simple so I can dream about simple things.

  299. seascape! but something still isn’t quite right to my eye… perhaps reframe that lovely seascape to fit the scale of the dresser better (someone thought the height was what was throwing off the balance..? in the picture anyway as you say the size is fine in person…) i’m personally not a fan of the current frame so I would re-frame it or maybe just paint the frame?… buuuut I’m kinda thinking what’s missing is some visual breathing room so maybe the seascape needs to be reframed -with a mat..!? look forward to seeing the ‘final’ outcome ; )
    Em, I love that you ask us our opinions even though I am 100% certain you know best : ) answering your ‘ask the audience’ question, is like doing a mini-exercise in composition in the design class you are more or less teaching here on the blog every day. thank you to Emily and everybody at EH Design for your inspiration & generosity. have a great shoot with Real Simple today!

  300. The seascape. Definitely. Calm and peaceful. Getting a good night’s sleep and feeling quiet inside = priceless. As you commented, you have other space to display the artwork. What I love about your blog is your balance of form and function/aesthetics and real life. Brava, Emily for your honest and humble approach to design!

  301. Not sure if you’ve shared this elsewhere, but what is the paint color in your bedroom please? Also, I love a gallery wall, but I could see how just having the one picture is much more calm and peaceful for a bedroom.

  302. Hi:

    I have a quick question about the overhead flushmount light! i love it, but it looks like you may have adjusted the height? Is that correct? When I click on the link, the stem of the light looks very long! i would love to utilize this in my master closet.


  303. Definitely the seascape – I’m fighting the same fight in my own home. I love ALL THE THINGS, but after spending all day at my job as an art director, I need calm and serenity in my home. Go with your gut!

  304. I like the gallery wall better, but edited down (remove the two on the far left and two on the far right, so that the artwork is only above the dresser). I think that’ll calm things down and leave enough breathing room so it doesn’t feel so crazy when you wake up in the morning :). I love the seascape too, but that feels like *too* much empty space. Can’t wait to see what you do!

  305. I think the gallery wall looks great in the pictures, but I totally understand wanting to wake up to a calm seascape! I think the seascape looks great too, its just the comparison of the two that throws it off. What if you reframed it in something more modern or with a mat? That might help it fill the wall a little more the way the gallery wall did.

  306. Maybe a mirror/art combo? In my own bedroom, I have a mirror in the center of our dresser and then two matching pictures on each side. It’s still interesting, but also calming as I totally agree that a gallery wall is a bit much for when you first wake up! Maybe the mirror/art combo is the best of both worlds? And I totally understand about maybe too much mirror in one room but I don’t think so as they’re different lengths and serve different purposes. Good luck with your decision!

  307. Emily,
    I have a random question. sorry!!!! What paint color did you use on your walls in your bedroom?

  308. I have to say, I love the mirror! Is it possible to just hang the mirror above the dresser and not have it mounted? I think that’ would look really good. But if two mirrors really feels like too much, then I say seascape. I love the gallery wall – it does look beautiful, but I agree that waking up to it everyday would feel a little overwhelming. Could you recreate the gallery wall above the family room sofa or around the television? That room could handle some tasteful busy. So, I also vote for seascape. I am all for a calming bedroom, especially with littles! Mama’s need calm when and where they can get it. I like the seascape with the schoolhouse lamp. Maybe redo frame with modern white frame? Something more contrasty.

  309. Seascape with smaller portrait mirrors on either side to widen your view and reflect light (and give you some mirrors).

  310. Gallery wall, but try just keeping the pieces over the dresser. A little less going on for the calm feeling you are going for.

  311. I actually like the gallery wall, but there is too much stuff on top of the dresser. It’s making it look too busy. Maybe leave only a lamp and something small next to it (like a bud vase or small book pile) and that will decrease all the visuals going on.

  312. I vote gallery wall! I don’t like waking up to a mirror across from me :)! I do love that picture as well but I think the gallery wall is so cool!

  313. I can’t help wanting to see a mirror there! I’m trying! But all I see is a need for a mirror and then a few smaller artworks to one side. It all looks so lovely. I can see why it’s hard to choose.

  314. Let the dresser sing! Go with the seascape. Can’t wait to see it with the painted (I’m assuming matte) frame. That dresser is perfection.

