I went a little crazy with gallery walls a few years back; first when I was married, and subsequently thereafter with each addition to the family. I’ve toned it down but still attest that a gallery wall is an excellent way to create a unique focal point, share memories and declutter.
Choose Your Wall
Gallery walls can be found everywhere throughout the home however they are typically in living rooms behind couches, or lining stairways and best suited for large empty walls, or tight, awkward places where traditional art doesn’t quite fit.
Take note of the wall your eyes go to when you first enter a room. If you’re looking to make a big first impression, that just might be the best wall to work on!
Tips to Consider
- Use the ground as your canvas
To determine which layout is best, arrange your items on the ground first and rearrange until you’ve found the layout you like best. In the past I’ve also referred to Houzz for inspiration.
- Start with your bigger pieces
You’ll likely have a few key items that are the focal point of your gallery. Start with these, and arrange your smaller pieces of art (or other items) around them. This is in practice, a means to aid in working with spacing.
- Keep your phone handy
As you play with different layouts, you’ll want to take photos of your options so you can scroll and compare your favourites.
- Treat your gallery as one big piece of art
When you step back, your gallery wall should look or feel like one cohesive piece of art. To maintain a streamlined look, keep your pieces at eye level, roughly 60 inches from the center of the grouping to the floor. This is a great measurement to keep on hand for all artwork.
- Consider your frames and items
Use matching frames for a modern look or mix and match frame styles for a more eclectic vibe.
- Don’t limit yourself to one wall
There is no rule that says you can’t have more than one gallery wall at home. Don’t be like me. Keep them in separate rooms to avoid competition.
Choose Your Style
There are so many options. Really you can’t claim there isn’t a style for everyone. Here are some ideas to help jump start your creativity.
You don’t just have to use photos. You can combine photos, objects, paintings, typography, and even mirrors or shelves for an eclectic feel. I’ve used wine labels and framed trinkets from trips in the past.
If you want something more cohesive, try deciding on a theme, and vary your frames and sizes for visual interest. With a consistent theme, the wall looks pulled together. I’ve done a botanical theme for a bathroom in years past.
Floor to ceiling
This isn’t for those who tend to be subtle. Make a statement by filling a wall from floor to ceiling with mixed pieces of art, photography, and other artifacts. You can work with a colour scheme, or use the same frames to bring in a sense of order. I’ve attempted this in my son’s room and I’m determined to get it right.
Clean + Modern
If you want a more minimal and modern vibe, opt for white or black frames and pick a colour palette of varying shades or one that complements the decor in the room.
How to hang your art wall
- On the floor, use painter’s tape to mask out a space on the floor the same size as the wall area. Arrange your items within the outline on the floor until you’re happy with it.
- When complete, snap a picture of it and note the distances between objects so you can replicate this on the wall.
- Outline the shape of each object on a piece of paper and cut it out. Replicate your arrangement with these paper cutouts on the wall first.
- Hang the actual piece where the paper shape is taped using your level.
Hardware you’ll need
- Nails or hanging strips
- Phone for pictures
- Measuring tape
- Painter’s tape