A huge trend this year and one that I believe will continue for a long time…simply because it’s classic…is the Gallery Wall.
I wish I had photos of one room I decorated for my mom years ago in my childhood home in El Paso. My mother aquired a lot of artwork after my grandmothers passed away. After we were all out of the house, she was ready to make some updates.
My brother’s room downstairs was converted to her home office and the hall bath was used by family and guests. It was small and functional with some fabulous architectural interest from the original 1920’s built-in niche. To take it from boring to glam, I covered the walls with all sorts of artwork. It was as if you walked into an art gallery and your time spent in that little room was truly an experience.
To take it from boring to glam, I covered the walls with all different styles and shapes of artwork, floor to ceiling. It was as if you walked into an art gallery and your time spent in that little room was truly an experience.
If only I had pictures to share!
I’m about ready to create a new gallery wall in my living room once I rearrange the furniture. In preparation for that I thought I’d share some great tips and examples with you so you can create one of your own as well.
What is a Gallery Wall?
A gallery wall is one in which shows a variety of artwork, photographs or curated items. It’s a reflection of your style, story and personal tastes. Some approach it with a theme, color palette or “no rhyme or reason” approach.
What I love most about them is that every gallery wall is so different and unique. You can create one using treasured pieces, children’s artwork, photos, thrift store finds, and/or a mixture of all.
It’s what you love and care to bring together.
Gallery Wall Ideas
As I mentioned before, the sky is the limit with what you can feature. Here are some ideas to get your thoughts moving in a direction
- Family photos
- Black and white artwork
- Flea market finds
- Architectural photos or drawings
- Mix high and low pieces
- Stack and layer artwork
- Mix black and white with color
- Mix childrens artwork with seasoned artists
- Mix 3D elements with framed art
- Mix sizes of art or create a unified size
- Use only 3D elemetns
- Use a door or window and insert your favorite artwork (see above example).
How to hang a gallery
There are many different approaches to creating a gallery wall. Some will “wing it” and that comes with a little practice.
Others recommend you lay your art on your floor to create the look you want. That works well if you can also visualize it on your wall. If you approach it this way, I’d recommend getting some brown craft paper or newspaper, or even a cheap plastic drop cloth to lay on the floor. Next lay your art on top of the paper.
When satisfied with the layout, trace around each piece to mark their position on the paper. Remove the art and tape the papered “layout” to the wall. Make sure to measure and mark where the nails will need to be placed based on the wire or hooks each piece of art has.
Another great option that I found is to trace around your artwork onto paper. Cut the shapes out to give you a template for each piece. Apply those to the wall and position them as you prefer.
Here’s a little video that explains how to do it.
Picture Hanging by Leigh-Ann Allaire Perrault
Take Furniture Into Account
When hanging art around furniture, make sure you place the edge of a frame approximately 6”-10” from the chair or sofa. It gives visual space and creates a transition.
When centering the gallery, eye level is best. Too high and your head will arch up when you are seated. Too low and it’ll throw the room off balance. Eye level for the average majority is about 5’ off the floor.
You can also set artwork on surfaces such as table (especially if they are large) and layer pieces for a more casual look.
Another great option is to use a picture ledge. You can purchase them or build them if you like to DIY. Consider the length of the wall are you want to display on to make sure you get the right sized ledge.
Picture ledges allow for easy “swap outs” if you are the type that likes to change things up often. And if you’re into decorating for the holidays, these make it fun to add your favorite seasonal decorations!
Frame Your Art
Whether you have all your art professionally framed or framed with flea market finds, your art will thank you. Frames are like jewelry. They complement and enhance each piece of art within its borders.
Vintage and unique frames make the statement that you’ve been collecting art overtime.
Modern frames can unify a collection as something newer and more contemporary.
Mix and match frames for a very eclectic look.
Either way, look at frames as a way to further showcase your “story”.
Did you ever have one of those vintage wooden shadow boxes where you could add your special treasures? My brother had one. I loved rearranging different items in those little nooks.
Think of your gallery wall in a similar way.
As I mentioned before, there are “no rules”. Showcase your creative style and share your unique personality.
Most importantly have fun!
Need help in creating your gallery wall? Comment below with your burning question.
If you have created a gallery wall, please share a link for us all to see.
Now go create something beautiful!
Cheers to you and your home!