Hi, I’m Maria! I am an artist and fashion blogger in Minneapolis, Minnesota. My work is inspired by current fashion, vintage style, and anything that strikes me as beautiful. I put a unique twist on fashion illustration and watercolor through pops of color, elegant lines, and clean backgrounds. You can check out my artwork at mariaahrens.etsy.com, or visit my website at mariaahrens.com.
A gallery wall is a stylish way to show off an art collection, favorite quotes, family photos, etc. They are impactful, they tell a story…
…and they can be a bit daunting to put together. Where do you even begin?
Don’t worry, I’m here to help! Since Russ and I have finally settled into a semi-permanent residence, I have thoroughly been enjoying decorating our home. Selecting furniture and artwork to enhance this little apartment has been a lot of fun, and I’m excited to be working on a gallery wall or two. Using my design education, personal experience and a little bit of research, I’ve rounded up some great tips and resources below to help you get designing your own gallery wall in no time:
The best gallery walls that I have seen usually have one element that pulls the whole look together. It can be fairly obvious, or extremely subtle. Maybe your images have nothing to do with each other, but the look is cohesive because you used coordinating frames throughout. Perhaps you focus your collection around a theme, a subject, a word, or a color palette. Maybe all of your pictures are the same size. Whatever you choose should tie everything together in some way, even if it’s not immediately apparent.
Need some examples to get you started? Here are 12 Gallery Walls To Inspire You.
If you’re looking to save some money, Little Gold Pixel is one of many websites that offer free printables that you can download and DIY at home! This can work well for simpler images and text, but I would recommend a little investment in professional prints and art pieces as well. They will last longer and look nicer, keeping your decor looking high-end. You can also purchase your artwork unframed to cut costs and then frame it yourself. Cheap but decent-looking frames can be found at Target, the dollar store, and even Goodwill.
Now that you’ve selected your artwork, you need to choose a layout for your gallery wall. Which pictures should go where? This article has some great tips and visual examples of how to create a balanced layout, even with frames of varying sizes. Items that are larger or darker have more visual weight than items that are smaller or lighter. Evenly distribute these elements as much as you can to create balance. Personally, I like testing out different layouts on the floor until I find an arrangement that I like.
Contrary to popular belief you do NOT need to always use a hammer and nails to put up your artwork (but if you do, using paper cutouts to help with nail placement is a smart idea). You can get damage-free hanging materials at Target, Office Depot and other retailers. This is an especially handy tip for renters (like myself) who do not want to put holes in their walls. I’ve been using these for years and absolutely love them! They can hold up to 16 lbs, which works for most home-sized artwork.
When hanging multiple pieces of artwork on a wall, I start in the middle of my display first and work my way out from there. This ensures that I get my placement just the way I want it. When that first piece is level and in the correct position, it can be used as a guide to place your other pieces. Since a gallery wall is meant to be a focal point that draws the eye, don’t leave too much space between your frames. I would not put more than a few inches of wall space between my pictures. Tight spacing will keep things looking neat and not too chaotic.
I wish you luck in your decorating and hope this post has been helpful to you!