Installing a Gallery Wall in Your Home

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W+D_CurateGalleryWall_Blogsized-7About a month ago, I shared with you a few sources to find art that is not only meaningful, but also affordable. This post will provide a step-by-step tutorial on a way to display all of the fabulous new art that you have purchased in the last six weeks. ūüėČ

If you type “DIY Gallery Wall” into Google, there are literally “About 7,520,000 results” on how to execute. So what makes this one different? Well, in my humble opinion, we wanted to focus on how to take your gallery wall to the next level with unexpected combinations of not only color, but materials, shapes, and organic materials. ¬†Bonus: this is probably the only post written by a woman that is this close to going into labor (in fact, I was a bit worried it was going to happen during the set up for this shoot. Seriously, by the time this is live, I might actually be in labor.)

Before we begin I want to talk a little about the inspiration for the pieces that I’ve chosen to include in this final DIY project we tackle before baby. I followed my own advice and sourced pieces that were meaningful to me¬†and was inspired to curate my collection based on¬†the colors and textures¬†from the¬†Sweet & Tart Berry Bliss¬†Curate Bar. Thanks for satisfying my cravings for all things sweet and tart (not to mention keeping my blood sugar levels balanced for the past 6 months!) Seriously.

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The final pieces that made it into the collection were a mix of items I selected from Uprise Art, who reached out to me following the curatorial post last month, and personal items that I’ve longed treasured, but never knew how to display (or to be perfectly honest, didn’t have the motivation or hard deadline to work against). After years of buying prints in plastic frames, I knew we were ready to start investing in pieces from emerging artists that spoke to both Joe and myself… not just me! Luckily we both enjoy abstract art that plays with concept, shape, and form. Building a small collection for a tight space means being really diligent about editing. (Pro tip– if you have a hard time editing, just ask for your husband’s opinion. HA!) In addition to buying original pieces of artwork, I wanted to add some visual interest by adding in some three-dimensional objects. We found these great brass wall pieces that work perfectly with a clipping from the garden or a hearty air plant.

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Now! The tutorial!

Here are the tools you’ll need:

  • Pencil
  • Level
  • Tape Measure
  • Painters Tape
  • Hammer
  • Nails
  • Art (pieces should be ready to hand either via wire (preferably) or utilizing a ready to hang back (some frames have teeth to hold nails, these always seem a bit unstable to me).

Below is a step-by-step tutorial on how to achieve a balanced gallery wall:

  1. Pick you palette. I mentioned my inspiration was the packaging colors of the Curate Sweet & Tart Berry Bliss¬†Bar, because all I do now is eat. Your palette can be based on the color of the room, the furniture or injecting a new color into the space. The possibilities are endless. Once a palette is chosen, don’t feel that each and every piece absolutely has to use it (can you imagine if everything was PINK), but it should incorporate or complement your chosen color. Insert some solid neutrals and/or black and white for balance.
  2. Consider the space. Choose pieces that will fit in your chosen space. Nothing wrong with a huge print surrounded by several smaller items, but be aware of any space limitations or viewing obstructions.
  3. Plan your layout before picking up a hammer! This isn’t my first rodeo, and I want people to learn from my mistakes. Measure your desired wall space and tape out those dimensions on the floor (if only the corners to provide a solid idea of border). Once you have these guidelines, gather your pieces and experiment with layout. I really like to use my computer to accurately layout the space. This is also helpful if you are doing a lot of your art buying online.
  4. Tape/Measure twice, hammer once. Painters tape is one of the most magical items out there. Once I’ve decided on an arrangement, I use the tape to note all four corners of a piece (and the sweet spot where the nail will ultimately hold the piece!). I also use tape to identify which piece goes where. Again, learn from my mistakes. I once did this project and was left with a whole bunch of marks without¬†identifying prints. Not fun.
  5. Pencils are your friend. I start from the top left and work my way across and down. Measure the distance from the edge of your “wall space” you marked on the floor, to the first wire/hang distance and mark it with a pencil dot. Measure it again on the wall and on the floor. Trust me.
  6. Nail it!¬†The first hammer swing is always the most daunting, but it’s incredibly satisfying to watch progress being made.
  7. Measure again. Next, measure the distance between the first nail hole and the second. Some people measure by the end of frames, but the nail hole measurements have worked for me.
  8. Lather, rinse, repeat. Repeat the measuring/nailing process for the top “layer” of your wall. Hang these pieces first, it will give you an idea of how the rest of the wall will look and you are able to make adjustments if needed to this layer or the layers to follow.
    Once your satisfied with the top layer, continue from left to right until all pieces are hung.
  9. On the Level.¬†Adjust the pieces to ensure everything is a hard right angle. Unless you live in a “charming” house like mine, and literally, the walls aren’t at 90 degrees. If this is the case for you as well, adjust as needed.
  10. Enjoy.

All art featured provided by Uprise Art

Images: 2nd Truth