A Gallery WallStuck at home during quarantine staring at the same boring walls? Do you have lots of photos on your phone waiting to be printed? Or maybe you have art or photos shoved in a box in the back of your closet? You’ve been meaning to do something with them, but never have the time. A fun DIY project that anyone can tackle right now is to create a gallery wall in your home.
Some HistoryThe gallery wall or “salon wall” is loosely defined as a collage or collection of items such as: framed artwork, photographs and personal treasures hung in a grouping. The salon wall dates back to the 1600’s in Paris at the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture. There, at an exhibition for recent graduates of the École des Beaux-Arts, space was limited, so artwork filled each wall from floor to ceiling showing a combination of styles and subject matter. As salon style exhibits spread throughout Europe, the full-wall arrangement gained popularity in high end residences as well.
Rules?There’s no one “rule” to organize your art. Some gallery walls have the same style frames or all the same color frames; art that all share a similar theme or color; or simple, geometric layouts in a grid pattern. While others are more of an eclectic collage like the original salon style. Spend some time putting all your possible photos and artwork together in one place, preferably laid out on the floor. Then, see what feels good to you.
Here are Some Helpful Tips:
- The grouping layout should start at eye level. It may grow over time as you add more work and cover an entire wall, but I would begin the layout around eye level and build from there.
- Avoid placing any piece of art in the exact center of the grouping.
- A well-balanced “salon style” gallery wall contains art of all sizes. Be sure you have a good mix. Pick two or three larger pieces and fill in the rest with smaller pieces.
- You can also think beyond using just photos and art. Include sculptural wall décor, found objects, mementos like ticket stubs from a special event – anything to make it more personal.
- Leave approximately 2-3 inches of space in between each piece.
Good Resources to Complete Your Project without Leaving Home:
- If you have some old frames in your home – you can give them new life by spray painting them all the same color (if they are different styles this can look especially cool).
- Many online retailers like westelm.com and potterybarn.com have great frame options.
- You can also upload images and photos to be framed for you and shipped to your home on sites like framebridge.com, shutterfly.com and minted.com. Many of these sites are having “stuck at home” sales right now.