Hi friends, let’s talk about gallery art walls because they are still alive and well, which I didn’t really realize until I saw this post from Chrissy Teigen on Insta lately and how it literally broke the internet in decor land because everyone wanted to know how to have a gallery wall like hers. This made me think that I shouldn’t assume that everyone naturally knows how to create a gallery art wall, so I thought to do a two part series to help those of you who need it. Before I post about how to Plan and Install a Gallery Style Art Wall in 8 Steps, I want to share below how to select art and objects first because there is no need to get into installation tips and ideas until you have your art and other objects selected, or at least, have a clue as to the visual direction you want to take this.
Here are 4 steps to select art and objects for your gallery art wall:
1/ Pick art and objects with a set theme or vibe
Think of your room colors and overall vibe, your style, the theme. Maybe you want to showcase your love of travel or your son’s school art mixed in with modern art and your ceramic dish collection. Perhaps it’s black and white photography you’ve been collecting for years or your love of abstract shapes and vibrant color. Whatever it is, try to find the red thread that goes through each piece which connects them in some way. Even if only YOU see the connection, that’s okay, but there needs to be some meaning to you on an emotional level because that is why we display things on our wall in the first place right? Because we’ve emotionally made some connection to it – we like it – whether that be the color, mood, subject matter, whatever… It evokes emotion and that’s good. In addition to emotion, the work as a whole should connect somehow visually. Does it make some sense or tell a story or is everything its own focal point and together, the story becomes terribly muddy or chaotic even (and not in a good way)? Art and objects that don’t fit together shouldn’t be displayed together.
2/ Mix art with with dimensional pieces
Art prints, paintings, kids’ artwork, Polaroids, photographs, drawings, sketches, personal photos of a family trip, and dimensional objects like mirrors, dishes, bowls, masks, wicker, baskets, a dried palm leaf, textile art, macrame, if it can be nailed to a wall, it can be considered! 🙂 Mix up the display – art and objects – and include what fits the story behind this wall of art that you’re creating.
3/ Decide on frames and mattes
I’m not that bold with mixing frame styles, but perhaps you are. I like to stick to a few colors (white and natural wood) then throw in a few colored frames or black or something with a clean slim gold frame, as an accent. You do you. Maybe you want all black frames or only white. Or you want all of the frames to be in a different color of the rainbow, or only pink. But whatever you decide, decide! Also decide on mattes. I believe that all mattes should be the same color on gallery style walls just for the sake of unifying the overall arrangement, especially if you are mixing and matching frame colors, but then you’ll sometimes see a wall that breaks every design rule and it works beautifully. Yet, I tend to think those walls are done by the extremely stylish out there who effortlessly turn horses into unicorns, so who knows – if you have that magic – do it!