Creating a Gallery Wall

Dear Beloved Readers,

Today we create a gallery wall!

A very little bit of backround, my close friends obviously know I’m an interior designer so they use my skills shamelessly.  But it’s ok because I love them and my job is fun so I won’t turn down an opportunity to make their homes fantastic!

Brainstorming.

So when my best friend asked me to help her make a gallery wall, my answer was “Duh”.

Step one in our ventures was to go to Hobby Lobby.  If you are so blessed to have a Hobby Lobby close by then USE THEM! They have the cutest stuff and an entire section of the store dedicated to wall art.  We spent a good 30 minutes there just walking through the art.

We didn’t pick anything out yet because she wasn’t quite sure what she wanted or how much she wanted to spend.  So when we got home she went to hobbylobby.com and found all the pieces she loved, on sale.  We took that as a sign from God and she picked out all her pieces.  I’m very proud of her for taking the initiative and choosing her own pieces.  I just had approve them.

Assembling.

Fast forward 7 business days and all of the art peices had arrived!  They were all so cute and different and worked great with the pieces she already had.  Probably the most important thing you can do when creating a gallery wall is to have variety.  Choose pieces with different shapes, different styles, but still within a cohesive color scheme.  Her house is mostly brown, blue, and red so she chose pieces that fit into the farmhouse rustic style.

Before we even brought out the hammer, we layed out all her pieces in the floor.  It’s important to try multiple layouts, and take pictures of them, so you can decide which design to use.  The pieces will usually speak to you when they have found their place in the design.

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Layout the pieces before you think about touching a hammer and nail!

During this layout phase is also the time to think about spacing.  We started out with about 2″ of space between each piece but ended up spreading it to 3″ to fit the whole design over her sofa.

We did also add a color of paint on some of the pieces after deciding where they were going to go.

Hanging.

Hanging is where the fun/madness begins.  If you have a solid layout to begin with, hanging should be pretty painless.  Excpet for when you are OCD and have to have everything spaced exactly.  For some, command strips may be your best friend.  But because we live in military housing, there a million layers of paint and command strips just aren’t dependable.  Nails it is!

When you hang your gallery wall, start with the center piece and work out.  So we started with the large quote piece.  We centered it above the couch both horizontally and vertically.  I did raise it a few inches so nothing would be near peoples’ heads.  Once the foundation piece was in place we started spreading out.9

It really only took about 30 minutes to hang all of the pieces.  This really surprised me, but I didn’t complain.

Enjoying.

The end product is fabulous.  We are both so thrilled with how well this turned out.  BUT of course, no project is complete with a cat.  The last and most crucial step to the gallery wall process is an instagram post of your cat with the hashtag, #catswithstyle.

Did I mention he has thumbs?

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5 ways Good Design reduces stress in your life

It goes without saying that the American lifestyle is nothing less than stressful.  We all get caught in the hustle and bustle from time to time and find ourselves scrambling to get out. What if I tell you one of the easiest ways to “leave it at the door” is by making sure your home is designed to your style.  Here are 5 stress-less reasons you need a well designed home.

Final Design
A finished room completes your day.
Having a good design keeps you feeling complete.

There is nothing worse than coming home from a hard day of work into a space that doesn’t feel finished.  It’s like leaving your work and walking into another project.

On the flip side, when your home feels finished and complete, so do you.  Your only assignment at home is to rest and relax.

Less clutter is Less stress.

When your home is well designed, you will want to keep it tidy.  When your home is tidy, you can relax.  For me, there is something so refreshing about walking into my living room and not needing to put things away.

Final Design

“Less Clutter is Less Stress.”

Take Pride in your space.

What’s more stressful than having guests in your “average” living room?  We are all guilty of corralling our guests  into our favorite room, the room that feels most finished.  Usually the kitchen or family room, not to be too specific.

When your home is well designed, you have a home to be proud of.

Be comfortable in your home.

I don’t think this needs too much explanation.  If you are comfortable in your environment, stress levels decrease.

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Have your own vacation spot.

What if you came home to a vacation…every single day.  When your home is designed to fit your style, walking into your perfect home will feel like walking into a resort.

It takes time and planning to get your home the way you like, but boy is it worth it.  When you have a stress-less space, it won’t take long to reflect in your life and overall health.  It can be a big task to design your home so find a good designer that works with your style.  Not sure where to start? Check out Krista Cox Design. Your house will thank you for it.

