Wednesday, July 22, 2009

How to: Gallery Wall Artwork

I’ve never met a gallery wall I didn’t like.


I love what it adds to home. It makes it feel more lived in and comfy along with giving you a glimpse into the people that live in that home.


Right now my home would be screaming BORING! There is a huge blank space above my fireplace and an even bigger blank space in my bedroom. I already have an idea for the bedroom. Should be working on it this week and will have more on it later, but my fireplace still remains solo. I finally ordered a new mirror and it should be here this week. What I want to do above the fireplace only requires about 5 pieces of art, but I’ve been drawing blanks.


What I love the most about gallery walls is the mix of traditional and modern pieces. I love the oil paintings, mixed with the photographs and a sketch thrown in for good measure, but I don’t know about you, but I don’t just have an attic full of these things.


And while I love IKEA for their amazing chic and cheap frames I don’t want to buy my artwork there. I want things that look like I’ve been collecting them for years and years, but I’m coming up empty handed at home, which has lead to loads of stress this week for me.


Family photos are always an option, but I wouldn’t want it to end up looking too much like a page out of the Pottery Barn catalog. Also I know it’s our home, but I’m not sure if people want to be welcomed with massive pictures of me in my wedding dress.


I decided to do a little searching and found a couple of sites that offer unique artwork for a variety of budgets, but mostly importantly the chic and cheap category.

1. Etsy & Ebay: know everyone knows about these, but they must be part of the list.

2. Lumas: A huge variety of photographs, but it’s a little on the high side.

3. 20 x 200: Amazing resource. Lots to choose from and they all start at $20. Also they are limited editions so you know not everyone is going to have the same piece in their home.

4. View Ville: Filled with fine art photo prints. Plus Martha Stewart recommends them so it must be good.

5. Aesthetic Apparatus: Stylish posters with a price point of around $25.

6. Image Kind: Great price points and my favorite thing is that you can browse by color!

7. Bare Walls: Has your traditional pop art posters, but also has Time and Life covers. It could be interesting to be a poster and then decoupage it on canvas for a unique look.

8.SCAD: Savannah College of Art & Design is a mecca of talent and in their store you can purchase student’s works.

9. You work for them: Has stock images and fonts that you can download at a reasonable price and then do what you like with them.

10. Vintage Printable: If the love the look of Cabinet of Natural Curiosities, but don’t have a copy of the book that you can rip into then this is the site for you and it’s FREE!

Now that you have the artwork you need to know how to hang it.

Check out here and here for instructions on how to hang your artwork in gallery style.

Ok dear readers I now need your help! You must spill and let me know where you find your artwork that doesn’t come from a big box stores.

Especially if you work in the field let me know who are your go to vendors when a client wants a gallery wall that encompasses them, but they have no artwork to start with.

Please add your resources in the comment section and then I’ll go in and add them to the master list so that we can have a massive resource list.

Images via 1. I Suwannee, 2. Domino, 3. Sunset, 4. Kate Spade store, 5. Domino, 6. Living Etc

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Blogger Kaity White said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

July 22, 2009 at 12:05 PM  
Blogger Kaity White said...

I am really lucky and have an artist as a mom - anything I am in the mood to have in our house, she usually whips up for us in a weekend!

July 22, 2009 at 12:06 PM  
Blogger Sweet Nothings said...

I agree..I love them..i have one in my bedroom that is a mix of photogrpahs and art. its almost done..i'm just not sure how low to go on the wall haha.

July 22, 2009 at 12:08 PM  
Blogger Lovely Little Nest said...

Those are some great inspiration photos! I just made a gallery in our guest room/study and it definitely adds character to the space. No pics of it on the blog yet(just of our new comforter and my obsession with all things WHITE) but they'll definitely be coming soon! :)

July 22, 2009 at 12:30 PM  
Blogger MyLittleHappyPlace said...

AMAZING resource list - THANK YOU, THANK YOU for the time you must've put into the research!

July 22, 2009 at 12:45 PM  
Blogger Devon said...

My son's art, my own art (which sucks, but that's half the fun), cheap maps, family art, photographs.

