Farima Alavi

"I like a world where fashion and design collide."

Farima is an assistant editor for HGTV.com. Aside from her job, she loves fashion, playing with her rambunctious Yorkie, Rosie, and is a self-proclaimed foodie. She lives in a house where she is patiently learning how to "fix" things.

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Gallery walls are all the rage right now, and for good reason:  you can have completely unmatched pieces of art but make them work together with a common theme. Choosing a color, texture or pattern to be the inspiration for your wall lets you loosen the “rules.” The tough part about those galleries, though, is actually figuring out what works — and what doesn’t. To help you out, we’ve come up with our top tips for creating a gallery wall. Once you’re ready to test out your ideas, upload your pieces to Shutterfly’s Design-a-Wall virtual tool to see what they look like together before you poke a million holes in your wall.

Tip #1: Choose Any Wall

A gallery wall doesn’t have to be limited to a foyer or living room. Choose walls that are normally bare, such as a staircase wall. HGTV’s John Colaneri and Anthony Carrino hung knicknacks on a bold red wall for an instant upgrade.

Staircase Gallery Wall

Tip #2: Add Personal Touches

Create a custom look by arranging your favorite photographs or souvenirs from your travel experiences in shadow boxes . Bonus: This idea serves double duty as a storage solution.

Vintage Shadow Box Gallery Wall

Tip #3: Pick Unexpected Items

A gallery wall doesn’t just have to be framed pieces of art. This wall of hollowed out, cloth-covered books was hung with upholstery nails in each book’s four corners.

Book Gallery Wall

Tip #4: Placement, Placement, Placement

Once you’ve chosen all your pieces, it’s time to think of placement. This is especially important when you’re creating a gallery wall above furniture. Be sure not to hang pieces too low or high — a good rule of thumb is eight inches between the base of the frame and top of the furniture piece, according to Jen Bekman, founder of the popular online art shop, 20×200.

Gallery Wall

Tip #5: Be Fearless

A gallery wall is your opportunity to express your passions. So, have fun and don’t worry about going a little crazy. Mixing up your gallery wall with your personal treasures will make your house feel like home.

Electic Gallery Wall

What are some of your tips for creating the perfect gallery wall?

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Congratulations to this week’s winner, Victoria!

Can you guess which fire pit belongs in this outdoor room?

Decorate This Space

Type A, B or C in the comments section, and we’ll reveal the answer tomorrow. One lucky winner will win two TIKI Brand king torches — perfect for your outdoor space.

Choose A, B or C

You may only comment once to be considered, and you don’t have to purchase anything to win; a purchase will not increase your chances of winning. Odds depend on total number of entries. Void where prohibited by law. Only open to legal residents of 50 U.S., D.C. or Puerto Rico, and you must be at least 18 years of age to win.  All entries (comments) must be entered between 10:00 a.m. ET on August 27, 2014 and 12:00 p.m. ET on August 28, 2014. Subject to full official rules. By leaving a comment on the blog, you acknowledge your acceptance to the Official Rules. ARV of prize: $39.99. Sponsor: Scripps Networks, LLC, d/b/a HGTV, 9721 Sherrill Boulevard, Knoxville, TN 37932.

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You guessed correctly if you chose option C. Chelsea Costa made this stylish, budget-friendly message board (perfect for a dorm room!) from round cork trivets, patterned fabric and chalkboard paint.

Cork Message Board

Get the Full Step-by-Step Instructions>>

We randomly chose one person from the comments, and Ely is the winner of a glowing tabletop torch from TIKI Brand, Honeywell’s Quietset Table Fan and Chillout’s Personal USB fan. Congrats!

Check back next Wednesday to decorate a new space.

 

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Congratulations to this week’s winner, Ely!

Can you guess which message board belongs in this dorm room?

Decorate This Space

Type A, B or C in the comments section, and we’ll reveal the answer tomorrow. One lucky winner will win a glowing tabletop torch from TIKI Brand, Honeywell’s Quietset Table Fan and Chillout’s Personal USB fan.

Choose A, B or C

You may only comment once to be considered, and you don’t have to purchase anything to win; a purchase will not increase your chances of winning. Odds depend on total number of entries. Void where prohibited by law. Only open to legal residents of 50 U.S., D.C. or Puerto Rico, and you must be at least 18 years of age to win.  All entries (comments) must be entered between 10:00 a.m. ET on August 20, 2014 and 12:00 p.m. ET on August 21, 2014. Subject to full official rules. By leaving a comment on the blog, you acknowledge your acceptance to the Official Rules. ARV of prize: $39.99. Sponsor: Scripps Networks, LLC, d/b/a HGTV, 9721 Sherrill Boulevard, Knoxville, TN 37932.

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Congratulations to this week’s winner, Betty!

Can you guess which headboard belongs in this bedroom?

Decorate This Space

Type A, B or C in the comments section, and we’ll reveal the answer tomorrow. One lucky winner will win a 100% U.S.-grown pima cotton beach towel from Hastens.

Choose A, B or C

You may only comment once to be considered, and you don’t have to purchase anything to win; a purchase will not increase your chances of winning. Odds depend on total number of entries. Void where prohibited by law. Only open to legal residents of 50 U.S., D.C. or Puerto Rico, and you must be at least 18 years of age to win.  All entries (comments) must be entered between 10:00 a.m. ET on August 6, 2014 and 12:00 p.m. ET on August 7, 2014. Subject to full official rules. By leaving a comment on the blog, you acknowledge your acceptance to the Official Rules. ARV of prize: $220. Sponsor: Scripps Networks, LLC, d/b/a HGTV, 9721 Sherrill Boulevard, Knoxville, TN 37932.

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You guessed correctly if you chose option B. Designer Tobi Fairley placed a geometric-patterned orange ottoman to complement the turquoise accents. The bright color palette gives this open living room a coastal look.

Turquoise and Orange Coastal Living Room

We randomly chose one person from the comments, and Nuala is the winner of a Grill-Right Bluetooth® BBQ Thermometer from Oregon Scientific. Congrats!

Check back next Wednesday to decorate a new space.

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Can you guess which ottoman belongs in this coastal living room?

Decorate This Space

Type A, B or C in the comments section, and we’ll reveal the answer tomorrow. One lucky winner will win a Grill-Right Bluetooth® BBQ Thermometer from Oregon Scientific.

Choose A, B or C

You may only comment once to be considered, and you don’t have to purchase anything to win; a purchase will not increase your chances of winning. Odds depend on total number of entries. Void where prohibited by law. Only open to legal residents of 50 U.S., D.C. or Puerto Rico, and you must be at least 18 years of age to win.  All entries (comments) must be entered between 10:00 a.m. ET on July 30, 2014 and 12:00 p.m. ET on July 31, 2014. Subject to full official rules. By leaving a comment on the blog, you acknowledge your acceptance to the Official Rules. ARV of prize: $59.99. Sponsor: Scripps Networks, LLC, d/b/a HGTV, 9721 Sherrill Boulevard, Knoxville, TN 37932.

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You guessed correctly if you chose option A. This kitchen was designed for the easy navigation of a large number of guests. The island offers generous seating areas and plenty of counter space, and the playful Roman shade enhances the cheerful color palette.

Colorful Coastal Kitchen

We randomly chose one person from the comments, and Ellen is the winner of a box of epoxy products from JB Weld and a complete JAWS cleaning kit. Congrats!

Check back next Wednesday to decorate a new space.

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