Anatomy of a Gallery Wall

Creating a gallery wall is certainly not a new concept. It has been raved over in countless home interior websites and magazines, as well as featured on other personal style blogs. But today, I want to breakdown the structure and itemize different ways you can personally organize your own gallery wall in either your home office, living space, or hallway. You could even add a gallery wall on the space that leads up a stairway or children’s bedroom. The possibilities are endless, but the concept should always remain clear and cohesive.

Step #1: Create a theme

The pictures you choose to incorporate in a gallery wall should tell a story. Whether its a personal collage of family pictures or distinctive prints that relay a message- there should be organized content that displays meaning and depth within it’s composition.

Another cool idea for the big empty wall in the living room. We'd use family pictures...

Step #2: Choose your frames

There are so many options for framing pictures and this is where you can start to add a stylish touch to the photos and prints you choose to display in your gallery. Depending on the theme, the frames add flow to the representation of your collage. For a rustic look, use wooden frames. For a vintage glam look, use gold or silver antique frames. For a minimalist look, use black or white or a mix between the two. However, please do not forgo the usage of frames for without them, the gallery wall will tend to look careless and sloppy.

If you do want to go with a gold starburst mirror, here's a way to incorporate more gold into the space.  Put these with b images above nighstands.  PB Gilt Frames #potterybarn

Idea for the blank room dinning room. Except use distressed wood frames, 3 x 3, maybe different colors...

Step #3: Organize the placement

Once you’ve chosen your pictures and framed them, organize a layout in how you want to arrange them in your gallery wall. Placement of your photos can assist in the story you are telling within your gallery. You can choose a specific order of arrangement depending on the actual photos or the sizes of the photos. Arrangement can be centered, columns, straight lines, or fitted together to show a cluster.

Save yourself the frustration -- and your walls the trauma -- of hanging, and rehanging, and rehanging a grouping of art. Instead, trace each piece on kraft paper, label the tracing, and cut it out. If you're hanging portraits, draw arrows on the paper to indicate which way the subject is looking. Use painter's tape to try out placements and arrangements without covering your wall with holes.

Step #4 (optional): Add a mix of prints within your photos

Gallery walls can be eclectic when you add either a printed quote or a print of a painting within the mix. I’ve also admired gallery walls with nothing but paintings or prints and no personal photos. It’s all up to you, so be creative and have fun with it.

Gallery wall with uber-stylish prints

Emma With styled. Photo: Asplund, Skultuna, Decorlife, Swedish pewter, H & M Home, Kallemo, Emma In / Stadshem

Step #5 (optional): Add a mirror to your gallery wall

Mirrors added to a gallery wall looks best when placed in the center to bring focus to a collective look. Of course, this step is strictly optional. However, I think it adds an artistic quality and I’ve even seen gallery walls with just mirrors in various sizes that creates a pleasing aesthetic to a living space.

10 Unique Ways to Decorate with Mirrors

Bidding farewell to my uptown apartment...

Step #6 (optional): Add a decorative piece to your gallery wall

Adding an opposing element to your photos can create juxtaposition. In correlation with the photos, the mixture of an artistic piece can take your gallery wall to a different level in terms of just being a space to showcase photographs and art.

Loving the way that someone used The Alfred in their home!


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