We live in a rental. We can't touch anything in the home we live in. No new flooring, no new cabinetry, no new wall colors-nothing. Now, if you're reading this and you're a creative like me who loves changing the aforementioned more than you change your unmentionables then you understand my plight. Couple that with an architectural design that isn't exactly my own and it COULD be a recipe for disaster.
As they say, 'necessity is the mother of invention' and Lord knows that necessity has "mothered", "fathered", "uncle'd" and "aunt'd" my desire to have the home we want over the years and taught me how to turn obstacle into opportunity over and over again. After all, it's the whole reason Restoration House exists.
What does all of this have to do with gallery wall, you ask? I am glad you asked. The one thing I can do in this space and others we have lived in is hang things on the wall and one thing I have been obsessed with over the years is gallery walls. Have I actually given into that obsession? No.
It's complicated, really. Well, maybe not. The truth is...I have been afraid. Yes, it's true. While I can commit to many things in my life I always find it most difficult to commit to many things when it comes to our home. Whether it's the next piece of furniture we will invest in or light fixtures, I just can't seem to commit, guys.
A few weeks ago, however, something changed. I discovered this newly found freedom to gather some of our photos, thrift and DIY others and begin the journey of continuing to turn this home, regardless of how temporary, into more of the home we want it to be.
My hope is that you can turn away after reading this post with more confidence to start your own wall of art and give it the personal touch it needs to uniquely represent your life and, more importantly, your home.
WHAT IS A GALLERY WALL + WHAT TYPES ARE THERE?
A gallery wall is a collection of photos or images displayed on one’s walls to highlight special interests from family members to favorite foods. They run the gamut and can be used creatively to express another dimension of a homeowner’s personality or bring out the character in a specific space in a home or a person’s life.
There are lots of different kinds of gallery walls but I’ve divided them into two main categories and within those two, a few different styles can be expressed as you will see below.
For the sake of space and time here, I’ve decided to talk today about the asymmetrical and symmetrical in relation to the alignment of frames on the wall.
I typically lean more toward a symmetrical and “even” way of displaying not just frames but just about everything in my house. I have a need to feel balance and symmetry in just about every part of my home. It just makes me feel grounded and, overall, good.
WHO NEEDS A GALLERY WALL ANYHOW?
Well, technically no one does but what it does in a home is pretty darn amazing. Gallery walls allow for you, as a homeowner and your own personal designer, to reflect and express yourself through the walls of your home. It also allows that expression to be temporary vs. more permanent things like paint color and furniture. I liken this, while perhaps a bit more committal, to things like throw pillows, shelf decor and accessories or accent throws. If you don’t like the way it looks or the pics are too old you just take them down or exchange them for something new or that you like better. Easy peasy.
Except, for me, it’s not been very easy peasy at all. This is where the whole “dilemma” part creeps in and where my Type A brain begins to beg me to make a decision and break things down a bit more so that I can actually take action.
So with that in mind, first up, ASYMETRICAL:
What I love about this style and the ones I will share throughout this post is that no matter what your personal style may be, you can choose to go with either way of displaying your artwork and photography. For this boho themed space, I love how the wall of frames seems to pull everything together to make it feel more cohesive.
Raise your hand if this one is just your fave. Even though the frames have been displayed asymmetrically, the consistent imagery in each of the frames once again gives it a cohesive feel. There’s no doubt that Emily knows just what she is doing here but I love that it’s approachable and something that just about anyone could pull off. How does this translate in your home? Do you love paint by number images or paintings or do you love sunset paintings? Use those as a catalyst to created a themed wall similar to this one.
Okay so I love the calm, cool and clean vibes this one gives. I also love the unique and vintage art that this homeowner uses in the space and that one piece is used a focal to draw the eye in, then move around the display. Because of the choice in colors, there’s also no competition. One isn’t fighting for the attention fo the other, they each complement each other well and I really like that a lot.
Now, for SYMMETRICAL:
I’m all about the simplicity of this wall and the black and white really does it for me in the sense that, for my eyes, I don’t have to feel like they are all over the place. For my color-loving friends out there, this wouldn’t work for you but I think it’s a great option for people like me who have a hard time deciding what gets to stay in the runnings and what needs to go. In this case, EVERYTHING stays and I like that.
So, I bet I know what you’re thinking here-that this is not symmetrical. I actually consider this a bit of both and so, in that, the best of both worlds. While the frames are not the same size, the entry of the floating shelves give the illusion that they are. They are all on the same playing field and it kind of tricks the eye into thinking they are the same when they really aren’t. This option is actually one of my most favorites. I love that you can get the feel of both with this option.
Okay, so I’m fickle. Sue me. But, this one is a fave as well. I love this because it’s not fussy, would take about 10 minutes to hang and it’s personal. Speaking of approachable, you won’t get more approachable if you choose to go this route and quite honestly, this is probably the road I will choose to go down. I just love the idea of blowing up big photos of our kids or fam and putting them up on our walls. She used engineer prints for this project which is pretty inexpensive and didn’t even spend a ton on her frames. Saving money? Sign me up for that any day. Also makes hubby happy so there’s that.
3 WAYS I AM (doing my bestest) MAKING A DECISION ON HANGING MY GALLERY WALL:
Embrace your personal style. In order to do this I guess you need to decide what your personal style is. Spoiler: It doesn’t have to fit into any trendy box. You can even make it up. If you want to call your style “hodgepodge”, then so be it. Let your wall reflect that and roll with it in confidence. If you love it, chances are, everyone else will as well.
Don’t feel the pressure to complete it all at once. I think this is definitely something I need to tell myself over and over again. It’s okay to start with a couple of things you like and build from it. Remember that your home is a story collected over time. A novel. Not Cliff’s Notes, express version of your life. It’s okay to take your time.
Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing. Okay so I understand this one may be a bit confusing since I shared images here and some pretty amazing designers and their way of doing things but that’s just it—we all have our way of doing things. And while I know this sounds eerily close to number one perhaps it bears repeating. I’m definitely talking about design here but I’m pretty sure we could all take this and run full speed ahead into this idea with most other areas of our lives as well. At the end of the day, whether you’re more of a symmetrical girl or like things a little less straight up, just remember to do you. There are lots of areas in your life where considering what someone else would do would be appropriate. This is your home so this isn’t one of those areas. Just have fun with it!
I haven’t come up with a final decision of course but I bet you guys can guess what I’m gonna do. Which of these is YOUR fave? Have you hung pics up for a gallery wall? If so, how in the world did you decide? Would you consider yourself more the symmetrical or the asymmetrical type? Or do you have a way all your own? Do tell.
Until next time, friends,