Thursday, February 16, 2012

gallery wall.

When we started decorating our house, I knew I wanted a gallery wall. I love having photos of family, friends, travel, pets, etc. out. Ideally I'd love one that extended down the length of a long hallway.


But alas, our house does not have such a hallway.  What we do have, however, is a great blank wall at the end of our hall.

Originally we thought we'd put a great piece of art here, or one large photo. Then we realized that our hall linen closet would always be blocking half of the piece. Not an ideal situation for art.

Then we thought, this would be great for a gallery wall. If the cabinet covered parts of some of the frames, it would be ok. I was so excited to have a spot for the frames, and started planning.

There are so many different ways to do a gallery wall. Which is fun! There is the mis-matched frame look,

Southern Accents

the same color frame, but different frame look,

Coastal Living

same frames, but random placing,

And so on and so forth.

But, I've always had a special place in my heart for a same frame color, same type, even around the edges gallery wall. To me, it reads less chaos. It's my cup o tea- and was actually fitting for our small space. If we had the longer wall, I may have gone with a different option.

My frame of choice was Pottery Barn's wood gallery frames. I love the basic frame and chunky mat, but also chose it since I had a collection already. In our old place, we had this mini gallery wall:

So I only needed a few more to get this wall complete.

Once I had my frames (a total of 14 in various sizes) I placed them all on the floor and tried a few arrangements. My strategy was to make the outside edge a rectangle, and to minimize the spacing between the frames.  My first design looked like this-

Not bad, but I wasn't 100% loving it. I did a few frame switcheroos, and came up with this.  I really liked it, and Ryan agreed.

So we went with it. Next step I made same sized templates of each frame out of newspaper and scrap paper I had lying around.

The goal here is so I could put them on on the wall to make sure it fit the space ok, and looked right.

And it did, or so we thought so! Then we went to town hanging it up. It was a pain. But, turned out to be worth it.  I hung up a few frames, and Ryan did the others.  We both have different methods. I hate his way, and he hates mine. His involves a lot of pencil markings.  But what I do is I take the template (doesn't have to be same size of the frame at this point, just enough to cover the top of frame and hanging apparatus), and lay it on the back of the frame. Tape it so it won't budge, and have a piece of tape, sticky side facing out.

Then take a pencil or pen, and puncture a hole as to where the nail should go.

Then take the picture, with the secure template, and hold it up to where you want it to be. Level it off, and space it out accordingly.

Then push hard on the tape facing the wall, and peel up the tape on either side. (If a large frame, call in for assistance.) As long as you haven't moved the paper (it can move up and down- if so, just start this step over) you have the exact location where the nail needs to go.

Now, it doesn't guarantee good nail hammering- so on occasion I had to repeat. But overall I found it works out well.

After we each conquered a few frames, we had the darn thing up!

I then made a Costco photo order, filled up the frames, and we were done!

Both happy to check this off our 'to-do' list!


  1. I love this for many reasons - mostly because it looks lovely, and I know how much work gallery walls take...

    BUT. So glad the Etsy print I got you made the cut... and I love all of the family fun... and if my tally is correct - I have five photo appearances - the MOST of any sibling. So I'll just go ahead and take the prize of favorite.

    Joking aside - looks great! Can't wait to come visit and see all of your rad house decorating in-person.

  2. I appreciate the work it takes to hang these pictures on the wall evenly. I have my method too, but in the end you achieved a great result.

    Good hang!


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