Need some inspiration to actually hang up your pictures, art and prints? A gallery wall is a fun way to display your favorite artwork.
Gallery walls make a BIG statement and add A LOT of personality to a room. Did I mention they’re BIG?
Their size is probably one of the reasons I had yet to add one to my home. I have a hard time making big decorating commitments, and this was a pretty big one. A whole wall dedicated just to art? What if I didn’t like it?
But I got over it. When you really look at it, you’re not knocking out a wall or ripping up your kitchen tile here. You’re just putting a few nails or screws in the wall. So, I went for it.
Here are a few tips I learned along the way.
Plan, plan, plan
The key to a good gallery wall—and less frustration—is planning your wall ahead of time. Gather all of the elements you want to hang, lay them out on the floor and arrange them how you think you’ll want them on the wall. Move items around until you get a look you like. But don’t get your heart set on it. There’s still one more step.
Just because your design looks good on the floor doesn’t mean it will translate correctly to the wall. I strongly suggest you trace the outline of each picture with paper (I used paper bags,) cut them out and then lightly tape them to the wall.
This way, you’ll see if your design will actually work—before you start putting holes in the wall.
See that vent? I forgot about it when I was arranging items on the floor. Thank goodness I traced all of the pictures and did a test run before actually hanging. I had to rearrange my whole design to incorporate the vent.
This is what my paper bag cutouts looked like. Sorry for the poor lighting. It was late.
Know what you want to achieve
Before you go get the hammer and start hanging, think about what you want to achieve with your gallery wall. Is it to showcase family portraits? Fill a blank space? Show off your travel art?
Think about why you want a gallery wall and how it will make you happy. Because decorating is about being happy. A gallery wall is a bit of a commitment and you want to absolutely love it.
I wanted a focal point for my living room. The last two rentals I lived in had fireplaces in the living rooms, which are instant focal points. You don’t have to do a lot besides dressing up the mantel to draw attention. In my current living room, there wasn’t a focal point. Unless you count the T.V., which I don’t.
So, my goal was to create a focal point. I wanted to create something that people could talk about and that I just enjoyed looking at. Something that showcased my style—and my boyfriend’s style—all in one place. I think I achieved my goal!
Break the rules
While gallery walls are pretty trendy right now—I’ve probably pinned a million of them on Pinterest—they’re also classic. You can’t really go wrong with one.
There are lots of rules out there about how to make a gallery wall, like stick to a color scheme or use all black picture frames or vary the scale.
It’s true that these tricks can help coordinate the display. For example, my gallery wall is inspired by nature with a few modern twists. And, I kept the color palette to browns and whites with a few pops of brighter colors. The coordinating theme and color palette definitely make it cohesive, but really it was just luck. I had picked a bunch of my favorite pieces of art and they just all happened to go together.
Don’t let the rules define your gallery wall. If you want to add a mini clipboard or an embroidery hoop on there (like I did) go for it! If it makes sense to you, that’s all that matters. In fact, I think a little quirkiness is just right for a gallery wall!
Have you hung a gallery wall in your home? Would you give it a try? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.