A visually exciting wallscape can be yours in a matter of hours if you know the fundamentals. “It’s a subjective process with only one rule: Don’t make it ugly,” our tutor, Mikal Eckstrom, quips. Here, we lead you through the basics.
- Determine your furniture arrangement in front of the wall. Our stylists chose a symmetrical furniture layout (parallel and straight lines) for this tableau.
- Assess colors in the furniture, flooring and wall. With these colors in mind, sort through your art and find pieces that create a visual vocabulary. “Aim for a diverse presentation with shared elements such as color, theme or frames. And don’t be afraid of asymmetry,” Mark Eckstrom advises. Artwork, dimensional items, textiles, photographs and reflective elements were used here.
- Lay out the art on the floor in front of the wall area. Arrange the artwork on the floor until satisfied with the gallery wall grouping. Use a dominant piece or pieces to anchor your gallery wall, keeping these dominant pieces off center. Our stylists placed the heaviest piece visually in the lower left corner of the grouping and worked upward diagonally. A second dominant piece anchored the upper end of the diagonal. Smaller elements filled in proportionally. The resulting configuration gives rhythm to the grouping. “The eye should travel without being distracted by any one single element,” Mikal says.
- Once you are pleased with your layout on the floor, take a photo so you remember the placement and distance between individual works. Tweaks to the layout may be necessary as you begin hanging the art.
- Begin the gallery wall by hanging the dominant pieces first. Hold the artwork to the wall at the desired location. Mark the wall at the center of the top of the frame with either a pencil or piece of painter’s tape. On the back of the artwork, measure the distance from the top of the frame to the mounting hook or center of the wire at full tension. This is the adjustment measurement. Now on the wall, measure the adjustment measurement down from the wall mark or tape. This is where you place the bottom of your picture hook on the wall before nailing it into the wall. Hang the artwork and check with level.
- Repeat this process for all your artwork until you’re satisfied with the balance and proportion of your gallery wall. The most important step is to have fun!