We always like to keep up with interior design trends, and gallery walls have been a gorgeous trend for the last few years. And it’s no surprise how trendy they are, they are a great way to make a stylish statement that reflects your personal taste. An art wall is generally the first thing that your guests will notice when they walk into the room, which really makes it an opportunity to show off your individuality. So today we are going to talk about tips that you can use to style an art wall! Using this design concept as a foundation for your home decor can give you a lot of flexibility. You can easily swap out photos, art pieces or color schemes as you update your decor or transition between seasons. If you are just starting out with doing your own styling, you may want to check out our article on how to style a bookshelf – the approach is similar, but with a more contained space, so it is perfect for exploring your skills. With that being said, we encourage you to dive in head first!
1. Pick a Theme
Start planning out your art wall by deciding on the general theme of the finished gallery. What do you want to communicate? What reflects your personality? Style an art wall that you can use to present your true self to the world! Because our studio is in the Pacific Northwest, we love bringing in natural elements. We chose art pieces that play on woodland themes, leaf designs and delicate feathers. We found all of our pieces through Minted, but you can easily print your own photos to display, or create your own DIY wall art. We always suggest creating visual texture, but avoid bringing in too much texture when choosing your art. Be careful about making the display so stimulating that it’s overwhelming.
2. Pick a Color Palette
In the same way that you don’t want to bring in too much texture, you also don’t want to bring in too many colors. Choose your basic color palette, then pick a few shades as accents. We chose a grayscale color palette, then used shades of blues, greens and metallic golds for pops of color. When deciding on your color palette, we recommend finding a generally monochromatic scheme so that you have the opportunity to highlight specific statement pieces with your accent colors. It is also a good idea to use the same types of frames for each of your pieces so that they do not cause any distraction. This can add to the cohesion of the display.
3. Plan Your Arrangement
There are a few different ways that you can build out your art wall. You can start with one large piece as the focal point and then add complementary pieces around it, or you can create groupings of prints that you bring together in a larger cluster. We wanted to keep the beautiful white fireplace as our focal point in the studio, so our main goal was to style an art wall that wouldn’t take attention away from our large natural wood piece. To accomplish this, we paired off pieces based on size – a smaller piece with a larger piece, and two small prints to go with the largest print. Then, arrange the smaller piece above the larger piece in your pairings. To add excitement to your arrangement, find pieces in lots of different sizes rather than several pieces in the same size.
We recommend laying things out on the floor or doodling a basic sketch before you start hammering nails into your walls. It’s always nice to have a vision in your head before actually hanging the frames! Once you start hanging, vertically align your pairs of pieces and place them around your focal point. This will create a visual balance. It’s also best to generally hang everything within eye level so that you do not draw your gaze elsewhere.
4. Create Cohesion with Other Room Accents
Once you style your art wall, continue the concept with the rest of the room! To play on the natural elements featured in the art pieces, we added a gorgeous geometric marble coffee table that we found at West Elm. This also helped to bring our grayscale color palette out into the middle of the room. We continued building the color scheme with lots of white home decor accents – white vases, a white fur throw blanket and a white end table that complement the white fireplace focal point and Stikwood paneling. The fireplace and Stikwood both contribute to the rustic themes in the room, along with the birch fireplace cover, wood stool and pops of greenery.
Our Featured Art Pieces
As mentioned above, the best starting point to style an art wall is to pick out your first piece, and then build upon it from there. One strategy is to begin with choosing your largest piece – we chose the simple and elegant Birch Story from Minted’s art collection. We then placed it on the side wall to offer balance to our fireplace focal point. Because we were sticking with a monochromatic grayscale color scheme, we complemented the birch wood piece with gold foiled maps (the Oregon map and a custom map of our neighborhood!) for pops of color. To bring in our natural elements, we selected the foiled pressed leaf, three feathers print, Rinse and Repeat stones print and the fern watercolor. For some abstract flavor, we brought in the Rapids art print, Little Dots and Color Study Two, which provided nice accent color.
Further contributing to the grayscale color palette and theme of natural elements, we set the horse print on the floor against our birch fireplace cover. And in the center of our entire art wall we placed the Cut into Thin Air scissors print, something that could embody the creative heartbeat of our style. The most important thing to keep in mind in choosing your art is that you are creating the purest reflection of yourself!
The main trick to style an art wall is to maintain cohesion and balance as you build on your themes. If you can accomplish this then your art wall will be gorgeous! For more DIY home decor inspiration, browse all of our home projects. If you are looking for more guidance on creating a gallery wall, we encourage you to check out Minted’s styling service. Join our community of DIY lovers for daily inspiration, or follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to see what we’re up to. We’d love to hear from you, so leave a comment below sharing your favorite home styling tips! Cheers ~ Lia & Team