My Tips for Creating the Perfect Gallery Wall
So you’re ready to install a gallery wall in your home—what are the key steps to take before grabbing a hammer and nails? In my experience, a successful gallery wall requires a bit of planning ahead of time, but don’t worry, this process can be fun! Below, I’m outlining my go to tips for creating beautiful gallery walls so that you can finally clear all of those fantastic art pieces off the floor and transform that blank wall for good.
1) Gather Your Art
First things first—if you haven’t already done so—you’ll want to gather, collect, and curate the pieces you love and wish to showcase on your gallery wall. Note that you certainly don’t need to do this overnight. If you’re starting out with a small amount of art, you may wish to spend a few months building out a collection of sorts. I always love sourcing art at vintage and antique stores, while browsing flea markets, on my travels, and of course, online. I find that the best gallery walls contain a mix of artwork from various sources, though. Don’t simply add a bunch of pieces from one retailer to your online shopping cart and call it a day. After all, you’ll want to display pieces that you find meaningful and special!
2) Trust Your Instincts
No two gallery walls are the same, and for good reason—everyone’s personal style is different. Trust your instincts during the art shopping process. It’s ok to like what you like, even if a friend or family member might consider a specific piece to be too quirky or plain. Your gallery wall should be an instant conversation starter and reflect your likes. There’s no point in hanging up a piece that doesn’t bring you joy!
3) Grab Your Materials
Once you’re ready to build out your gallery wall, grab a few key materials, including a ladder, nails, and a hammer. Make sure that all of your frames have hooks or wire on the back so that they’re ready to go. You can buy a picture hanging kit to take care of this if needed. There’s no need to go overboard pounding into the wall; I use the smallest nail that will get the job done. Believe it or not, growing up, my mom used a straight pin and metal ice cream scoop as a hammer to hang the majority of the art on the walls in our house! Straight pins hardly leave a mark when you remove them.
4) Start in the Center
If you have a small number of pieces to hang, start in the center and work outward from there. If you’re hanging more than three to five frames, start off center with the largest piece and work from there. I like my walls to look a bit unpredictable and not necessarily perfectly symmetrical.
5) Enlist a Friend for Help
Feeling a bit overwhelmed? Don’t be afraid to enlist a friend or family member who can help you complete your wall. Sometimes it’s useful to have another person hold up the art so that you can step back to see if the distance, height and particular piece look ideal before hammering into the wall.
6) Don't be scared!
Too many people put off hanging gallery walls because they worry they won’t like how things turn out. Just do it and have some fun—and get that art up! It will make you so happy! If you encounter any issues and need to cover excess nail holes, there’s always spackle!