Gallery Walls: Why we love them and why your walls are still bare

Who doesn’t love a gallery wall of your family in coordinating outfits that showcases them perfectly or beautifully compiled artwork that just finishes a room? Instead what you probably have is a blank wall that you’ve dreamed about since the day you moved in but over the last seven years has remained a blank patch of paint. Hanging anything on the walls is something we think we will eventually do, but a gallery wall is one of those fantasies we leave unfulfilled.

Why we love them:

It is a collage of life’s moments to remember or an expression of our personality that gives form to our functional walls. They add interest to areas we don’t really give a second thought to and makes our home feel finished. Plus, once they are built, the only cost is updating the photos!

Why your walls are still bare:

Gallery walls are hard. Not only do you need a good collection of art, décor, photos or all three, you need to know how you put them together. I meet clients on a regular basis that pull artwork, photos and unique finds out of closets and have a desire to see them on empty walls.

Where to start:

Choose a theme, style or color palette. Then start with the picture that best fits that theme. If you want to showcase your family, pick a group shot or the members you would like to feature. Select other photos that fit your vision and support the central photo. If you are into artwork or decor, pick the pieces that speak to you.

How to build it:

Start with the largest item and work your way out. I lay everything out on the floor and imagine a grid to determine where pieces should go. Since the largest piece will be the focal point, hang it so that it is at eye level and you can build up, down and out. The key to success is to keep the gallery wall looking balanced.

Adding interest:

Have some fun with different frames or décor items that aren’t typical. This works great for a more casual feel to break up the black frame grid. Add color with matting or dimension with a wall sconce. Anything is fair game if you can get it on the wall.

Perfection and patience:

Not the greatest at hanging things straight or spending the time it requires to get it right? Take some effort out by using shelves you can stack and lean artwork on and expand the items available to include in your gallery wall.

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