Now that the Holidays are over, I'm still reluctant to pack away the sparkly decorations and Christmas lights that line our staircase. Actually, call it a case of mild procrastination. Afterall, it took quite some effort to lay out the decorations, they should stay out for a bit longer, don't you think?
I blame the delay of packing up our Christmas decorations on decorating the little man's headquarters - his bedroom and playroom. Not that I'm doing any of the installations... Anyway... Little man's working corner in his playroom is finally in place, and I should really unpack some packages lying around that are for a gallery wall in the room.
A gallery wall is an eclectic display of art, giving the room a casual vibe. For our house, there's no better place than the playroom to have some fun with it! The. Mr is not a huge fan of gallery walls, but he has reluctantly played along with the idea for one in the playroom. So to honour that, I promise to keep it small scaled with a somewhat neat demeanor. My plan is to have it above a future toy storage unit, with a wall space of around 5-feet wide.
I want the gallery wall to look effortlessly casual, but it still takes some effort while taking these factors into consideration:
1. DETERMINE THE BOUNDARY
The width of most gallery walls are bounded by, or just beyond, the width of the furniture below it, if any. For dramatic effect, you can even go wall to wall, similar to the sample image below. As for a vertical boundary, a more comfortable grouping would see the bottom of the layout at 6"-8" above any piece of furniture, up to around 2-ft off the ceiling. You know the general rule of hanging wall art at 60-62" from the ground? In the case of a gallery wall, treat the whole layout as a group, so that the group's centre is at eye-level. You don't want to be crunching your neck to look up to ALL your pieces!
2. SHAPE OF THE LAYOUT
Do you have a neat and structured personality, like my Mr.? Then a square or rectangular shape gallery wall will most likely be your pick. Or are you more coherently random, like me?
3. SHAPES, SIZES, AND COLOURS OF THE FRAMES
Using various shapes and sizes of frames for the gallery wall is one way to give it a dose of your personality. For little man's playroom, I originally planned on using colourful frames. I'm having second thoughts about that, and I think monochromatic frames would play a balancing role against the pops of colours around the room full of toys.
4. SPACING AROUND THE PIECES
A visually appealing gallery wall should have just enough pieces that are grouped comfortably together. The key is to avoid looking too messy. Spaced too tight, it would look like too many pieces are crying for attention, and the frames would look crammed; spaced too far apart, then they look like individual art pieces sharing the wall.
To be easy on the eyes, I find that the optimal distance between each piece should be around 2-3". There're no hard and fast rules about it, and it all depends on the different sizes and shapes of the pieces.
5. INCLUDE WHIMSICAL ACCENTS
Gallery walls are never boring - display some loved and dearest pieces to let your personality shine through! A touch of whimsical accessories bring these gallery walls to life!
The next time you see a casually and effortlessly chic gallery wall, you can count on the fact that the more casual it looks, the more effort it required! A lot of planning goes into perfecting even a seemingly random placement of pieces. But don't be boggled down by the planning; afterall, the point of a gallery wall is to have fun with it! Once you have collected your pieces, it's definitely a fun exercise to hone your sense of design and use of space. Let loose and have some fun!