"Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”
_ William Morris
, 19th century craftsman, designer, writer

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Friday, March 2, 2012

Project: How to Create a Gallery Wall

David York and Richard Metzler are professional musicians and instructors -they are also serious collectors of art.
When they asked me for help creating a gallery wall for their portraiture -I was thrilled!

To begin, I researched how to organize and execute a multi-piece display, and David provided me with magazine clips showing the type of gallery walls they preferred.

I visited several online blogs including Apartment Therapy and Design Formula and found there were a variety of approaches and philosophies advising how to achieve this look.

Ultimately, we used a combination of ideas (both culled and original) that best suited this project.

I was very happy with the way it turned out, but more importantly, so were David and Richard.

Here's how we did it:

1. First, gather all of the artwork you think you would like to include.

For best results choose artwork that focuses on a similar subject (in this case portraits); or works in the same medium (all black and white photography, or all pencil sketches, etc.); or all pieces in similar/matching frames (i.e., all black frames, or all gold frames, etc.). In this case, the theme of portraiture made the collection cohesive.

2. Measure the area on the wall you want to cover with the artwork.

3. Using gift wrap with a printed grid on the backside, cut the paper to the size of your desired wall space. (You may have to patch the paper together with tape to get the correct shape. Make sure the grid lines match up if you do this.)

4. Lay the grid paper on the floor.

5. Play! Now you will begin to arrange the artwork. Carefully lay the pieces down on the grid paper and move them around until you find a layout that suits your taste.

(Some designers advise leaving about 2 inches between pieces, but ultimately the size of your artwork and your own style will determine the spacing. Ideally, to create a balanced effect, whatever spacing you choose should be fairly consistent.)

 6. Once you decide on the final placement, carefully trace around your artwork. BE SURE to use the grid lines so your artwork will hang straight.

7. After you trace each piece, number each outline and use a Post-It to put the number on the corresponding artwork. (This will remind you which artwork goes on each traced shape.)

8. At this time, you will also mark on the paper exactly where the nail should go to hang each piece. If the frame has a wire or cord on the back, pull the cord upwards (to simulate hanging) and measure the highest point. Put a dot on the paper where the nail should go and draw a circle around it.

9. Next, using painter's tape, hang the grid paper onto the chosen wall space. Adjust it until it is centered and at the correct height.
Use a level to make sure your paper is hanging straight.

This is our paper hanging on the wall.
10. Now, it's hammer time. With the paper still on the wall, hammer the nails in the designated spots.

Richard chose to save the gallery wall pattern to use again if the wall is repainted, so he carefully removed the paper -leaving the pattern intact. 

11. With the nails in the wall, and the paper off -it's time to hang the artwork.

David and Richard's gallery wall includes antique silhouettes, carved ivory portraits, oil paintings and pastels they have collected on their travels.
The small circle-framed portraits on the bottom of the gallery wall depict the famous de'Medici family and are carved out of wax!


  1. color pictures youve got here~ check out my blog when you get a chance and let't follow each other


  2. Thanks, AK! I will definitely check out your blog!! Can I ask how you found me?


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