Wednesday, March 27, 2013

To the Walls

Today I'm excited to share a project of my own, the gallery wall I hung in my daughter Madeline's nursery.
There are several reasons why I'm a big fan of the gallery wall:
- If you can't afford or don't want to commit to a large piece of artwork, a gallery wall of smaller pieces is a good solution
- You can incorporate lots of different things into a gallery wall: photographs, paintings, objects, silhouettes, postcards, really anything that you can hang on the wall
-The frames don't have to be expensive, the same size or match, which means you can buy them as you go and you don't have to spend lots of money up front
-You can easily update the wall and change the feeling of the room by adding or swapping out the art
- You can add to the wall over time, allowing you to collect things you love
- Since most of the pieces are relatively small, they can be easily moved to another spot if you decide to change up your gallery wall
But gallery walls can be intimidating, so I'm gonna share some tips to help you create your own gallery wall. 
Selecting Art and Frames
Variety and unity are the two keys here. 
The art on my gallery wall features a variety of subjects, mediums, and sizes.  Subjects include abstracts, florals, and an elephant.  Mediums are photography, watercolor painting, oil painting, fine art prints and magic marker.  Sizes range from 5x7 to 24x27.  Notice the pieces are framed with and without mats. 
Unity is achieved through the repetition of colors.  The art is composed of a pink and green color palette that visually links all the pieces together.  I started with the largest piece of art from Kerry Steele and chose the rest to coordinate with it.  Although the frames are all different, the repetition of gold frames and white frames creates a cohesive grouping. 
Arranging the Art
There aren't really any rules to arranging the art, just play with it until you come up with an arrangement that pleases you.  I laid all the art on the floor and took photos of the different arrangements to help me decide on the best one.  The photo is also a good reference for placement when you begin to hang the art on the wall. 
Hanging the Art
The best way to get the art hung on the wall is to make templates from paper.  These templates will allow you to play with the arrangement on the wall before you drive in any nails.  You can use any type of paper to make a template.  I used the paper that the store wrapped around my frames (only problem here was that it was a little crumpled). 
Trace your frame size onto the paper and cut it out.
Next, you want to mark the location of the picture hangers on your template.  Flip the frame over and line up the paper with the frame.

Use a sharpie to mark the location of the hanger so you will know where to place your nail.

Label each of your templates so that they won't get mixed up if you decide to move them around on the wall.
Now you are ready to transfer the templates to the wall.  Refer back to your photograph of your arrangement to help you.  Tape each template to the wall and adjust to get the correct placement.
When you are happy with the arrangement, you're ready to hang.  Using the mark denoting the location of the picture hanger, drive in your nail through the template.
Hang your art on top of the template.  This way if you decide that a piece should be moved after all of them are hung, you can easily take it down and move the template to help you re-hang the piece.  Once you decide all the pieces are in the correct locations, you can then tear the template out from under the art without removing the art from the wall.
And here's the result!
I'll share the full nursery reveal tomorrow and all the details on Friday!


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