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Design Inspo

How to Make Your Gallery Wall Feel Purposeful

Gallery walls are no easy feat, but with these tips, you'll be on your way to creating a cohesive and beautiful gallery wall design in your home.

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Top things to know about making a purposeful gallery wall:

  • The size of your artwork makes a big impact on the overall intention of the gallery wall.
  • Incorporating unique pieces from different makers and artists will make your gallery wall stand out.
  • Consider adding texture with unexpected objects, like canvas or vinyl, to add depth to your space.
  • Embrace DIY decor as a budget-friendly alternative to expensive artwork.
  • Using painter’s tape is a renter-friendly solution to mapping out pieces of artwork in your home.

Gallery walls can be daunting if you don't have a lot of art to work with when you start. So first, consider the purpose of your gallery wall.

Is it to harness a focal point in your room while still achieving an eclectic style? Are you trying to elicit a certain feeling with neutral tones or calming pastels? Or perhaps, this is simply a chance to curate what makes up your interests and personality. When you've determined your goal, keep reading to learn how to build your collection and incorporate pieces you already own.

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The size of the artwork matters.

While gallery walls can take on a variety of sizes, you must determine what exactly that is before you start. For example, if you plan to take advantage of the high ceilings in your living room, you want to set a minimum size (such as 11x14) so nothing gets lost within the vast space.

As opposed to if you are utilizing the wall above your headboard, you can hang smaller pieces like framed vintage postcards as long as the art around it is of similar size. If you are determined to include smaller pieces in a large gallery wall, try grouping them to create the illusion of a larger artwork.

Support local artists and discover new makers through Spoak’s Thingology feed.

Get to know the artists around you! Many host small businesses through Instagram or run Etsy shops. You can support your community while bringing a small part of your neighborhood into your home. Even if they're not local to you, maybe you share a community in other ways. For example, as a queer person, I like to purchase art from LGBTQ+ artists, such as JP Brammer's brand Hola Papi, who takes inspiration from his childhood in rural Oklahoma.

While scouring the internet is one way to find new creators, an IRL search can be a great excuse to spend time with a friend at flea markets, vintage poster museums, and pop-up stores. Building a gallery wall allows for exploration, so explore! If you’re ever in need of some quick inspiration, I recommend browsing the Thingology feed to find new artists and makers.

Think outside of the box when it comes to designing your gallery wall.

Consider adding texture to create variety, such as a tapestry or unstretched canvas painting. While there's nothing wrong with sticking to black frames, it can be fun to add in new elements like a beautiful vinyl cover you want to display or a thrift painting you gravitated towards because of the antique gold flute frame. Gallery walls are a chance to explore and play!

DIY decor is trending for a reason.

Time to break out the Pinterest boards! Whether you are a natural artist or you've never picked up a paintbrush, this is a chance to bring more of yourself to the gallery wall. Start small and try recreating a piece you've found online. The DIY decor is a budget-friendly way to bring in the aesthetics you admire without paying for catalog prices. If crafts aren't your thing, try photography! Scroll through your camera roll to find photos you can frame. Perhaps the artsy shot of your cappuccino is the final puzzle piece to the gallery wall in your breakfast nook.

eclectic gallery wall
A stunning gallery wall designed by Liz Nevil-Smith.

Make variety look uniform on your wall.

A good gallery wall can maintain varied textures and sizes while still looking cohesive. Figure out the connecting piece between each element of your gallery wall—like using similar colors to thread them together or create consistency with black frames. You want them to complement each other without looking too overplanned. Like a mosaic, a gallery wall is one large piece of art made by the sum of its parts, so keep in mind the larger goal.

Use the rule of threes when you are expanding your wall.

Remember, it is possible to expand your gallery wall in the future. You don't have to wait until you have the perfect art collection to get started. If you are concerned about reconfiguring the placement, use rental-friendly hanging tools like command strips. These changes ensure your space never feels stale or stagnant. Just start with three pieces and go from there.

Painter's tape is a gallery wall's best friend.

When you finally have all of the elements for your gallery wall, do yourself a favor and take the extra step of planning the placement. (Unless you enjoy having extra holes in your walls.) You can do this by spreading your pieces on the floor and rearranging them until you are happy with the layout. Then, use painter's tape to map out your gallery wall to understand the dimensions. Pro-tip: If you’re looking to save a bit of time, you can also map out your gallery wall virtually by dropping the pieces in Viz, Spoak’s online design tool.

Photo Credit: (Left) Designer Trapped

Design your next gallery wall with ease by using Spoak.

Date Posted
July 8, 2022



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