If you've read my previous post, you would have know that I took forever to complete this project. Whilst this gallery wall is far from perfect, I think it brightens the home and it brings me (and T) so much joy everyday. Hopefully through the below tips and tricks you will also feel empowered to complete a gallery wall that you will love on your own.
It's all in the mix, and not the match
As with fashion (and many things in life), the best outcomes are not when you have the best of everything but how you make the most of what you've got. Always go for a combination of frames and images, some cheap and some higher-end and of different styles / eras. One of the frames only costed $5 from Salvos, and one if the images is postcard from NY that I sent to myself whilst on holidays (yes, I am one of those people!). I also painted one of the images so it doesn't look too 'perfect' plus I was able to choose the colour scheme that I wanted - blue and yellow / orange to brighten up the room. Having a combination of different pictures not only means that you have something unique that is different from everyone else, but also ensures that your style never dates.
Don't be afraid to customise
I was unable to find frames that fitted the bill for my painting (mostly because I painted on the only canvas I could find at that time and was surprised that it didn't turn out to be shit) and postcard. So I found a frame maker to customise the frames to not only fit the images, but also mix with everything else that I've got. Plus they were really affordable! I literally brought everything I had to the store when I was ready to have the frames made (the seller thought I was a crazy person) but it turned out to be the right choice because not only did the frames mix with the pictures well - they also looked great with everything else.
Set the intention
For T and I, the gallery wall is a reflection of who we are and what we love. Some pictures are from trips overseas, there's a wedding photo, a quote from Dr. Seuss that we absolutely adore, and some other random things. We don't take ourselves too seriously, so the gallery wall showcases our more relaxed side - and we want the gallery wall to make us feel happy when we are at home.
Good things take time
Although taking 3 years to complete something is a bit excessive, I do think that sometimes the best things in life take time. As you grow, you'll learn more and more about yourself - and you will discover hidden gems that you didn't know exist. The vintage painting on the top left, for example, was a recent discovery (which was not even that expensive!) which pulled the entire gallery wall together.
Measure, measure again and measure what you measured.
I don't need to tell you how important it is to measure everything! Arrange all your frames on the floor, then cut out paper to the shape of the frames and arrange them on the wall. Measure to ensure the width is correct, as well as the height (as a guide, the middle of gallery wall should be about 150cm off the floor). Get one of those Spirit Level things to ensure everything is straight. Measure again. You don't want to regret this.
Get your photos professionally printed
I used Image Science, an Australian printing services provider to print out my photos. I wanted high quality, affordable photos printed on thick paper, and they delivered. As I first time user, I was unsure of whether my images were correctly set up for printing - but they checked the quality of my submission and provided some feedback to improve the printing results. They print for galleries and have a range of paper options to choose from which they can send to you for $10, but is redeemable when an order is made.
There is no right or wrong way to do this - sometimes you gotta go with your gut and what makes you smile. Also, if shit happens I've been told that Bunnings sell a sealer that lets you easily fix holes caused by nails.
So here you go, my top tips! Hopefully that makes it easier and inspires you to implement one for yourself.