DIY

Tips for putting together a gallery wall

October 24, 2019  —  Written by Julia Marcum 

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This post is sponsored by Artfully Walls 

We’re in the middle of an office renovation right now (but it’s so like me to jump right to hanging art). I was looking for a really large abstract seascape or landscape piece — I wasn’t sure for which wall. But, as you know, sometimes starting with the art inspires the design of the room. I came across “Rocky Shore” by Faith Taylor on Artfully Walls, and I loved the vibe of it so much, but it didn’t come in a super big size.

(Oh yeah, and this is one of those posts where we’re going to start with the end product and then work into how we got there. Boom!)

So I shifted gears and started envisioning Faith’s moody shore as part of a gallery wall.

A few weeks ago, we were in Park City, and there were two giant line drawings of trees at our resort. They were huge — probably 3’ x 4’. I looked for the artist and found that she only did commercial work. But with trees on my mind, a theme was born: abstract nature.

Yup — that can be interpreted a lot of different ways :) For me, the moody seascapes were a natural (no pun intended) pairing for black tree drawings. There’s just enough contrast without becoming distracting. Which brings us to…

How to start a gallery wall:

Okay, sometimes it’s not practical to buy six pieces of art at once. But, you buy one seascape, and find a small wall to hang it on. Then you find the tree, and it becomes a pairing. Then another ocean canvas finds you, and you have a column of three.

On groupings:

Beyond a pair, gallery walls are better in odd numbers. I did a face-palm plant when I realized I ordered six of these beauties to start. It needs five or seven pieces. “Time Stands Still” by Pamela Munger will be saved for a different wall, or we’ll hang it after we buy at least one more. *Cut to me shopping… *

On frames:

I’m a sucker for brass frames, but because the subject matter is so similar here, it would be fine to mix it up with a few different frames. If your collection is very eclectic, you’ll want to stick to one or two frame styles (black and natural wood?). We had all of these framed through Artfully Walls where we bought the art. They do an incredible job and their frames are so gorgeous.

On mats:

Without mats, these pieces look authentically vintage, which is another vibe I was going for. If you have a more modern vibe going, mix in a mat or two. Warning — All mats all the time can look stale.

On sizes:

I would not do an entire gallery wall made up of 8x10s. This office wall is not a huge wall, so it works with the scale of the largest piece (12×16). If I had a larger wall, I would anchor it with a larger piece, maybe 24×36, and use smaller frames more sparingly.

On hanging:

Pictures should be hung at eye level. The majority of people are hanging their art too high. — I’m 6’ tall, and I’m saying that! The bottom of this gallery wall hits at 45” from the floor and the top of the tree is at 77” (but could go higher if the gallery expands). The exception is if you’re anchoring your art with a couch or a dresser. I wouldn’t go higher than 8-10 inches above a large piece of furniture — depending on the size of the artwork.

Here’s a struggle I see all the time — You want to spread out these beautiful pieces all over your home. I have so many blank walls! You’re thinking — Shouldn’t I share the love? But a small piece might get lost if hung by itself. Sometimes your art is actually getting MORE attention in a grouping or gallery. Suddenly, there’s a focal point, a conversation-starter. 

Sometimes a gallery wall is a mood board for a room. Because our office is such a blank slate, this grouping of artwork is setting the tone for the space… moody, organic, soft grays and blues and blacks and brass… See what I mean? After hanging this, I feel like I have a better idea of how this room will look and feel. And I’m so excited. More on the plans for the rest of this room real soon!

Our Artfully Walls picks for this gallery wall:

 

“Summer Tree” by Megan Williamson in 6×9” with Gold Leaf Wood frame

“In No Hurry” by Faith Taylor in 15×12” with Gold Leaf Wood frame

“Rocky Shore” by Faith Taylor in 14×14” with Gold Crackle Bead Wood frame

“Old Apple Tree” by Rich Gombar in 14×14” with Black Gold Reverse Wood frame

“The Moment is Now” by Faith Taylor in 16×12” with Gold Double Bead Wood frame

Bonus:

“Time Stands Still” by Pamela Munger in 8×6” with Gold Crackle Bead Wood frame

 

What do you think?

  1. Rich Gombar says:

    Thank you for using my image/print from Artfully Walls, Old Apple Tree. It looks fabulous with the other works of art I appreciate having more people seeing my artwork.

  2. Kristen says:

    Lots of practical advice in this post; gallery walks are tricky! I had never heard of Artfully Walls until your blog and found two great pieces. Any chance you have a promo code for your readers??

  3. Dani says:

    How do you get the frames to lay flat on the wall? When I try and hang frames there is always a gap at the top/ it leans forward?

    Thanks :)

  4. Mallory says:

    Can you elaborate more on some tips for doing a gallery wall of pictures of family photos? All the same frame color? All black & white pictures or all color or can you mix? Thanks!

  5. Jen says:

    It looks beautiful!
    Where are your desks from? I think you mentioned it before, but I can’t find it. Thank you!!

  6. Becky says:

    Do you have a source for the lamp?

  7. Debra says:

    Beautiful desk lamp! Where is it from?

  8. margaret barone says:

    I am really loving your carpet in your office. Can you give me the specifics on it.

  9. Megan says:

    Gorgeous, calm, and moody—I love it! Those Faith Taylor pieces are amazing!!!

  10. Debbie Ricks says:

    Beautiful!!!!!

  11. Haley says:

    Very pretty! Doubling back to your last post on Greta’s bathroom – I think a gallery wall in there could be just the ticket to bring that room together.

    Can’t wait to see how the office turns out!

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