How To Create a Gallery Wall

How To Create a Gallery Wall

Colleen Quinn
Feb 4, 2011

One of the things that always makes a new space feel like home is adding personality by hanging art on the virgin walls. Though some pieces (and some walls) are destined to be an individual focal point, larger walls allow for the creation of an gallery wall that brings together a multitude of pieces into one large art installation. If you want to create a gallery wall for your home, then read on!

Photo 1: This wall is on the right when you walk into my living room and is the largest expanse of window-free wall in the room. I tried a variety of different pieces in the space but each one was simply too small and looked lost on the wall, so I knew that a gallery wall was the best way to add some interest to this blank canvas.

Photo 2: Because I pick up pieces of art when I travel, I have an array of sizes, colors and themes which can make for a disorganized look. My solution to bring order to the chaos is to frame most of my art in black— different frames and widths, but one color. Though this is a matter of purely personal preference, that common framing gives the finished product a polished look.

Photo 3: Laying out the art on the floor at the foot of the empty wall makes it easier to picture how it will look on the wall as well as providing some guidance on how the final installation will fit. If you have spare newspaper or butcher paper you can make a mock up of each piece to actually tape onto the wall, but I confess I am too impatient to ever make that work. I decided to space each piece 1-inch from the pieces around it — a decision I reached by moving things around on the floor until I was happy.

Photo 4: Though this can be a one-person project, having my husband around to help certainly made it go faster. I built the arrangement out from the center piece (the harlequin), measuring the placement of each piece as we went along. I actually just eyeballed the placement of the initial piece, but measuring is probably a better idea as I was a few inches off the floor layout (which is why the final installation is a little different than the initial layout on the floor).

Photo 5: The wall is really taking shape at this point with the largest pieces in place. I wavered a bit with the last few pictures, trying out different positions before settling on the one I liked best.

Photo 6: The finished product is everything I had hoped for and more. This formerly blank corner is now a focal point that attracts the attention of everyone who enters. The organic shape also means I can eaily add to the wall as I find new pieces for my collection. All in all, this project took about 4 hours, time well spent in my opinion (though my long-suggering husband may have a different opinion!)

If you have a gallery wall in your home, please share your tips for a successful project in the comments below.

Images: Colleen Quinn

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