Some may say that creating a gallery wall is a passing trend. But it’s not. It’s classic. Timeless even. Museums and galleries have been using the gallery wall, or the salon-style, to display art for centuries. Yes, for hundreds of years. Amazing, right? But why has it endured? Because it looked great then, it looks great now, and it’ll look great a hundred years from now!
It’s not difficult to create a personalized, even interchangeable, gallery wall in your own home. Here are a few thoughts to keep in mind.
Take your time. Be patient with yourself and find joy in creating your gallery wall collection. An engaging gallery wall should be an interesting variety of mediums and subject matter – figures, landscapes, abstracts, drawings, photography, painting. Start thinking about your framing and how it will tie your pieces together, or set them apart.
Be willing to mix it up. Gallery walls are a fun way to make a very personal statement in your home. Some of the most inspiring walls are those that combine a variety of artworks in a range of media, from photographs to drawings, two and three-dimensional pieces, perhaps a personal memento such as a child’s artwork or souvenir from a trip.
Choose the right location. Gallery walls don’t need to be limited to one large location. Consider the space around windows and doors, above a bed or couch, above and around fireplaces or even around kitchen cabinets. Avoid locations that are high in moister (near a dishwasher or radiator) as these can be damaging to works on paper.
Choose a hanging style. Most gallery walls are either laid out in a grid or in a more eclectic grouping. Think about the feeling you wish to create. A clean and crisp, more formal look can be achieved by symmetrically measuring your grid. You can create a more relaxed, personal style by using an asymmetrical, playful approach.
Choose a framing style. Well-chosen matting and frames will elevate the cohesion of your grouping. The exact same frame and mat for each piece can look formulated, so think of ways to diversify yet unite the collection. An easy ratio for balancing different frames and sizes: 1 extra-large piece, 2 large pieces, 2 medium pieces, and 3 small ones.
Have fun! Creating your gallery wall should be an enjoyable journey. Don’t rush the experience. Imagine how you want it to contribute to your living space. Talk about your collection with others. Look for ideas at your local museums and art galleries. If you feel stressed about the final installation, contact an art advisor for assistance. But most of all, have fun!