When it comes to wall decor, the star right now is gallery walls! There are lots of reasons to say YES to a gallery wall: a whole wall can come together fairly inexpensively, it can be personalized easily, and things can be swapped out regularly without having to re-do the whole wall, so you can add a new piece you really love, a great new printable, or a seasonal favorite to the existing layout.
However, the main reason that I hear about people saying NO to a gallery wall is that it can be intimidating to get started. What sizes/shapes/kind of art should I include? How do I decide on the arrangement? So when Brit sent us her beautiful gallery wall, we asked her to share her process. Read her tips below, and don’t forget to share your wall decor here and subscribe by RSS or email to get updates for every post — there’s so much more to come in #deckthewalls!)
Tips for Creating a Modern, Balanced Gallery Wall
by Brit of House Updated
Hi there fellow Remodelaholics! I’m Brit and I blog over at House Updated. That’s where I share my love of white walls, marble, window seats, brass hardware, raw lumber, and power tools. We have at least 285 different projects going on in our house at any given time as we work on blending our traditional-style home with more modern elements. The thrill of finishing each update in our old house is what keeps me going.
Right now we are working on (finally!) finishing up our major kitchen remodel. But we’ve taken breaks from that project along the way and have completed a couple of other spaces, including a new master closet and our dining room.
Today I’m super excited to share some tips on how I created one of my favorite elements of our newly finished dining room: the gallery wall.
You can see amazing gallery walls all over Pinterest and Instagram and everywhere else, but achieving the right balance of color, interest, and scale is a lot trickier in real life. So I’ve put together a few tips to use when creating your own modern, balanced gallery wall.
Tip 1: Pick a color palette.
Gallery walls can go all crazy or immature real fast. One of the best ways to keep a gallery wall looking balanced and polished is by picking a color palette and sticking to it. That doesn’t mean you need all your art one color, but it does mean picking a color or two and having a few primary pieces relate to your color palette.
In my gallery wall, I chose coral and turquoise as my primary colors. Those colors repeat throughout most of the art. Then you can layer in a few other complementary colors (like my yellow/orange) and they don’t throw off the overall color scheme. Your eye sees the main colors you chose but likes a little variety, too.
Tip 2: Tie your color palette into your surrounding accessories.
To further emphasize your color palette, add in accessories in the same colors. I used matching coral lamps and a darker coral vase on our buffet to tie in the coral in the gallery wall.
The pieces don’t need to be the identical shades of the color, but something in the same color family ties everything together looks great. I even carried the colors into the neighboring living room, with coral in my throw pillows and blanket and a turquoise rug.
Tip 3: Use different frame colors.
Let’s not get all matchy with the color scheme. Instead, mix it up by using different frames. I like to incorporate different colors and styles of frames. Some are wood, some white, some thin, and some chunky. A variety of frames keeps things modern and fresh, giving it more of a collected look (even if you created it in a day!).
And again, it is great to tie in your frames by using similar finishes in nearby furniture/accessories. Because we have a white buffet with a natural wood top, I kept my wood frames natural as well and used mostly white frames. This ties the furniture and the frames together, again keeping the whole wall balanced and cohesive.
Tip 4: Hang your largest piece off center.
I’ve talked about balance (a lot!), and you also want your wall to be balanced with larger and smaller art. Put your largest piece off center and build from there. Mix up the large and small pieces so that the entire wall looks balanced, literally like a scale.
You don’t want one side too heavy with all the large art and the other with too light with small art. Mix up those small and large pieces. And remember, there is no substitute to laying out your frames on the floor before hanging them on the wall, to make sure they are just what you want.
Tip 5: White space is your friend.
Maybe it’s because I am a white-paint fan (our walls are Sherwin Williams Extra White), but even if you have colored walls, using the white or negative space between your art helps give the eye a break. You can also keep your wall looking more modern by incorporating matted art. While almost every picture I use has a white border, you can switch it up with some pieces with and without mats to keep it looking more modern.
Tip 6: Add something fun!
I love adding in something fun to every gallery wall. Whether it is a piece of art you love, a special memory, or just something that makes you smile, gallery walls are a perfect spot to display your personality. In mine I used a California influence, which reminds me of my years living in LA. And my favorite piece might just be the oranges and greenery – it just looks so happy!
So those are my top 6 tips for creating your own fresh, modern, and balanced gallery wall (I couldn’t stop at 5).
Really, a gallery wall is such a great way to create a focal point or to amp up the fun factor in any space. You’ve got to try it or, if you have one already, give it an update!
Thanks so much for sharing your tips with us, Brit!
Coming up in Deck The Walls:
ombre wood stain that will look great on your walls!