A gallery wall can be one of the nicest ways to show off your artwork, pictures that you love, and even postcards collected from vacations. You can add anything to your gallery wall that makes you happy.
Over the last few years, gallery walls have become very popular with interior design – and with good reason. A well-designed gallery wall offers a unique way to display your favorite things – and even when people have the same frames, the layout will be totally fresh.
You can bring your own style into play, play with different sizes and styles of frames, or buy a set that works together.
Gallery walls are also an inexpensive way to show off your most loved pictures and can go anywhere in the home. You can select a range of thrift and vintage frames and mix-and-match them with newer picture frames.
The combinations are endless.
So if you haven’t already got a gallery wall, here are some quick tips to help you design and hang yours.
We all have thousands of photos on our mobile phones, on hard drives, on camera memory cards, and more. Piles of letters and postcards carefully tucked away, and artwork that our children or we have done.
It is time to think about what you want to include in your gallery wall – and do you have any gaps? For example, if you want to create a wall of all of your vacations, are you missing any postcards that might represent a place you fell in love with?
If not, you can head to Etsy and find artwork from the city or town, look for photos online, or have something created especially for it.
As you are collecting your potential gallery wall, it is a good idea to look for anything that stands out too much. You’ll want to keep the colors and styles quite similar so that it looks like a cohesive set of images – even if they span a number of years.
How many pieces you add to your gallery might be dictated by the amount of space that you have – but if you have a lot of space, you might need to consider how many images you want.
In general, if all of the frames are the same size, even numbers and even spacing tend to work better. If you are working with a range of different sizes, then odd numbers usually work better.
If you find that there are a couple of pieces that you can’t bear to leave out, then you should make these the centerpieces and build the rest of the gallery around them.
Before you start adding things to the wall, you should start measuring how much space each of the frames will take up.
While you can use the floor to map out how they will work together, it can also be beneficial to use masking tape on the wall in the size and shape of the frames.
This will give you a good idea if they work together or if there is anything that doesn’t work well.
Take photos of each of the combinations that you create so that you can find the one you like best – without making any commitments to holes in the wall in the meantime.
The spacing between your pictures and photos can be more important than you might realize. If the frames are too close together and the spacing is uneven, it can lead to the gallery wall feeling disjointed and cluttered.
If the spaces are too wide, the gallery wall might look less like a gallery than you had hoped.
When you are placing the gallery tested tape on the wall, test a range of different spaces and see which one works the best.
Typically it will be the largest piece on the wall that will be used to tie the whole look together. By placing the biggest piece first, it is not uncommon to see the biggest piece in one of the corners rather than directly in the middle. Off-centre is also a great idea, as it stops the gallery wall from feeling like it has been too perfected.
Ideally, you want eyes to travel along the gallery wall, rather than just looking at the middle and ignoring the rest.
Once you have placed your biggest piece, your next piece should be the second biggest. They take up the most amount of real estate and will decide on which way you want people’s eyes to flow.
Horizontal and Vertical
Having a good mix of horizontal pieces and vertical pieces will stop your gallery wall from feeling a bit ‘samey.’ If your biggest pieces are horizontal, then add vertical pieces next to it, so immediately bring something fresh to the gaze.
You can also create a gallery within a gallery by using smaller frames to create a grid-like combination. Usually, grids work well in 3,4,6, and 9 – but you can also make horizontal lines of a couple of similar images too.
As you start playing with the layout of your gallery, you might find that some of the pieces you have chosen look better without a frame. Or, it might be that it would look better with a thinner frame.
Don’t be afraid to try out different ways and looks for hanging the images.
What you love won’t always be artwork, photos, or images – you might have some small sculptures, ornaments, or even natural articles like stone and wood that you have salvaged from your travels.
A floating shelf or a perspex floating box can be the perfect addition to your gallery walls. It will begin to feel more like a gallery and something that has been curated with this simple tip.
While the world’s most famous prints should be on your wall if you want them, if you want to avoid looking like something straight from a catalog or the IKEA display, you should add in some more personalized work.
Try to create some of your own artwork that fits the theme, and if you get a little bit stuck, just remember that even a simple line of one color on a canvas can be considered art.
Over time you will collect more art, take more photos, and want to add more to your gallery wall. Try to leave a little bit of space so that you have the ability to add more.
Alternatively, look for more space in your home that would benefit from your new found skill of creating a gallery wall.
One of the most important things that you should keep in mind is that you ideally want as much of the gallery at eye level. Most of the time, depending on the ceiling height, art should be somewhere in the third quarter of the wall.
This is where most people will be able to look at it. Unless you have very low ceilings or are exceptionally tall, this will be ideal.
A gallery wall can add so much of your personality and style into a space, and when they are done right, they will be something that everyone comments on and loves.
A great gallery wall takes a little time to get right, and you might need to source the frames from a range of places – but once you nail the layout, it is going to be something that brings you joy every time you look at it.
Picking art for your home can be tricky; here are some great tips to get you started: How To Choose The Best Art For Your Home – A Nation of Moms