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Designing the Perfect Gallery Wall.


Designing the Perfect Gallery Wall.

Michelle Pulman

I have a thing for gallery walls and ever since we moved into our condo (two years ago...), I've been meaning to put one up. Well, the time has finally come! Check out my most recent post for Hoboken Girl, where I detail the process and share tips for how to design your own gallery wall. You'll also get to see how my wall turned out (although if you can't wait to click, see below for before and after photos!). 

BEFORE: One lonely piece of art.

AFTER: A unique gallery wall featuring some of our favorite photographs and artwork.

Ready to plan your own gallery wall? Read on for tips!

Tip #1: Curate your collection. Before you do anything, you must have the right pieces {and enough of them} to hang. Think about mixing both current and older photographs with some favorite artwork or posters. The biggest mistake I see people make is trying to spread a small collection of artwork across a very large wall. If you don’t have enough frames to fill an entire space at first, don’t worry! You can always add more. It’s better to start off with a small grouping and work your way outward, vs. spreading them too thin from the start.

Tip #2: Make it meaningful. Your wall can be made up of anything so don’t feel pressured to follow any hard and fast rules. The most important thing to remember is that the wall should be meaningful and reflect your personality. So if you’re really into black and white photos of family and friends {or your dog}, go with that. If you’d rather create a wall of colorful abstracts or pictures of your city that will brighten your mood each time you look up, then that’s perfect. Figure out what makes you happy and follow suit.

Tip #3: Lay it out. Before any holes are nailed into the wall, play around with the layout by placing each piece on the floor. Adjust until you like the way everything fits together, being careful to mix different sizes of art and a variance of frames. Again, there’s no right or wrong way to arrange your wall; however, I’d recommend leaving 2-3 inches of space between each piece. Once you’re happy with the layout, photograph it so you remember where everything is placed.

Tip #4: Map it out. There’s an easy trick I like to use for hanging pictures perfectly and with as little fuss as possible. I take plain old computer paper and trace the shape of the frame{s} I’m planning to hang. Some will be smaller than one sheet of paper and other larger pieces will need several sheets of paper taped together. Regardless of size, make sure to create a “dummy” version of each piece you plan to hang and tape them to your wall in your planned layout. Then {and this can take some patience}, leave the sheets of paper taped to your wall for 1-2 days. Doing so give you enough time to really determine if you like your layout or if something needs to be changed. Believe me, it’s a whole lot easier to take down a piece of paper than it is to cover up unwanted holes in a wall.

Tip #5: Measure, measure, {and then measure again}. Last, but certainly not least, measure everything a few times before you pick up the hammer just to be safe!