I started this gallery wall close to five years (and four homes!) ago. Since then it’s expanded to include photos of children, departed pets, life events, and friends (I just completed a mini-update to incorporate pictures of Cleo). I think of it as a chronicle of our lives as a family, and love that people are able to get a glimpse into who we are when they visit our home. I’ll often often catch Gemma lingering over the images, touching them gently and talking about what each one means. Just last week I heard her explain to a friend, visiting for a play-date, “this one is Daddy when he was little, this is mommy when I was in her tummy.” To her, it’s a story. An incredibly meaningful story.
Given our moves, I’ve hung, removed, and re-hung this wall several times (several!). That being said, I have a pretty good idea of how to create something similar in your space.
1. Decide on your decor scheme: I’ve seen this type of wall done in a number of different ways: with entirely black and white photos, with all black or white frames, with a mixture of pictures and meaningful art. I like things eclectic, so my frames are a mixture of black, white, silver and gold (mostly from Ikea!); my photos are black and white and color, professional interspersed with candid. Think about what you want; it will inform your purchasing.
2. Pick the right location: I like the way a gallery wall looks going up a staircase or down a hallway (however short that hallway may be). That’s my personal preference; I think it’s a nice way to transition from one space to another. Take a look around your home and think about where it will fit for you.
3. Buy your frames BEFORE printing your pictures: This may sound counterintuitive, but I’ve found it’s easier to purchase (and hang) the frames and THEN find pictures to fit.
4. Start hanging from the center: The large “C” in the center is what anchors the wall; it’s where I started. If you’re interested in something like this, you can find different options at flea markets and vintage stores. I took the mass produced route and went with Pottery Barn (bonus: it’s not all that heavy). If you don’t want to use a letter (or something similar) think about using a large frame.
5. Be prepared to modify and move: This isn’t an exact science. You’re probably going to make mistakes and need to move things around. The best advice I can give is use tiny nails. They leave smaller holes (*wink*).