Hello friends! Today we want to welcome a special guest, Kara from Lillian Hope Designs. Kara has fantastic design tips and is known for her creative touch, having even been featured on the Meredith Vieira Show! She’s full of great knowledge and today I’ve asked her to share about creating a gallery wall to really add personality to a space. Without further ado, here’s Kara…
Friends, today I want to share a few quick tips and tricks on how to create a gallery wall! If you have a large blank wall, then this is the perfect solution for the empty space. Setting up a gallery wall isn’t hard either–anyone can use these tips for absolutely beautiful walls. So, if you’ve got great artwork, or simply a big blank wall you don’t know how to handle, check out these tips to really spruce up your space!
I chose a gallery wall for my entryway. You see, I wanted to incorporate a place for guest to hang their coats, put their shoes, and rest their purses. I also wanted to create a beautiful spot to reflect our family and highlight what’s special to us!
A gallery wall is really just a collection of items meaningful to you. It could be comprised of family photos or souvenirs from your travels. You might create a gallery wall with artwork you’ve collected or created, or you may want to create a gallery wall out of older photos of grandparents and ancestors. Anything will work for your gallery, as long as it speaks to your heart and reflects your personality.
Grouping items all together creates a big impact! It really draws in your eye and will create a “wow’ factor. Part of the reason a gallery wall is perfect for an entryway is because it’s the first place guests look when they arrive. You want this area to make a statement.
Knowing how to arrange the wall is the challenge most people face. When I created our gallery wall, I went with my own super easy method. I’ve found MANY posts via Pinterest on how to DIY a gallery wall and I’ve tried many of the ways they’ve suggested. Through trial and error, I’ve discovered the most unconventional way has proven the easiest. This is the exact method I use now to create all the gallery walls in my home.
How To Create A Gallery Wall … The Easy Way
STEP 1: Collect your piece for the wall.
Think of your gallery wall as a collector or curator would. You don’t want to procure a bunch of meaningless items and stick them up to fill the wall. Instead, you’ll want to shop for items slowly. It took me a few months to gather all of these items for our gallery wall in our entryway. I wanted to be sure I had amassed the right collection to decorate the wall. I also wanted pieces that would complement and accent the color palette of the space.
STEP 2: Keep your eyes open for pieces to add to and round out your wall.
Shop garage sales, flea markets, and thrift stores to find additional hanging art pieces to fill out your wall and complete your collection. For our wall, I purchased several items at local craft stores, but then also incorporated many of my flea market finds into the mix. Watch for accent pieces that complement the color scheme and fit the theme of the wall. These items will frame your more precious pieces and help them really stand out. You can look for pieces in coordinating frame colors or simply items that look cohesive together.
STEP 3: Measure the wall.
Measure the wall and estimate the size you want your gallery wall to be. Generally speaking you want items to fill the wall either floor-to-ceiling or starting at the chair-rail level. I’ve seen both methods done well and either method is eye-catching. Your biggest focal pieces should be displayed at eye level. If you want a really BIG gallery for a wall, measure the space, leaving about a foot or frame-width between your pieces and the edge of the wall. This will create a visual frame of blank space around your collection (like the mat in a picture frame). Mark the center of the wall, before you begin, using painter’s tape.
STEP 4: Replicate the gallery wall design on the floor.
When you get to this step, you’re going to need a large floor space to work with. Choose a basement, garage floor, or simply move your furniture to the perimeter of the living room so you’ve got a big space. Mark the wall measurements out on your floor using painters tape or string.
STEP 5: Mark the middle.
Measure to the center of your floor space and mark with your tape. Lay your largest piece or preferred middle item down in the center of your floor space. Our centerpiece was a bright “hello” sign to welcome visitors. Your gallery wall should center around one of your favorite pieces and something that makes a statement (either literally as in our case, or figuratively).
STEP 6: Fill in on the sides, working your way out.
Slowly work your way up, down, left, and right adding in items until your designated space is full. You’ll want to work your way out from the center. One gallery tip I’ve discovered is to watch that pieces on the edge feature lines to draw your eye back to the center of the wall. For example, if you’re using photos, you’ll want the subjects of the photos to face into the center, rather than off to the side. This will keep viewers eyes moving through your gallery.
STEP 7: Step back and assess.
Once you’ve filled in your space, take a step back and look at the overall layout of the gallery wall. Do you like the look? Is there anything you’re not sure about? Start to move pieces and change it up until it looks how you want. You do NOT need to use every item you purchased. Sometimes an item won’t seem to go with your gallery wall and that’s fine–they’ll find better homes elsewhere in your house. I ended up not using 8 items I had purchased. It’s better not to use a picture, painting or piece than to force it and end up with a wall that looks disjointed.
STEP 8: Hang your middle items first.
Decide how you’re going to hang your items. You may want to use nails, screws (depending on the weight of your pieces) or use Command Strips, which won’t leave marks on your walls if you change your gallery wall in the future. Start hanging your items up exactly as you laid them on the ground. Begin with the middle item first then work your way out to the edges.
STEP 9: Admire your beautiful wall!
Hanging a gallery wall isn’t an exact science, as so many claim – it’s more of an “art.” Hang your pieces in a way that feels right and in a pattern that makes you happy. The most important part of hanging a gallery wall is you enjoy it. The method of laying out the wall beforehand has been the easiest way for me, and I’ve loved the results every time. I’ve hung many gallery walls, and this method is fail-proof. Don’t feel scared–give it a try!
Thank you to A Blissful Nest for allowing me to contribute to her blog. Friends, if you’re interested in more gallery wall and entryway ideas, tips, and tricks please visit my blog! I’ve also included a fabulous set of downloadable prints to help you recreate a gallery wall like mine, right in your own home. Visit the link HERE to get these great designs!
Rebekah Dempsey is the Creative Director, Stylist and Editor of A Blissful Nest. A site about everything for the home from stylish entertaining to fresh interiors. She has been in the interior design field for 10 years and currently venturing into designing custom made items for the home to help other mommies live a stylish and blissful life.