Creating a Gallery Wall Part 1

"I love the gallery wall look, but I have no idea how to do one". 

Does that sound like you? I have a sweet friend who was telling me about her frustration with wanting to do a gallery wall on a large wall in their new house. The problem wasn't that she didn't have art (because she had some great stuff!) but it was how to do one. 

How do you know where to start and how do you prevent not putting tons of holes in your wall before you get it right?  

What if you want to buy other art later on?

Does that mean you have to start all over? 

Photo courtesy of The Everygirl

Photo courtesy of The Everygirl

There are many guides on "how to create a gallery wall" (like this one), but what I want to discuss is the Now Plan and then Later Plan. What to do now, with what you have and then what you can do later with new pieces.

 I'm going to focus on the Now Plan, using my friend's dilemma as our example. 

This is the wall that we will be working some magic on!

It's about 9ft. long and from the floor to that little air vent it's about 8ft. tall. She had a number of pieces that she wanted to use. Everything from a stained glass piece that was given as a wedding present, to a fun ostrich painting she picked up from a neighborhood art's event.

She sent me other things she was thinking of using around the house, but the above pieces were the pieces she had set aside to create a gallery wall with. They all had some meaning to her and were pieces she genuinely loved.

A few of them were really her favorites (and I'll discuss why that's important in the Later Plan), but she really just wanted to have them all on display so that she could appreciate them and enjoy them. 

Here is what I came up:

Gallery Wall

One is arrangement is definitely more compact than the other, but they both were centered around the biggest piece she had- the ostrich. 

When you are putting together a gallery wall, you have to have at least 1-3 things that are the foundational pieces that everything goes out from. Since the ostrich was the biggest piece, it made sense to have everything go out from there.

In both of these, I also included two of her husband's favorite quotes to fill the space. 

Gallery Wall

In thinking through the possibilities, I wanted to create balance. That meant I needed to separate the two calligraphy pieces and the black & white pieces from the colorful pieces.

 The best thing you can do when you are trying to figure out a gallery wall is lay it all out on the floor. Start with the biggest pieces in the center areas, and work your way out.

Making sure pieces that are similar aren't next to each other and rotating pieces of similar sizes around to see if it looks better in another spot. You can even take pictures of the arrangements you come up with to try to figure out which one you like best. 

Now remember, this is the Now Plan

That means that I wanted to give her an option of what to do now. The Now Plan let's you do things with what you have now and not wait till you have all the artwork you want or even all the "right" pieces.

The Now Plan frees you from waiting and enables you to work with what you have.

This is what the Now Plan looks like:

  • Using the artwork or items that mean something to you right now
  • Not stressing about shopping for more art at the moment
  • Helps you get stuff up on the wall and stop living with blank space
  • Enables you to enjoy what you have and not let it sit in a corner till everything is "perfect"
  • Gives you joy in the moment and lets you use your creativity to create a beautiful space.

You shouldn't have to wait to enjoy the art and collected pieces you have. You should be able to enjoy it NOW! 

However I know that if you're like me, you also crave a Later Plan which uses pieces that you have now and others that you find later and want to incorporate. I'll discuss that more next time :) I'll also show you what the Later Plan looked like for this blank slate!

What is stopping you from creating a Now Plan? Does this makes sense or do you have questions about it?