Yesterday I shared a look at my updated gallery wall with Simply Framed, a wall that definitely doesn’t shy from the bold or colorful. And while gallery walls tend feel very “one-and-done,” I touched upon the process of continually...
Yesterday I shared a look at my updated gallery wall with Simply Framed, a wall that definitely doesn’t shy from the bold or colorful. And while gallery walls tend feel very “one-and-done,” I touched upon the process of continually adding to your collection and making room as I’ve always been a believer that a spectacular gallery wall should feel truly collected, and evolve over time.
I know the process of actually laying out and hanging a great gallery wall can be quite intimidating. So if you’re feeling hesitant in the time it will take, and putting a bunch of holes in the wall, I’m here to tell you that there are several steps to consider even before that hammer is in your hand.
Below, I’ve broken down a few easy steps, tricks and tips to keep in mind as you’re beginning with your wall. Yes, it involves some planning and the right tools (I’d recommend this easy, ready-to-use tool kit), and will take some time to get it just right. But the beauty of an amazing gallery wall, is that it’s ever-changing alongside you. So don’t be afraid to mix-and-match because there really aren’t any rules. That’s the beauty of art; you like what you like, and it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks, you’re the one that has to live with it. So here’s to great gallery walls that reflect your personality, and to ones that never take themselves too seriously! Good luck! Truly, MKR
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Always start with a large hero, or anchor piece where your eye will go first. While yes, you want your wall to house all different shaped and sized pieces of art if you have a ton of smaller pieces with no large “wow” piece your wall won’t make the impact you want a gallery wall to always make.
The best way to do this is by laying the pieces on the floor. This way, you’ll be able to visualize different setups, making easy adjustments and tweaks as you decide. You can then reproduce the layout with blue painter’s tape on the wall; it will accurately reflect the sizes of your pieces and how they’ll look placed together. Try not to hang everything too closely together, you want about 2-3 inches at least between pieces. Mix up the levels at which you hang, you don’t want it too look like perfect rows, instead try to hang pieces just above or below the other pieces. And one last tip, once you have everything on the floor the way you’d like take a picture of it with your phone in case you forget exactly what piece went where as you begin to dissect it.
You want the gallery wall to have a personality and feel that it’s been collected over time. By mixing and matching frames, as well as incorporating illustrations, paintings, prints and 3-D objects (like a juju feather hat, skateboard or sconce), you create an eclectic, lived-in feel.
Save yourself some sanity and gather all of the tools you’ll need to see the project from start to finish. That includes: a hammer, nails, level, tape measurer, pencil & eraser, blue painter’s tape, a small notebook (which is helpful for writing down the measurements of the art) and a screwdriver.
Simply Framed is genius and sells a ready-to-use tool kit (only $39), which contains everything you’ll need to do the job right, all in a durable carryall that won’t take up too much room in, if you’re anything like me, is an already overstuffed garage or closet.
You may remember my colorful and quirky loft space from a 2015 One Room Challenge; it had a MAJOR mix of playful colors, patterns and textures galore with its centerpiece being my gallery wall of collected art. With a whopping 24 pieces on the wall itself, I feel like I defined a whole new level of “gallery wall.”
When I initially created the gallery, I purposely left some room on the wall for the collection to evolve and grow. It wasn’t until recently, right before Christmas, when I walked into my guest room (rather storage room) and saw over a dozen pieces just leaning against the wall, unframed and collecting dust, did I realize that I better get them on the wall before it becomes too daunting to do so. And if I’m being honest, a dozen plus pieces was already becoming to feel daunting.
I had used a few framers in the past, but with each frame ringing anywhere from $200 to upwards of a $1,000 for my largest piece, the idea of framing everything was even more daunting than getting them hung on the wall. Fortunately, I had recently met the founder of Simply Framed at a conference here in the A. I was beyond inspired by her story and bootstrap mentality of starting her business. I knew next time I needed a framer, Simply Framed would be where I turned.
And man, am I happy I did. I cannot tell you how simple and seamless the entire process was. Simply Framed‘s approach to all of this framing business is beyond refreshing. I went online, picked out my mattes and frames then Simply Framed sent me the shipping tubes and pre-paid labels to send in all of my art safely. Once everything arrived, I worked closely with their customer service team to make sure all of the art was perfectly matched up to it’s corresponding frame because I was nervous with so many pieces and different frames things would get mixed up. In less than two weeks, I received my pieces back at home, along with an easy framing kit that, again, made it ridiculously simple to finish the project.
