Thursday, May 26, 2016

How to Create a Perfectly Imperfect Gallery Wall

Good morning! I'm really excited for today's how-to post. However, if you're looking for a tutorial on how to hang the "perfect" gallery wall- complete with rulers, taping the walls, and measuring- you have NOT found it. 

BUT- If you are here to learn how to create a beautiful and unique gallery wall with a good balance of color and pattern and material- you are definitely in the right place.

First, there are a few preliminary things you need to do before you get to the fun parts!

1. Figure out a Theme

Whether that theme has to do with color, concept, or pattern, you need to have 1 reoccurring thing running throughout the gallery wall that ties it all together. If you're starting from scratch (and not with a particular piece or photo) your options are limitless! I started out with this gorgeous bohemian dream catcher in blush tones, so that was where I drew my inspiration.  The color palette would need to tie into it- so I knew I wanted to find pink and blush artwork and/or canvases to go along with it. I also wanted to find a way to tie the bohemian vibes of the dream catcher into the concepts of the rest of the wall.

2. Determine the Wall Area

The worst thing would be to go to the store, pick out a bunch of frames and art that you loved, come home, and find out it doesn't fit. I'm not saying that huge gallery walls don't look good, but you also don't want to overwhelm anyone. I think a good rule of thumb would be to go less than 10 things in your gallery wall.

Now on to the Fun Stuff!

  1. Shopping

To shop for prints, canvases, etc you have a lot of options! I bought nearly everything from Hobby Lobby because I am obsessed with that store! I got pretty much everything on clearance, so it was extremely affordable. They often have 50 percent off on their art as well. Another option is to purchase printables from Etsy and then get them printed out somewhere like Staples or Walmart and then frame them. You can shop garage sales for frames, art, and canvases as well. The options are endless. Picking some focal pieces is a good idea too. Like I said, I started with this dream catcher from Tinsel & Twig's Etsy shop. Min is a medium; there are 3 sizes to choose from (small, medium, and large).
I absolutely love the mixture of textures and feathers!
It's really pretty, and I know I'll one day want to put it in my baby girl's room!
You've gotta check out her other colors and styles! Click the photo below :)

2. Arranging for Balance

I did this part in the store and I'm sure I looked like a crazy person, but I wanted to make sure that everything balanced. There are a few key things you need to think about when arranging the pieces you've chosen.

-Color (including the frames!)

That is a lot to think about, but the important thing is to make sure that nothing is too matchy-matchy while also making sure everything is cohesive.  Tip: Try to find at least two of everything (the color/print etc)

I decided to go with the pink to match the dream catcher. The first thing I found though was a gold and dalmatian print basket that hung on the wall, so I needed a way to make that cohesive.
I knew I would need other pieces that had gold, black, and possibly even more dalmatian print. Luckily I found all of that! It's hard to see but the antlers are actually a gold foil.

While the black frame with blue chevron feels the least cohesive with the group (I accidentally ditched the other print with the black frame) its dalmatian print ties back with the hanging basket.

However, it's not only prints and colors you have to match but concept as well. I chose quotes and phrases that symbolized the same freedom the bohemian dream catcher had. "Wild & Free" and "Oh Deer" gave it that vibe. 

I like that there is a variety of sizes for the eye to look at. There aren't two that look like a "match" and leave everything else standing out like a sore thumb.

3.  Tips for Hanging

1. Lay everything out on the floor first to get an idea of how it will look on the wall.
2. Start with your focal pieces away from each other at eye level. Then fill in the rest of the prints and frames around them! That will ensure it doesn't get awkwardly high or low.
3. Make sure that none of the edges of the frames line up- either horizontally or vertically. That keeps the gallery wall from looking staged and too perfect.
4. Walk away from the wall to get a good look at how everything is coming together. It is much more of an accurate look from far away.
5. Don't be afraid to take the nail out and move it around. Some of these frames moved 2 or 3 times to get the spacing perfect.
6. Ask a friend you trust to take a look at it. A second opinion never hurts
7. Don't take it too seriously! It's supposed to be a fun hodgepodge of beauty!

I hope you enjoyed an inside look at my creative process!
Comment below with any questions or comments! :)

(A big thank you to my friend Ali at Tinsel & Twig for sending me the pretty dream catcher!)
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