Homes today have a lot of windows which means not a lot of wall space, so how do you incorporate your art into your new home? You stack. The ‘Gallery Wall’ has been a top hit on Pinterest for a few years now, not only because of it being a way to incorporate small pieces into a contiguous whole, but because it looks good and can be used in any space.
The ‘Sofa Wall’–When the sofa is placed on a solid wall, it is usually a large blank space or, as I’d like to call it, canvas. It’s a great place to put your new skills as a gallery wall hanger to work. It also is a way to use several pieces of work to create a cohesive whole.
The gallery wall also solves the ‘young collector’ problem. When you are just starting your art collection, you can’t always afford the large paintings by your favorite artist, so put a few small pieces together. The arrangement can be as complicated or as simple as you like.
Chose your focal point and build from there. Using similar style frames or a color theme helps to create a cohesive arrangement, but really, it’s your wall and you have to look at it, so anything goes! By choosing work that has a similar color scheme, or using the same frames, or even similar subject matter you can create a whole that is much more than the sum of its parts as in the grouping to the right of Julyan Davis’s work.
The ‘Long Hallway’–When hanging work in a long hallway or on a staircase, think about the vantage point. You don’t want one large painting on a long narrow hallway -you’ll never be able to take in the full impact of the painting. But if you hang several small pieces, you’ll be able to see the individual work as well as enjoy the whole view. As with any arrangement of work, balance is everything. From the size, color, shape, placement, you have to find a balance that works in your space.
I believe in a good mix of types of images. Add in a chalkboard with your favorite poem on in, or an object you found on a hike, or even a piece of art made by your kids, anything goes, it’s your house. The wall space in a hallway between two bedrooms-especially children’s rooms-is a good place for items that focus on them. Put a fun colorful write on calendar there that they can write in their activities and make it attractive by flanking it with fun family photographs or images of activities they participate in, or the family pets!
The Stairwell–One of the hardest places to figure out how to decorate is the stairwell. In a lot of homes today, because of the open floor plans and the abundance of windows, the stairwell has become a refuge for ones art collection. Usually you can control the light fairly well, there’s a good amount of space to take up, and more often no windows. As with the long hallways, it’s good to take into consideration your vantage point. As you climb the stairs you will see where you can view a larger piece from–hint: towards the top of the stairs where you can see it from the next floor–and how to create the best impact for the space.
Actually putting the wall arrangement together–There are many ways you can use to plan the placement of your gallery wall. I find the easiest way is to cut out paper shapes that match the dimensions of the pieces you want to group together and arrange them on the floor. Once you’ve got an arrangement shape wise you like, lay the objects onto the paper and see if the visual impact is what you want. If you like it, start taping those pieces of paper to the wall. Use painters tape so that it doesn’t hurt your walls when you pull it off. Making sure you have measured the distance between the hanging wire/fastener and where it needs to be hung, go slow and start putting those pesky holes in your wall. Work from your central pieces outward–you may find that you need to change things a bit once you get started. Pro tip–have some plaster hole filler and a little bit of paint on hand just in case you make a mistake. Pro tip #2–measure twice, hammer once. Check out our Pinterest board for more gallery wall ideas at https://www.pinterest.com/helenafoxfraser/gallery-wall-ideas/
Thank you for stopping by. Be sure to visit our Recent Works page to see what’s new to add to your gallery wall. Stay tuned for more tips on how to get the most out of your artwork.
Scenes from the gallery–left: top- John Budicin, bottom-William R. Davis, right: top-Mary Erickson, bottom-Scott W. Prior
Right: Paintings–Scott W. Prior, sculpture–Kent Ullberg