All About Those Gallery Walls
Written by Callie
Today I’m talking all about gallery walls. Not sure what that means? Don’t know how to make one? You know you want one but not sure where to start? Well, don’t worry, let me help out a bit.
A gallery wall is a wall in your house that you designate for one thing (often photos/wall hangings) and arrange in a way that is aesthetically pleasing. For as long as I can remember my mom has had a gallery wall in our front living room. And Kenzie and I made our first gallery wall at our college apartment (that still might be my favorite gallery wall to date). They’re cool because, if you’re like me, and have something that you are just drawn to but don’t really know how to incorporate it into your home decor, you can do that by making it a gallery!
So what do you need to get started? Well you have to find something you like. The gallery wall that Kenzie and I started in college was all about ships. It started when we went to an estate sale and found two really large canvas prints that were of ocean scenes. We loved the prints but thought they looked lonely taking up only a small portion of our wall. So we found more. The paintings and sketches that we have on the wall aren’t all exactly in the same style, or color scheme, but they all have something to do with boats/the ocean. So just pick something that you like (color scheme, wooden inspirational sayings, glass jars, botanical prints) and start collecting!
Then you have to find a wall to use. I actually have two gallery walls in my house currently, one on a rather large wall in my bedroom and the other on a smaller wall between windows in my front room. So it doesn’t matter what wall you choose, a gallery wall can work on any wall, even curved from one wall to the next!
After you’ve decided all that you get to hang your collection! I think this is the step that people often get hung up on (wow, I didn’t even mean to make that pun). Now, if you go on Pinterest you’ll find lots of tutorials and tips and tricks on exactly how to create a gallery wall. They show you layouts and tell you to measure out your wall hangings and create a design on the floor first. And to that I say, “screw it”. A gallery wall is supposed to be something fun and carefree, something that sparks joy and, at least to me, when it’s all perfectly lined up and planned out it’s just not as great.
So the way I like to create a gallery wall is by starting with the biggest piece you have and hanging that. For example, with my butterfly gallery wall I had about three large pieces and decided where I wanted those in relation to each other on the wall and hung those up first, then filled in with the next biggest pieces, all the way down to my smallest butterfly.
An alternative way to hang your gallery wall is to start with you absolute favorite piece. On my ship wall I do actually have a favorite piece. It’s a charcoal sketch of Mont St. Michel, a city built on an island in France. And I wanted that to be prominently displayed. So that sketch was hung first in the middle of the wall. Then I followed the above method and hung the biggest pieces next and then the next biggest and kept going until the wall was completed!
**There will be some trial and error! Don’t freak out if you get everything hung up and then don’t like the arrangement! My advice is to live with it for a day and see how you feel about it a bit later. In my experience you can sometimes be too close to the project and have spent too much time on it that it seems like nothing you do is right. And if you have perfectionist tendencies then this can be even more difficult! I didn’t love my butterfly wall when I first finished it, but I just let it be for a while and when I came back to it I couldn’t remember what I didn’t like, and actually ended up loving it! If you leave for a bit and still don’t like the wall when you come back, there’s no shame in switching pieces around or starting completely over if needed!
And that’s about all there is to gallery walls! I seriously love them so much and think it’s a great way to show off things you love! If the inspo pics included in this post weren’t enough you can check out our Pinterest board here, it also includes wall layouts if you’re into that sort of thing.
Oh, and just one more thing before you go, don’t be afraid to make nail holes in your house! Even if you rent, it’s not the end of the world if you have nail holes in the walls, they expect you to make the house a home! And I’ve been in some houses that don’t have many pictures or things on the wall and it feels weird. So if you hang something up and then decide to move it somewhere else don’t fret about making another nail hole! It will be okay.