Gallery walls can be really wonderful to create. However, there is always a dilemma of using only what you have now or purchasing more art (or at least wanting to purchase more) later. Do you plan with what you have or plan for later?
You do both.
I discussed making a gallery wall with what you have now- aka the Now Plan- here. So, let's say that you have already done that. But you really want to also plan for later....
Let's talk about it- because buying art that you love is one of my passions :)
Let's go back to the wall in my friend's living room. I asked her what kind of art she and her hubby would want to purchase. Here is the list she gave:
- Modern/ Southwest themed photography
- Anything that would blend well with mid-century modern pieces
- Colorful abstractions
- Mixed media pieces that were bright and cheerful
- No "baskets" on the wall (which I think was too rustic for her anyways :)
This is the first option I came up with- the compact version.
This large photograph replaced the ostrich for being the piece that grounded the arrangement. I loved that it was peaceful, used the colors in their living room and was "Southwest" without being too minimal. Since they already had minimal pieces, I wanted to give them a little bit more texture on the wall. Plus with the frame, it was super affordable!
This simple original watercolor is gorgeous. It uses greens and blues like the waterlily pieces but it also incorporates white like the quotes. I wanted to add another smaller piece that would pair well with the waterlily pieces and pull out the colors in stained glass. If they ever wanted to move either the waterlilies or stained glass to another location, I wanted to give them a piece that could move with it.
The most colorful piece in this option is this medium sized print. There were TONS of options to chose from with this artist's work, but I chose this one because of the bold red stripe. The rug is red and I really wanted the art to subtly tie into the rest of the room. An added bonus is that framing is an option when you purchase it, and anything to make my life easier is a huge plus.
As an abstract/mixed media artist myself, I couldn't wait to use one in this grouping. like the stipe piece, the color red was what convinced me that it was the best choice out of all the pieces. It's also an original. Since there weren't a ton of other originals, I thought it was important to have another small original in this grouping.
But you can never have TOO many art options, right? So, I picked out three more art pieces and rearranged the work to be in another grouping- a more spread out option.
This arrangement was more symmetrical than the first arrangement and I wanted to balance out the black and white print in size. I also wanted to add a powerful shot of color. This original abstract painting was the perfect size and had all the right colors in it.
The "modern photography" feel was what I was looking for in a non-photography piece ...and I found this gem. It's actually a print from a painting, but loved the green and blue colors in it. This was another artist that had many amazing options. But the subject matter in this piece fit well with the rest of the pieces, compared to some of the other options. This beauty could also come framed- perfect!
Now for the southwest photo! Lately the majority of cactus photographs I've seen, usually have a silhouette of a cactus against a blank sky. I have nothing against them- but I wanted to find a cactus photo that was a little different. One that used texture and color differently. Not only was this photo the type of photo I was interested in, but the small yellow flowers really added a great detail to the composition.
Going back to where we started- Do you plan a gallery wall with what you have or wait and plan for later?
I would recommend you start with a Now Plan. That way you can get stuff on the wall and feel like you don't live in an empty box.
The Later Plan is also important, because you have the freedom to pick out pieces you love and then incorporate them with what you have.
This is what the Later Plan looks like:
- When you see a piece of art you like (doesn't matter where you are), and have the $ for it, BUY IT!
- Create a Pinterest board where you save all the artists or art pieces that you would love to have one day that you can go back to when you are ready
- Don't worry about how it's all going to work together. Because it will. When you have purchased 3-5 more pieces, you might be ready to re-do the arrangement to include them*. If that's the case, take everything down and rearrange pieces on the floor like you did in the Now Plan. The nice thing about this is that if you don't want to commit, you can just put everything back on the wall!
- It gives you the freedom to not have to buy art to fill up space, but to actually buy what you love!
- You can always add to the Later Plan- there is no end to it :)
*Note: You can add pieces to your wall as you go- there aren't any rules! It can be easier to add to the arrangement when you have a group of pieces, but it's fine to do it as you acquire them.
How do you know what pieces to use in you Later Plan that you already own? They are your favorite pieces that you love to look at. I would even call them the "core" pieces that have a lot of significance and that you want to have on display.
The rest of your art can be scattered around your home (or you could even do another gallery wall in another part of the house). At some point you may want to move even these pieces somewhere because you have new favorites...but that will be later :)
My goal with both of these plans is to help you feel like you don't live in a sterile lab with nothing on the walls and to have the freedom to buy art that you love.
Which plan is harder for you to do? Is there a question you are dying to know?