June 25, 2020
I have loved gallery walls as long as I can remember. I love a space filled with art that evokes some kind of emotion or tells a story. I have had one in every home I’ve lived in and think they are one of the best ways to decorate a space. However, it can be tricky to figure out what goes where and not to “overfill” the wall and have it be a cluttered mess or the opposite – have it be too small and just look out of place. Over the years I have worked to perfect how to style a gallery wall.
My kitchen nook gallery wall is one of the most loved spaces in my home, and I decided to update it recently to reflect a more refined and elegant style. I asked my amazing designer Aunt, ( Veronica Werbalowsky of La Bella Vie Blog) to come over and help me. I know when things work, and I can style a killer gallery wall, but she’s got that deep knowledge of design and can tell you exactly why things work and how to re-create it in your own way. She’s written a great post on telling your story through a gallery wall and how to make a unique a beautiful wall in your home. I’m sharing it below. Also, stay tuned for some posts about exactly HOW to style a wall and work with scale, spacing and various wall sizes.
This article below originally appeared on La Bella Vie Blog.
Whether it’s favorite family photos, a specific collection of artwork, or a collection of favorite moments in time that reflect your life and style, a gallery display wall is always a good idea. There are so many different ways of creating a gallery wall, so getting started can be intimidating. But stay with me, and I will walk you through it.
Most importantly, you want your gallery wall to tell a story. What is the story you want to tell? Is it about your growing family, hobby’s, artwork, or objects? Is it about a favorite vacation spot or journey, or a cause that is close to your heart?
Featuring prints from Etsy
Now, there are many opportunities to create exciting gallery walls in small places as well. One of my favorite places to create a gallery story wall is in the powder room or guest bath. It is an excellent place to entertain your guests visually while they are captive, haha!
So let’s dive into how to style a storytelling gallery wall. The first thing you will need to decide is what the story you would like to tell is. Then, you need to collect the items that will go in your gallery. You will often have a few walls that you can use for this display, so choose the wall based on the size of your collection and the visual impact you want to achieve.
Remember that all gallery wall designs do not need to be large in scale or even filled in all the way. You can do a triptych wall–which is three frames of the same size, placed horizontal or vertical. Or, a collection can be placed organically around a bed, side table, and lighting (see photo). You can also do a perfect rectangle, with all the same size frames and photos, or you can line a hallway side to side with the same size frames. The possibilities are endless, so remember to stay focused on the story you are trying to tell. Often, the story will inform the design and it will give you clarity and direction.
I am partial to a more organic interpretation, but this is when owning your interior style comes in to play. It should always beabout your style and your story. If you choose a more organic style, then multiple sizes and depths of the frame are essential. If you are doing a triptych, full or half rectangle, then the same size, color, and finish are necessary when choosing your frame. However, when creating a more organic interpretation, you can choose frames similar in color and finish, but they can be different in scale and depth. The main goal is to allow the subject matter to be the star of the show and keep the eye moving through the story.
A gallery wall is an excellent way to infuse some texture and pattern into your space as well. It doesn’t always mean photography or art. It can also be a perfect opportunity to display your favorite collections, whether it be plates, handbags, mirrors, etc. Using plants is another way of infusing dimension, as evidenced in Katie’s wall. A well-intentioned gallery wall is the chance to communicate who we are and what we love.
While there are a few rules to follow that will help you with the display, don’t let them stop you from being unconventional, organic, and, most of all, authentic to your story–because that is what makes it unique to you.
The goal is to invite the viewer on a journey through your story, that is, to entertain, inform, and have a beautiful wall display that speaks to your family and your life.
And most of all, remember to enjoy the process and use this opportunity to tell your story, your way.