Gallery walls are a perfect way to fill a space with your personal style. This is especially true of eclectic gallery walls. With this style of art hanging, you are free to push the boundaries and explore the limits of what art can do in your home.
An Eclectic Gallery Wall is a collection of art, hung together, that includes a variety of styles, media, or subjects.
The lack of rules or restraint when creating an eclectic gallery wall can be freeing, but also intimidating. Since there are few rules to follow, the number of choices available to you are endless. There are so many styles of art out there that you could use in your hang. On top of that, you can use pieces that are not traditionally considered art as well.
In short, anything you can attach to a wall can be used in an eclectic gallery wall.
To bring some sanity back to your quest to adorn your home with art, I have put together this list of tips, advice and ideas for creating the perfect art wall for your home.
This gallery wall makes use of many different media. It will surely qualify as eclectic. There are sketches, prints, tapestries, mounts and woven works.
On the other hand, you can see a tight cream and black color scheme being used. This makes it not as random and first appears.
Explore Your Personal Style
Hanging art in this way allows you the maximum freedom to express your style. You may wonder if you just start hanging pieces of art on the wall if they will all go together. If you have been collecting art for any length of time I would encourage you to trust your eye. There is a reason you select the pieces that you do and there will be some unifying theme in all your selections.
Even if you are not sure what to call it, you have your own personal art style. Even if your collection of art seems a bit random at first it is probably more cohesive than you think. You will be drawn to some common elements over and over again. This might be a color palette, common subject matter or a certain frame style.
The collection above may seem totally random at first. These are all items taken from my personal decor from around the home. After taking a second look though, it is easy to find some unifying themes.
Color: There is a definite brown and green color palette for this collection.
Style: All the items pictured above fit into the vintage style I love to use in my home.
In this fall inspired art collection there is a painting, a print, an old clock and pheasant feathers. Using mismatched media like this helps give the collected over time feel. Since these pieces are resting on a mantel they can be overlapped. This layered look will also increase the cohesiveness of the collection.
How to Make an Eclectic Gallery Wall Seem Cohesive
Part of the beauty of an eclectic gallery wall is that it does not have to be one hundred percent cohesive. That being said, you will want something that draws your collection together. A truly random hang would likely be unpleasant to look at.
Use Similar Frames
Notice in the picture above how there is unity created through the use of gold frames. Each frame is different but they all have that warm gold color. This helps create some unity for the eclectic elements used in the hang.
It has been mentioned before but a consistent color scheme will help bring a gallery wall together. I would recommend keeping the main colors in your hang limited to 3. Feel free to play with accent colors in the individual pieces. If these accents are in the same color family as your main colors this shouldn’t hurt the unity of the collection at all.
If you would like to use widely different frames or colors in your gallery wall I would suggest using a similar subject theme to make it united. The pieces don’t all have to be identical but if there is some unifying element, it will not seem disjointed.
Tips for Creating an Eclectic Gallery Wall
You may be starting with a huge collection of art like this and wondering how to put it all together. Which pieces should you use to create your gallery wall?
Begin With Your Wall
It is good to start by looking at the actual wall you will want to hang your art on. How much space do you have? Are there pieces of furniture that you want to work around?
All these factors will tell you the shape your gallery wall should take. This is a good starting point for knowing how many pieces of art you will need and how large they can be.
Start With A Feature Piece
If you are at a loss for where to begin you should choose a feature for your gallery wall. This is the focal piece of art. It should be hung somewhere near the middle of your wall at eye level. In the picture above, there is a large cross stitch in the center of the wall. All the other pieces come off of this central frame.
By choosing your focal art, you give yourself a place to begin. The other pieces will start to fill in around it until the area is full.
Tips for choosing your starting art
- Choose a piece of art that will be the largest in the hang. This one will naturally draw your eye.
- If the pieces are similar in size, choose the most colorful one.
- If you can’t decide which one should be the focus try standing back and looking at all your art. Ask yourself which piece does your eye keep getting drawn to.
Avoid Long Lines
A grid gallery wall will have long lines of wall showing between the frames because they are all lined up. For a mismatched gallery wall you want to avoid this. Try hanging your art at different heights and not lined up one on top of the other. The more you can break up to lines, the more your art will look like
Getting the Spacing Right
Here is an example of what not to do. The pieces on this wall are all hung too far apart.
How to Hang a Gallery Wall
By doing a little planning before you hang your gallery wall, you can save yourself some trouble and a few extra holes in your walls. I often do a mock-up of a gallery wall before I actually hang it on the wall.
I do this by taping off an area on the floor that is the same size as my wall. I make sure to take into account any furniture I will be placing my art next to.
My next step is to use thick paper to make a mock-up of all the pieces that will go into making my gallery wall. You can tape them to the wall to make sure everything will actually fit. Also, this is a great time to play around with your spacing.
I then take each piece of paper down one by one and replace it with the actual piece of art. It is amazing to see this gallery wall come to life before your eyes.
If you are considering creating a gallery wall for your home, I encourage you to give it a try. It is the perfect way to personalize your space and express yourself in your home decor. If you are unsure, perhaps you could start small. Following the advice in this article will help take some of the uncertainty out of the project.
If you would like to read more about our bedroom renovation that features the gallery wall in this post you can read our bedroom remodel part 1.