You’ll be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t love the look of a well-made gallery wall. They’re precise, expressive, and utilize blank space better than most any other wall hangings. A gallery wall proves itself time and time again to be one of the most reliable trends for dressing up a blank space on your wall.
You don’t need to hire a professional to get the look that many covet, though; all you need is to think ahead and plan out what you’d like your gallery wall to look like, then execute with precision. Here are a few things you’ll want to consider when creating your own gallery wall.
Carefully Pair Differing Images
Whether you have a number of random odds and ends you want to find a way to display cohesively, or you have an image in mind of pieces working together harmoniously, there are endless ways to style your gallery wall, but it starts with the selection of your pieces. Many choose to include prints, photos, other miscellaneous pieces of art, or a combination.
For mixing pieces, we suggest finding a connecting element throughout. For example, source pieces that all contain the color red in some capacity, whether it’s featured prominently or as just a small hint. This lets the eye strategically travel throughout the entirety of your gallery wall, and provides unity from what can appear to be a chaotic mix of pieces
If there isn’t the same element in every piece, use neutral pieces to balance it out. Complementary colors can make all the difference. Some choose to go in the exact opposite direction, and source pieces that have little in common. As much as these pieces may differ, the artful eye can see continuity in colors, patterns, textures, themes, and more, so you may find a way to arrange your pieces in a unified way after all.
Select The Right Frames
Frames play a more important part in the overall appeal of your gallery wall than most think. Although the art should be the main attraction, the frame can steer the look towards the aesthetic you want. Think about how you want your art to come through; if you don’t want any distractions from the pieces, you’d likely benefit from all white frames. If you’d like to emphasize a particular color scheme, choose a color that is less reflected in your pieces, and select frames in that shade. You can use the shade of the frames as an extension of the art itself instead of a vehicle to display them.
Consider the thickness of the frames; do you want your photos to be matted or edged to the frame? Matting your photos can give them a more elegant look, and draw the eye more, especially if the piece is smaller and is trying to compete with larger scale pieces. Chunkier, thicker frames will also give a more modern, pop art feel to your gallery wall, while elegant decorative frames with detailing will bring more sophistication. Think about the nature of your art and what would pair best with the aesthetic you’re aiming for.
Map It Out Beforehand
You’ll want to start off strong in the creation of your gallery wall by laying out your pieces in the arrangement you want to see on your wall. You’ll want to start by measuring the space you want to fill, and work within these restrictions. Many make their first mistake when they start by hanging pieces on the wall without a clear direction, which leads to a sloppy, mishandled look. Lay your frames on a flat surface and start arranging pieces to your liking.
Many designers suggest keeping the bigger pieces centered the middle, and anchoring smaller pieces on the outskirts of the designated area. For a clean, angular look, make sure the distance between all pieces is consistent. Some prefer an organized chaos kind of look, with pieces spread all around, while others prefer a more even and grid-like feel to their gallery wall. Play around with formations that best fit the sizes of your pictures until you find something that fits your liking.