July DIY - The Gallery Wall
Oh the gallery wall. Beautiful to look at, sometimes a pain in the arse to put together. Or, maybe you're just overwhelmed by all the possibilities and have no idea where to start! Fear not friend, I've got your back, and some fairly easy to follow tips to create a gallery wall you love without adding to the grey-hair count!
Tip #1 - Location, Location, Location
Chances are, you already have a spot picked out that you'd like to place your gallery wall. But just in case you haven't, before you go too crazy, take a few minutes now to tour your home and pick your gallery spot. And think outside the box! It can be the wall behind your sofa (like we did in our home), or it can be an entry wall, in the bath- or powder room, along or below a staircase, even an inside or outside corner! Your location will determine the scale and content of your gallery wall. (I'm currently eyeing the corner of our bedroom above my laundry basket - stay tuned!)
Tip #2 - Start With Your Favourites
The easiest way to start your gallery collection is to simply start with your favourites! Favourite what? Favourite photographs, post-, thank you- or birthday cards, notes from a loved one, fabric/wallpaper swatches, knick-knacks you've collected, frames or art pieces. Sounds a bit random? Well, a great gallery wall is often a collection of things so don't hem yourself in with just pictures.
Tip #3 - Decide Your Framing Style
Whether you want all matching frames (all white or all black is the easiest) or you love the look of collected frames, decide in advance what look you're after. Then, get busy collecting them. If you want matching frames, check out inexpensive options at IKEA or Walmart. Don't be fooled by an inexpensive price tag. With a little matting and elbow grease, you can make cheap frames look très chic! Going for the 'collected' look? Pick up whatever frames strike your fancy! You can play with them in the planning stage.
Don't have the budget for buying frames? Check out these fabulous washi tape gallery walls! Great for rental spaces or for those not ready to commit to the nail holes, washi tape is safe for your walls and comes in a huge variety of colours, patterns and textures!
Tip #4 - Fill It Out
Use your favourites and your framing style as a jumping off point. When we put our gallery wall together, I printed out 50-60 photographs I loved, had two pieces of art (a little canvas I picked up in Paris and a gift from a since-passed mentor), and a few frames we repurposed from previous hangings and then branched out from there. We picked up a few new frames that were fun and different to finish off our collection.
Tip #5 - Play With It
Once you have your items collected, play around with which photos or items go in which frames and how you'd like to lay them out (find some extra ideas + instructions here). If you like things orderly, plan a 'border line' and edge your frames to the line (think an invisible rectangle or straight edge along the bottom). If you're a bit of a free spirit, choose a central or main item and plan out from there. Don't be afraid to play with scale as well. According to this post, place your 'heaviest' item or collection on the left as "the left side of any composition can hold more visual weight and feels more comfortable to the eye".
Now that you're into the "planning the layout" stage, you can do a few things. We measured out the space on the wall we wanted to fill, placed markers on the floor and then played around with the frames inside that space. Once we got to a layout we liked, we took a pic (for reference) and started hanging them on the wall.
Another option is to trace and cut out the shapes of your pieces onto newspaper or brown craft paper, label them (by subject or number) and then, using painters tape, move them around on the wall until you're happy.
I can't do it...
If this seems like "too much work", check out the new app offered by Art.com that allows you to 'see' a series of pre-planned compositions overlaid onto your space! Plus, you can order the pictures/prints directly or, have them print your own photos and have them framed. Then all you need to do is hang them when they arrive!
Still stuck? Did you know you can hire DTI to help you? In Calgary, Airdrie, Okotoks, Chestermere & Cochrane, I can meet with you in your home; further out, I can meet with you virtually to give you great interior design advice and gallery wall design direction (minimum 1 hour, charged at our hourly design rate, travel fees may apply).
Want some more inspiration? Check out this post from Apartment Therapy with 50 of them!