Creating a gallery wall – Finding unique objects

5 Aug

Today is the second installment on my mini blog series: Creating the perfect gallery wall. As you may know, I have two gallery walls in my apartment – a standard grid and an eclectic arrangement. As much as I love the grid, the eclectic arrangement is by far my favorite. It’s a great conversation starter – guests are always intrigued by the collection of unique objects, whether it’s the DIY collage art, the drawing by my sister or the sculptural piece created from Popsicle sticks. Rather than hang just any artwork that looks pretty, I wanted to make a statement and invoke a feeling. That’s what art gallery owners strive for, so I figured I would too!

It’s really easy to find and add unique items to your walls. Sometimes it’s as simple as raiding the kitchen cupboards for decorative plates or framing artwork created by your kids. Here are some simple ways to add character to your gallery wall.

Incorporate different shapes and sizes: This is the easiest way to add interest to your gallery wall. For example, not all 8×10 prints need to be framed in a standard rectangle 8×10 frame. Depending on the print, you could choose an oval frame, skip the wide standard matting for a borderless effect or simply chose a different sized frame for each print, even if the artwork is part of a set.

Feature the unknown artist: I’m a firm believer that the artwork you choose to hang in your home should personally mean something to you. And what better way to achieve this than to hang artwork done by a loved one, whether it’s your kids, family member or friend. The art will certainly be one-of-a-kind! My sister is an amazing artist and it makes me so happy to feature one of her sketches on my walls. Another unknown artist worth featuring – you. Now I don’t consider myself Picasso, but I have created a number of pieces that I’m proud enough of to display. If Pinterest has taught us anything, it’s that there’s an artist in all of us. You just have to find the right tutorial.

Raid the kitchen (including the junk drawer): Decorative plates, old keys, hooks and door knobs can all be interesting additions to a gallery wall. One of my favorite items on my wall is a decorative plate I purchased from Anthropologie. It used to sit untouched in my cupboard and now it’s displayed proudly on the wall.

Add a little religion: Whether you identify with a particular faith, religion or movement, consider adding a visual reminder of your belief system on the wall. It’s incredibly personal and can be the positive affirmation you need when you look at it each day. So hang a cross, a picture of an important religious figure or simply a framed word, like namaste.

Embrace taxidermy: Whether it’s a set of antlers, a preserved fish or an arrangement of exotic butterflies – taxidermy adds an interesting and organic element to any wall. If using animal remains makes you queasy or conflicts with your beliefs, then consider replicas, like the animals heads sold by Z Gallerie or the deer mount made from cardboard. You don’t need the real thing to make statement.

What interesting items have you hung on your walls as art?

xoxo, Andi

7 Responses to “Creating a gallery wall – Finding unique objects”

  1. Laura August 7, 2013 at 6:16 am #

    I love the gallery wall. It’s a great way to put a personal touch to home design. Great ideas for my new house.

  2. Kate August 7, 2013 at 8:33 pm #

    I love all your gallery wall tips!

  3. Sarah August 10, 2013 at 2:20 pm #

    Thanks for the help! I am about to try to do this at my house, what is your opinion on putting up pictures of people? I don’t want my gallery wall to be super lame and full of those cheesy family photos, but on the other hand I would love to see them up somewhere! Is there a way to have a good balance?

    • allputtogether August 11, 2013 at 8:34 pm #

      A gallery wall should be meaningful and nothing is more meaningful than family photos. One way to keep a good balance is to not just hang pictures of your spouse and kids. Make sure to hang pictures of other family members and friends too. They will appreciate seeing themselves prominently featured on your wall!

  4. Haeley @ Design Improvised August 12, 2013 at 3:45 pm #

    I love this series – such great tips and very timely for me as I’m contemplating repurposing some of our art from Chicago into a gallery wall in San Antonio and trying to figure out how to pull it all together. This helps a lot!