Gallery walls are currently all the rage in home decor -- magazines are featuring smart looking collections hanging on Pantone-approved paint colors and celebrity features all seem to include at least one artfully arranged wall of treasures. Luckily, this trend is not limited to celebrities and those with an interior designer on speed dial. Gallery walls are for everyone, and I'm here to show you how and why!
After reading at least twenty "how-to" articles, and watching a torrent of YouTube tutorials, I pulled everything off my living room wall, bought a roll of brown paper and a roll of painter's tape, and set about constructing my own gallery wall.
Thanks to my internet research, and my in-home experimentation I've learned that no matter what your interiors style might be, a gallery wall can add character to a room and be a great way to display pieces that might otherwise be relegated to shelf space. Gallery walls are also a unique way to document your travels and experiences.
Depending on wall size, and interior furnishings, you may opt to stage your gallery wall in a small hall space, or in a large family room. Ultimately, your gallery wall is going to have a "theme" based on the art you have acquired, but there are a few simple steps that will make the process a little easier.
What You'll Need
- art + emphemera
- variety of frames
- nails + hanging hardware
- hammer + level
- painter's tape
- brown paper
Don't be deterred by a lack of "real art" when planning a gallery wall -- almost anything can have an impact when framed and hung -- pages from magazines, photos and bits and pieces of personal memorabilia can constitute a collection.
Vary the sizes and orientation of the pieces – You need both horizontal, vertical and if you can, square, to make it feel balanced. If you have objets d'art that are oddly shaped or sized -- this is a great spot for them.
According to Jen Bekman, owner of the online art source 20 x 200, furniture and light fixtures are an important part of formulating your ideal gallery wall. Bekman advises readers to think about the placement of each piece, particularly when hanging art over a sofa or chair. When installing artwork over furniture, leave at least eight inches between the base of the frame and the top of the furniture. Last, "Be sure not to hang pieces too low or too high. Eye level is best."
After considering the furniture and other interior fixtures, anchor your favorite (or biggest) few pieces in the center, and work in other artwork around them. It's important to keep a few inches between the pieces as you hang them. Initially it can be helpful to either arrange the pieces on the floor for perspective, or to use brown paper cut outs the size and shape of your art on the wall for spacing.
After using your big pieces to anchor, smaller pieces are ideal to fill in and distribute visual interest. Use painter's tape and level to ensure you're placing the artwork correctly.
The Big Picture
Every so often, take a few steps back and view your wall from another area in the room. Pay attention to how the color and size of the pieces balance each other out. Once you've arranged everything in a manner that pleases you, snap a quick photo and check it out from that perspective. Enjoy!
Now, for the ultimate crib sheet ... you can hire a consultant to help you. Framebridge has an incredible service that will not only help you plan and execute your gallery wall, but also frame your existing art and make suggestions for additions based on your taste and style. Read on:
Your $99 consultation includes:
- Design consultation with an expert
- Two sets of frame style and layout options
- Final hanging and measurement plan
- $50 toward custom framing for your wall
You’ll kick things off with a quick call with your designer to discuss your art, photos, and personal aesthetic.
Your designer will send you two to-scale mockups with framing and layout options. Once you choose your favorite, we’ll help you get your art to our studio.
Your beautifully custom-framed pieces will arrive to your door ready to hang with hardware, instructions, and a hanging plan. You got this.