In my new home, I was determined to have at least one gallery wall. Right before we decided to move, I had started one on the main wall in our living room. The project had taken about four months to almost complete (I started it in March), then we packed up and moved. I had one more piece to go until it was completely finished too. Through those four months of planning and adding, I learned a few tips about creating and organizing gallery walls.
1. Choose Meaningful Pieces
I want everything in my home to have some kind of special meaning to me or my family. “Special” comes in many shapes and forms. It could include a piece that was given to me by someone special, an item that I purchased, or something my kids gave me or made for me. Quotes that I find inspirational also have meaning and will find themselves included on my gallery walls.
2. Have a Theme or Idea
The idea or theme could include a color scheme or idea that you are trying to convey through your gallery wall. But, make sure you know what the goal is and the appearance you are going for. Even though you are placing different pieces in your gallery wall, it should still look like a cohesive unit. Each piece should compliment the other.
3. Make it Balanced
There should be some kind of balance. Making it balanced will make your wall inviting and not distracting. If your balance is off, it may draw attention, but not because people are checking out the awesome work you have done. Here are some examples of good balanced gallery wall layouts…
If you notice, there isn’t one correct way to organize a gallery wall. Don’t limit yourself to just the ones I have shown you above.
4. Take your Time
I started my gallery wall over 6 months ago. I would look at it every time I walked into my living room, which meant different ideas would continously pop into my head. And, sometimes, extra time equals even better ideas, which was the case for me.
5. Ask for Opinions
If you are unsure about the appearance of your gallery wall, ask for opinions. I would make sure to ask someone that will give you an honest opinion, though. Sometimes it takes someone from the outside to look at something to give you a whole new perspective.
The individual that I always go to when I need some decorating opinions is my sister. My husband is content with anything I do, so he usually doesn’t give me constructive criticism. But, my sister is different. We are pretty open and honest with each other about house decorating decisions.
6. Don’t be Afraid to Think Outside the Box
Gallery walls do not have to contain pictures and frames only. I have seen many beautiful ones that included special non-picture items.
Here are a few awesome examples…
(Just the Jensen Family’s Gallery Wall)
I have loved this gallery wall for a long time now. I love the colors, the symmetry, and every element that the Jensens used. They used pictures as well as a mirror, letters, quotes, and empty frames to add extra detail. It has to be one of my favorite gallery walls!
(House of Rose’s Gallery Wall)
Another favorite of mine is this gallery wall that was posted on the House of Rose blog. This was a gallery wall that they helped create in a friend’s home. I love the texture, use of color, and elements included. Notice that they use many other pieces other than just pictures: letters, mirrors, framed printed boards, and a quote. All of these elements together make an amazing piece of work.
7. Lay it out Before Placing it on the Wall
I am SO guilty of this step. I have an issue with patience at times. I will nail something into the wall, look at it, and realize it isn’t in the right spot or it is completely off balance. So, I am working on doing better about this.
This time around, I laid out my pieces side-by-side on the floor and determined if they looked good before placing any nails on the wall. And, it worked because I didn’t have nearly the amount of nail holes that I usually have after a wall hanging task.
8. Don’t Overdo it.
If you add too many pieces or two many different colors, it may become distracting, not inviting. If you have many pieces that you want to include that do not all go together cohesively, you could think about doing two separate gallery walls.
Actually, that is what I had to do in my new home. My original gallery wall was made for my home in Missouri. When I moved, I didn’t have the large empty wall that I once had.