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Mastering the Art of The Gallery Wall

Adding art is the perfect way to express your own unique personality to a room, but finding the right art for your space can be tricky. Whether you’re considering a creative gallery wall design or just looking to fill blank walls, figuring out how to hang art to look cohesive can definitely be a challenge. It's hard to even know where to start.

Hanging artwork too high has got to be one of the most common design mistakes people make. If you take anything away from this post let it be this..... The golden rule of hanging art: The center of the piece should be about 57 inches off the floor. That's roughly eye-level for the average adult and the height most art galleries and museums use when mounting artwork. For a gallery wall, the center of the arrangement should be at that height. If you’re hanging your art above furniture, it can be 4-6 inches above the piece. If the art is going above a sofa or console, the piece should be approximately 2/3 width of the furniture. As a general rule of thumb, always consider the scale of your space when hanging art.

What is a Gallery Wall?

A gallery wall is a wall containing a collection of prints, art, photographs, and other objects. Originally started as a way to display a photo collection, gallery walls have evolved into a more modern form of decor, incorporating textiles and sculptural pieces in order to reflect your personal taste, your inspirations, and your memories. Gallery walls can include a few personal items. A drawing from a your child, a ticket stub from your favorite concert, an old photo, a polaroid.... Remember, anything can be art!

Pulling together a cohesive gallery wall

1. Choose a common theme when playing with wall gallery ideas. There should be at least one theme that pulls your wall art together. Color is a strong unifier that allows you to play with a wide assortment of art within a gallery design. When deciding on a palette for your wall decor and artwork, use a tone that’s complementary to your wall color.

Check out this beige/neutral themed harmonious gallery wall by Poster Store.

2. Use FRAMES as an easy way to tie together a variety of gallery wall art pieces.

If you have a truly diverse collection of art, try using similar frames when displaying each piece to create a sense of visual unity throughout your home. You could go with a nice clean option – white frames, black frames, and a wood option. The larger the space, and the more pieces you have, the more frame styles you can mix in. If you’re worried about your gallery wall getting too chaotic, start with three frame styles and see how that feels.

Showcase black and white prints in gorgeous white Pottery Barn frames in varying sizes for a high impact look.

Go for an eclectic look like this one by Houzideaz.

3. Consider Shape. When hanging a collection of art or creating a gallery wall, consider the overall shape you’re trying to create with your art pieces before nailing it in. A good rule of thumb is to first lay out your pieces on the floor and plot out the placement and shape you want—three in a row, one horizontal next to two vertical pieces, etc. The overall shape and composition of your artworks will be determined by the size and orientation of the pieces. Use as much as the wall as possible and orient the collection in the shape of the wall.

I love this gallery wall by Minted! What a great use of space...

4. Anchor in. Start by placing your biggest pieces first, and build around them. Play around with placing your biggest piece in one of the four outer corners of a gallery wall, or just off center, but towards the middle, so your eye travels around the gallery wall, rather than narrowing in straight to the middle of it.

These are all great examples of using larger pieces to anchor which allows the eye to travel around the gallery wall!

Some useful Tips!

  • Use picture-hanging hooks rather than nails or screws. They can take a large amount of weight (up to 100 pounds for some sizes). Use two hooks per piece because it helps it remain level.

  • Approximately two inches (sometimes less) on either side and below and above is enough space. Don't hang pieces too far apart from each other.

  • Don't hang all the large pieces in one area and all the small ones in another. The same goes for similar frames. Mix things around until you feel they're visually balanced.

Great online sites for art

I hope this information will help you in mastering your next gallery wall!

XOXO — Cassy


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