When we are guests in someone’s home, I love to walk around and look at their walls. Are you like that too? Fingers crossed they don’t mind, but I love to check out all of their artwork and photographs and hope they love a good gallery wall like I do. I haven’t met one I don’t like, and we have a few galleries created here in our home. There are no rules to creating a gallery wall, just good tips, and I’m sharing 5 gallery wall good ones today.
Pretty much everything I learned or “picked up” about gallery walls, I learned from my friend Barb. She and her husband Bobby have the most gorgeous home, and epic artwork and gallery walls. In my mind, Barb is the Gallery Wall Queen. Tasteful, yet not too much; grand, yet not too big; fitting, yet not too symmetric. Heck, I even fit her name in my made-up vocabulary. Like, if I see an empty wall, I say to myself “we need to Barb up that wall.” Or, looking at a group of pictures hanging, I think, “good Barb-grouping.” Odd, maybe, but she inspires me, and with all of the Barb talk, it’s her half bath that really sparked my affinity for gallery walls.
Much better than a Reader’s Digest, a gallery wall in a bathroom is a great place to start. If you have the wall space, make a statement. Little room, big presence. Plus it gives the guest something to look at while they’re sitting there.
Tip #1: Gallery walls don’t have to be symmetric. Good thing because I’m terrible at math. Start with one piece that you want hung in the center of the gallery, and then move out from here. I suggest to lay out the artwork on the floor first, if you are creating an initial gallery wall. This way, you can make changes and move things around before you commit to hanging everything. If you already have a print hanging on a wall and want to expand, hold up artwork and see where you think it would look best to hang.
Tip #2: Go all out with different frames. Being different adds so much interest, don’t you think? However, I wouldn’t mix glossy frames with matte frames. Pick one finish and stick with that. That is just my advice.
Tip #3: Add texture and a little unexpected. Because a turtle shell next to a Mary Cassatt might seem a bit strange in theory, yet this pairing totally works. The light browns and neutrals in the print flow to the browns in the turtle shell, which then brings that unexpected and cool-looking texture to the gallery.
Tip #4: Keep a common denominator of color. Artwork doesn’t need to have the same exact color in each piece, but along the same hue and share the same color temperature. The artwork all needs to work together, and this is how. Never place a bright piece next to a more muted piece because that simply just doesn’t blend.
Tip #5: Size doesn’t matter when going with one frame color. I call this wall our family year book. One black and white photograph looks good, but a gallery of them looks fantastic. I started in the middle with a wedding photo, the family nucleus, and built out from there. I add a couple photos a year and will continue until the wall is filled. Black and white photographs tell a story in so many ways, whether its a photo of a landscape, or architecture, or of people. It’s romance, it’s a day dream, it’s memories.
Tip #6: When creating a symmetric gallery wall, lay it out first. Always. It’s all about measuring to get the perfect spacing. A lot of math goes into this type of gallery wall, so be patient. I recommend creating a paper pattern first, by cutting out paper the size of your frames and taping them on the wall with painters tape. Genius answer to getting your measurements exact. This way, you can nail the picture hanger right on top of the paper, then removing the paper before hanging the photo. This will save you a lot of time and cuss words.
Time to get creative! Don’t let your walls be lonely, hang some art and create a gallery wall. Barb them up! Like I said, there are no rules, just tips. Go with what you like, following the lines and angles of your walls. Galleries add so much personality to your home, and tell a story about you. Follow my tips, and you’ll have a gallery wall, or walls, that you will always enjoy and admire.
Need frames? Here is the set I featured on the symmetric wall. Great quality! This is an affiliate link. I do receive a small commission on your purchase, but at no cost to you.