Many of our decorating projects are house-sized.  Some are room-sized.  And a few projects are nothing more than one wall.  But, when it comes to helping our clients with their decorating dilemmas, no project is too big or too small.

This week, we had fun working with a couple in West Dundee on a gallery wall in their dining room.  Galleries are very popular and make for a dramatic focal point in any space.  Unlike hanging a single piece of art, however, they require a little more effort and planning and can be frustrating to get just right.

Vignette including Groot vase & Industrial Clock

Most galleries are created with framed art or family photos.  But like this one, gallery walls can be made with just about anything you can hang on a wall.  My personal favorites are ones that combine the two.

For this project, we used a group of vintage & industrial items our clients were given or had collected over the last year or more.  Many of them had a unique memory attached to them making them even more special.  From an old drink crate from back ‘home’ to a heart-shaped wine cork holder received as a wedding gift, this gallery (like most) is a visual reminder of family, friends and happy times.

Collections should have a variety of shapes and sizes for best results.  But, they should also have at least one common element to help unify the grouping.  Whether it’s a color, similar frames, a material or a repetitive shape, a common element  will make seemingly random items work together.

Creating an amazing gallery wall requires forethought and patience.  It isn’t an exact science! But, here are a few of our best tips to make it go more smoothly:

1-  Before hammering your first nail, plan your arrangement by laying out your artwork,  frames, shelves, boxes and any other items on the floor.   If you’re hanging a particularly heavy piece, you’ll want to locate studs and keep them in mind when planning your layout.  Otherwise, use a drywall anchor designed to support the weight.

2-  Larger items should be balanced by smaller ones while keeping the spacing between items fairly consistent.  As a general rule, leave more of a gap between larger items while keeping smaller ones closer together.  Play with the arrangement on the floor until you’re satisfied with the overall concept.  There aren’t any hard & fast rules so DON’T OVERTHINK IT!

Snapshot of gallery wall

3-  Once you’re happy with the arrangement, snap a photo of the completed grouping from above.  It’ll come in handy as a reference when you start moving things from the floor to the wall.

4-  Start in the center and work your way out referring to your snapshot.  The center of your main piece should be roughly 60 inches from the floor.  You may need to adjust slightly if your gallery is over a piece of furniture.

5-  Make sure you have appropriate hangers for the job.  Using two hangers per item, especially larger pieces, will keep them from shifting.  (You’ll be frustrated with your finished gallery if you’re constantly having to straighten it).  Velcro™ or Command Strips™ designed for wall surfaces can minimize holes for light-weight items.  They also work to discretely prevent shifting of pieces that just won’t seem to stay put.

6-  As you begin hanging, check for level after every piece.  If you plan to accessorize shelves, boxes or other baskets, do that temporarily as you go to ensure consistent spacing between your hangings.  Then remove these items before hammering your next piece to prevent breakage.

7-   Hanging multiples of artwork is always easier with a buddy.  Having one person hold a piece so the other can step away to get perspective and fine tune, will help avoid unnecessary holes in the wall.

8-  Once you have everything hung, you can go back and re-place accessories.

Completed gallery wall using collection of vintage and industrial items

Creating a gallery wall is essentially creating your own masterpiece using other people’s work.  Again, don’t overthink, be creative and think outside the box. The best results are usually the unpredictable ones!

Here’s to creating your own picture perfect gallery wall!  Happy Decorating from Decor Designs.  815-245-2433.