I finally got around to putting up our gallery wall. I’ve been putting off finishing it for months. Deciding to write a blog post on it, was just the the motivation I needed! I believe every home should have a gallery wall of some size. They don’t need to take be big or take up a whole hallway like ours. You don’t need professional photos. Just find an area that you see everyday and fill it up with things that light you up the most.
I don’t want this post to be about us and our pretty pictures. It’s more about inspiring YOU to get those amazing images off of your phone, get them printed and on a wall to be seen! You can go on pinterest and google and find all sorts of amazing inspiration shots and tutorials on how to put up gallery walls. My biggest advice? Don’t wait to get the perfect frames, photos, layout, etc… What is going to bring life and joy into your home are images and memories of the precious people who live there. Buying frames and printing photos are 2 of the cheapest and easiest ways we can bring heart into our homes. A gallery wall is better than any expensive artwork you could buy! Don’t over think it.
A few of my tips and tricks…
Gather up all your frames in one spot so you can see what you have. If you prefer the look of matching frames, spray paint them! So fast and easy! It’s also an easy way to incorporate thrifted frames or new frames into to your collection and have them fit seamlessly. I tend to like lighter colored frames and color photographs. Start pinning images and see what speaks to you. Black and white photos walls are dramatic and amazing too. I just like the life that color brings to a photo, so I mostly use color photos. To balance out all the color, I like white/light wood frames and use black frames as accents.
Incorporate art or typography. Break up a wall full of faces with some white space or simple art. It adds interest and gives your eye a spot to rest. On my wall, I have child made art, a simple black and white scarf and a scripture quote that I love. You can also use hats, baskets, textiles, wall hangings, an initial or tapestries. That’s what makes gallery walls fun, its like filling a blank piece of paper, there’s a millions ways to do it!
Start in the middle and work your way out. I like to put my favorite frames/images at eye level. Start there and work your way out. Kind of like at the grocery store… the most important things are at eye level. I like starting with just frames. What goes in the frames can be easily swapped out. On my wall, I even have frames that don’t have glass. The glass broke and rather than spend money replacing it, I just decided to use it anyways, and it works just fine. Also, I tend to go for more of an organic layout than a strict grid. Again, mainly because this allows flexility and it is way easier to put up.
Painters tape and paper bags are your friends. To get a great feel visually, cut out paper bags to the size of your frames and use painters tape to roughly place your bags, as if they were frames. It can be helpful to see everything up and see how it sits with you. Leave them up for a few days and then decide if you’re happy with it. When I first put up this wall, it seemed too much, I wanted to take some down. But after living with it a couple of days, I wouldn’t change a thing. I love how it goes almost all the way to the ceiling. It was just different and I needed to get used to it.
Print pictures on the bigger side. Typically the larger the better. The tendency is to go too small with wall art. I know I did that a lot. Smaller prints and smaller frames are cheaper, but it’s worth it to have fewer and bigger. I usually print photos 5 x7 and bigger. 8 x 10s up on a wall, actually don’t seem as big as you might think. 11x 14 or 12 x 18 are great sizes and even 16 x 20.
Go for it. Start putting some nails in the wall and get hanging. Holes can be repaired. Use command picture hanging strips, they are awesome! Our walls are the backdrops of where we live and make memories. What will your kids remember about the home they grew up in? What do you want to feed your eyes on a daily basis? Resist picking generic art, just to put up. Hang things that you love and matter.