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One of the most asked questions is, “How do I put together an organic, vintage gallery wall?” We shared the family photo gallery wall we did in our hallway right here, but the gallery wall in our bathroom was different. Did you sense that, too? The one in our hallway was more polished and structured, filled with all black and white photos. This one was a gathered gallery filled with collected art. The frames were more mis-matched and eclectic and the layout was a lot less structured, too.
I didn’t have a grand plan when I hung them. I didn’t even do any of the fancy layout tricks with paper or tape. So when I sat down to write this post, on how to get the look in your home, I struggled, because there isn’t really a formula. But I can offer you some tips!
In the case of our bathroom, I hung two larger pieces on either side and it really helped me feel like okay! I’m getting somewhere right off the bat. But it wasn’t until I mixed in really small pieces that it felt collected and charming. If it was all small pieces or all medium pieces, it would feel cluttered and overwhelming. So the wide range really really is to your advantage.
The key to making an eclectic gallery wall feel cohesive, when frames are varied (and they should be) is to pick some sort of theme to be repeated throughout. Maybe it’s portraits or landscapes or architecture or line drawing! I’m not saying that it has to be the sole study of the gallery, but the repeat really helps it flow.
A bright white mat on all of your vintage art is the biggest tell. A couple matted frames are great, but I love to mix in some antiqued mats and art that’s not matted at all feels really aged and special (even if it’s not).
If you hang a medium piece to the left of a small piece, maybe on the other side you want to swap and have the smaller piece on the left. Switch it up! Oh, there’s more space on this side–great! I love gallery walls that follow the shape of furniture. I love one that includes an object! I love one that has vertical and horizontal orientations.
If you scroll back through this post, you’ll see not one gallery had all one color of frame. It’s a look and a look that works! But not for a collected vintage gallery, in my opinion. No, you want gold and black and vintage white and light wood and dark wood. What you don’t want is one frame to stand out among the others. I had one piece of art I couldn’t use in our bathroom because the frame was such a vibrant gold it stood out amongst the other more muted frames.
We rounded up some of our favorite frames that would be perfect mixed into a gallery wall below!
1. Mid Tone Frame | 14×14 matted to 5×7 | $25
2. Brass Metal Frame | 17×17 matted to 4×6 | $80
3. Creative Mark Frame | 9×12 | $44
4. Expresso Frame | 8×10 | $12
5. Matted Frame | 17×23 matted to 11×14 | $80
6. Bronze Picture Frame | 8×10 | $6
7. Brass Metal Clad Frame | 8×12 | $12
8. Burnished Gold Frame | 10×10 | $19
9. Ornate Gold/Black Frame | 11×17 | $29
10. Viteri Hanging Frame | 8×8-11×14 | $28+
11. Aged Gold Frame | 16×20 | $59
12. Bronze Frame | 11×14 matted to 8×10 | $22
13. Oversized Woord Matted Frame | 16×20 matted to a 5×7 | $95
14. Icon Black Wall Frame | 20×20 matted to a 5×5 | $34
15. Wood Photo Frame | 12×12 matted to a 4×6 | $29
16. Thin Black Mat Frame | 14×18 matted to a 8×10 | $20
And if you’re not sure where to start with art, check thrift stores and facebook marketplace always! But you can always check out this post of 12 sources for digital art you can print at home and here for more places we like to shop for art!
We designed the Charly line of sofas, chairs, and ottomans with perfect proportions for comfort — with wide arms, a loungey depth, and stylish and practical lumbar pillows. Available in 70 kid-friendly, pet-friendly fabrics, this line was created with families in mind.
Our wood grain Shaker cabinet fronts were designed for busy, high-traffic homes like ours. Clad with durable textured thermofoils, this line is compatible with Sektion, Akurum, Godmorgon, and Besta cabinets from IKEA. It's the perfect, practical way to add the warmth of wood to all the rooms of your home.
We have teamed up with Loloi to create a line of rugs that are as affordable as they are beautiful. This collection houses a great mix of traditional and modern rugs, in cottage-y colorways, as well as vintage-inspired beauties that you’ll want to roll out in every room.
We partnered with Stuga on a line of hardwood floors — The Ingrid is really livable, and the color is very neutral. It doesn’t lean warm or cool, it’s that just right in-between. We have really loved putting it everywhere in our house. It’s the best jumping-off point for design, no matter your interior style. In addition to being beautiful, Ingrid is really durable — we have three kids, and we always have a home construction project going on. Ingrid stands up to it all.
Looking for our favorite things? A place to shop our home room by room, or just catch up on what Julia's wearing / loving right now? Browse the CLJ shop.
Befores, afters, mood boards, plans, failures, wins. We’ve done a lot of projects, and they’re all here.
We have a long-standing relationship with DIY, and love rolling our sleeves up and making it happen.
Even when you don’t want to rip down a wall, you can make that space in your home better. Right now.
Over the weekend Brooke (our social media manager) and I went to the Parade of Homes in the Raleigh area and it was so fun to get a feel of how other people in our new area are living and living large! The purpose of the parade is so that home builders and designers can […]
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