In an era of electronic picture frames and Facebook albums, it can be easy to overlook one of the simplest ways to create a focal point for any interior space: curating and arranging your own art gallery.
In the year 2015, densely-packed wall displays – like the kind you might see in some chambers of the Ontario Art Gallery – have been popping up all over social media sites like Pinterest. However, while this fun DIY project can be tackled by just about any homeowner, you’ll want to do it right by properly curating, arranging, and hanging your works of art and photography. Here are a few of our favourite tips:
- Put some thought into your selection.
Choosing art for a gallery wall is more of a challenge than you might think – so much so that Decor8 recently published a whole list of do’s and don’ts on the topic. When it comes to the art itself, feel free to include all sorts of different media – from photos to acrylics, sketches, Polaroids, and everything in between – but you’ll also want to arrange them around a theme (e.g. dogs, your kids, or nautical scenes). Pick one that reflects your interests – after all, you’ll be looking at it more than anyone else.
When it comes to frames, feel free to change up thickness, but you’ll convey a better sense of harmony if you stick with one material throughout.
- Play around with the arrangement before doing any hanging.
This is a crucial step, because you don’t want to make more holes in your wall than absolutely necessary. Lauren Conrad recommends starting by deciding how big your gallery will be, then making a rectangular outline, exactly that size, on the room’s floor.
If you’re not sure where to start with laying it out, start with the largest photo or image in your selection – an “anchor piece” – and place it somewhere slightly off-centre within the rectangle. From there, you can build around it, placing smaller work in complementary positions. When it comes to spacing, tight arrangements – leaving only a handful of inches between frames – is a trendy look for 2015, but feel free to arrange the work as densely or loosely as you see fit.
- Pair it with a second design element.
Gallery walls benefit from being part of a bigger design context, and have a stronger effect when they’re located close to a complementary furniture piece – such as a bookcase, sofa, or large desk. If you’re hanging over a piece of furniture 20×200’s Jen Bekman recommends leaving at least eight inches between the top of the piece, and the lowest frame.
Already got a great wall gallery that you love to show off? Feel free to tweet it to us @livantedevelopments.