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3 Simple Tips for Creating a Gallery Wall That You LOVE

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Every time the weekend rolls around, I always have an insanely long to-do list staring me in the face. There are many times when all those to-dos never get crossed off, and then I am bummed out when Monday rolls around. However, there are other times when I am so productive that I feel like Super Woman. I’m so excited that this weekend was one of those “Super Woman”-esque times when, let me tell ya, I earned that cape. I tackled a few home projects, including our family room gallery wall.

If you follow me on Instagram then you already caught a sneak peek at some of the prints I used. I tried to keep my budget in check while designing the gallery wall (ah, the joys of double daycare payments), and many of the prints I used were either free or only cost me a few dollars apiece.  Nearly all the images are from sources I highlighted in this post about budget-friendly gallery wall printables. (Psst — I also have a ton more printables for you on this Pinterest board!)

Here’s the finished product:

Check out this great gallery wall from Kate Decorates!

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Check out this great gallery wall from KateDecorates.co!

As a reminder, here’s the “before” shot, which only included the planked wood artwork (and obviously did not include photo editing — oy):

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And one more of the “after” that shows the view of our new gallery wall from the breakfast nook (random orange toy and unorganized art cabinet included):

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Here’s the thing: great gallery walls look effortless. They have the ability to totally transform a room. But the truth is that selecting items to use in a gallery wall can be utterly overwhelming. Where do I start? What kind of art should I use? Where should I look for said art? What colors should I incorporate? How many items should I have? What if the art I like doesn’t go with my other décor? Will it look weird if I don’t use all the same frames?

If you’ve ever had one of the thoughts above, I feel you. I had them once, too. There aren’t any hard and fast rules for creating a gallery wall, but here are three tips to keep in mind that hopefully will help you stay confident and focused while you create your own:

  1. Make it meaningful. First and foremost, your gallery wall should contain at least a handful of items that are meaningful to you. These can be prints, family photos, wall letters, quotes, or anything else that suits your fancy. Want to frame a map of your home state? A travel poster showcasing the spot you honeymooned? An oversized, galvanized metal letter? Go for it. Choose items that tell a story — your story. In our case, the geometric Positano print reminds me of my honeymoon, and the flashcard art print represents the two adults and two kids in our family. (And here you thought I was just really into math, right?!)
  2. Use various shades of colors you already have in your space. The colors used in your gallery wall do not need to be an exact match with your furniture and décor. HGTV has a great color wheel primer that can help you figure out what colors you should incorporate not just into your gallery wall but into your space overall. Try using various shades of your main colors — if your room is light and airy with colors like aqua and pear, try going bold with the gallery wall by using royal blue, indigo, turquoise, Kelly green, and more. You can also pull analogous colors into your gallery wall (seriously, read that color wheel primer, I promise you won’t regret it). These are the colors that are the next-door neighbors of your main colors on the color wheel. So for blue and green, these would be purple and yellow. Or if you’re looking for high contrast, choose complementary colors — the ones that live directly across from your main colors on the wheel. Like royal and orange or citron and fuschia.
  3. Add sculptural elements for visual interest. Instead of using only framed art, add some texture and visual interest by adding sculptural elements. Ideas include a small mirror, oversized letters or numbers, arrows, a faux animal head, a woven wall hanging…you get the idea. Bonus points for incorporating metallic décor, wood, burlap, or any other natural materials.

What’s your biggest challenge when it comes to creating a gallery wall? And what wall décor finds of your own do you absolutely love?

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Sj

Friday 17th of April 2020

I’m clueless when it comes to decorating. Love this idea!!

Kate

Friday 17th of April 2020

I'm so happy you found the post to be helpful!

Christin

Tuesday 8th of November 2016

Love this! Always have a hard with wall art:)

Kate

Tuesday 8th of November 2016

Thanks, Christin! I hear you -- there are so many options that the process can be overwhelming. Hope these tips help, at least a little bit!

Ann Barletta

Tuesday 8th of November 2016

The wall is transformed! You did a great job Kate.

Kate

Tuesday 8th of November 2016

Thank you so much, Ann!

Annmarie

Monday 7th of November 2016

Wow nice transition like the colors

Kate

Monday 7th of November 2016

Thank you, Annmarie!

Andrea

Monday 7th of November 2016

Great mix of items. Good job!

Kate

Monday 7th of November 2016

Thanks, Andrea! It was fun pulling all of this together.

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