Secrets to designing the perfect Gallery Wall

5 rules I follow when designing gallery walls.

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I don’t think anybody here can deny that gallery walls are huge right now.  There’s just something about a perfectly balanced collection of art that screams chic design.  As a designer, this is the number one request I get with most of my clients.  They want a perfect gallery wall but aren’t quite sure how to tie one together.  I get that.  Gallery walls can be pretty scary to start.  Even I get intimidated from time to time, especially if a client has a ridiculously tight budget.  So I compiled a list of 5 tips to help you design the perfect Gallery Wall that will WOW your guests.

There’s just something about a perfectly balanced collection of art that screams chic design.

Know your space, and size accordingly.

Many of us tend to forget that your gallery wall can’t be bigger than the actual wall. Regardless of how tempting it may be, you don’t need several 30″ X 40″ prints on a five foot wall.  Keep proportions in mind when selecting your art.   You should also try to avoid buying to many photos.  I’ve seen some pretty powerful gallery walls that didn’t take up much space.  If you’re concerned about buying too much art, or not enough, it may be a good idea to plan out your gallery wall before making any purchases.  This way you have a general idea of what sizes and how many you may need.

Have realistic expectations with your budget.

As much as I hate to say it, art is expensive.  Aside from sofas, Art is usually the second largest category in the budget.  If you’re trying to get a full and abundant gallery wall with $200, be aware it is going to be tough.  It’s definitely not impossible, stay tuned for my upcoming post on The best places to build your gallery wall on a budget.  Just know you’re going to have to be creative.   If I could suggest to anyone a budget for the gallery wall, I’d strongly encourage you to have between $500-$1000 dedicated to your art.  Can you do it for less? Absolutely.  But a larger budget allows for you to get some unique pieces that will really stand out.  You’ll also be able to get nice frames, which have just as much impact as the pieces themselves.  And of course, you wont have any reservations about buying several pieces of art.

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Your gallery doesn’t have to be huge to have a huge impact.

Have a combo of smaller and larger pieces.

So I’ve touched on the “preparation”, if you will, of designing a gallery wall so now we are getting to the meat and potatoes of the design.  One of the key elements of a great gallery wall is variety.  The “random but put together” look is what draws us in.  So make sure your have a variety of sizes.  I’ve found that two small pieces paired beside one large piece has a really great balance.

Add even more variety, with some unity.

Variety of sizes: CHECK.  Now you need a variety of pieces.  This may seem very general and it is.  Find pieces you love, but are different.  For example, a great gallery wall is going to have a mixture of abstract art, objective art, maybe some typography, photography, or even sculptural art.  Mirrors are really awesome to incorporate into your gallery walls as well.  You want to have all kinds of stuff in your gallery.  The key to uniting all of the pieces is to have a solid color scheme.  Don’t feel like the color scheme is going to restrict you though.  If a piece of art has an “outlier color” that’s nothing to get hung up on.  But it’s nice when your art is unified with 4 or 5 colors.  Having at least 4 colors in your scheme gives you lots of options for variety while still providing guidelines.  Your gallery wall is a work of art in itself.

Gallery Wall
5 colors gives you guidelines, but not restrictions.  Ex: Blue, Red, Pink, Black, and Gold.

Balance Balance Balance.

This last one can make or break your gallery wall.  It has to be balanced.  Whether you are “artfully inclined” or not, if you look at your wall and it doesn’t feel right, it’s not balanced.  One way to make sure your wall is balanced is to think of your wall like a see-saw.  Really large pieces, and really dark pieces, are going to weigh more than smaller andl lighter pieces.  To keep the see-saw balanced try to keep a somewhat equal amount of “weight” on each side.  You also want to gallery to appear level, so try to avoid your art creeping upwards or downwards too much.  I’m definitely not saying making symmetrical, though those can have a very strong effect too.  Just make it even.

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It probably goes without saying that it’s a good idea to always lay out your art before hammering a nail.  Keep these tips in mind,  but more importantly, make sure it’s how your like it.  Break the rules if you want.  In the end your gallery wall is your own personal work of art.

*All images are designs created by Krista Cox for Havenly clients.  To get a design by Krista, sign up at Havenly.  Use coupon code KRISTAC for $20 off a full design.