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How to Create a Gallery Wall

May 29, 2020
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Creating a gallery wall is a great way to add some style and personality into a space. Arranging a collection of your favorite photos, artwork, and wall décor can be a bit intimidating when you first start with a blank wall. Our Brookfield Residential NorCal Design Studio experts have some easy steps to help you create a gallery wall that is refined, balanced, and stylish.

Choose your location

The wonderful thing about a gallery wall is it works anywhere in your home from bedrooms, stairways, or front entries – you just need enough space so the collection can be a focal point. Small, quirky prints are fun for a bathroom. Large, abstract art can complement a master bedroom’s chill vibe. A photo wall is the perfect addition in your living room to showcase moments from vacations.

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Curate your collection

The most beautiful gallery walls are the ones that have been styled deliberately and with thought. Gather your pieces and take some time to determine what is a “must-have” for your gallery wall goal. If you’re going for a more classic look, use one cohesive art selection (i.e. all black and white photographs, all abstract art, etc.). If you want to go a bit more eclectic, go bold with color, go beyond photographs, mix it up!

Art Prints: Select prints that inspire, are meaningful, or you find visually appealing. Use a high-low approach – if you have fine art prints, mix them with unique, lower-cost pieces. Thrift stores have a great selection of vintage art or there are many online shops that offer creative options, such as Etsy or Minted. Take it a step further and create your own art prints – framing kids’ art adds a whimsical personal touch or framing a printed silk scarf from your closet adds unexpected style.

Mix in photographs: Family photos or photos from your favorite travels are a great way to tell your story. Find photos that spark joy or bring back fond memories.

Layer in other materials: To add dimension, try adding items with texture such as natural wood slices, woven tapestry, macramé art, or a small mirror.

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Coordinate your frames

There are no rules! If you are using various art types in your gallery wall, using one cohesive frame type in different sizes can tie together the look. Matte black is a modern option and can make your art pop. Keep it clean by using frames in the same sizes or use the same style frame in various colors that complement each other, such as white and natural wood. If you want to go for a more eclectic look, use a variety of frames; different styles, shapes, and colors help build dimension and visual interest.

Plan your layout

Don’t even think about picking up the hammer until you’ve done a trial run! Lay out your pieces on the floor and play around until you’ve found the flow that speaks to you. When you’re ready, use painter’s tape to map out the dimensions of your frames and where they will live on the wall.  This will help give you an idea of how the gallery wall will look and you can easily make adjustments before you hang the art. If you are hanging your gallery wall above an object (sofa, console table), start by mapping the gallery wall in the middle and work your way out. Balance out your pieces – if you’re using various sizes frames, maintain balance by hanging small-medium frames next to larger ones.

Hang your art

It can be a bit intimidating when you’re about to hang that first piece. Make sure you have the right supplies to get the job done. If you’re using a hammer and nails, make sure the nails are strong enough to support the weight of heavier frames. Picture wall hooks are a great solution that are easy and secure. Industrial Velcro is perfect when you don’t want to make holes, but keep in mind it doesn’t always hold the weight of larger frames.

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