Where to Start When Creating a Gallery Wall

Question: Where do you start when trying to create a gallery wall? The idea is great, but knowing how or where to start is difficult.


Creating a gallery wall does not have to be difficult. Here are some tips to use when creating one in order to make your experience painless!

First, gather together the pieces you are planning to use in your gallery.  Lay them out on the floor and start by selecting the piece that is the largest, the brightest or the most eye catching. This will be the focal point of the wall. By starting with the desired focal piece, the rest of the picture placement on your galley wall will be much simpler.

There is no right or wrong when deciding on the placement of various pieces that hang in a gallery grouping. It can be symmetrical or asymmetrical. Go with your intuition and try to balance the overall grouping throughout the placement.

The idea with your galley wall is to create a display of complementary pieces.  Each individual piece adds its own beauty, but the piece as a whole can also hold itself together.

Variety of subject matter will help the gallery grouping be more successful. Having variety will add interest and keep the eye moving around the grouping. It is fine to use color or black and white as a theme throughout the pictures. One idea is to to use a black and white center piece, surrounded by colorful pieces.

The most important thing to keep in mind is that it should feel balanced. Layout the grouping on the floor or a table surface and play around with different layouts. Decide the best layout and then install the grouping. It helps to create a sketch, so that you can remember where things go.

Hang the focal piece first, followed by the pictures closest to it as arranged beforehand.  Don’t worry if your arrangement changes as you hang each piece.  Your final arrangement on the wall will be the best layout of all!

More than Pictures on your Walls: Part 1

5534193_SWhen you plan your walls in your new home, don’t limit your thinking to traditional two-dimensional art.

Yes, posters, prints and paintings make for a wonderful look in a space as well as showing your taste and preferences and providing pleasant views for you. However, don’t let your imagination stop there.

With the help of a few hooks or nails, you can hang almost anything and make an inviting wall display.

Take a look at the simple photo to the left. A young girl’s ballet costume and a pair of classic toe shoes combine to do more than fill space, they tell a story of part of a child’s life.

10483559_SYou can go even simpler with just one hat. The dark painted wood board with matching knobs sends an old-fashioned message which is complemented by the classic straw boater shown here to the right.

This display is functional as well as charming. The other hooks can be used for outdoor gear when needed and in the meantime, it creates the image of a country home from the past.

You may not even need to go shopping to add interest to your walls. Revisit some of the things you’ve accumulated over the years to see if they would make an intriguing wall display.

10703497_SFor example, take a look at the wall to the left. These hats may have belonged to the homeowner, or a mom or favorite aunt. By combining them together in a casual way, they’re out of their hatboxes and given the opportunity to paint a picture of another time.

What clothes or accessories do you have hiding in your closets that would make a fun display in your home?


Mix and Match Art for an Inviting Display

Are you facing a large empty wall and trying to decide how to dress it with art? One common choice is to find a generous-sized piece of art to absorb the space. This can add drama to a room and provide a burst of color.

Tapestries, quilts and other wall hangings also make an effective large-format choice. If you want an old-world look, you could visit a local architectural salvage store to explore the possibilities there. Many carry everything from stone carvings to retrieved gates and other wrought iron pieces that work well on a wall.

If you would rather showcase a selection of smaller pieces, here are a few suggestions for you.

  • Select a variety of sizes so that you create an interesting display.
  • Consider adding one or two shelves to set images on for a different look.
  • Don’t feel obliged to have all the frames match; a combination can be very inviting.
  • Don’t limit yourself to photos or paintings; look for embossed art pieces, plates or other items with some dimension to add personality.

To set up a display using a number of pieces, start by making a plan on paper and then try the arrangement on the floor before putting in any nails. If you’re still not sure of your plan, cut rectangles out of wrapping paper to match the sizes of your art and masking tape your plan on the wall. That will give you a more visual understanding of your arrangement.

Replace the rectangles with the art, checking to see that your nails coordinate with the hanging hooks or wire on the back. Start with the largest piece and work out from there.

This process can be time-consuming, but when you’re done you’ll have a lovely and personalized display.

Choosing the Right Wall Art for Your Home

When it comes to decorating your walls, everyone has their own taste and there is no right or wrong choice – or almost no wrong choice. However, art is more than selection. It is also placement and setting. For example, this gentleman’s fish is positioned against a strongly patterned wall, distracting from the power of his trophy. It would be much more effective against a plain wall, preferably where people wouldn’t have to sit underneath it. Here are some basic tips for making the most of the art on your walls.

Consider proportion and placement: This fish, while centered against the pattern on the wall, is too close to the wall on the right. Be sure to center larger pieces in a room or they can overpower one side of a wall. On the other hand, a smaller piece of art shouldn’t be asked to support an entire large wall. Either place it on a smaller area or combine it with other smaller art to make an arrangement. Another big mistake people make is hanging art too high. If you hang it at eye level you can see it without looking up.

Select the right hanging method: The ropes holding this fish in place create a sense that the fish may not be stable against the wall. This approach to hanging also diminishes the feeling of movement this fish could create. Since all trophy fish are actually plaster reproductions, there would be no issue with adding a bar on the back to create an invisible hanging system.

Take your time choosing the right art and the right placement. This can make a big difference in the look and feel of your home. Experiment before you decide: Set art down on the floor or a table under your selected location or locations. Spend a few days imagining the art where you’re thinking of placing it. If you still like it in a few days, go ahead and hang it.