When it comes to framing and hanging, there are nearly an infinite amount of options, providing you with the opportunity to take someone else’s work of art and make it your own. A gallery wall allows you to make a personal statement by combining your favorite photographs and works of art into one cohesive design.
Gallery walls work wonderfully for sizeable walls that would otherwise require a large-scale piece. They are also a great solution for awkward spaces, such as a stairwell, that do not fit traditional artwork well. Whether you decide to streamline your wall with consistent sizing and framing, or mix it up by combining mediums and utilizing different sized works, the outcome, without a doubt, will make a statement. Based on the style of your décor, you may choose something symmetrical and ordered, or maybe you prefer something organic and slightly haphazard. Whatever your taste may be, you can’t go wrong with a good gallery wall.
You are the curator
While there are no wrong options when choosing your artwork, here are a few tips for putting together your art collection.
- Choose artwork that you love. Yes, this is rather obvious, but very important! Your artwork should inspire you. Don’t buy something just to fill a white void that is in your apartment. Buy artwork that adds value to your living space, as well as your life.
- Consider size. Think about the size of the artwork in comparison to the wall. Will the amount and/or size of your works barely fill the wall? Or will they overcrowd the space? This may be straightforward consideration, but it can be problematic if not addressed!
- Contemplate a theme. While this is not a necessary component to a gallery wall, it can be a fun approach to add another level of meaning. The theme could be anything. Photography from places you’ve visited or destinations on your bucket list. Love floral paintings? You could create a spring theme. Or maybe you want show off some hometown pride by curating a wall of all local artists. Tell a story with your art!
- Decide on a color scheme (or not). You may want to have your artwork coordinate with the color scheme of your space, or maybe you want to add a different pop of color. Try to coordinate your art so that the colors of each do not clash, but don’t worry about having everything match perfectly.
Image Source: Society6.
On The Floor
If room allows, clear the floor space in front of the wall to be the same size as the wall space you wish to fill. A good way to do this is to measure the wall space, and then outline the same dimensions on the floor with painter’s tape. This will allow you to lay out your intended design and make changes prior to any nails going in the wall. Once your layout is finalized on the floor, take a picture of your design and note the distances between each piece. One at a time, hang each piece on the wall.
On The Wall
Outline the shape of each artwork with painter’s tape, and then transfer these outlines to the wall, arranging the outlines in the design you would like. If you need a better visual, you can also cut out pieces of paper in the shape of the frames and then tape these to the wall. This option also allows you to make a plan without creating any holes in the wall.
Just Go For It
While it is good to have a plan, sometimes just following your gut can lead to an awesome outcome. Randomly, but carefully, hanging your artworks can create an eclectic “salon” feel that cannot be replicated.
Image Source: Society6.
For either option, begin your layout by starting with the center piece. While this artwork does not necessarily have to be the largest piece on the wall, it should be a focal point. Think bold colors, thick frame, or interesting texture – anything that is visually strong. This will be the first piece that you hang, and every other piece will follow the direction of the center. Have fun when creating the layout: test out different variations until you find something that suits you.
Tips & Tricks
- Consider the height that you will hang your artwork. If you have a lot of works to hang, the pieces may end up covering the majority of the wall, so it is not a problem if certain works seem to be hung too low or too high. When determining the initial height, start with the center piece. A good rule of thumb for hanging any work is place it at 60” on center. This means that the center of the artwork hits at 60” from the floor.
- Use hooks and nails. While using just nails are sufficient to hang a frame, hooks make it more stable and much easier, especially if your frame is hung with a wire. Insider’s secret: if you use hooks with a wire, your nails do not have to be perfectly straight!
- Measure twice, hammer once. Enough said.
- Use a level. Nothing is worse than crooked frames! If you don’t have one, your iPhone does. Head into the compass app, and flip your phone sideways.
- If you make a mistake, don’t stress. Spackle is super easy and fun to use 🙂
Below are some great options to arrange your frames. Choose one below or make up your own!