Creating a gallery wall in your home is a fantastic way to transform a room with art and objects on hand, including the paintings, photographs, and three-dimensional art you’ve collected along life’s way. A gallery wall can make a statement, or it can simply bring an otherwise blank wall to life. Creating a gallery wall is a fun way to express yourself and show off your favorite art. You don’t even need a large wall — gallery walls can be created over and around doorways and along staircases as well.
One thing to remember is that each collection is different, and needs its own unique layout based on the size and number of works to be hung, the design of the room, and the general look and feel for which you’re going. And keep in mind that your gallery wall makes a personal statement about you by showcasing items that you find meaningful.
It’s a simple process – a hammer and some frame hooks are all you’ll need. The work begins with the arrangement – you don’t want to end up with a haphazard jumble of unrelated pieces.
Mary Bryan DeLoach, owner of Mary Bryan Peyer Designs, on St. Simons Island, touts the virtues of gallery walls, and says they’re a terrific avenue for showing one’s interests and personality.
“There aren’t any hard-fast rules to follow, so you can get creative and have fun arranging your pieces,” she said. “Generally, the best way to begin the process is to arrange your artwork/items on the floor, and rearrange them until you find your desired look.”
DeLoach says she always begins in the middle with her favorite piece and then works her way out.
Gallery walls come in a range of styles. DeLoach says the eclectic look uses an assortment of art with different frames and added three-dimensional objects, such as brackets with an interesting piece on display, or even a wall-mounted potted plant. (continued on next page)
“Another way to arrange a wall is doing the exact opposite technique of the eclectic wall. When you want a soothing and refined aesthetic, keep all the frames the same and keep the art to a collection of similar subjects.”
DeLoach explained that when she is hanging a gallery wall of family or sports-themed photographs, she likes to mat and frame them the same, but in different sizes. “This way, old black and white photos and the newer color photos are all cohesive and enjoyable to view,” she said. (continued on next page)
Lindsey Spearman, of L. Spearman, an interior design firm on St. Simons Island, also spoke in favor of the gallery wall. Mixing styles, shapes and colors can help set a gallery wall apart.
“I enjoy mixing different frames and incorporating other elements. At Fiddlers at 410 Arnold, I consciously used different frame sizes, while keeping all of the frames the same color. That gave the gallery wall a cohesive work.”
Interspersing the photos with wildlife mounts helped add a different form of visual interest to the wall.
Like DeLoach, Spearman begins her gallery wall installations by gathering all the necessary items and laying them out on the floor.
“I then measure the width and height of usable wall space I have to work with,” she said, adding that she subsequently lays out the items within the pre-determined space parameters. “As I shift and switch items around, I’m making sure the spacing between each frame is consistent.”
The center of the wall is the perfect spot to hang larger items. Once you have a functional layout, Spearman recommends to begin hanging from the center and then working your way down each side of the space.
The finished project, whatever its components turn out to be, should look curated.
“A great way to give a wall a cohesive look is by keeping the frame colors the same while using different sizes, or by making sure each image and accessory is spaced evenly,” Spearman said.