Gallery walls tell a story, are visually interesting and cost a fraction of what a fine art collection would set you back. And the best part about gallery walls? They make you feel happy. What better way to inject happiness into a space than with a collage of personal photos, kids’ art or even a series of torn pages from a favorite book? Recently, I decided to add another gallery wall to a small space in our living room. As I was figuring out the perfect configuration, I pulled together some gallery wall inspiration to share with you.
Gallery Wall Inspiration
Full Disclosure: I don’t own any fine art. I appreciate it, but much prefer filling my walls with black and white photos of people I love.
Fortunately, my great-grandmother and grandmother were vigilant about preserving family photos. Like their homes I grew up in, our home is peppered with images of generations of familial faces.
It’s fun to watch my boys peer at their great-great-great-grandparents and imagine what kind of people they were. And it gives me the perfect opportunity to pass down the stories I was told.
Creating a gallery wall can feel overwhelming. And it can be a lot of work if you don’t have a plan.
Where to start? Whether you choose an eclectic collection of art you love, photos of people you love, or a mixed collage, there are a few simple steps to gaming the gallery wall.
How to Create a Gallery Wall
Step 1. Create a color palette. Will you use all black frames or a combination? I’ve found the best looking gallery walls include frames with no more than three different colors.
Step 2. Before you begin nailing, measure and tape-off a box around your gallery wall area. Keep in mind, you’ll want to leave between 2-3 inches of space between each frame.
Step 3. Create your gallery wall configuration on the floor. If you’re patient (unlike me), and want to avoid making swiss cheese out of your wall (unlike me), outline each frame on poster board or art paper. Tape the cut-out to the wall and nail away. This is obviously more time consuming, but leaves much less room for error.
Step 4. If you’re using multiple sizes, hang the largest piece first, a bit off-center. If you’re hanging a grid, grab your level to ensure your frames are hung straight.
Step 5. Hang the two second largest pieces on opposing sides of the first. This will help balance your gallery wall. Fill-in the empty space with smaller frames.
Gallery Wall Tips and Tricks
“When hanging a series of pictures together, keep the gap between them 2 – 2.5″ to utilize the wall space. And keep a minimum of 9″ between the art and the tops of sofas and chairs.” -Milly De Cabrol
“I’ve found that hanging my artwork 63″ on center above the floor is a perfect viewing height for most pieces.” -Rob Southern
“When framing artwork that requires a mat, specify a mat with 8-ply thickness. The increased depth of the resulting bevel can make anything look important.” -Madeline Stuart
…And remember, if you ever move, take a photo of your gallery wall before packing up. Believe me, this has saved my hide multiple times when trying to reproduce the same gallery wall configuration.
Creating visual pockets of joy around our homes is the ultimate goal, right? What special photos, notes or personal artwork could you coordinate into a gallery wall? Look no further than your photo albums, scrapbooks, and bookshelves to find unique gallery wall inspiration right under your nose. -xo