  315. Actually, I love the seascape and empathize with you on calming atmosphere being key in the bedroom. I also love the Target lamps! However, and this is a very minor thing, I’m not too keen on the woven blanket basket together with the seascape – to me it looks like a laundry basket rather than a styling item. What about the blanket ladder with the seascape? (And wow, that is such a minor thing to be hung up on, I’m laughing at myself)

  316. I love gallery walls, BUT only one per home, and NOT in a bedroom, because bedrooms should be calm. Your gallery wall is a PERFECT blend of color, styles, texture, balance, etc., but I would like it better in another room. I would keep the large seascape since you’ve admitted that it calmed you, but reframe it with a simpler frame.

  317. I am more of a comment reader as I’m lazy like that + typically just think you’ll make the best decision regardless what everyone else says/complains/thinks, but for this, I must weigh in because I LOVE the seascape THAT MUCH! The frame doesn’t bother me one bit and the size is perfectly proportionate to that beautiful dresser.

  318. Really love the seascape, but not necessarily with the lamps. Probably too late for this, but could wall sconces on either side of the painting address the space issue and get rid of the table lamps which make it feel a bit cluttered for me?

  319. Love the seascape, but I’d go with only one lamp (the brass) on the left side of the painting to balance out the warm tones in both the right side of the painting and the (totally awesome) chair. That room is beautiful; I love how light it is and the contrast of the window hardware and trim.

  320. i don’t get it. do you make holes in your wall and then cover them up. I am so scared to experiment with art. I feel like its a long term commitment

  321. Always more calm for the bedroom…either the mirror or seascape with that 1 great schoolhouse lamp!

  322. I caught your comment about not wanting to date the room with a mirror attached to a dresser and I have been waffling over this for months now! Bought a new teak dresser that came with the mirror and I feel like it would be wasteful to get rid of…but wasn’t sure if it was a deign faux pas. Are there any instances where you feel like dresser/mirror combos work?

  323. Hi Emily! Love getting a glimpse into your design process – I’m in the process of buying a new home and am considering paint options — I love the color for your room and am trying to tell of it is an off-white, a greige… do you mind sharing what color it is? Also, for a 1st time home-buyer, what are your thoughts on whether to paint all the rooms the same color, etc.? πŸ™‚

  324. I say it depends. Photo wise, I agree with others who say a scaled back version of the gallery wall is great in terms of scale. I think I like it best with the single brass lamp, which is simple and sculptural to me. Super pinable and would probably be great in the magazine. In real life, I vote for the visual simplicity and calmness of the seascape. I also love the idea of going with the “real life” version using the seascape because, well, sometimes it is nice to see what truly works for you and makes you happy in real life rather than what would make the most interesting composition for the pic.

  325. Seascape! And does it need to come down on the wall just a smidge closer to the dresser?

  326. What I like about the gallery wall is how much wall it covers… Could you get a larger (much larger) seascape?

  327. the seascape would be really good if the frame was BIGGER! wrong proportion! yes, darker, too.

  328. I am trying to incorporate some new curtains into my living space. I love blue, any shade especially teal. I have a tan couch and two tan chairs. dining set chairs are tan and I have an open concept living, dining and kitchen scenario. Black refrigerator and accents. My walls are a light gray. What affordable accents can I add ? …and also , I bought another pair of curtains that are yellow gold with a little gray. (I try to buy curtains that can be moved around from room to room.) these gold will first go into my bedroom whit my walls are darker gray and my bed clothes are as follows: whit Cynthia Rowley quilt with tiny gray dots…How should I proceed , a little at a time ? ….

  329. Keep the seascape. Or the mirror. The gallery wall is nice in of itself but it is too busy for a bedroom. The mirror is nice, Just don’t attach it to the dresser. Hang it from the wall. πŸ™‚

    By the way, please explain the “insta-story” thing for those of us who really don’t know what you’re talking about or how to participate. Thanks.

  330. Apologies if you’ve answered this question somewhere already but here it is: what is the paint color you used in your bedroom?

    Thank you!

