Looking to spruce up your space, but don’t want to spend a fortune? Forget the remodel and create a gallery wall instead.
When done right, a gallery wall can create a dramatic focal point and give your space a whole new look.
How to get started
For the design challenged among us, creating a gallery wall can seem like a daunting task. Yet, with a few simple tools and guidelines, you can create a picture perfect wall. Here’s how to get started:
- Chose the Location
Stairways are one of the most common places to hang a gallery wall. Don’t limit yourself to stairways. For maximum impact, consider creating a gallery wall in a bathroom, entryway, hallway, above your bed, or the kitchen. Almost any blank wall space can work.
- Establish a theme (or not)
Galleries can be eclectic or unified by a common element such as color or type of image.
The appeal of an eclectic wall comes from the mix of sizes, colors, textures, media, frames, and styles. Think rustic alongside modern. Black and white photographs paired with colorful paintings. Large pieces contrasted with small pieces.
Novices may find it easier to create a themed gallery wall. Themes can be based on many things including:
Color – use a single color palette, complementary, or contrasting colors (such as black and white).
The type of image – group a collection of photographs, paintings, posters, objects, etc.
Subject – feature your travel, family, wedding or other meaningful images.
Style – select vintage, modern or classic images and frames. Keep in mind that your gallery wall is not just about the art, but also the frames that highlight the art.
- Select a wall color
A visit to any art museum will reveal that neutral wall colors keep the focus on the artwork. As an alternative, use a dark color for dramatic contrast.
The next steps
Once you’ve settled on a location, theme and wall color, it’s time to design your wall.
- Set a focal point
Balance and symmetry are key to creating a gallery wall. Start with the largest (or most impactful) piece and use it as the focal point. Work from the center out. A good rule of thumb is to place the focal point 66″ from the floor and space your pieces at least 1¼ inches apart.
To create impact, don’t be afraid to break the “rules”. The unexpected placement and juxtaposition of artwork can create a striking gallery wall.
- Design a layout
As you are designing your gallery wall, think about the placement of each piece, particularly when hanging art over furniture. You’ll want to leave at least eight inches between the base of the frame and the top of the furniture.
There are many different ways to arrange pieces on your wall. Some of the more common patterns (Checkered, Nine Square, Outer Align, Reflection, Spiral, Centered) can be found here.
Before you commit to a design or hang anything on your wall, experiment with a few layouts.
Lay your framed work on the floor and try out a few arrangements. Better yet, cut newspaper or brown butcher paper to the size of each piece. Using masking tape, position the paper on your wall as you would the art. Try a few different arrangements until you’re happy with the result.
Ready, set, frame
When you’re ready to create your gallery wall, stop by the shop for the best selection of frames anywhere. As always, advice is free.
In the meantime, check out these other great ideas for inspiration.