Gallery walls are a great way to inject your own personal style into your space and has the power to instantly turn a house into a home, whether through your favourite family prints, artwork, or a combination of the two. I love how you can throw caution to the wind and customize a gallery wall to your taste and style without a lot of rules.
It can take time to get settled in a new home; until you’ve made it your own, it can feel a bit foreign, can’t it? You’re reduced to feeling like a visitor in your own space. For this reason, one of the very first things I’ve tackled in every home we’ve lived in is a gallery wall. The rest of the home can feel unfinished, in disarray – but the presence of our family photos and artwork in a prominent display has always helped me feel a connection to new surroundings; it injects warmth and a feeling of “us” into our home.
There is a wide variety of gallery wall styles. Below are a few of my personal favourites, I would suggest searching through Pinterest to find other styles that speak to you.
Modern and fresh, its looks great when you keep all the frames (and matting) the same colour and size, and images either in black or white or sepia tone. When achieving this look, it’s also best to keep it to arrangements of six, nine or twelve and space the frames evenly 2-3 inches apart.
Image: Ivory Lane
Unlike the Grid Style, you can play fast and loose, mixing and matching frames, matting, and sizes of artwork. I would suggest also going from floor to ceiling to create a little extra drama and interest. Maintain spacing between frames of 2-3 inches apart and stick with a colour scheme to prevent the whole look from going off the rails and just looking a mess. I enjoy this look when mixed with prints, mirrors and sculptural items, as we have done for our own gallery wall (which I will get into further down).
Image: California Established
Framed photos that share a common baseline on a shallow ledge. Having framed photos overlapping others slightly also plays to the fun and casual vibe of this look, while still appearing carefully crafted and curated.
The image below is a full-wall example, but there are many ways you can accomplish this on a smaller scale.
Image: Skona Hem
How to create your own gallery wall
OK! Now you’re armed with inspiration to tackle your own gallery wall – let’s get into it!
First, you need to choose your pieces. Will it be a gallery wall of family or travelling photos? Artwork, vinyl records, a mixture of different mediums? The choice is yours – just stick to a colour scheme, space your frames equally and have at it! Once I have my visuals chosen, I like to create templates of my collected artwork, prints etc. using IKEAS MALA arts and craft paper . Simply lay out the craft paper on the floor or table and trace your pieces.
I find it helpful to write the size and a few design features of the frame on each tracing to give me a better visual of the over-all display, but you certainly don’t have to. Start with your anchor piece (or pieces) template and work out from there. An anchor piece is usually your favourite, or largest piece.
By using paper templates, it gives you the freedom to change your mind and move things around until you get your wall exactly as you want it without potentially ruining your walls and thus creating more work for yourself in the long-run. Once you have your wall layout exactly how you want it, take a couple of pictures. Take down one paper template at a time and hang your legit artwork in its place, until all your artwork is displayed on your gallery wall.
Our Gallery Wall
Here is the gallery wall we created in our dining/living room using the formula above:
Remember, this is your home, so create a gallery wall that is going to make you happy. Have you already created a gallery wall in your own space? If you have any other great tips for this project, let’s hear about them in the comments below!