The freedom of designing a gallery wall can feel liberating, but for first-timers, it can also be quite intimidating. Here’s everything homeowners need to know about creating a unique gallery wall that perfectly suits their style and personality.
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In this article:
A Step-By-Step Guide on How to Create a Gallery Wall
What’s a Gallery Wall?
Before you start pounding nails into your drywall, you should first understand what gallery walls are. Generally, it’s a collection of items such as photographs, framed artwork, and other knickknacks mounted on a wall.
Creating gallery walls is a great way to infuse different colors and patterns to a room and add some personality. You can use ornaments and decorations that express your individual style, along with special photos, posters, and paintings.
Gallery walls are often displayed in tight focal points such as above the headboard in bedrooms, kitchen walls, or above fireplaces or behind living room sofas. You can also place gallery walls long hallways flanked by blank walls or in your foyer.
The key to the perfect gallery wall is keeping it in proportion to the size of the room you plan to decorate.
How to Make a Gallery Wall
Step 1: Collect Your Framed Pieces
The first thing you need to do is to collect the ornaments you’ll be using for your gallery. You can include art pieces, family pictures, or even your leftover Christmas ornaments.
Do not be afraid to include random items in your gallery. Some homeowners make use of wild, out-of-the-ordinary ornaments such as slippers, bags, or even bicycles.
Generally, as long as you can mount it onto your wall, you can add it to your gallery.
Tip: There’s no need to rush this process. Some people make the mistake of ordering random pieces of artwork online just to finish their wall quickly. But when it comes to hanging and displaying art, it’s best to use pieces that you really like. Don’t worry about your wall looking a bit bare because you can add more pieces to it as you move along the process.
Step 2: Decide on a Theme
After you’ve collected your ornaments, it’s time to decide on a theme. Assess the pieces you’ve collected and then see what you can make out of them.
You can draw inspiration from whatever aspect you want such as love, family, friendship, nature, or even history. It’s best to pattern your design on something you’re truly passionate and knowledgeable about.
Also, use this as a chance to decide on what your main color scheme would be. This is important because once you decide on a color, all the other pieces should complement the main scheme.
Step 3: Add More to Your Ornaments
While deciding on a theme, your options will open up and other ornaments will come to mind. And when that happens, feel free to add more to your pile of knickknacks.
Then, sort the ornaments out accordingly. Just as you found new pieces to display, you’ll see ones that no longer have a place in your wall.
Step 4: Create the Wall Design
Perhaps the hardest part about all this is coming up with a gallery wall layout. There are hundreds of possible designs to choose from so this step can be very time-consuming.
However, this is also the most fun and rewarding part of the process. During this step, you’ll even start to see your dream gallery wall finally come to life.
Once you come up with a design, draw up a blueprint for it. If you don’t have a knack for drawing, try creating at least a rough sketch of how you plan to lay out your frames.
Again, there’s no need to rush this. Feel free to experiment with different patterns and styles. You can try to come up with your own layout as well.
Step 5: Source the Needed Tools and Equipment
By this time, you might realize that you’re lacking a few tools and equipment. So take this as a chance to head down to the hardware store to complete your arsenal.
Stock up on nails, screwdrivers, and hammers, mounting hooks, and a level to make sure things are hung straight. Also, having a few spare frames or shadow boxes lying around might prove to be useful.
Step 6: Start Whacking Away
Now it’s time to bring your gallery to life. Grab your tools and ornaments then start mounting the different pieces on your wall.
Make sure you do this step properly. One mistake and you could end up ruining your wall or foundation, so don’t be afraid to seek help if you’re not confident in your handyman skills.
Step 7: Continue Perfecting Your Wall
The great thing about building a gallery wall is that the process never really stops. You can continue to add various pieces and ornaments to your gallery or even experiment with different designs as time passes.
Art Gallery Wall Design Ideas
You can’t just haphazardly put up a bunch of mementos and expect it to tell a cohesive and stylish story. You need to display it in an aesthetically pleasing way that expresses what you and your family are all about.
Some cool ideas you can use include:
1. Ceiling-to-Floor Design
The ceiling-to-floor design, as the name suggests, is a pattern where you fill a nook or corner with pieces of art and ornaments from top to bottom.
Perfect for: This design is ideal for people who want to completely fill a blank wall in their home. Also, you don’t have to finish the design in one go. You can slowly add various pieces to your gallery as time passes. You can start from the top, bottom, or even middle.
2. The Column
The column is a vertical line of four to six ornaments, ideally picture frames. They don’t need to have the same dimensions so any ornament will do.
Perfect for: The Column design is ideally placed on narrow walls next to doors and windows. It’s perfect for those who only have a few pieces of art and have little space to work with.
3. The Clean and Modern Grid
The Clean and Modern Grid is a design that consists of either 6, 9, or 12 frames. They are lined in rows and columns so they should all have the same sizes and dimensions.
Perfect for: The Grid is ideal for homeowners who have identically sized frames of artwork and photographs. This design tends to take up a lot of space so it’s best to use this on wide walls in bedrooms, living rooms, or kitchens.
These are just some of the things you need to know to get started on building your gallery wall. You can modify these steps by reading up on other tips in hanging and framing art.
Don’t forget to download, save, or share this handy infographic for reference:
What’s important is to explore all the possible styles and patterns to see which one would best suit you. There is an endless number of possible designs to draw inspiration from so don’t limit yourself to just one or two gallery wall ideas.
Do you have a gallery wall at home? Share it with us in the comments section below!
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