1. Rules of thumb — there really aren't any hard rules… but if you've never attempted a gallery hanging before try this no fail method of combining pieces that have at least one consistent theme i.e.; all b&w photos, or all white mats, or all black frames or keep all your spacing equal. Obviously this rule of thumb can be broken (see images above) and yield fantastic results but often takes more confidence and a keen eye.
2. Starting point — start with your largest or your strongest piece first then work out, up and down from there.
3. Lay it out — if starting with 3 or more pieces, lay them out on the floor first until you're happy with the configuration, then note the dimensions of each piece in relation to the other so you can recreate that placement on the wall. While it's still laid out on the floor, it also helps to measure the overall width, and the overall height of the grouping which will give you a centre point to use for reference.
4. One is enough — pick one location for a gallery wall in your home, unless your home is incredibly expansive, more than one will look too busy.
5. Renting — if you're wary about putting dozens of holes in your landlord's walls, you can create a gallery effect by layering and leaning multiple pieces of art along a shelf, a bench, or a credenza.
6. Instant & Inexpensive — if you have a lot of blank walls but not a lot of collections or cash, go for high impact with a grid style installation by purchasing 9 or 12 inexpensive ready-made frames with mats and insert a series of prints or photocopies or book pages. These can always be replaced in future with more significant images but in the meantime, you'll have an instant and dramatic gallery wall.
7. Grid vs Random — A random grouping can look extremely interesting and eclectic and is in my opinion more casual looking than a grid layout, but some may find the concept intimidating to lay out and/or install, although as you can see from the photos it's difficult to get this wrong. The benefit of this method is you can start with only a few pieces and continue to grow and grow as long as you still have wall space. A symmetrical grid installation is classic and can be a bit more formal looking. The multiple use of the same frame-type creates a dramatic graphic effect. This method is ideal if you have a collection of similar items or series of items or if you need an instant completed installation using a set of frames rather than accumulating a collection of different frames and pieces over time (as noted in No. 7 above).
Once you have found the perfect wall art or photos that you want to display, you have the hardest part over with. Remembering some helpful tips will ensure that your wall arrangement looks it's best.
• Make sure your wall art is the appropriate scale for your space. In a large great room, a small piece of art above a console table may not work. However, try a grouping of many small pieces to ad drama and an instant focal point.
• Another important thing to remember is to hang wall art at the appropriate height. The average height person should be at eye level with the middle of the picture. It is also important that you do not hang wall art higher than window and door frames.
• Measure twice and make a nail hole once.
• Try hanging smaller, detailed photos at eye level for maximum enjoyment.
• Try using wall art and photos that complement your existing colour scheme OR go monochromatic for a peaceful and eye-catching look.
• Frames do not necessarily have to match. Use something else to make the wall arrangement cohesive...maybe the photos have different coloured and styled frames but the photos are all black and white.
• Have fun. Don't be afraid to change things up a bit for a fresh new look. I change my wall art around often.
ToniCrockett Design, author of this
column, is a boutique style Design & Decorating Firm. Our goal is to bring your home to life by revealing your style and infusing unexpected elements of design and detail. If we can help with your project please let us know!
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