Design a Gallery Wall These Pro Pointers

A gallery wall can elevate the style of your space and really make a personal statement about your life and style. However, the process takes time, preparation, and patience. Here are some tips to help you build your own gallery wall!

  • Pick out your frames and create diagrams to help play around with some layout ideas.
  • Lay out your frames on your floor before hanging them on your wall to measure everything out.
  • If you find purchasing prints to be too pricey, use your own photography, pictures of family, or restore old photos to place in the frames for a personal touch.
  • You can also hang up empty frames and collect pieces of art over time so you won’t have to splurge on a lot of pieces all at once.
  • Use one large piece to start your collection, then use different sizes and orientation of the pieces to fill space and keep your eyes moving.
  • If you’re going for more of a classic look, use a nine-square grid layout with even space between each frame.
  • Use sturdy frame hangers to protect your walls and your photos against scratches and nicks.

How To Create A Gallery Wall [Pottery Barn]
How To Create a Gallery Wall on a Budget [Apartment Therapy]​
The Guide To A Well Hung Gallery Wall [Emily Henderson]

Unwind and Unplug at the Barton Creek Habitat Preserve

The Barton Creek Habitat Preserve is a beautiful, pristine landscape that's located along four miles of Barton Creek in southwest Travis County. With the help of neighboring landowners, the habitat protects two species of endangered songbirds and preserves the quality of water in Barton Creek.

The Barton Creek Habitat Preserve is a very peaceful place to hike, relax, and enjoy the beauty of nature. It is truly a gem that is tucked away in the middle of Austin. The preserve is at its peak during a wet spring. During this time, the creek has enough running water to swim and relax in many different hot spots. The greenbelt area offers at least 14 miles of trails that are ideal for walking, hiking, and even mountain biking. There are also caves that you can explore and even cliffs that are popular for climbing on. Visitation is limited here so be sure to arrange your visit through the volunteers.

Barton Creek Habitat Preserve
1700 Bee Cave Road
Austin, TX 78738

How to Make Your Childhood Favorite Wall Art Look Chic and Grown-Up

From band posters to ticket stubs, you likely had quite a few things hanging on your wall as a child or teen. While these items hold a lot of nostalgic charm, they don't exactly translate into stylish decor — or do they? Here are a few ways to give your (or even your child's) favorite wall hangings a chic flair.

  • Band or movie posters. Show off your favorite pop culture interests without giving your home a dorm room feel by framing them in high quality, neutral frames. Choose ones in natural wood, white, or black to coordinate with any decor style.
  • Personal photographs. Easily update your favorite photographs by thinking outside of their usual sizing. Instead, send them to a professional printer to have them printed in a variety of sizes, and then use them to create an eclectic gallery wall.
  • Polaroids. If you still have a few Polaroids hanging around (or if you own a modern instant camera), invest in some wire hanging systems. These wires come equipped with clips designed especially for hanging photos.
  • Ticket stubs and other memorabilia. If you're partial to holding on to keepsakes from concerts, plays and vacations, display them in a shadow box. Create your own unique collage, and then frame it in one of these gallery-style frames.

Order the Garden Vegetable Sandwich at Kneaded Pleasures Cafe

One of the regulars at Kneaded Pleasures Café describes it as “so much more than just a bakery.” Kneaded pleasures offers baked goods, specialty coffees, breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even gelato for dessert. The atmosphere is always bright and cheerful yet very comfortable and you’ll definitely feel right at home.

The food at Kneaded Pleasures is always fresh and well prepared. Their menu is full of comfort foods. The breakfast menu is served all day. The garden vegetable sandwich is the go-to lunch item on the menu. It includes fresh herb focaccia, peppercorn ranch dressing, jack cheese, marinated red onions, sprouts, avocado, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, and red bell peppers. As for the gelato, it's smooth, rich, and creamy and just the right amount of sweet without making you too full after your meal.

Kneaded Pleasures Café
3573 Far W Blvd
Austin, TX 78731
(512) 527-0699

Create an At-Home Art Gallery With These Simple (and Affordable!) Framing Tips

You want to fill your home's walls with art, but anyone who has ever tried to get something framed knows just how pricey it can be. Luckily, there are a number of great alternatives to professional framing that will still help you to show off your art in an attractive way. Here are just a few smart tips for framing art on the cheap.

  • Use an online framing service. Nowadays you can do just about anything online, including framing your art. Browse the web for online framing services like Framebridge and in just a few business days, you'll receive a beautifully framed art print in the mail — often for less than $50!
  • Stock up on frames. If you prefer to frame your art on your own, stock up on affordable frames at craft stores or thrift shops. You'll often find secondhand, mass-produced frames backed with craft paper and foam, but don't worry; those can be easily removed.
  • Remove the backing. If you do happen to find a great deal on a secondhand frame with built-in backing, remove the layer of craft paper by pulling out the staples or simply cutting it out. Next, remove the inner layer of foam or cardboard by again removing any nails or staples.
  • Add a mat. Whether you disassembled your own secondhand frame or bought one new, at this point you'll want to add a mat to create a professional look. You can purchase a mat at any craft store, so long as you carefully measure both the size of your frame (for the mat's outer edge) and the size of the print (for the mat's inside edge).
  • Clean the glass. Finally, clean the glass thoroughly and let it dry before placing it back in the frame. If you removed the backing, add your own backing with more craft paper and either glue or staples.

