BUILDING A GALLERY WALL
Oh how I love a good gallery wall. I've pulled together some of my favorite tips and tricks for creating one that makes a statement...
Choose art you love.
Emma Chapman from A Beautiful Mess suggests choosing Art You Love. "If you are planning to hang a gallery wall in your home, don't feel like you have to make it look like anyone else's. You can include original art, art prints, kiddo art, family photos, personal photo projects or even found objects that get framed in shadow boxes (if needed)."
Dara Segal, founder of my framer, Simply Framed, recommends framing each piece individually in a way that best compliments the art. It usually makes for a much more interesting gallery wall, and ensures that if you choose to hang it somewhere else down the road, it will look phenomenal on its own.
This is the approach she took, when Joy Cho of Oh Joy! reached out to her about framing a vibrant and eclectic gallery wall. But noted it's important to make sure all of the frames compliment each other in a cohesive way. "Our goal when working with Joy was to make sure that the frames she chose were not just a great fit for the piece at hand, but in a style that would work well with the overall look of the gallery wall," Segal explained. And the result, was stunning:
Add Visual Pops of Interest
Nancy Mitchell from Apartment Therapy, spotted this wall on: Desire to Inspire
Why it works... "I think this works because there are a few ‘wallflowers’ in this grouping: pieces that don’t draw a lot of attention to themselves and serve as a sort of visual break between the bolder, more wildly colored pieces."
If you can, start with a plan.
Jillian Finley, from MYDOMAINE, suggests that "before you pick up the hammer, lay everything out on the floor first. This will allow you the satisfaction of editing and intermixing to your heart's content without the hassle of rehanging. Hone your focal point. If you're working around with oversize statement art, arrange smaller works around the most prominent piece. Tappan Collective recommends to first "choose your baseline on the wall. This step acts as your outline. Take into account your furniture and other items in your entire space to help you figure out how the artworks will balance on the wall and ultimately, with the entire room." (Tappan Collective, by the way, is an incredible source for finding new, affordable artwork from emerging artists)
Work in "reality".
I know, there are no flat-screens in home decor magazines, but the reality of it is we all have them. Don't be afraid to get a little creative and work in everyday objects. I love how seamlessly the flatscreen was incorporated into this punchy art wall I found on Remodelista. Lonny also suggests incorporating favorite objects. "A gallery wall can be more than pictures and prints."
Fill the entire Wall.
Ok, so speaking of Oh Joy!, have you seen the gallery wall she and Emily Henderson dreamed up for her Office "living room" space?! It could possibly top the list of best ever. Henderson, recommends going big and filling a whole wall, floor to ceiling. "It’s my new favorite tactic that gets away from the dinky collection in the middle of a wall and really makes it look intentional and designed. Joy has a lot of friends that are artists and she wanted to be around their work — to be inspired by it and to feature it."
As far as methodically laying everything out on the floor first or mocking up with paper cut-outs, Henderson takes the same approach as me... "Per usual we had intentions of laying it out on the ground, but ultimately just went for it." Look how beautiful spontaneity can be...
Use a variety of mediums.
Liz Lidgett, Better Homes and Garden's Art Hunter and Hapi Art art consultant, recommends mixing it up. "When creating a gallery wall, mix your medias. Choose paintings, drawings, and photographs. I also always like to add a touch of 3-D to the wall for extra visual interest."
And when Segal consulted on one of my FAVORITE art walls of all time, belonging to Lonny editor, Cat Dash, as part of her dining room makeover, she said this was one of the reasons Dash's wall was so successful. "Cat's art collection is stellar, not just because of the artists behind the work but because of the variety of mediums and methods represented throughout the group. All combined, the collection had a fresh vibe and some fun, personal stories to go along with each piece." Segal said.
Interior Designer extraordinaire and LITTLE GREEN NOTEBOOK blogger, Jenny Komenda, explained it's all about mixing color and texture. "Finding the right color or texture in a piece of art is especially important when putting together a gallery-style art wall."
Keep some elements consistent,
Punch it up, put in unexpected pieces, but it's important to keep some things consistent to link everything together. Lonny recommends "using at least two consistent elements throughout, whether a subject matter (family photos, fashion sketches) or through mats, frames, or color scheme."