Friday, July 7, 2017

Gallery Wall Tutorial

Remember this?

Remember this?

In case you're scratching your head a bit, yes, I did post a gallery wall tutorial just a few, short, 9 months ago. Since then our living room has gone through a bit of a face lift. You can read why here. And you can see some of the progress here. I still have not done a final post on that whole thing-procrastination is the name of the game there.

The wall that my gallery wall was on now houses the television and I decided to move the gallery wall pieces to the wall behind the couch. This area is flanked by two windows, leaving me less usable space. Because of where the curtains will eventually hang (I haven't found them yet) I don't want this arrangement to go up as high as the last arrangement did. With all that running through my head I grabbed the painter's tape, measuring stick, tape measure, level and chalk. Go get yours together. I'll wait ....

Start by looking at the space you want to dress. My space has windows on either side. Because my couch sits against the wall I know that I will hang curtains only on the outside of each window (maybe).  I do not want my arrangement flush against the trim so I determined I should have a 10 inch space between the edge of the arrangement and the molding. There is no rule here; just what you are comfortable with. I measured out from the trim on both sides and marked the wall with chalk. I also decided I did not want the arrangement to extend too high. I measured up from the floor 84", which is where curtains will hang-once I find them (maybe). I marked the wall at that height.

A good rule of thumb is to have your main piece at eye level; a good rule for any piece of art work. In this case I want the center of my arrangement at eye level. My husband is taller than me so I tend to hang pieces just a little higher (inches not feet) but still at a good height to relate to objects below, like a table or couch, yet comfortable for the average viewer. Because the piece I am using as my center is larger I decided to hang it so that the top reaches just above the window molding but below the rod height and I marked the wall with chalk again.

Sitting on the couch, I took notice of where my arms were when I stretched or had my hand on the back of the couch. With that in mind I decided I wanted the bottom of my arrangement to be 10 inches up from the couch and again, I marked the wall with chalk.

Now I have top, bottom and both sides marked. I pulled out my measuring tape and measured the space I have to work with. I marked the center point of the space. Now, I move to the floor and measure out a space on the floor. Using painter's tape I mapped out the same size space as my wall space. This is my/your playing field. Here is where you are going to lay pieces out, arrange, rearrange and play with your pieces.

I am a lover of symmetry. I like balanced arrangements. I can appreciate others who can make asymmetry work but I have yet to master it or be comfortable with it long term. Try to keep your spacing between pieces consistent. Do not leave too much space between pieces as it starts to look disassociated. One to two inches works well for me.

I could not use all the pieces I had originally used since the area was smaller. I had to pick and choose and I know that the other things can be used elsewhere. Once you get it the way you want, take some pictures. This is an important step. Look at them closely, study them. Notice spacing, colors, ect. You don't want to get it up on the wall and then realize all your dark pieces are on one side, making your arrangement look like it will tilt. Take more pictures. Do this until you're satisfied.

Now that your are happy with your work, take that center piece to the wall. Hold it in place and mark where the top of the piece hits the wall. Measure where you hanger is on the back of the piece and use the measurement to put in your first screw or nail. Hang that piece!

Some pieces are easier to hang than others. My shelf, made from store bought brackets and an old shutter, is one of those pieces. I use a piece of painter's tape to mark where the hangers sit, making sure to line up edges and top of tape to the piece I'm hanging. I use my pencil to punch in holes where the screws should go. I hold the shelf to the wall, making sure it was level, and marked the wall using my chalk. I can then remove the tape and place it along my markings on the wall and drill exactly where the brackets will attach.

Now you can work out from either side using the same technique. Remember to keep your spacing in mind.

Before you know it your gallery wall comes together and you look like a boss! I don't know if there is an official, professional way to install a gallery wall but this what works for me and hopefully, for you, too!

You did it!

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Hope you have a great day! ~Jolena

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