How’s it Hanging?

As usual, when back in Minnesota, Ben and/or I try to help my sister with something on her house.  Over our Christmas vacation, Ben refinished her stairs and built an awesome bookshelf.

Of course Ben’s skill set grossly out does mine, so I decided to do what I do best.  Hang a few pictures.  Ash gathered up her frames and art to take this wall from blank to beautiful.

Ten framed pictures later, we’ve got a super simple gallery wall.  To simplify the hanging process, I held up the pictures, asked for opinions, then marked the wall to hang using this method.

For the arrangement layout, I tried to follow the line of the stairs.

As they accumulate artwork, this wall can be added to and rearranged to fit large and small art.  But it makes their home feel more lived in and cozy.

What have you been up to lately?  Hanging pictures?  Going on a vacation?  Helping your family with a house project?  Getting help for a project?

Giddy Gallery Wall

I’ll admit, Goodwill shopping wasn’t the only thing Jen and I did together while in Minnesota.  Before heading to Goodwill for the meet up, Jen stopped by my sister’s new house to help with a gallery wall.  Ash wanted us to work on her master bedroom, requesting an asymmetrical gallery wall above these two chairs.

I cut mats and framed the art she already had the night before.  When Jen arrived, she and I started arranging the frames on the floor.  That’s tip number one if you’re planning your own gallery wall.  Lay the frames, with art inside, on the floor to arrange and rearrange until you like the layout.  Before hanging, take a picture of the arrangement for reference as you go along.  From there, you can go about hanging two ways.

The most fool-proof method is tracing the frames on paper, taping the templates to the wall, nailing through the paper and then hanging the frames like we did for our basement gallery wall.  We didn’t do this.  My sister loves free form designs, so we started by hanging the largest frames at the center of the group and working our way out.  Which brings me to my second tip; arrange the largest frames first then fill in with smaller frames.

Armed with a layout Jen and I loved, I eyeballed the placement, asking Jen to stand back and tell me that she thought.  Then, started hammering nails and hanging frames.

Because I wasn’t measuring or using templates, the spacing is slightly different.  Spacing the frames one to two inches apart keeps the grouping of mismatched art and frames unified.  In my opinion this is the biggest mistake made when hanging a group of mismatched frames.  The spacing is crucial to make the arrangement look thought out and planned.  If gaps are four inches or more, it looks like frames were thrown up at different times, so keep the group tight.
A little under an hour later, arranging, chit-chat, hanging, and adjusting included, we finished the gallery wall.  If you’re working on a gallery wall above a piece of furniture, incorporate it in the layout.  See how the center frames dip down toward the lower table?  Not only does that add interest, but working around furniture gives your layout definition.
As you can see, the art in the frames is a variety, but most have a natural element.
Wondering where Ash got the art?  Check out these Etsy shops: Mai Autumn, Siiso, Miles of Light, and our shop, Our Humble A{Bowe}d.
Vincent and Everett painted the abstract watercolors.  See, even kids paintings can look like real art behind a classic white mat and glass.
After completing the wall, we invited Ashley back in to see what we’d done.  Luckily, she loved the layout and that she could build on the design in the future.
For the back row, here are my tips and tricks to create a gallery wall:
  • Arrange the frames on the floor or make templates to move things around before you start pounding holes in your walls.
  • Start with larger frames then fill in with smaller items.
  • Don’t leave too much space between frames.  1 to 2 inches is perfect.
  • Use the same colored frames to unify different styles.  And mats make anything look like art.
  • If hanging by or around a piece of furniture, arrange the frames to follow the furniture silhouette.

That’s the way the cookie crumbles.  I had so much fun chatting with Jen, and I think she even learned a few tricks and tips.

P.S.  One of my 2012 resolutions is enjoying more family fun events and sharing them.  Check out our newest blog and latest adventure.