When you have the furniture, rugs, and other accessories of a room squared away, it’s time for the finishing touch: art. It’s smart to tackle it last, as art and wall accessories should coordinate with the room’s furniture placement and color scheme. Art is a great way to add dimension and character to your space — but before you grab the hammer and nails, read up on one of our favorite art trends: the gallery wall. We think it’s one of the best ways to make a dramatic impact in any space and display that random collection of personal mementos, family heirlooms, or new pieces that you’re likely to have scattered through your home. Read the pointers below to learn our gallery wall how-to tips.
Following these steps will help you avoid unnecessary nail holes in the wall and make a dramatic statement in your western-style home.
Find the perfect spot.
Gallery walls can come in all shapes and sizes and can be designed to fit whatever wall space you’re working with. We love gallery walls above sofas, in narrow hallways, up a flight of stairs, or above a bed in a guest room. But for the most part, any large area of blank wall space could be a good canvas.
Gather your collection of unique pieces.
One of the greatest benefits of hanging a gallery wall in your home is the chance to display lots of different pieces that you love. With a gallery wall, the more the merrier. Don’t worry too much about things matching; with this project, variety is key. The mishmash of styles, mediums, and sizes will be what gives your gallery depth and interest. Go for modern photographs, black and white sketches, flea market oil paintings, heirloom mirrors, or even posters or signs that you love. To mimic your home’s western decor, we love mixing in skull mounts or other rustic touches that add another dimension to the gallery. If you’re looking for new pieces that reflect your home’s western design, our showroom has plenty of photographs and paintings to choose from.
Opt for simple frames.
One way to help the gallery look more cohesive is to frame everything in thinner, simpler frames. However, don’t try to match every single one. One picture frame repeated throughout the gallery can look too purposeful; a gallery that appears more thoughtfully curated over time can give an elevated, “lived-in” look to the room.
Once you have a collection of pieces you want to include, lay them out on the floor and start arranging. It’s a good idea to have your larger pieces towards the middle, with smaller pieces on the outer edges. Re-arrange until you find a pattern that doesn’t leave large gaps and is fairly balanced from right to left. (Here’s a tip: Take a photo once you’ve found the winning arrangement, to remember the layout once you start hanging!) A good rule of thumb is to have about three to six inches of space between each frame to avoid gaps or overcrowding.
Map your gallery before hanging.
Using painter’s tape, make outlines of the frames on the wall space where you’ll be hanging. This will help you see how the gallery will look once it’s vertical on the wall. Use this final stage before hanging to make any adjustments to the placement of the frames. Step back and make sure the overall shape is even and balanced, as well as centered on the wall.
After your gallery is taped off and you’ve decided on the final placement, you’re ready to hang everything! Remember that Western gallery walls can evolve with time. If you find a great new piece you want to add to the gallery, you can always rearrange the layout. Swapping out new pieces and adding a couple along the way can keep the gallery looking fresh and inspired as time goes on.
Click through the photos above to get some inspiration for your own gallery wall!