Frugal Living: How To Frame Your Art on the Cheap [Apartment Therapy]

Warehouse Craft Brews and Food Trucks Meet at Austin Beerworks

Founded with principles of fun and community in mind, Austin Beerworks works overtime as a brewery and taproom. Between Thursdays and Sundays, this Austin craft brewery opens its warehouse taproom to the public. That's when beer aficionados from all over the city arrive to sample the brewery's beers at their peak of freshness: straight from the tank!

Austin Beerworks's core four beers—an American IPA, German-style schwarzbier and pils, and an ale—are offered at the taproom all year long, complemented by seasonal rotations and a selection of taproom-only brews. The taproom deal is $10 for a take-home pint glass and three pints. If you’re interested in trying more varieties, some locals say you can do six half-pours—you just have to ask.

On most evenings, you can find some of Austin’s best food trucks parked outside for a tasty pairing.

Austin Beerworks
3009 Industrial Terrace
Austin, TX 78758
(512) 821-2494

Handy Storage and Organization Tips for Renters

There are a number of smart and design-savvy ways to clear the clutter from your space and add storage, and it just takes a few clever tricks (and maybe a weekend) to get it together.

  1. Add under-bed storage. Whether you use store-bought shoe boxes or even wood palettes, adding storage underneath the bed is a great way to get shoes, clothes, and even books out of sight.
  2. Tackle the closet. Don't feel limited to the two or three clothing bars in your closet. Add your own temporary shelving, shoe racks, and other storage items from the local home goods store.
  3. Add additional bathroom storage. Create your own storage by hanging shelves or even investing in an affordable over-the-toilet storage system.
  4. Use double-duty living room furniture. Instead of letting clutter take over your living room, use furniture that doubles as storage. Try an antique chest as a coffee table or a sofa with hidden storage inside.
  5. Add a kitchen island. Adding a simple kitchen island is an affordable way to create more room for cooking.

7 Storage Ideas Worth Considering [PopSugar]
12 Big Ideas for Creating More Storage Space in Small Apartments [Rental Living]
8 Decorating Tips for Renters [Lowe’s]

No-Fail Ways to Introduce Print and Patterns into Your Decor

To make your living space more interesting, experts suggest using at least three different patterns for your room. Mixing prints in a space can add more color and can give your room a unique atmosphere. Follow these simple tips to incorporate color and patterns into your decor without overwhelming your space.

  • Start by choosing a large, bold pattern that will determine the main focal color of your room.
  • Create a uniform look by using different patterns that are close in color.
  • Create a statement wall by using patterned wallpaper. This is a simple way to help choose your main pattern and color scheme.
  • Use a bright patterned rug to create a statement piece that will bring the whole space together.
  • Use dark shades against light or vivid colors to create contrast.
  • Mix up patterned pillows with your wall art or coffee table accessories for a simple pop of texture and color.
  • If you are still unsure about mixing different patterns, select a solid base color to act as a canvas for all of your patterns. This will make it easier to mix in other classic patterns such as black and white stripes.

23 Ways to Mix Patterns in Your Home Decor [Brit + Co]
Ideas and Guidelines to Mixing & Matching Patterns in your Home [The House of Smiths]
Using Color, Pattern, and Texture in Home Decorating [For Dummies]

How to Host a Dinner Party — Without a Dining Room

Don't have a traditional dining room table? You'll be happy to know that there are still a number of other ways to have your friends over for dinner. Here are a few smart tips for hosting a dinner party even without a dining room.

  • Think buffet-style. Avoid the sit-down feel right from the beginning by serving your food buffet style. This not only embraces the lack of a traditional dining room, it even makes it more fun.
  • Plan the menu accordingly. Since you don't have a large table, you'll want to avoid a really formal meal. This isn't the time for prime rib and multiple sides; rather, it's the perfect opportunity for a taco bar, a heaping bowl of pasta or dress-them-yourself burgers.
  • Embrace your outdoor space. If your rental comes equipped with its own private outdoor space (or even a shared outdoor area), it's the perfect opportunity to take your meal al fresco. Bring along a tablecloth, a few candles for ambiance and some recyclable plates that don't require much clean-up.
  • Take it to the floor. Toss some comfortable throw pillows around your living room and instruct your friends to gather around the coffee table.
  • Turn it into a theme night. If you're worried about the informal feel of eating on your couch with guests, turn your dinner party into a cozy theme. Pop in a movie for a laid-back movie night, or grab some board games for a dinner-party-turned-game-night.

Make a Splash at Barton Springs Pool

If you’re looking for a nice place to relax and cool off on a hot, Texas summer day, Barton Springs Pool is perfect for you. Barton Springs Pool is a natural part of Barton Creek that has been converted into a swimming pool. The pool is located within Zilker Park and is measured about three acres in size. It is fed from underground springs and has an average temperature of 68 to 70 degrees. The pool is surrounded by grassy areas that are ideal for relaxing and lounging.

Barton Springs Pool is definitely a one-of-a-kind experience. There’s even a salamander and a fresh water eel that lives under the diving board. There is a small fee to enter the pool, but it is definitely worth it.

Barton Springs Pool
2201 Barton Springs Rd
Austin, TX 78704
(512) 476-9044

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