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How to Create the Perfect Wall Art Gallery Wall

How to Create the Perfect Wall Art Gallery Wall

Oh how I love a good wall art gallery wall. They bring so much character into a home and let your individual style and personality really shine. 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 make your gallery wall as personal and as fun as you like. You can include original art, art prints, photography, family photo’s, your kids art, or even found objects. The list is endless.

Creating a beautiful gallery wall doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Once you get started it’s actually a lot of fun, and when you sit back at the end of the day and marvel at your handy work you will be glad you ticked this one off your to-do-list. While you might be tempted to throw everything you love up on the wall, there are a few simple rules you can follow to help guide the process to make sure you have a gallery wall that works well in your space and looks thoughtfully curated.

Here are some tips, tricks and inspiration to help you create a wall art gallery wall you will love.

You will need:

  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Masking tape
  • Kraft paper
  • Hooks
  • Drill / hammer

Step 1: Curate your Gallery Wall

First up is to determine what pieces you are going to include in your gallery wall. Try to find a common theme among your pieces to give your gallery wall a sense of cohesion. One of the biggest challenges when it comes to gallery walls is managing to achieve a look that seems effortless but also somewhat put together. If you can find a unifying factor between your wall art pieces or use a similar framing or presentation method, this can help bring it all together.

Figure out if you would like your wall to follow a specific colour scheme, or if you want your frames to look like they are a family. Don’t be afraid to mix materials – photography, painting, typography, canvas, weaving, hats, sculptures – you name it! An arrangement of pieces that incorporates a number of different mediums can be some of the most visually exciting.

Most importantly, trust your instincts. Art is subjective. The most important thing is that you love it! Don’t be too concerned with trends, follow your gut and choose wall art pieces that make you happy.

Gallery Wall Art Wall
Image via Lonny.
This gallery wall by Lonny Editor, Cat Dash incorporates a variety of mediums very successfully. The variation of textures through the weave, paintings, pencil drawings and found objects. This combination works because the choice of blue and black colours unifies each piece and the choice of frames in black and white tie it altogether.

 

Kids Bedroom Gallery Wall
Image via Norsu Interiors
This cute kids' bedroom gallery wall incorporates neon lights and perspex book shelves for a unique, fun touch.

 

Living Room Gallery Wall
Image via Juliet Joie
This gorgeous black and white gallery wall by Juliet Joie features our Giraffe Wall Art Print. It is a perfect example of how choosing a common theme among your pieces creates a beautiful result.

Step 2: Lay out your gallery wall

Before you get the drill out and start making holes in your walls like it's 1 minute before “tools down!” on a Block room reveal, it’s a good idea to visualise your gallery wall layout first. Grab a measuring tape and measure the area that you have to create your gallery wall. Clear some space on your floor and using masking tape, mark out the same area on the floor. Then you can start arranging the pieces you have chosen on your space on the floor.

Here are a few rules to guide your arrangement:

Rule 1: Anchor
Start with what you think could be your centrepiece and build out. For visual balance this is generally the largest print or art piece to be displayed. Position this piece at eye level (approximately 145cm off the ground) to act as your anchor. Every winning print wall has a visual point of focus for the eye to travel peacefully to the other pieces on the wall.

Living Room Gallery Wall
Image via Bright.Bazaar
This beautiful living room gallery wall by Will from Bright.Bazaar is the perfect example of how using an anchor helps to balance your gallery wall. 

Rule 2: Spacing
A common question asked is how far apart should wall art be? The rule of thumb is at least an 8cm (or 4-5 fingers) gap between each frame or art piece. Don’t stress too much is they are slightly different. Nobody is perfect and neither should your gaps be, different spaces give your print wall character.

Rule 3: Variety
Vary the placement of similar types of artwork on the wall. Mix framed and sculptural pieces evenly throughout the gallery wall. If you are creating a gallery wall with just framed wall art, mix up the sizes and orientations to add interest.

Black and White Gallery Wall
Image via Pinterest (original author unknown)
I am a huge fan of this gallery wall. I love the way it continues around the corner of the room and works with the furniture in the room. The sculpture in the corner becomes a piece in the gallery. Landscape and portrait orientation pieces have been used beautifully here to add interest.

Rule 5: Keep it odd
Odd numbers are more visually appealing than even numbers. Even numbers create symmetry, but odd numbers create interest. Odd numbers force your eyes to move around the grouping – and by extension, the room. That forced movement is the heart of visual interest. 

Once you have a layout you like, take a photo of it on your phone. Then do it all again - a few times. It’s a good idea to play around with multiple layouts to find your favourite composition. It’s worth spending a little bit of time on this step.  Mapping out your gallery wall like this can help you visualise how everything will fit into the space without committing to a placement until you get it right.

If you are satisfied you have come up with a few good options, flip through the photos you have just taken on your phone and select the option you like the best. You can then use the picture of the chosen layout as a guide for recreating the look on your actual wall.

Step 3: Mock it up on the wall

Gallery Wall Mock-Up
Image via Momtastic

Next, trace outlines of each frame / art piece onto your recyclable kraft paper and cut these out. On the back of each art piece, measure the distance between the hook and the top of the frame, marking the measurement on your cut paper. If you have a frame with a string, pull the string up on the back of the frame (as if it were hanging on the wall) and measure the highest point of the wire and the top of the frame.

Using your chosen layout photo as a guide, tape the paper to the wall in your desired composition. Step back and ask yourself:

  • Is it sitting at the right height?
  • Does it look good grouped around the nearby furniture?
  • Does it fill the space appropriately? Not enough, too much?

Living Room Gallery Wall
Image via Avenue Lifestyle
Holly from Avenue Lifestyle has nailed this gallery wall in her living room. Her composition fits the space perfectly.

Step 4: Get hanging

Once you are happy with your layout, drill/hammer the picture hook so it sits on the mark on your paper. Once your hook is in place, remove the paper from the wall.

Then, grab those art pieces and start hanging them on the wall!

Step 5: Enjoy!

Pour yourself a glass of wine, sit back, relax, and marvel over the beautiful gallery wall you have created!

Need more gallery wall inspiration? Have a look at our Gallery Wall board on Pinterest.

Have fun creating your gallery wall. Let me know how you go and share your finished results in the comments below!

Ash x

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