Interior Decorating by Elaine Burns

Filtering by Tag: gallery wall

Small Space Living

Now that I am settled into my new home - that I moved into back in October - I wanted to share my design wins and hurdles from my biggest project to date!

Photo by E. Fikentscher

Photo by E. Fikentscher

Pistachio offers all of the design and styling services featured below. I’d love to work with you on your next project!


Photo by E. Fikentscher

Photo by E. Fikentscher

This serves as the central focal point for my main living space. The colors featured in the art act as a reference point for the rest of the decor.

Pro Tip - Consider what you want your central piece to be and build your layout design around it (doesn’t necessarily need to be the largest item!).


Photo by E. Fikentscher

Photo by E. Fikentscher

This was my biggest challenge for the apartment and I’m beyond thrilled with how it turned out.

I used plantation shutters to make a faux wall - creating a clear division of the bedroom from the living room. By using floor-to-ceiling shutters the space is clearly separated, but also allows light to come through upon entering the apartment - a similar effect to using a bookshelf or bureau as a divider.


The addition of the plantation shutters created an entirely new space that I didn’t have before: a foyer. I added a vintage marble-topped commode as a perfect place for dropping my keys when I get home. It is styled to reflect my personality, bringing a sense of my aesthetic to all new visitors.

Photo by E. Fikentscher

Photo by E. Fikentscher

Photo by E. Fikentscher

Photo by E. Fikentscher

Photo by E. Fikentscher

Photo by E. Fikentscher

Living Room Redesign - Reveal!

It’s been a slow and steady project, but I am finally ready to share my completed living room redesign!

I am fortunate to live in a New York apartment with a true living room space (anyone who knows someone that lives here knows this is rare!). Because of the pure functionality of it, by default it is where my roommate and I spend most of our time.

But, being a shared space, until now the room lacked much of a central aesthetic. It had all of the necessary pieces (a table, couch, tv), but the overall design was wasn’t unified or inviting.

Last week I shared my Pinterest inspiration board that fed into my design plan and below are the final results.

I worked to keep the space minimalism inspired while also still feeling cozy. Mixing textures and sticking to a neutral color palette helped to achieve that balance. In a small space, adding furniture can quickly make it feel cluttered and cramped, so I stuck to classic pieces with clean lines and paid special attention to furniture scale (measure everything!), so as to not overwhelm the space.

I found a simple metal tulip table and basic utilitarian chairs to serve as the dining area. Since these pieces would be below the gallery wall - a visually busy section of the room - I wanted these pieces to be simple and not distract guests from admiring the art on the wall.

The gallery wall is primarily a collection of prints (vintage and new!) and I am proud to include a piece from my dad’s most recent art show - Go Figure. This floral calendar is also a great add - because the image changes every month, it will help to alleviate any feeling of staleness.

Opposite the gallery wall is a single large photograph. This is one of the first things visitors notice when entering the room, so I wanted a piece that was calming while still being visually interesting - this fit the bill perfectly.

For textiles, I looked for rich, textured pieces (like the couch and foot pouf) to mix with geometric prints (found in the pillows, rug and bookshelf wallpaper).

And perhaps one of my favorite additions is the handmade wooden sofa table. The wooden plank was a find from a trip this summer to Vermont, and some hairpin legs made the piece completely functional.

A Nautical Americana Inspired Gallery Wall

About a month ago I finished working on a fun gallery wall project (I know, I promise I have more current projects to report on soon!).

My friend Erin wanted to fill up a bare focal wall in her Upper East Side apartment. Working with the theme of ‘Nautical Americana’, I combined a mixture of art prints, photographs, a vintage map, and postcard with simple, neutral colored frames.
We stuck to using mainly 11x17 and 8x10 prints, and worked to find a balanced of scale and texture with the images we chose. Erin wanted the wall to feel full, but also have space to grow her collection, so we followed a loose grid layout that allows for expansion of new prints as she discovers pieces to add.

We also added the small hanging ceramic fish as a fun, non-traditional element to the wall.
On the hunt now for some antique sailing flags!

Below are some installation pictures (it’s so much easier to install a gallery wall with two people rather than one!) and the prints that are still available to purchase.