Have you been contemplating what to do with that large blank wall in the family room or living room for quite some time? Have you wanted to put up some sort of photo gallery wall like the ones you see all over Pinterest but don’t know where to start or what it exactly entails? If so, then this is the post for you!
With these gallery wall tips and tricks, which were provided to a recent US client from one of our amazingly talented interior stylists in the UK, Maxine Brady, you’ll be well on your way to creating that budget-friendly gallery wall you’ve been wanting in no time.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED (THE INGREDIENT LIST, OF SORTS)
Before getting started, here’s a list of items you may need to make your photo gallery wall (as suggested by Maxine’s 6 steps below):
- Paint (potentially needed to add color behind the gallery wall – this can really make your gallery wall pop!)
- Photo frames in a variety of sizes (more detailed advice below on how to go about selecting the frames perfect for your gallery wall)
- Pretty, patterned wrapping paper or scrapbooking paper
- One or two quirky items to mix with the gallery wall of photo frames (more detail below)
- Pencil, spirit level, tape measurer or ruler, nails or (recommended), command strips
6 EASY STEPS: HOW TO CREATE A GALLERY WALL
We hope these simple steps will provide you with what you need to easily (and confidently) put up your own photo gallery wall that sings – that is harmonious with your space, personalized and unique to you, and that you (and friends and family) will love!
1. Painting a backdrop. If each of the walls in your space are uniformly painted a light color, Maxine suggests painting the gallery wall a different shade to provide a colorful backdrop that will draw the eye to the photos. In this case, she recommended running the accent paint color across the full length of the room, despite the gallery wall being on only one side of the room.
2. Gallery wall frames. Choose frames that match with the furniture (and possibly trim) in the room. In this case, Maxine recommended the client frame her prints in dark wooden frames to coordinate with the wooden furniture in the room. Coordinating the frames with furniture and other room elements will stop the art from looking too ‘messy’ and ‘cluttered’ when arranged. Maxine recommended purchasing Ikea Ribba frames as they are affordable and come in many colors, shapes and sizes, including a ‘box’ frame (like a shadow box) for the framing of more quirky items like a hand cut vintage map letter (more info in step 5) or even small momento’s (like a child’s first pair of shoes). In this case, she recommended purchasing the following frame sizes (7-8 frames total): one at 19’x19’, two 5’x7 rectangles, one 20’x9’ rectangles, and then adding in 3 smaller sizes.
3. Pretty paper. Instead of using white paper mount in all the photo gallery wall frames, back a few of the photo frames with pretty wrapping paper (or potentially scrapbooking paper). Choose pretty paper such as the selection below that brings out other colors and patterns in the room, such as any throw pillows or window treatments.
4. Photo frame layout and spacing. Now, lay out all the frames and any accessories on the floor. Start with your favorite photo frame in the middle, and position all other photo frames around it working outwards in a clockwork pattern. Each piece should be spaced no more than 3 inches apart.
5. Mix in a couple unique, quirky touches. Mix in 1-2 quirky items with your gallery wall of photo frames, like these book letters from Etsy (similar to those that used to be offered at Anthropologie) or these hand cut, vintage map letters from NotOnTheHighStreet (you can custom pick the map for your hometown). Think of shapes. Mix in round items as well as square within your layout. In this case, Maxine suggested this hanging mirror on a leather strap, indicating that it would pair well with the sofa in the room and add shape and dimension to the wall. On Etsy, you can also get a personalized quote, like a family saying, in a framed image made just for you.
6. Gallery wall frame positioning and mounting. Now, it’s time to start hanging! The part we probably all dread the most. Start central to the wall with your favorite photo frame positioned directly in the middle of the wall and at eye level. In this case, Maxine recommended positioning the main picture at 59 inches (given the wall was 118 inches wide in total) and at approximately 63 inches off the floor. Maxine recommends that the lowest photo frame or piece of art should be no lower than 47 inches off the floor (assuming that’s out of arm’s reach and a safe height for any children present). Use a pencil and a level to mark out the position of each piece on the wall (it can be rubbed out afterwards). Invest in command picture strips, which allow you to hang and reposition the pictures without putting nails in the wall just in case you make a mistake!
THE RESULT: A BUDGET-FRIENDLY, PERSONALIZED GALLERY WALL
With these simple steps (and photo wall ideas), we hope you feel inspired to now start your gallery wall project! We were sure excited to learn that creating a gallery wall can actually be both easy on the wallet and a fun and rewarding project after all!? Huge thanks to Maxine! You rock!
If you’d like to read more about this gallery wall Stylevise project (that also included advice for small touches that would improve the overall warmth and flow of her bonus room), hop on over and read more here.
And remember, should you want a little help or expert guidance to create a gallery wall perfect for your space (and on a budget), Stylevise has many talented interior stylists such as Maxine on the platform who are ready and excited to work with you! Simply tell us some details specific to your gallery wall project (or other interior styling dilemma), and we’ll get to work right away on bringing you proposals free from stylists around the world.
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