Gallery walls can be daunting. The amount of art and the quantity of holes in a single wall can stall even the most seasoned designer. But with enough strategizing and by following the simple tips below, you’ll have art on your walls in no time. We documented our process while hanging a gallery wall in the Casework office to help show you how it's done.
Depending on the number of pieces you have, plan to spend a few hours arranging art to find a good composition. Make sure all of your art is ready to hang and you have all of the tools and hardware needed to hang each piece to make the process smoother.
SELECT A LOCATION
Something prominent is what I’m drawn towards lately. I really love a full floor to ceiling gallery wall but if you don’t have a dozen or so pieces of larger art and a large wall, creating a composition over a horizontal piece of furniture like a sofa, buffet or bed works great too. Strategically placed art can also cover up eye sores like the outlets below.
SELECT YOUR ART
The best gallery walls have one unifying element. If your art doesn’t have anything in common (from color to style), then the frames can all be black, white, brass or whatever you choose. Consider objects, mirrors or things to break up the grid. I like to throw in something a little sculptural, round or tactile to mix things up a bit.
DETERMINE YOUR STYLE
Are you more minimal and modern? Then keep things orderly with a gridded arrangement or line up the top or bottom of the frame. If your style is more eclectic, the collected gallery is where it’s at. Think about the composition, lay everything out on the floor, measure, tweak, move around and don’t be afraid to put a hole in the wall and then decide to move it. Holes are easy to patch. Really easy. Remember, the composition is just as important as the art itself, becoming a larger form of art.
The tools are simple; hammer, hanging hooks/hardware, level, tape measure and a pencil. Don’t be afraid to put a hole in the wall. The gallery wall is meant to evolve just as any collection does and you may not get it perfect the first time. Make sure your hardware will support the weight of the frame. When marking the hooks, make sure you know whether or not you are marking the bottom of the hook, top of the hook or where the nail should enter the wall.
HANG THE ART
When deciding where to hang, find the middle of the room, vertically and horizontally and pick your most prominent piece. Everything else will surround it if you are doing true gallery style. I center this piece horizontally and hang it from just above the horizontal middle at around 60”. This might seem low, but it’s not. Far too often people hang art too high. You want people to lean in and see the art, not peer up at it. From there, work your way out.
Consider the spacing between the frames and try to get some consistency here. I like to use the frame thickness as a guide or double the frame thickness between spacing. Balance is key. Try to create balance from opposite corners or connection between pieces that are different.