A Little Tutorial on Gallery Walls..

When we moved into our home here in Georgia we were amazed at the amount of art we had that our youngest son had done in AP art in high school.  We decided that we would like to create a gallery wall from some of that art.

First, we chose the pictures that we wanted to use in our wall.  We chose the ones we loved best, then from those we chose a mix of small, medium, and larger art.  We had each picture framed in different types of frames, but kept the frames all black to tie the gallery wall together.

Next, I began the task of determining how to best fit the pictures into the space.

The first thing I did was sort the pictures by size:

I put the pictures that were similar in size together to get an idea of how I could use the different sizes to balance the gallery wall.  I didn’t want one side to feel heavier than the other side.

Here you can see how one of the stacks looked:

You can see that the two bottom pics together are very close to the size of the top pic.  Also, they all have white mats and backgrounds.  When organizing the pics I would choose these two groupings to balance each other in size and shape.

Next I measured my wall.  I like to lay the tape measure out above my pictures on the floor so that I can get a feel for how wide the space is and how much room I have to spread all of my pictures out.

Here is a pic with my first attempt at spreading out the pics:

This isn’t quite right.  The balance is off.  You can see how I attempted to use the two smaller pics to balance the picture of the turtle.

After 3 or 4 more attempts:

I loved this arrangement.  The balance feels right. The two smaller pics that I grouped together balance with the turtle.  The other two small pics (the ones on the top left and bottom right corner balance each other.  The four larger pics work well throughout the space.

The next step it to hang the pictures on the wall.  Some people like to use brown craft paper to make a template.  This is especially helpful if you have a large wall or your artwork is not going to be centered in the space.  For this wall I was able to measure the width and height of the wall space as we were using a small hallway in the basement. I didn’t feel the need to make a template.  I just divided the wall space in half and used that as the center point to begin hanging.  I started hanging from the middle and worked my way out.

Here is a picture of how it looks from the main room:

Here is a photo of the finished gallery wall:

It’s hard to get a great pic of the space as it is a small hallway, but you get the idea!

We are so excited at how it turned out.  My next project for this hallway is to add a bit of color and interest to the walls…I’m thinking about attempting an ombre finish, or a great pop of color. But that is a project and a post for another day…

Here are a couple more fabulous gallery walls from some fellow designers/bloggers I’m dying to share with you:

This adorable gallery wall is blogger Leah Hallahan’s design work.   You can find her here at Mom by Design She has taken the colors in her gallery wall and integrated them into the colors of the room design in such a fun way.  Color can be a great way to make your gallery wall harmonious and balanced.  Even though Leah’s frames are different colors she was able to spread them out on her wall for balance.  Look at how the two black items on the top left balance with the black frame on the bottom-both in size and color.  Also, be sure to note those black trees in the middle pic-it helps to balance the color black throughout her gallery wall.  What a fun room for her daughter!

This gallery wall is by Sarah from Gray Bee and Co Look at how she used the flat surface of this table to extend her gallery wall.  Her use of color is fabulous! Those subtle blues and grays blend so beautifully.  I love the fun element of surprise with the arrow.  Your gallery wall can be a mix of things you love. It doesn’t always have to be artwork or photos.  This gallery wall feels serene and inviting!

Here are my top rules for creating a gallery wall…

  1. There are no rules…Remember my mantra-have a creative mind, think “outside the box” and be imaginative!
  2. You most likely have objects in your house that you can put together to create a gallery wall.  Go on a hunt! Small mirrors, your grandmother’s cameo pin or an old pair of glasses (put it in a shadow box), photographs, tapestries, anything that you love!
  3. Choose something to tie your gallery wall together.  Possibilities are by theme, color of frames, or color palette of items.
  4. Once you have gathered your items lay them out on the floor to decide which placement you like best. Think about balance and harmony.  It doesn’t have to be symmetrical, or lined up perfectly.  Some of the most interesting gallery walls flow around furniture or down a set of stairs.
  5. Have the courage to try again and again until you get it right.
  6. Plan, plan, plan-Either use craft paper to lay out the organization on the wall or measure carefully before you start the process of hanging.  This can be the most frustrating part of putting together your wall.
  7. Make it personal…tell a story!

Speaking of stories, here is one last gallery wall for you.  This is our master bedroom closet gallery wall. It’s the place where we charge our phones…

and our hearts when we are missing those tiny babies.  I’ve considered changing the 20 year old frames to a more current version, but I’m still loving the 1990’s model too much to change them. It’s not really the perfect gallery wall, but it is perfect for us!

Your gallery wall tells the story of you! Have fun creating it!

Happy Decorating!