How to Curate a Gallery Wall + My Gallery Wall Reveal
It’s finally done! It’s been 1 year in the making, and I finally have my gallery wall reveal ready for you guys to see! As a bonus, I’m sharing my tips on how to curate a gallery wall of your own.
When I first moved into my new apartment, I gave you a bit of an apartment tour. By the time I moved into this apartment, the gallery wall had been a year in the making. The wall space beside my to-die-for mid century modern chair was the perfect place for a gallery wall, so I decided to plan on hanging the pieces there.
I’m very indecisive. I’m especially bad when it comes to spending a lot of money, or with something that I see playing a log term role in my space. Therefore, I wanted to make sure I knew exactly which pieces went well together before buying anything.
You might remember that a few months back I did a progress report on the gallery wall. I talked about the pieces that I wanted to include, and showed a few different arrangements. I settled on the below arrangement as my favourite and worked from there. To see all the arrangements, the entire post can be found here.
When I look back now, I’m surprised, because I actually changed a lot of the components! I still used photographs that I had along with pieces that I’d painted, but definitely went in a more colourful and bright direction.
To make things easier for you when you decide to create a gallery wall, I’ve put together my list of tips on how to curate a gallery wall. They’ll help you to easily curate your own gallery wall so that it’s appealing, personal, and not wildly expensive! Keep in mind that these are just tips, and not hard and fast rules. Taking my time, making it personal and planning it out is what worked for me, but it might not work for you. If you only want to abide by a few of my tips, then feel free, and curate a gallery wall to fit your home.
How to Curate a Gallery Wall
Make it Personal
For me, this was huge. I wanted to be able to look at the gallery wall and be proud of the pieces that were included in it. In order to make the gallery wall personal, I painted a number of the pieces myself. I looked around for a few months sourcing inspiration for things that I might include in the gallery wall. Pinterest was a huge help to me, and I even created a gallery wall board to store my ideas.
I ended up painting or drawing 4 of the 9 pieces for the gallery wall. Some of them are even available in the Angean Etsy shop should you wish to include them in yours! Another way that I made the gallery wall personal was to use photos that I took. These can be any kind of photos that you want, but I chose ones that I took on different vacations. Now, when I look up at the photos on the wall, I can be reminded of the amazing time that I had while on those trips.
Pick a Theme
Picking a theme isn’t something that is completely mandatory, but it will help you to have a more curated look. The theme can apply to your frames (I chose all white) or your colour scheme (colourful, black and white, pastels, or bold colours). It can also apply to the mood (bright, airy, dark, moody, vintage or saturated), or the subject matter (people, objects, or landscapes). Lastly, your theme can apply to the style of the print (photos, paintings or textures - think woven). My theme was a kind of bright and light colour palette with hints of teal and mint in most of the photos. I also chose a lot of pieces that were fairly graphic.
By keeping my theme in mind, I think it helped me to decide on pieces that would be a good fit for the gallery wall without having to do all the work of inputting it into my plan. It also helped me to look for things that I knew would fit in the theme, which saved me time. Because I created a lot of the pieces in the gallery wall, it was easier for me to stick with my theme. I had complete creative control with how I wanted to colour something, or the style of the piece.
Take Time Sourcing
This was something that was REALLY hard for me to do. I’ve always been someone who has this vision of how I want things to be, and once I have that vision, I want it ASAP. I have a hard time waiting for things. But, with the gallery wall, I waited and I took time sourcing and making the pieces that I wanted. Given how much I love it, I think taking my time paid off in the end.
I now have a gallery wall that has been carefully thought out and is not just slapped together. This ensures that the pieces all work together on some level. It also avoids you having one piece that doesn’t really go with the rest of your arrangement. It’s also good to take your time sourcing because you never know when you might find something that you love. You could take a surprise trip and find something there. Or, you could visit a flea market and find a great vintage print.
Plan it Out
Planning it out on illustrator was also super beneficial! By planning it out on the computer, it allows you to start planning before you necessarily have all of your prints in hand. For example, I wanted to include a wallpaper sample that I ordered, but didn’t have it in hand yet. By finding the image online and inputting it into illustrator, I was able to see how and where it would work in relation to my other pieces. This is also a great idea if you’re trying to see how all of the pieces go together. It also helps if you are debating on buying a piece or not. You can use the image in your plan and see if it works before investing any money!
When I was initially planning, I did a piece of triangle art for the gallery wall. However, when I gathered the pieces and laid them out on illustrator, I found that the triangle art just didn’t look right. I was able to find somewhere else to put it, but you want to avoid this if it means that you’ll waste money. When I first planned out the gallery wall, it was just for inspiration and wasn’t to scale. But, when I did finally decide on my pieces, I was able to do a to-scale rendering of the pieces. This allowed me to see how the sizes worked in relation to each other. I was also able to see how much impact each piece had on the wall as a whole, and was able to plan where to put them more effectively.
Look for Deals
Curating a gallery wall can be pretty costly. Frames ain’t cheap. Depending on the size that you want each piece to be, the frames can be upwards of $50 each for a bigger size. This point goes hand in hand with taking your time sourcing. If you take the time to source your frames, you can often find deals or coupons to be able to get them at a discounted price. I got the majority of my frames from IKEA. To help pay for them, I was able to ask for a gift card for Christmas to be able to buy some of them. The remaining frames I got from Michael’s, and was able to wait until they went on sale for 50% off. Michael’s always has coupons where you can get up to 50% off of one item, so look for those!
SO, by following my own tips for how to curate a gallery wall, I was finally able to put one together that I loved! Taking some time and effort to put it together, will ensure that I’ll love the gallery wall for a long time, too.
If you’ve got more tips on how to curate a gallery wall, I’d love to hear them! Also feel free to send me a link to your own gallery wall!
Can’t wait to see them 🙂
Your gallery wall is beautiful! I have only completed a small one in my home, nothing much though. Yours looks great and I love the photos/artwork you used. You are right, it has to be carefully planned and not “slapped together” as you said. I will leave a wall blank forever until I finally find something I love to fill the space.
Thank you so much Karla! That’s a greta idea to leave the wall until you find something you love - you’ll end up loving the pieces you choose so much more because they’ll be intentional 🙂