Welcome back to my home office! Today, I want to talk a little bit about the first big project in this room: creating a gallery wall. Inspired by the turquoise filing cabinet, I knew I wanted to include some bright pops of colour to accent the neutral colour palette I’d already started.
With the white walls, light-coloured desk and chair, and dark grey couch things were starting to feel a little too stark for my liking. Putting up a gallery wall is a great way to create a focal area in a space that helps develop and distinguish the colour palette of the room.
Like most old houses, this room has its quirks. There’s a big bulkhead sectioning off the room, a doorway that has been filled in with drywall and two sconces at different heights on the walls to contend with. To even out the space, I decided against centring the gallery wall over the couch and opted to have it run the length of the wall to even out the awkward sconces.
I could go into the details of putting up a gallery wall, but if I’m honest, there are so many fantastic resources out there on how to put up the frames with the least amount of damage to your walls. Instead, I’m going to focus on the design points of a successful gallery wall.
01 | Mix and Match
There are so many fantastic places to buy frames on a budget. Buying second-hand is a great way to add some character to your space and save money. I really love mixing ornate vintage frames with modern streamlined frames to create some visual interest. For this gallery wall, I stuck to modern frames in white, birch and gold to keep it soft and cohesive. I love buying frames at IKEA, HomeSense, Dollarama and thrift stores!
02 | Size it Up
There’s something pleasing about a gallery wall that hangs neatly in a line with matching frames. Personally, I’m more partial to the somewhat organic look of using different shapes and sizes in a gallery wall. Using varying sizes allows you a bit more freedom in the art you choose to hang and makes it easier to find frames second-hand.
03 | Buy locally
There are so many small artists who deserve more recognition! In my own town, there is so much talent that I want to support. I have a small collection of prints from Halifax-based artists that I love and I had to use a couple of them in this gallery wall. Featured pride of place is a turquoise ocean view painted by Jennifer Atkinson and a quirky drawing of the famous Halifax Library by Emma Fitzgerald.
04 | Think outside the box
If you don’t have a big budget for buying prints locally or otherwise, take a look around your house and see if anything catches your eye. One of my favourite prints on the gallery wall is an illustration of the globe by Anna Rifle Bond — and it used to be the cover of a calendar I bought for 2018! If you have a pretty calendar lying around, cut out the images and frame them! I buy a new Rifle Paper Co. calendar every year and I always cut out the illustrations to use for future projects. If you don’t have a calendar on hand, try framing postcards from your travels, a scrap piece of beautiful wrapping paper or even a piece of fabric!
05 | The Spice of Life
They say that variety is the spice of life and I have to agree. We’ve already talked about using varying shapes and sizes for your frames but this is also important for the art you want to hang! While it’s sometimes tempting to just use patterns or illustrations I would highly suggest going out of your comfort zone to find a different medium to create a bit more visual interest. Mix photography with typography and paintings with a digital illustration.
To see these tips in action, check out the video I put up! I go over all of the tips with a few extra details chucked in for good measure.
Those are all my tips for creating the perfect gallery wall! I’m so pleased with how my own gallery wall turned out. It makes the space feel that much closer to completion and only took a couple of hours to put together. I’ve numbered and linked the pieces that are still available to purchase. The white and birch frames are from IKEA and the gold frame is HomeSense!