Do you have a large blank wall in your home, and don’t quite know what to do with it? Maybe it’s in your living room or entryway — or even a stairway visible from multiple rooms. Gallery walls have been a huge trend over the past few years, and for good reason: they are great way to add visual interest and fill up a large blank space. They’re fun and can look beautiful when done right.
However, putting one together is much easier said than done. You can spend hours and hours on Pinterest falling down the rabbit hole of stunning gallery wall inspiration (ask me how I know), but HOW does one actually go about choosing the items to display?
It’s easy to feel paralyzed when looking at so many options. There are several different ways to go about choosing the art for your gallery wall — how do you even know where to start? Never fear! Follow these steps to equip yourself to select the pieces you want and feel confident that you can design your own stunning gallery wall.
Figure Out Your Style
Everyone has different personalities and tastes, so the first step is to figure out what type of gallery wall fits your space best. For the purposes of this post and keeping it simple, choose between two different styles: grid and eclectic.
- Grid: This style of gallery wall works best for spaces that are clean, modern, and minimal. Achieving this look is pretty straightforward. Select the same size and color frame. To make it more cohesive, keep the same style of art and photography in each frame, and hang in a consistent grid.
- Eclectic: This style of gallery works well in many kinds of spaces, from rustic farmhouse to vintage to casual. It can also be a bit trickier to pull off, so I’m going to spend a bit more time breaking down a simple thought process to help you select your items to put on your wall. Read on!
Balance is Key
The key thought to keep in mind is to balance variety with consistency. In other words, you want to have some things that are different and some things that are the same.
The word “eclectic” means a collection of things selected from a variety of sources and styles, which can create a fun and interesting look. But, if you’re just selecting things at random, it’s easy to have a collection that looks chaotic and cluttered. That’s why it’s important to also have a framework in place that ties the eclectic elements together, so everything you select works well as a whole.
There are a few ways to achieve this balance. The following steps are just one thought process you can use to help you curate an eclectic but cohesive gallery wall.
1. Vary the Kind
Choose different types of things to display on your wall. This is one way to help create visual interest. Below are some examples to help you get started:
- Paintings: so much variety here between medium, style, and subject matter
- Art photography: abstract, landscape, black and white, or color
- Portrait photography: your family, friends, special events, and candid shots
- Lettering art: a beautiful way to remember the good things in life — your favorite inspirational quotes, scripture, and even your family monogram
- Decorative items: choose from Grandma’s china, wall tapestries, flat baskets, decorative metal work — the sky’s the limit!
2. Vary the Size
The second kind of variation is in the size of your various objects. Another tip: when aiming for an eclectic look, collections tend to look better in odd numbers.
- You want to have a focal point for your gallery wall. Choose one to three larger items, depending on the size of the wall.
- Choose a few small items as well.
- Most of your objects should be various sizes in-between your large items and small items to balance them out.
3. Add Balance With a Cohesive Color Palette
Now that you have some variety, the way to bring balance is through a cohesive color palette. Some tips:
- Having similar colors repeated in each item helps tie everything together.
- Choose colors that relate to the rest of your the decor in the room. Not only will this tie the items in your gallery wall together with each other, it ties your gallery together with the rest of the room.
- Even if your frames are different sizes and styles, keeping the color of your frames consistent helps tie everything together.
The Final Tip
Don’t just buy everything from Hobby Lobby (or any one source).
This goes pretty much for everything in your house, not just a gallery wall. I know it’s so easy, because retailers do such a great job of having cohesive collections where everything in a room goes together, but you want your home to have your personality — not a retailer’s.
It’s totally OK to shop at your favorite major retailers, but visit different stores, add in antiques, thrift shop finds, and work from your favorite artists. That way your space truly reflects who you are and your style and tastes!