When you Don’t Love It, a room in your home can become a place to avoid. Last week I hung our TV on the wall in our living room, but was cringing because that big fat TV was screaming “Look at me! Look at me!” It was killing the cozy vibe I wanted to create in our room. This is the place that my family likes to chillax. It’s the room where wrestling matches happen and the room where we curl up by the fire. We watch movies and sports in this spot. But, frankly, I didn’t love it. When I looked in the living room all I could see was a giant black elephant in the room.
I agreed to let Pretty Handsome Guy pick out a big flat screen TV. But, I secretly devised a plan to keep me happy and let Handsome Guy have his big honkin’ TV.
And I Created a Perfect Gallery Wall around the TV to de-emphasize its size and dominance in the room.
15 Tips for Creating the Perfect Gallery Wall:
#1 Start with a Level Line
Determine the area you want to install your gallery wall. Measure down from your crown molding or ceiling to the top of the gallery area.
Insert a thumbtack or pin at that height. Run a piece of string from the thumbtack along the width of your gallery wall space. (It helps to have a friend hold the free end of the string, but you can use a piece of painter’s tape to hold it temporarily.)
Level the string and secure the opposite end with a thumbtack.
#2 Create Paper Templates
Pull together all your frames and art. Create a paper template for each object. (Craft paper, butcher block paper or old dot matrix printer paper works perfect for this task.)
Use painter’s tape to secure the templates to the wall. Step back and look at the wall from across the room. Take a picture of the wall with your mobile device and look at the picture to see if you see any issues. Or face away from the wall and look at it in the mirror to look at the arrangement from another angle. Play with the templates until you Love It! I will be honest with you, this process takes a while. In the long run, you’ll love your gallery wall if you live with the arrangement for a few days before the final installation.
#3 Pick a Color Palette
Choosing a color palette of 2-3 colors will help you create a cohesive look and make it easy to create a visually pleasing gallery wall. The easiest palette to work with is black and white, because you can use black, white and a variety of grays.
You can also add a bold color to the mix and know that everything works with black and white!
#4 Use a Variety of Shapes and Sizes
For more visual interest, use a variety of shapes and sizes. Gallery walls that use the same frame for the entire collection can look stunning and orderly. But, for a more organic and eclectic gallery wall, feel free to play with many shapes and sizes. Your color palette of 2-3 colors will keep it looking unified.
#5 Balance Larger and Smaller Objects
When working with several shapes and sizes, it’s important to balance your arrangement. Space larger items away from each other and preferably on opposite sides. Pay attention to collections of smaller objects as well. Your wall would look unbalanced if all the large objects were on one side and all the small art on the other.
While spacing the object templates, use the trick in #2 by taking a photo or using a mirror while playing with placement.
#6 Use Consistent Spacing and Align Edges
Use consistent spacing between your art. Smaller collections can visually work as one large object if you space them closer together. But, use a larger space outside the collection that equal to the rest. Try to align horizontal or vertical edges with adjacent art. They don’t have to be hung in a uniform grid, but creating a shared horizontal or vertical line can help create a pleasing installation.
#7 Group Like Objects
As mentioned in #6, you can group smaller objects together to fill a larger space. Use objects of the same color, material or shape together as a collection.
#8 Mix Textures
For lots of visual interest, introduce several different materials and textures into your gallery wall. Break up black frames with wooden art, metal signs and even natural elements like feathers, branches, found objects, etc. The
sky wall is the limit (ha, ha). Have fun using your imagination.
#9 Use Good Wall Anchors, Hangers, and Bumpers
While hanging artwork, be sure to use picture hangers or anchors strong enough to hold your artwork. It’s so important to use a hanging hook or anchor that is designed to hold more than your art weighs. Watch the video on “Testing Drywall Anchors” to see why this is so important:
Way to go Build.com for performing this test!
#10 Mark Hanging Hardware on Templates
This trick will save you time and save your walls from turning into swiss cheese! Set your template on the back of your art (the back side should be up) and poke a hole with a pencil where the hanging hooks, holes or wires are. Hang your template back on the wall.
#11 Hanging Your Art Perfectly
Ready to hang your art perfectly the first time? Grab your picture hanging hardware, nails and a hammer.
Make sure that each template is level. For art that has visible holes, line up the art on top of the template. Hammer the nail or hook through the hole.
Then simply pull and rip the template off the wall from beneath the art.
For hanging hardware that is hidden. Hammer your picture hardware through the template lining up the hook or nail with the hole you poked through in tip #10.
Tear the template off after you have your hangers installed. Hang your art on the hooks perfectly the first time!
#12 Make it Personal
Make your gallery wall a reflection of you! Use vacation photos, messages and art that has meaning to you and your family.
I smile every time I walk into our living room. It is filled with memories and art that makes me happy.
Disclosure: Thank you to Build.com for sponsoring today’s post and inspiring me to discover my #LoveItMoment