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Gallery walls can be a beautiful detail to occupy the focal wall of any living space. The wild and artistic quirk is just about irresistible, and they’re the perfect opportunity to express your style and personality. No two are exactly alike, which is part of what makes them so special.
With so many pieces to accumulate to get to where you want to be — and a blank wall in front of you — building a gallery wall can feel like a bit of a mystery. Where should you begin? There are plenty of methods to go about it. It’s all about figuring out where you’d like to begin.
A Slow and Steady Collection
While it can be tempting to go off and buy every art piece you can get your hands on — both big and small — you should resist the urge if you’re looking to reflect your unique personal style truly and accurately. Gallery walls often look big and grand, like they have a million little things hanging around, but the point of having one at all is to show off pieces you truly love and enjoy.
Populating your gallery wall with anything and everything you can find misses the point a bit. Spend your time collecting things you truly love, no matter how long it takes. Find art that makes you light up when you look at it. If the collection is small at first, that’s fine. It can grow with time. Pull pieces from various corners of your house that you’ve loved for years, or start with a handful of precious pieces. They’ll serve as inspiration in your slow and steady growing collection.
To Theme or Not to Theme?
Some gallery walls are beautiful, wacky messes of astonishment, while others are styled, carefully curated masterpieces. Which do you choose? It can be impressive to get lost in a cohesive yet whimsical collection of wonder, but it can be equally as enamoring to gaze up at a gallery wall dressed entirely in pink or composed completely of butterfly inspired artwork. From family photos to travel artwork, anything can make a theme.
If you don’t have a specific theme in mind, there’s nothing wrong with going at it with only your personal style as a touchstone. Usually, anchoring a gallery wall with simply your style still offers some throughline, while still remaining fun and unexpected. However, you could consider a theme if something sticks out at you.
Work From the Inside Out
Placement can feel like a bit of a doozy. Where to begin? Gallery walls are often eclectic collections of art of all shapes and sizes, piled in creative ways that appear effortless — that is, until you try to figure out how to do it yourself.
You can go a more structured approach, where you stack things on level with one another to create a square or rectangle, perfectly lined up. Or you can go wild, playing with levels and surfaces and letting the art run wild and free. One of the best ways to create this piled up look is to start from the middle and work outwards. Find a piece — it doesn’t have to be the focal point, either — to go in the middle and fan out from it. This way, the wall can grow naturally, and you can rearrange as you see fit.
If you’re going eclectic, go eclectic. You can mix up your mediums, by including different kinds of art from photos to watercolor to collage. Creating a mix is part of the fun of gallery walls. And in addition to the array of styles that can be put to paper, you can go far beyond visual, framable art for intriguing additions.
Gallery walls are all about defying expectations, so why not go totally unconventional? Look for materials you find beautiful that don’t normally go on the walls, and put them on the walls anyway. Pages of books, branches from outside, fabric or clothing you admire and adore. There are truly no limits to the quirky, avant-garde style you can manifest in your home.
Make Something Uniquely You
No matter what you decide to put on your gallery wall, it will be unlike any other before it. Your gallery wall is about showing off your personal style, your creativity and your favorite pieces you’ve collected over the years. Get ready to show them off in a way that’s truly unique to you.