Create Your Gallery Wall
Arranging your very own gallery wall at home is like curating an art exhibit. The creative process is fun, and the best part is that you’re left with a space filled with artwork that inspires you and tells your story.
I live in a small cape with a dormered second floor, which happens to house my studio. I’m of the tiny home mindset, and I fell in love with the house the moment I saw it—the quaint 1940s architecture, the updates throughout, and the tiers of old-growth trees from the street to the tip top of the backyard. Yes, I love my home, but wall space is scarce, and I’m pining after a full-size gallery wall of my own.
What is a Gallery Wall?
A gallery wall is a collection of art (paintings, photography, fabrics, and so on) arranged together as a showcase of your style. Perhaps you’ll feature your own artwork or the creative work of others that invokes all the feels you want inside your home. A gallery wall is also a wonderful conversation starter, and any room is game.
Choose Your Space
The first step is to determine where you’d like to build your gallery wall. A large wall is an opportunity for a dramatic display, but your gallery doesn’t have to be expansive. A 4’ x 4’ space works nicely for smaller frames. This is a great option for featuring family photos or funky postcards you’ve set aside.
The living room is the obvious choice for a gallery, but why not create a wall of dreamscapes in your child’s room, or a distraction wall for your office for when you need an intellectual palate cleansing? A large wall, a corner, and a stairwell all work.
Max Letek @blackprojection
You can even take your collection outside! As I write, I’m rethinking my space, and I think I will find that nook!
Select the Features
Start with inspiration. Perhaps you already have a collection of paintings waiting for your attention. If you’re starting from scratch, take into consideration what type of space you’d like to create.
Love to reminisce? Frame family photos or your children’s finger paintings.
Drawn to watercolors? Choose your style of colorful lifestyle pieces or haunting abstracts from the bog.
Katlyn Giberson @katlyngiberson
Did you pick up some intricate batiks and textiles on your trip overseas? Feature them on your brick or shiplap accent wall?
Joyce McCown @moonshadowpress
You can even go functional. Hang useful items like painted clipboards, a custom chalkboard, or pin-up posters of work projects. Anything can look like art if you apply some style.
Identify Your Style
Whether you like a clean, white palate or rich colors, a solid color for your wall will allow your artwork to take center stage.
Jonny Caspari @jonnysplsh
When it comes to framing, consider whether you want to mix and match or prefer your pieces to tie together with similar frames. If you’re up for variety, this is the perfect project to try your hand at upcycling. Check out your local yard sales, thrift stores, and flea markets for frames. Treasure their storied wear, or give them a fresh coat of paint.
If you haven’t already collected your art, do you want to have similarly sized pieces spread evenly in your gallery, or would you like to mix and match sizing for added interest?
How about the color scheme? Picture your space filled with calming hues of blues and grays, and then re-envision it with a lively array of colors. What aesthetic calls to you?
And then finally, what kind of artwork do you like? If you’re in to black and white photography, you’re on your way to the classic wall of your dreams. If you have more eclectic tastes, add a little bohemian style to your home with photos, vintage prints, crochets, and wall plants.
Once you’ve identified your style, move on to the physical work of creating the wall.
Envision your gallery by laying out the pieces on your floor, if space permits, before making holes in the wall. Start with larger frames first and then fill in the spaces with the smaller pieces. Think about color arrangements too. If you’re creating a mostly monochromatic space of blues and grays, visually balance the gallery by spacing out pieces with large swatches of dark blue and sprinkle in the pieces with lighter grays in the spaces between. If you’re opting for an array of vibrant colors, spread out pieces with similar color schemes to avoid having a clump of orange here and a grouping of green there.
Finally, hang your work. Designate the zone with corner pencil marks. (Test a pencil mark in an inconspicuous place first to make sure these marks will easily erase without dulling your wall paint!) Once you have your playing field, start by hanging the corner pieces and work in from there, alternating from side-to-side and top-to-bottom so that you’re evenly spacing your artwork (that is, if you aren’t attuned to a random alignment that you plan to build on with each new treasure you find on your travels).
Et voilà! You have your very own gallery wall. Très chic!
Need a Jumpstart?
– Lisa B