How to Start + Curate a Gallery Wall

I'm notorious for putting more than enough holes in the wall as I hang artwork. I "eyeball" everything on our walls, and it pretty much drives my meticulous and linear thinking husband crazy to watch me place frames, hammer away and repeat to get it in the "just right" spot.

Hence, I love gallery walls. They make hanging art easy in my opinion. And they also hide all the holes I just put in the walls. But, they can also be a little tricky if you've never created one in your space. 

Today, we are sharing the how-to's for creating a gallery wall that's cohesive and unique all at the same time. 

1. Start with a few anchor frames:

I love choosing one or two pieces of art that serve as the "beginning" of the wall. I dub these anchor frames, and choose to hang them somewhere in the middle or center of the space that will become the gallery collection. In Rylee's room I chose to do a gallery wall of all natural wood frames, and started with a quote in gold foil and a vintage map of Texas in soft pastels. From there you can add balance as you hang pieces around that starting point. 

2. Mix Old and New: 

I love pairing antiquated pieces with new imagery. It can be something as simple as a page of music notes from an old hymnal, a vintage map like the one I have hanging in Rylee's room, or an old magazine cover. I like to incorporate new photographs and prints or quotes that coordinate well with the vintage pieces. 


3. Add meaningful and memorable pieces:

I'm a big believer in making your home base a place you want to come and really "live" in. Consequently, I'm super picky on what I hang on the walls. The pieces need to have meaning for me or my family. Think about this idea when adding art to your gallery wall. One room has a painting done by a friend, another, a hand drawn ink sketch of the city of Florence (my favorite place on earth as of right now). Another a cactus print from our shop because I love bringing the outdoors in via photographs and prints. And yet, another frame holds the words - "and if not, He is still good" from the book of Daniel, words that my husband and I clung too during one of life's hardest seasons for us. I think it's important to sprinkle meaningful pieces throughout you home. Your art will serve you better and bring more joy when you hang pieces that resonate with you. 

4. Pay attention to the inner "irkings": 

Yes, I made that word up. But hear me out. Sometimes I hang art and it just doesn't "feel right". You know what I mean? I have this image from our trip to Europe that is super sentimental to me. I love the colors. It's a spot on the water in Sorrento where I spent my 25th birthday with my husband and some of our closest friends. Every time I look at it, I have all the good feels. But, I hung it next to my bed and it just felt heavy. I think the colors are too strong for the space. For weeks I was trying to convince myself to keep it there because of its sentimental value, but I finally replaced it with another piece that is lighter and airier. And Waaalaaa. It just feels right finally. Those little irks matter. Listen to them! :) 

5. Be okay with the wall being "in process". 

Okay, I know this goes against the perfectionist nature of some people (myself and my business partner, Andrea, included). But, I've found that when I wait for the right pieces to come along I end up loving the way a gallery wall turns out more than when I try to just complete the wall for the sake of it being done. Adding art pieces organically as I find them has definitely brought more joy to the process. This is why I like to start with a few anchor pieces as mentioned above and build out slowly over time. Being "in process" like this isn't for everyone, but it works for us, and I think it's worth a try! :) 

If you want to snag a little freebie for starting your gallery wall you can grab our Free Cactus Art Print right here. It comes ready to print. And if that isn't enough, we've scoured the internet to find other free and affordable printables for your space. Head over to our Pinterest account to see if any of those pieces spark joy in you!