For months, every time I would walk past the giant blank wall in our living/dining room, I would grumble to myself “I should do a gallery wall.” I kept putting it off because a. I didn’t have enough pieces and 2. I thought it had to be a very complicated process. I scrolled through Pinterest for inspiration and was intimidated by the pin after pin of paper cutouts of different sized frames on the wall – I knew I would never do that, I just don’t have the patience. BUT, as it turns out, it doesn’t have to be that complicated. Here are my six tips for an easy gallery wall.
Collect your art
- Use pieces that make you happy
- Obvious, yes, but initially, I was tied to the idea that all the frames had to be the same color (I, of course, wanted all gaudy gold frames), but then I found some sketches in black frames that I really loved. So after much deliberation I finally said “eff it, who cares if it doesn’t match as long as you like it and it makes you happy. You’re the one who lives here…” So don’t restrict your wall to a certain color scheme or theme. Instead, take the “more the merrier” approach and pick pieces that will make you smile whenever you see it. Be original.
- Hot tip: if you have an odd-sized piece you need framed, try ArtToFrame.com – I used it for the Musee d’Orsay piece on the far right. I went rather basic, but you can input your size, frame color/material, and matting colors for an extremely reasonable price- this was $60! Can’t beat that for a custom framing job.
- Pairs create balance
- The above being said, it doesn’t hurt to have a few pairs of the same frame to help create a visual balance. I filled the two 8×10 gold frames with wedding photos and then used the two black-framed sketches to create some uniformity amongst the rest of the wall.
- Include 3d objects
- Incorporating interesting, 3d items will add an extra dimension and texture to your wall and bring that flat wall to life. My husband had a bust of a Springbok collecting dust in a box for years. It was from a hunting trip he went on with his grandpa as a kid. Not only does it hold a lot of sentimental value to him, but it is also quite a beautiful animal that even a non-hunter can appreciate. We paired the Springbok with a cool, metal-caged mirror from Homegoods to offset the flat art. I realize not everyone has a Springbok in their basement, so try a mirror, wall-planter, or sculpture to add some depth. Go shopping in a realtive’s basement or try Homegoods – my go-to source for these types of pieces (and frames).
Hanging the art
- Lay it all out on the floor before you hang anything
- This is my version of the paper cutouts and it is even better (imo) because you can actually see how the colors play against each other. Balance is the goal here, so just keep rearranging until you get there.
- Use anchor pieces
- I used this vintage buffet passed down from my grandparents as the main anchor on this wall. It offers some structure for the gallery wall and acts as a good first focal point and allows your eyes to move up and wander from there.
- Don’t be an exacto
- There is no need to measure each piece out when you actually start hanging – that defeats the idea behind a gallery wall. Just be consistent with the spacing between all the pieces to create a sense of harmony.
Et voila, just like that, you have yourself an exquisite gallery wall, custom-tailored to you. Now go have some fun finding your art!