I’ll be the first to tell you that I don’t consider myself a designer. My wife on the other hand: Well, just try to pry her away from her Pinterest and HGTV! That said, I do my fair share of pretending to know what we’re doing when it comes to decorating. We BOTH change our minds often about design schemes, especially when it comes to doing something with our walls. If you pull one of our larger frames down, I bet there are probably 20 tiny nail holes from that frame’s predecessors.
The constant changing of our minds is natural. I’ve always loved to incorporate posters into my spaces. Sports heroes when I was a kid; favorite movies in college; and most recently we’ve been using a lot of Art Prints in our décor (duh!). I think it just goes to show that people’s tastes change. I used to hate eating mushrooms and now I use them everywhere in my décor! Just kidding. Mushrooms are freakin’ delicious to me now.
But in all seriousness, that’s why I would dread hanging and mounting anything to our walls. I knew that we’d change as soon as either of us was struck with new inspiration.
Gallery Walls to the rescue!
My wife turned me onto gallery walls when we redid our dining room. If you’re not familiar with gallery walls, where have you been!? Gallery walls are a combination of art, posters, photos, typography, trinkets….basically whatever you want.
They can look elegant and classy.
Or, they can be just as eclectic as you.
There are many, many reasons to use gallery walls to amplify your space.
Let’s take a quick look at the pros and cons.
- They look great.
- They’re a perfect canvas to show off your everchanging style.
- They can evolve and grow – no need to start from scratch every time.
- They’re versatile.
- You can finally get every family photo up!
- Lots of hanging (not true)…read below.
So now that you’re sold on gallery walls, how do you start? Here are a few tips to help you add personality to your space.
First, figure out where your art will be on display. Then, decide on what art you’d like to display. Keep in mind that your collection will grow. For instance, we decided to frame my son’s artwork (he’s 5) and put it on display. Now, I don’t know about your kids, but he’s a finger-painting machine! We can’t decide what to take down, so we just keep adding to our gallery wall! Make sure your space is large enough to show off your little Picasso’s growing collection or whatever other artwork currently inspires you.
Choose A Layout
This is just as important as finding the right “wow wall”. Even if your collection grows, it’ll continue to feel uniform if you start with a good layout. Do a quick Google search and you’ll find plenty of Gallery Wall Templates to help you get started. Why do the hard work if someone has already thought it out for you, right?
Use the Floor
It’s always a good idea to arrange your gallery wall art out in the layout before you hang it on the wall. It’ll help to visualize what it will look like in the space and make sure you like the arrangement before you start putting holes in a perfectly good wall.
If at all possible, use command tape instead of nails to avoid additional patching and painting on your wall. Command tape is inexpensive, strong, and, if for some reason you’ve made a mistake (cough-me-cough), it’s not the end of the wall world.
I saw this trick somewhere else and couldn’t believe I didn’t do this before. Instead of using a tape measurer and accidentally marking the wrong measurements, create a uniform spacing tool so that each piece is spaced exactly the same distance apart. This can be a book spine, Xbox game cartridge, whatever! It’ll ensure that each piece is uniformly spaced and that your gallery wall looks great. I recommend making sure it’s something that will stay in your house and not find its way to the trash. You never know when you’re going to add more pieces by your loving wife.
As I started this article out saying, tastes can change over time. For me, that time is frequently! We love art prints because they really speak to our individual personalities and styles. In our family room, we have two hanging in our gallery wall. The great thing about being part of an art print business is that we constantly have an ever-growing library of imagery. The bad is that I fall in love with new prints ALL THE TIME.
Have no fear! We framed a couple of our then-favorites. Framing makes it very easy to swap artwork and make sure that our wall is showcasing our most up-to-date personalities. Don’t be afraid to change things out, you can always revert back as soon as you’re tired of the “flavor of the week”.
By this point, hopefully, you understand why I love gallery walls. They are great looking pretty much anywhere that has an open wall. And, they can grow as you do. No need to completely start from scratch every time the creative bug decides to drop by. So, go ahead and let out your inner designer and showcase all that makes you, you! (At least at the current moment.)