A little part of us will always miss our teenage days of poster-covered rooms, but thanks to gallery walls, our adolescent masterpieces are getting a glow up. The heart of a gallery wall is about curating a space with things that you love, so we’re rounding up the gallery wall tips and tricks that keep your display looking fun, fresh and full of personality.
Start with Art
Before you get into the nitty-gritty of levels and measurements, it’s important to remember that every gallery wall starts with art. Whether you love abstract prints or showing off your photographs, these colorful displays tell your story in a way that’s eclectic and cohesive. Finding that balance through a shared accent color or repeated style is the key to creating a seamless collection of perfectly mismatched art.
BONUS TIP: Vary it up! Gallery walls aren’t limited to prints. Adding unexpected details with decorative items like mirrors and letters can add instant dimension.
Find the Perfect Backdrop Color
Color works like glue to tie everything together, so it’s essential to find a shade that complements the artwork. While a neutral slate of white or gray is always an option, it doesn’t mean you have to shy away from being bolder. Sometimes darker or richer backdrops can bring out the lighter values in your art. This optical trick makes them visually pop off the walls instead of blending in.
BONUS TIP: Use a Color to Go®️ sample to paint a test swatch on your wall. Once the paint is dry, you can hold up the artwork next to the color to make sure it’s the perfect fit.
Lay it Out
Working straight on the surface might be tempting, but when it comes to gallery walls, the proof is in the planning. Measure the area your gallery wall is covering and clear up floor space so you can recreate the dimensions on the ground using painter’s tape. This trick creates a visual framework where you can plan your layout without anything being permanent.
Not sure where to go from here? Always start with your gallery wall’s focal point. Whether it’s physically the largest, or stylistically the loudest, find that attention-grabbing addition and use it to anchor your gallery wall. All of the other pieces can fall into place as you mix and match around the focal point.
BONUS TIP: Take a picture of your arrangement while it’s on the ground, so you have a visual reference when you’re ready to hang everything.
Even with these gallery wall tips and tricks, the bottom line will always be, do what you love – it’s the secret ‘it’ factor behind any DIY. If you’re looking for a twist on gallery walls, check out our Entryway Gallery Wall project for a new take and don’t forget to tag your finished displays on social with #SWColorLove.