Unless you can afford a piece of artwork large enough to fill a large wall, like say, this…
A gallery wall is a great way to fill up a wall, showcase pieces you love, add interest to a room, and it doesn’t have to cost you a fortune. (fyi, this Matisse would cost you a fortune, don’t even think about it).
Creating a gallery wall can be intimidating. So many things to consider, so many opportunities for things to go wrong. The layout! The art! The frames! The drilling! The madness!
Here are some tips to help you master a beautiful gallery wall, because really, when it comes to gallery walls, there are no rules.
1. PLAN AHEAD by using craft paper and painter’s tape. Trace and cut out each piece you plan on hanging. I also like to lay out the framed work on the floor first and snap a picture with my phone, so I can see how the colors will play off of each other. Then tape the craft paper to the wall and make any adjustments from there. If you choose to stagger the work at random, keep things grounded by picking “anchor points.” That is, keep a few frames on the same line of the wall. This can be done either vertically (see above) or horizontally. Also, keep spacing consistent.
2. THINK OUTSIDE the frame. Integrate different objects into your gallery wall. I love adding old plates, arrows, faux deer head/antlers, pieces of textiles, mirrors, and wool wall hangings. Even wallpaper!
3. ONLY USE “team players.” A successful gallery wall doesn’t have a “star.” It shines as a whole. Give your “stand out” piece it’s very own wall. Trust me, it will be much happier that way. Some art has attitude like that.
4. THE FRAMES don’t all have to match. (Although they can. No rules, remember? If you chose to go with one color, I say make them vary in size, style, and frame thickness). For the eclectic gallery wall, I like to have one color show up throughout the length of the gallery wall (like the gold in the illustration I drew at the top of the post). It helps create a sense of unity.
5. MIX photography, illustrations, prints, original art, objects, etc. I love incorporating black and white photography, typography, or simple line drawings when I feel like I’m at risk of getting too crazy with too many different colors.
6. USE THE ROOM when deciding what shape your gallery wall will take. I love how the chair helped determine this layout.
7. START SMALL if you are still finding this overwhelming. I get it. That’s what I’m doing with the wall in the picture of the craft paper and tape example. Who says your gallery wall can’t expand later on?
Then you can eventually work your way up to this…
Have any of your own tips? Share them in the comments!