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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!
1. Have a few larger pieces to ground the gallery, but a wide range of sizes is nice!
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.
2. A reoccurring theme is nice.
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.
3. Just say no to 100% matted art.
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).
4. Hang the art asymmetrically. It shouldn’t be perfect.
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.
5. Mix up the frames!
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!