Tuesday, January 19, 2010

My Silhouette Photo Wall - Part III

How to Arrange a Gallery Wall - (inspirational ideas)

I spent a lot of time studying gallery wall layouts.  Any time I came across a wall grouping I analyzed the arrangment to find out why I liked it (or not) - what made it work - what elements were aesthetically pleasing.  I had plenty of opporutnity to see gallery walls at friends' homes, in mail-order catalogues and in retail settings. 

Here are the two images that served as the inspiration for my gallery wall arrangement: 
1. The guest bedroom photo wall from The Lettered Cottage

2. This image from Pottery Barn.

To me, these two wall groupings are thoughtfully random.  Here are the elements I liked and tried to re-create on my wall:
  • a large piece of art is featured at the center of each grouping
  • motley frames are used in symmetrical ways.  For example, on The Lettered Cottage's walls, two varieties of IKEA's white Ribba frames are used at the outer edges of the gallery wall.  Notice one type placed at the twelve-o-clock and six-o-clock locations.  Then I see another type placed near the nine-o-clock and three-o-clock locations.  Look closely and you can see more subtle examples of symmetry.  
  • in each gallery grouping, frame finishes are from the same colour family
  • the subjects in each frame are mixed, but again, share a similar colour scheme.  The Lettered Cottage's wall mainly features quotations (printed in black) and B&W nature photos.  The Pottery Barn wall also features B&W nature photos, along with numbers, and framed architectural elements.
I especially like how the art work, frames, and the wall placement work together to make the gallery wall itself a large work of art.

  • I found frames around my house that already had pictures in them.  Most were purchased at craft stores or Target.  They were already in colours I liked - black, white, cream, gold and silver. 
  • I traced the shape of the frames onto cheap wrapping paper (although you could use butcher paper, newsprint, paper grocery sacks {does anyone use those anymore?}) and cut out the shapes. 
  • I taped the mock-up frames to my wall.  And over several weeks, watched how the grouping looked to me.  I rearranged the mock-up frames several times to find the optimal spacing and overall aesthetic.
  • When the mock-up frames looked just-right, I nailed anchors into the wall and hung up the frames.
Somewhat serendipitously - Layla from The Lettered Cottage just posted secrets of how she put together her guest room gallery wall (like...one hour ago).

Another great resource for hanging a gallery wall is the blog post from High-Heeled Foot in the Door.  She showed some fantastic examples of how to hang artwork - as well as resources for "unique artwork on a variety of budgets."


Rachel D said...

Thanks for sharing your ideas. I'll have to mentally file this away to come back to when I rework the wall in my front living room (whenever that day may come). I promise not to copy you - your work is an MMW original - but I sure love your ideas!

Carolyn said...

So where's the picture of your wall?! Nevermind, I'll just invite myself over :)

Mary Jo from TrustYourStyle said...

Love both of your inspirations and of course, would love to see how it turned out on your wall! Amazing how much time it takes to artfully arrange a wall, although so gratifying when it turns out right. I think I read tips on apartment therapy (larger picture over smaller is the rule of thumb) and all those tips helped so much! Thanks for stopping by trustyourstyle this morning! A lot of my designs are linked through on the left hand index of the blog to maryjomatsumoto.com--thanks for asking :) Hope you're having a great weekend!

Lettered Cottage said...

Thanks for featuring our Guest Bedroom! (And of course, we appreciate the link too!)

Now if I could just get my MASTER bedroom done! <:-P