june 10, 2020
Choosing wall art can be daunting! Too much wall space, not enough wall space, awkward areas, the list goes on. Hands down, my favorite way to fill space is with a gallery wall. I have them in my hallway, play room, living room, bathroom and bedrooms. It can be as simple or complex as you'd like to make it, but that can also be a daunting process. Do I have to use the same frames? What do I put in the frames? Should they all be the same size? Today we are going to share our tips and favorite resources to help you build the perfect gallery wall for your home.
DIMENSIONS + LAYOUT
First things first, figure out how big or small you need to go. Do you want to fill an entire stairway wall? A little nook in the dining room? You want to make sure to make a statement but not go overboard. You'll also need to decide if you want to keep all the frames the same size or mix and match sizes (and possibly even the frames!).
I tend to keep frames the same in large areas. If I need to fill a large wall, I don't want it to look too busy and hanging frames that are the same style and size helps to keep things looking clean.
Areas that are a little more whimsical or that could use some added detail, I like to mix up the frame sizes and orientation. If this overwhelms you (hello, all my fellow type A's!) - just stick with a simple grid to help move the project forward.
Speaking of grids - have fun with it! Hallways are great to hang a single line of frames in a long run to keep it dramatic. Living room walls work well for an oversized 3x4 grid if you have the space. Doorways work well for a stack of 2 or 3. Just assess the space you are looking to fill and play around with your options.
Once you've decided the general layout of the space, you'll need to find frames. We have linked a few of our favorites below to help make the process a little smoother.
I love a good sized mat with my frames. The added white space helps to simplify and give the art or photos an added 'pop'.
IKEA, Target, Pottery Barn, West Elm and Crate and Barrel have great options for frames in different sizes, materials and finishes. Homegoods is another great resource if you just need 2-3 of the same. It's hard to find many frames that match but a great place to find a mix + match set. These are all frames you purchase and install your own art.
Another option if you want to simplify things is to use a company like Framebridge, Minted, or Artifact Uprising. All of these companies will print and frame the artwork for you so you don't have to do anything other than hang them up.
On to the fun part! My absolute favorite way to fill a gallery wall is with family photos. I have a photographer take family pics at least once a year and I have never once regretted the investment. I love looking back at our growing family and the kids get a kick out of seeing themselves when they were younger. I tend towards black and white prints so I don't feel tied to them matching whatever else I have going on in the room. I like colored prints if it's a smaller space or less frames.
If photos aren't the look you're going for or want a set of images or art that have a specific vibe - look online. Some of my favorite sources for art prints are Minted, Etsy, BFF Print shop, and Juniper Print Shop. These places have vintage inspired prints, modern, custom, local, etc. The list goes on!
My final suggestion for prints is to look locally. We have some great artists in the FM area. Unglued has prints ready to go and many artists will custom-make pieces if you are looking for something specific.
Once you've got your frames and art in hand, it's time to hang! I recommend a 2-3" spacing in *most* cases. Cutting out pieces of newspaper and hanging on the wall to test the layout is a good idea if you aren't 100% sure on where to hang.
Another option if you aren't ready to commit is 3M hooks or adhesive. These allow you to reposition the frames to get it just right.
Galleries can be such an expressive use of your walls. Relatively inexpensive to put up and easy to change out. A total win-win in our eyes.