Secrets to Tackling a Gallery Wall
I've had gallery walls in every single place I've lived in, and it's no coincidence! They're the easiest way to make an impact in a room (next to paint), all while letting your interests and design style shine. I always tend to put a gallery wall above my bar cart, because it just makes it look so much better. There's something amazing about pictures in frames - they can transform a space in a matter of minutes! The biggest hesitation with gallery walls that I hear is that people don't like putting holes in their walls... well I have a big secret!
no hole no problem
Never once in my 3 apartments have I ever put up a gallery wall with nails. I have always used command strips. At first, I used them because I was renting, and I didn't want to have to patch any holes and repaint everything. I quickly realized how amazing they were, and I've been using them for pretty much everything ever since.
mix it up
Once you pick up your command strips, you gotta start looking for your frames. Some people like uniform frames of different sizes, but I prefer a mixture of colours, sizes and textures to keep the wall interesting. If I can, I mix new frames with vintage ones, and include mats in some frames, and no mats in others.
3D is key
I also love to include something unexpected on the wall, like a magnifying glass, a stag head, unique hook, or a vintage keepsake. There's nothing worse than a boring, predictable gallery wall. Add some 3D interest, and you'll love it more than you ever thought!
get on my level
You can put up a gallery wall by yourself (I've done it many times), but it does help to have another eye when you're making sure everything is level, especially when using command strips. I usually balance my mini level on the top of the frame, place it on the wall where I want it, make sure it's leveled, then push it into the wall to make sure the command strips are secured.
the best prints in life are free
I used to buy prints, but I don't even remember the last time I did that. What's the point? There are so many images and free prints out there that you can take advantage of. My favourite photos are on Unsplash, which is like iStock, but not. Waaay cooler, and all free. I also love flipping through *quality* magazines and coffee table books for prints that I love. You'll appreciate the print more on your wall than you will in the book, so why not? May as well make the most of your book.
Lastly, when choosing your prints, make sure they all tell a similar story and have common tones throughout them. You don't want to have overly-saturated photos next to airy vintage looking snaps. Place all of your prints side by side, and move them around; pick and choose until you find a combo that you absolutely love. It's ok if you sleep on it, because getting it right takes time. The magic of a gallery wall is that you can literally switch out the prints whenever you want, depending on your mood.
Where are your go-to places to pick up gallery wall prints? Leave them in the comments below!