When we started our second floor addition last year, I knew we would want to rethink the function of several pre-existing spaces in our home - one of them being the living room. Previously, this space was laid out with the furniture facing the fireplace and the TV above the fireplace. The new addition includes a “loft” type space - which is where we we planned do most of our TV watching. So, I wanted to rethink the layout of the living room to be more conversational.
So, the plan of attack was: move the TV across the room to the opposite wall, hang art over the fireplace, and open up the seating arrangement. Since we figured this room would be used more for entertaining, we decided to go with a frame TV that would become part of a large gallery wall - making the space feel more intentional. 
Gallery walls can be super intimidating - I'd be lying to say I put it off for weeks :) It requires a lot of planning. You need to select your pieces (an undertaking in and of itself!) and create a layout that is balanced structurally, as well as aesthetically. We aren’t going to get into the balancing side of things today but some things to keep in mind are frame color, art type (paint/photo/mixed media), style and balancing your colors out to create a flow.


So let's get in to the how-to of it all!


1. Select your art pieces.

2. Create templates of the art pieces with craft paper (or something similar) by tracing each piece and cutting it out. If some are too large, you will need to tape multiple pieces together like I did.

3. Layout the pieces on the floor - this can take several tries to figure out exactly where you want to balance out colors, styles, scale, etc.

4. Once you feel like you have a good layout, take your templates and painters tape to tape it all out on the wall. Again, this can take several tries to get it right. Keep in mind you are balancing the scale of the pieces - in this case on both sides of the TV. Meaning, if you have a large piece you may need to balance it out with several smaller pieces. You want things to feel equally weighted.

TIP - If you have lots of pieces, it’s good to note each piece on the templates so you don’t get confused (think artist name, place you bought it, etc - anything to keep it straight).

5. When you are all set with laying out your template, measure the width of each art piece and mark where the nail will hang. You want this to be as accurate as possible, so hold the wire tight like it would hang off a nail. Once you have this measurement, note it on the template you have hung. This is where you will hammer in your nail.

6. Repeat this for all pieces and discard the templates.

7. Hang all art and adjust! The key is measuring as accurately as possible to ensure the pieces will hang where you want them, based on your layout.

    The best thing about a gallery wall is that it can evolve over time. As you find new pieces, you can easily swap them out to update the look. I’m always looking for cool photography or small art pieces on my travels, since they are easy to bring back and such a fun reminder of my trips.


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