  331. My take on this comes from a completely amateur eye; I’m not a designer and have little experience, but I only depend on my eye when I look at a space. The gallery wall does look way too busy; the one painting did have a sparse feel. My suggestion would be to keep the seascape painting and add two smaller paintings so the three would be centered over the beautiful dresser ( I understand you may not have two other paintings or prints in the same color scheme or theme). Three pictures are definitely not too busy. Another suggestion would be to replace your beautiful chair with a tall plant to add some height and to balance that off add a taller basket on the other side (however, not taller than the dresser). As beautiful as the chair is, it has no function in that corner and it looks like it was placed there until something better could be found – the tall plant is the way to go. The basket on the other side is way to short. The top of the dresser would look better with only a few items, maybe a small table clock and a plant and some other pretty item. The focal point should be the dresser and art work. I’m so surprised that your designer friends & you ultimately went with the busy art gallery wall…it looks like it is competing with the dresser – let your dresser do the talking.

  332. It is so hard to get a room to photograph the way it feels in real life. I’m sure that part of why the seascape feels small in the photo is that without a scale reference, people naturally assume the dresser is smaller than it really is. It’s nice to have some breathing woom on the wall, but I’m on team seascape with sconces.

  333. I think the gallery wall is nice, but I can see the busy-ness in it. I think if you swapped out the biggest piece (the blue abstract) with something less harsh and softer looking, your problems would be solved. It’s beautiful but maybe too much visually on the eyes in the morning/night when you’re trying to shut that mom brain down. Love everything else though!!

  334. Love the seascape. Gallery walls are for halls. πŸ™‚

    But, I don’t like the pair of modern black lamps with the seascape. Or the basket with the dark handles. The contrast of the dark handles draws the eye down low, and adds clutter. I’m a big believer that all dark-light contrast has to deserve to grab your attention, and handles on a basket don’t deserve it. And I like contrast always to be higher, drawing the eye up, never down below waist level. If something is needed there on the left floor, maybe the ladder with a white or light solid throw folded over the top rung. I would use ONLY the white lamp on the dresser. Add some branches or a taller green plant, either on the other side of dresser or on the floor replacing the basket.. And I’d fill the space on the sides with large hanging lanterns with Luminara pillar candles. Set the Luminaras to go on automatically each evening, and keep the remote in the nightstand for instant gratification on cloudy mornings as well. I wouldn’t try to fill the space with a bigger mat/frame for the seascape, because the reason it looks a little small is the blank horizontal space on the sides. A bigger frame may still leave too much blank space to the sides.

    If I were going with the gallery wall for photo shoot purposes, I’d still make it less busy. 1) Remove the 3 smallest frames (lower-right, and 2 upper-middle above the white frame). Move lower-right to spot above white frame. Might need to move far-right wooden one down a bit, or even shift them all over to the right a bit. Paint all frames WHITE. Black is too much contrast, creating drama instead of calm. Wood tone doesn’t relate to anything else, adding busy-ness. 2) White lamp only. Black = too much contrast/drama. Non-matching pair = NO NO NO. 3) Remove the basket on floor, or at least the dark contrast handles. Maybe use the ladder, with a white throw folded over top or 2nd-from-top rung. (If the ladder is there, the light-wood frames could probably stay wood too, instead of being painted white.)

    In summary, seascape with MORE elements added to the sides. Or, gallery wall with LESS.

  335. I often wonder about this. My (limited) experience tells me that rooms need a lot in them to look done in photographs. But can a photo always be the litmus test?

  336. Dear Emily,

    Everything is so stunning, tasteful and inspiring, as usual.
    Can you please share where the long wall mirror is from? It’ll be so perfect for my bedroom! Thank you so much πŸ™‚

  337. I vote to get the mirror replaced. Loved it. So unique. Second vote is large landscape painting but there is something missing in the styling. Some height somewhere on either side of painting or a larger painting. Gallery wall is my least favorite and totally overdone, IMO. I am also a mom and get the need for serenity in the bedroom. BTW, I absolutely loved the look of the old chest you had to get rid of. The warm wood was so good. Too bad it couldn’t come live with me. Can’t wait to see full style post. Gonna be great.

  338. Seascape 100 %, but ditch the lamps just my opinion. Loving the dresser….she’s a real beauty!!!!

Comments are closed.