Our Gallery Wall

So,our apartment is long and narrow. It has one long wall that extends all the way from the front door to the end of the unit. With no walls, doors, windows or other architectural details on it to make it more interesting, this wall has the potential to be a major snooze-fest.

Luckily, we had a variety of pictures (that already had black frames) leaning against the wall in the bedroom waiting to be hung. With the addition of our 70-year old magazine prints from Paris, the collection was shaping up rather nicely. I decided that a gallery wall (which is when frames are clumped together in an interesting and balanced way) would be the best way to add interest to the loooong wall. So I cleared a space in the living room and laid the photos out on the floor until I found an arrangement that, to me, felt balanced by way of shape, mass, and color. Then I snapped a photo of it on my iPhone to reference when it came time to hang them.

The People For Peace framed poster is both a lively dose of color and an idea that Doug and I both believe in, however the process of hanging said poster does not lend itself to peaceful cooperation between spouses. Luckily for us, this is the fourth time we’ve had to hang it and knew what we were getting into. Since the nails on the wall have to go into two little triangle hooks on the back of the frame just so, we know that careful measuring (the hooks are 14 inches apart) and use of the level is key. Luckily, this time the poster went up smoothly without calling to mind a warlike atmosphere.

Here is a tip for those hanging their first gallery wall: start with the largest frame first because this is the foundation you will build out from. Since it carries the most visual mass, it will probably be close to the center of your arrangement. The second frame to go up on our gallery wall was the square one with our wedding photos in it–not coincidentally, it is the second largest. This is important because the smaller ones are easier to “tweak” if you hang them up and find yourself needing to nudge them one way or the other. Speaking of nudging one way or the other, I am currently debating about moving the dresser sideboard about six inches to the right. But it’s heavy. Le sigh.

Notice the way that the gallery is balanced without being symmetrical. The teal Lennon poster is balanced out by the dark photograph at the top right and the more densely-colored Renault ad at the bottom-right. The wedding pictures and white bicycle frame are balanced by the black-and-white Morocco ad on the left. Imagine if the Renault ad and Morocco ad had been swapped–the whole thing would seem a little heavy on the left side, don’t you think?

Here’s what the apartment looks like, now, from the entryway. Behind the couch is another area where we are planning on hanging art, but haven’t decided what to put yet.

Now that the gallery is up, I can really envision it continuing at least four feet in both directions. What can I say? The wall is long. It would be cool for the gallery to take up a full third of the wall’s total length. I have a few pieces of art I could use… but need to save up a bit to buy about three more frames. If I do end up adding to this grouping, you can be sure I’ll update about it here!

Here’s one more shot because Mosey was sitting for me so nicely.

Have a great Tuesday, everyone! I’m off to go exercise. Yes, you read that right. For the past week I’ve been working out 30-60 minutes a day! Whew! 


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Staci blogs about travel at TheVoyageer.com.

10 thoughts on “Our Gallery Wall”

  1. I love the idea of a gallery, I have several (nerdy) posters that I want to hang in my room but they have no frames and I’m so clueless about frame prices (I’m also cheap) and too lazy to find frames at a swap meet or thrift store because it means measuring my posters and then measuring the frames.

    It is a project that’s in my very bottomless box of things to do…however! I love what you guys have done with the apartment! It looks cozy and very home-y, if that’s word. It’s a treat for me to go look at all the pictures that people have displayed in their homes/apartments because it’s a small peek into their personalities and their lives.

    1. Vera, don’t despair! The large frame I have on the John Lennon poster is from Target, and the two I recently used for my magazine ads are from IKEA! All under $20. :)

  2. I want to do something similar in my bedroom. I already have a large framed piece of fabric that I DIY’d and hung a while back. I was debating whether I should mix frames or go for matching simple black frames. This might inspire me to finally get my project done.

    Not Going Out Like That

    1. I’ve seen great gallery walls with big frames and some with small frames. I guess I’m just drawn to big ones. Can’t wait for your [planned] updated home tour!

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