We have all tried to design a gallery wall at some point right? You easily find yourself frustrated; "it doesn't feel balanced," "the frames don't match," "it looks way too cluttered," "everything looks too high, "what about that empty space...". This list goes on.
Well, before you put any more holes in the wall, let's first talk about the purpose of a gallery wall.
A gallery wall should represent you, your home, your aesthetic, your lifestyle, your life.
The pieces are a collection that tell a story, your story. The pieces are the ones that you've had for years. These are the pieces you've inherited from family, pieces created by your children, pieces you accidentally found or collected. A gallery wall is a place where people stop and look closely. A gallery wall is one way to get to know your family and you.
Your gallery wall should be less about the cohesiveness of the pieces and more about the meaning behind them. Your grandparent's wedding photo in a old brass frame, a shadow box with a few rocks that you collected while in Africa, an old sign that you found at a thrift store with your best friend, all of the pieces can hang together, because they all are part of your story.
The arrangement of the pieces should be what you like. Gather all of the pieces you have that you want to display. You can arrange them on the floor first, or just jump right in. Start with the piece that you love the most, hang it up on the wall, and build around this piece creating your collage. We typically try to keep the spacing between our pieces somewhat even, but you don't have to. Some of you may want even rows, and others may want no symmetry at all.
A gallery wall can go anywhere. Right now we have one in our dining room and one in Ester's room. Hallways, stairways, entryways, kitchens, bathrooms, etc. Hang your gallery of treasures wherever you'd like.
A gallery wall doesn't have to hang on nails. If you have artifacts that you want to pair with your hanging pieces you can always arrange them on picture shelves. Another idea is to create a hanging rail with rope/twine and hang the pieces vertically. (Photos below)
A gallery wall can have one theme, multiple themes, or no theme at all. Likewise, a gallery wall can be busy with many items and multiple colors, or minimal with fewer items and two colors. What do you like, and what kind of gallery wall would make your space feel like home?
Think of your gallery as a work in progress, changing with the seasons of life, but always telling your story.