A blank wall in your home or apartment is like a blank canvas — ready to be customized and personalized to your taste. One of our favorite ways to personalize a blank wall is to add a customized gallery wall that can display a curated collection of art, photographs, and mementos. Turning your memories and treasures into an elegant work of art creates a striking focal point for your room and adds luxury to any home. And, although a great gallery wall looks professional, you don’t need to be a designer — or have the budget for one — to create one that looks amazing. With a few tips and tricks, you can create your own stunning gallery wall in your home, and keep it looking like new for years to come.
Identify Your Theme And Pieces
When you’re creating your gallery wall, the first step is to establish your theme and choose your pieces. This process is personal, and can be anything you want. If you’re a photography aficionado, a black-and-white photography wall can make a striking impression. For music fans, a wall of framed concert posters is a great way to showcase your passions. And if you enjoy art, an eclectic collection of paintings, mixed-media art, and 3-dimensional pieces creates an art gallery feel right on your wall.
In choosing the components of your gallery wall, select items that have similar tones and intensity to create a unified theme. If you have one piece that is much more vibrant than your other items, that piece will tend to draw focus, and may be better on its own than as part of a gallery arrangement. Matching colors or frame types is not critical — an eclectic asymmetrical look with different frames and colors can create a cozy, welcoming look that accentuates your other decor and color choices. Feel free to experiment with different sized items — while a grid layout featuring items of the same size has a clean, organized look, different sizes of frames allows you to create a surprising, visually intriguing display.
Framing and matting photos and posters can add to an upscale look. White mats are timeless, and can help to tie together your theme. Alternatively, using color mats that accentuate or draw from the color palette of your framed items can add to a whimsical, fun look that reflects your personality. Use shadow boxes to frame three-dimensional pieces to add texture and depth to your gallery wall.
Work From A Template
Creating a template is the best way to make sure you’re creating a cohesive, stylish look without putting a bunch of nail holes in your wall. In building your template, think about the pieces you are showcasing. Do they lend themselves to display in neat geometric rows, or should they be displayed in a more organic arrangement? If you have one piece that is larger than the others, use it as an anchor in the center of your layout, building outward from that item.
There are a number of ways to sketch out your template before you begin hanging your gallery pieces. Drawing a scale model on grid paper can help you find the best way to arrange and format your wall to highlight all of your pieces while maintaining a balanced look. Some choose to cut templates out of newspaper and tape them to the wall itself to allow pieces to be moved around and rearranged with ease.
When planning your layout, it helps to keep a few things in mind. First, it can be a natural tendency to hang pictures too high on the wall. Try to keep the center point of your gallery arrangement at about eye level, building in all directions from that central focal point. Second, try to maintain a standard spacing between items. Uniform spacing helps to bring a sense of order and intention, especially if you’re doing an eye-catching asymmetrical arrangement incorporating different sizes, depths, and textures.
Hang Your Items
To hang your gallery pieces, you’ll need a few tools. A pencil, ruler, picture hangers, a level, and a hammer are a must. For heavier items, you’ll use drywall anchors and screws to keep your pieces from being pulled off the wall. Mark out the location of each item and the location of your hanger, and start by hanging your center piece. From there, following your template, hang your pieces according to your template, keeping the distances between items uniform and making sure that items are level before adding new elements.
Keeping Your Gallery Wall Feeling Fresh And New
Keeping your gallery wall feeling refreshed is a breeze. As with all spaces in your home, you’ll want to make sure to dust regularly with a microfiber or lambswool duster. To clean any picture glass, a diluted solution of vinegar and water sprayed onto a microfiber cloth can create an eco-friendly streak-free shine.
As time goes by, feel free to swap out pieces of your gallery wall for new items. Adding new pieces can help to keep your wall’s look refreshed and timely. And, if you upcycle the same frames, you won’t have to worry about rearranging your entire wall’s look to add a new item. If you’re feeling ambitious, having seasonal or holiday themed pieces that you can add and remove can ensure your gallery wall adds to your home’s overall feel and decor.
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