When it came to actually laying out a gallery wall of this size and caliber, I can honestly say I was a tad on the uneasy side. When buying each piece, I wasn’t thinking “…oh this piece of artwork will look great next to this piece, and that piece”. I simply bought what I loved and had faith it would work itself out. I mean, I have plenty of walls, so if it didn’t incorporate well in the gallery, I knew there would be another wall or shelf where it would work. In the end, I was thrilled to find that even though the majority of the pieces were bold and bright, the overall tone worked well; with a warm, peachy neutral emphasis and clean, modern frames. It’s funny how even though you often don’t intentionally think about a color scheme or pattern, one always seems to naturally work its way out.
This time around that natural theme included a bold, colorful nude by Kate Waddell via Well + Wonder. Collective. Have you heard of Well + Wonder? It’s a beautiful website with a collection of southern-curated artists, and it’s quickly become my go-to when I’ve got the itch for a new addition at a price that doesn’t make me feel buyers remorse. This industry has me fortunate in meeting so many talented creatives and collectives like Well + Wonder, I always enjoy finding new additions; each one carrying a special feeling, memory, or moment.
One thing I’ve learned (among other things) from years on the WOM team is the beauty of amazing vases and vessels around the home. I used to think a flower vase only ever meant a pretty glass bowl, but I’ve found that a whole world of options are out there. Think antique pitchers, ginger jars, cache pots, deep planters and so much more.
When building on your collection of the best flower vases and vessels, consider a variety of options to house flowers, foliage, greenery and herbs of all sizes. I only recently have filled my need for more low-and-wide vases for the bunches of tulips I pick up at Whole Foods (I only had tall, narrow options and that just wouldn’t do!).
Check out a few of the best flower vases and vessels below. We included a wide variety of styles and vibes that look just as pretty on your coffee table as they do on your bookshelf vignette. And if getting fresh blooms isn’t in the cards this week and every week (believe me, I know it can’t always be!), these vases of faux peonies (here, here and here) are always, always a beautiful option too. Cheers, Kat
I’ve always loved the idea of pitchers as vases for flowers, especially when they have an antique feel to them. (They’re also easy to find at an affordable price when found at vintage stores and estate sales!) This decorative silver pitcher is a lovely option for a small bunch of wildflowers.
A slightly tapered vase like this is a must; it fits your taller flowers while centrally containing them. You can never go wrong with a touch of gold, either. This gorgeous white vase has a tasteful accent of shine.
A bud vase is an easy, and must have for any nightstand, bathroom and/or kitchen counter, and desk. Of course I’m partial to our handmade black and gold or white and gold Honeycomb Studio vases which look beyond sweet with one simple stem also make the perfect gift!
These handpainted vases are anything but fussy; the imperfect lines and brush strokes lend a casual, minimalist vibe with a nod to the handmade. The set works beautifully as accent pieces in vignettes on bookshelves, coffee tables and dressers.
Stunning in its simplicity, this large glass jar is a conversation starter…for what’s inside! The reclaimed glass gives off a rustic feel, and allows a multitude of possibilities to grow inside. I’m a huge fan of filling jars like these with succulents and moss, but I also love to see tall branches and feathers inside them.
A roundup of vases and vessels would be incomplete without a sweet copper and white bowl like this one. I’d fill this vessel with a succulent, and if/when I fail to keep it alive (it’s happened before, somehow), I’d use it as a catchall in my bathroom or on my nightstand. Win-win!
World Market wows us with great on-trend copper geo terrariums at a killer price. These guys look great on a bookshelf, coffee table, and just about everywhere. Here’s a quick kit to get you started with your terrarium inside.
This gorgeous recycled wood planter is another gorgeous option to showcase succulents and greenery at home. The natural, rustic finish lends a vintage feel to the piece, and the 8.5″ diameter easily houses a lot of your favorite greens.
I’m a huge, huge fan of anything and everything blue and white, so I’m of course obsessed with blue and white bud vases. This trio has been a bestseller in our shoppe for years, and is still one of my favorite ways to display sweet little blooms.