Inside design: Windsor Smith
Windsor's golden rules for creating a gallery wall. 1 Start a collection: Gather frames and artwork over time so when you’re ready to create your gallery wall, it’s just a matter of marrying the items you’ve amassed. “Collect, collect, collect, and then lay everything out, move it all around and edit it until you get to the perfect configuration,” says Windsor, who suggests starting with empty frames and adding the artwork after. 2 Have a rule of thumb: You can have frames in different sizes, says Windsor, but they should always be hung the same distance apart. “Whether you choose 1 1/4" or 3 1/4" for your grid spacing, you have to be fairly rigid about the distance from one frame to the next,” she says. 3 Make your marks: After you have your layout, trace each frame onto a piece of paper, marking the location of the hooks. Use these mock frames to mark on the wall where each hook should go, and then start hanging. 4 Enjoy it: Pour a glass of wine, put on some music (Windsor would probably play opera by Alessandro Safina) and have fun!
Expect the unexpected
You’d be surprised to learn that, until recently, Windsor had a Ping-Pong table smack dab in the middle of her living room. “Both my sons are competitive tennis players,” she explains. “And living rooms are those lost spaces that are expensive to decorate but rarely get used.” So she made the most of hers and had it painted black, popped a bright blue Ping-Pong table in its centre and placed white linen sofas around the perimeter. “The kids loved it – their friendships were formed there,” she says. She’s since taken back the space and transformed it into a late-night sitting room with dark walls, white sofas and an art display (shown on the previous page). “It’s the room where everybody goes to relax at the end of a dinner party,” she says. “It’s dark and dreamy.”
“Pinterest is absolutely addictive, but I also love to visit my local design district or even root out smaller storefronts for in-person inspiration,” says Windsor, who lives in the Los Angeles area. “Sometimes, when I need to source a lot of pieces, I’ll jump on a plane to San Francisco because I love its design centre. It’s nice to get out of my element. Additionally, I attend great art exhibits and see old movies...I look for inspiration in everything.”