Hello! I think we’re finally getting into the swing of things around here! It has only taken a week…
We have had a lot of requests for a blog featuring fun and innovative ways to display children’s art, portraits, family photography etc. We’ve all seen it done the wrong way (and hopefully some have seen it done correctly), but let us tell you, variety really is the spice of life, people!! Especially when it comes to a gallery wall!
I sat down with Ashley to get her expert design advice when it comes to creating a great looking gallery wall. The overall theme of our discussion was finding the perfection in imperfections. People constantly want everything to fit in a nice little box and have its own perfect space, but when it comes to a gallery wall it really is best to use a variety of frame sizes, picture sizes, artwork and anything that really brings a smile to your face when you see it hanging on your wall.
“Always keep in mind what your intention is,” Ashley says, “if you have a big black frame on a big black and white photograph, the frame becomes a part of the photograph so you don’t see as much of the photograph. My preference is keep it relatively small, mat it out pretty big and then do a simple frame. That way your eyes will be drawn to the picture.”
Ashley said that it is best to keep the pictures small…a 4X6 or 5X7 is great and the little square pictures are wonderful too! We recently did the project below for a client and used a lot of smaller family photos.
Ashley also loves using an a fillet when framing. “A fillet is basically a mini frame around the picture then matting around that little frame,” she says. “A fillet really helps set things apart.”
She also loves framing something with a gray background then linen mat. The picture below is a great example of this and these are all available at PARISH!
Ashley also loves loves loves real linen mats. Some framing places will have a pretty faux linen mat, but you will have to do some shopping around for those. If you can swing a real linen mat it really will make all the difference.
Weighting the bottom of a picture is also a look Ashley loves. “If a picture is small and you want to get a bigger impact, I always suggest weighting the picture. ” Some people have a hard time accepting this look, but you must always remember, it is intentional and intention is key!
The picture below is a great example of weighting your artwork.
Another thing to keep in mind is the pictures you choose to hang on the wall. Some might be family pictures that you never intend on changing out, but some you may want to replace over time. In this case the framer can frame the photo in a way that the photo can be taken out of the back and replaced.
One of our favorite clients asked us to do a wall gallery where we framed 30 pictures in 24X24 frames. All of the pictures were different sizes, black and white and colors, framed in the center of the mat. The pictures were hung an inch apart and covered an entire wall, floor to ceiling. This made a amazing impact and we LOVED it. Doing a gallery this way will be expensive, but in reality, it’s the least expensive form of artwork you’re going to get and it’s stuff you love to see.
We love the old family photos we framed for a gallery wall we did for a sweet client. What a great family tribute!
Ashley also suggests doing a series of three, “you can’t go wrong there, it’s just easy” she says.
Another point she made was that pictures of your children are wonderful, but should also be mixed with real artwork. You can also have your children’s artwork framed. This isn’t about only framing their “good” work, but framing their favorite work. We love to display children’s artwork in playrooms or their bedrooms.
When it comes to gallery walls, don’t feel tied down to family pictures or artwork. Some of our favorite pieces we’ve seen framed were old love letters or old family recipes that can be blown up and framed for a kitchen wall. If you’re framing a letter it should be framed in a glass frame so that you can see both sides of the letter. Old maps look great framed as well. I know some people collect maps to all the places they visit and a gallery wall featuring all of your travels would not just look beautiful, but is also sentimental and would evoke wonderful memories.
Postcards are also a great item to frame in the glass frames. My sister-in-law, Whitney Simon, studied architecture at Auburn. She spent 3 months in Italy studying abroad during college. She and my brother dated for a few months before she left for her semester away…I think I knew then that they would marry one day.
Cole, my brother, went to Italy to visit her in Rome during his Spring Break. They spent the week exploring the city and took a beautiful picture of the Castel Sant’Angelo. When he left she bought a blank post card and watercolored the Castel Sant’Angelo on it, wrote him a sweet letter on the other side and popped it in the mail.
Today, more than 10 years, a wedding and two babies later, that post card is framed in a glass frame and hanging in their home under the framed photograph they took of the actual Castel Sant’ Angelo. What a sweet reminder of their care-free college days together and that wonderful week in Italy.
Whitney and Cole are in the processing and renovating a home therefore the framed postcard is packed away in a box. Above is a picture of the Castel Sant’Angelo to give you an idea of how beautiful it is in watercolor.
Below is a picture I found online of a postcard framed in clear glass.
To wrap this post up I asked Jessica to make a “do’s and don’ts ” list for creating your own gallery wall! I’m so glad to have her help…I would be the person staring blankly at the wall with a nail and hammer in hand.
The Do’s & Don’ts of a Gallery Wall
- NEVER hang art or pictures yourself. Always hire a professional. (Your husband is not a professional)
- Don’t feel like you have to use all black and white photos or all color. Mixing it up is a good thing!
- When it comes to framing never take your artwork or photos to chain locations. It is so important to take your special pieces to a framer who does good work and will take care of you. You will also have better options for framing and will get a much better finished product in the end.
- The fun of a gallery wall is to add more pieces with time…don’t worry if things look random, that is how it is supposed to look
I hope this post gives you some inspiration for your current or future gallery wall! These kind of touches are what really makes a house a home. In honor of our gallery wall post we are doing a GIVEAWAY! Bet you didn’t see that coming The winner of the giveaway can pick one of our hanging glass frames to take home with them! The picture below is of some we have in PARISH right now!
Excuse the bad quality of this photo…I snapped it with my iPhone specifically for this post! To get your name into the pot for this giveaway, simply comment on this post with your favorite photograph or piece of art in your home! Be sure it holds some significance to you!
Until next time!