We hang everything gallery style going up from our first to second floor staircase. We hang the cheap with the expensive, the gilded frames with the Ikea frames. I think it's the smorgasbord of art that really looks fresh.

July 22, 2009 at 12:50 PM  
Blogger Gwen said...

Those sites are GREAT. I usually paint my own art. That way I get exactly the colors/subjects that I want and I get the creative outlet.

I can't paint very well, but I manage.

July 22, 2009 at 12:52 PM  
Blogger Wanderings of a Wannabe said...

love gallery wall art. i am with you on some solo spaces in my house...above my bed too! i can't wait to see what you do there.

that last image is so pretty.

July 22, 2009 at 1:09 PM  
Blogger Southern Aspirations said...

Love the inspiration photos! And very much appreciate the list too.

I have found, through blogging, some great artists like Fine Art Daily, PVE, and Bright, Bold, and Beautiful. I've bought a few originals, and will continue to add to my collection. Daily is another good source.

Still debating the merits of doing a gallery wall of family pictures (including me in my wedding dress!) but would do that in the hallway.

July 22, 2009 at 3:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a great post! I love Etsy for cheap art. Also, they have some really awesome photography on Etsy. Another source is to attend artist galleries when they have open houses, etc (but this takes planning). In SF there are a few major events a year where artists in areas open their studios... my fave is the one in the Mission district.

July 22, 2009 at 3:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

p.s. I posted about an art source today, in fact. It's a website with art inspired by Maurice Sendak's "Where the Wild Things Are"-some fabulous pieces!

I emailed the artist to see what he's selling his pieces for, but haven't heard back yet...

July 22, 2009 at 3:07 PM  
Blogger PS~Erin said...

I am so with you on the gallery wall. I love an arrangement of framed art.

I don't have any resources to add... I started just decorating my walls with mirrors, kind of as a copout bc I was afraid of making a big art decision. Now I just go with what I like at the time (and what I can afford).

I'll tell you what I did with my one wall that I have an arrangement I'm happy with though. I had a mirror, three pieces of art (one is an oil painting and two are actually old fabric pieces in chunky wood frames), and 5 big letters for each member of the family. I wanted a random looking arrangement, but i'm a very symmetrical person when it comes to decorating. I took a picture of the pieces and the wall and then photoshopped the pieces around until I was happy with it. Then I just nailed them up according to my layout on my computer screen.

Another tip that I came across was to get all of your frames together, whether or not you have the photo/art to go in them. You can make the arrangement you like and use placeholders, like craft paper or fabric, until you have the photo or art to sub in. That way you have the arrangement you like before you're done collecting.

Hopefully that makes sense.

July 22, 2009 at 3:17 PM  
Blogger Pink Wallpaper said...

love a gallery wall!

July 22, 2009 at 3:21 PM  
Blogger TheBeautyFile said...

I love them all, especially the top photo. It's amazing. Funny, I am in the midst of doing a "photo" project where I go through ALL of my old pictures and develop, mount and hang all over my house!

July 22, 2009 at 3:27 PM  
Blogger LindsB said...

I like to hang things on my walls that mean something to me. Some are priceless because its art done by my Grandmother and others are just postcards from ebay.

That being said, I'm SURE there is a TON that you can come up with to put on your walls. How about a map of the town you live in, ebay has great ones, a map of where you and your husband went on your honeymoon, or maybe a watercolor from there, again Google the place and check ebay, bribe Patricia to do a little sketch of your puppies or a sketch of your first home together, you could frame fabric like an antique scarf or doily, a pretty painting of the flowers you carried on your wedding day, cute little sketches done by any nieces or nephews you have, old black and white photos of family members, take out a Polaroid camera and have some fun, make a DIY silhouette of you and your husband or the dogs

I'm sure I could go on and me if you need more :)

July 22, 2009 at 3:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great list! I'd add antique stores/thrift stores/Goodwill, etc. Sometimes there is a bargain diamond in the rough (may need a new frame, or a cool frame may need new art!

And, make it yourself! I stenciled a poem onto a canvas for easy art, and anyone can finger paint. Commission some finger paintings from your kids or nieces and nephews.

Local colleges often have art shows too, but call ahead of time cause hours may be wacky (esp in summer).

July 22, 2009 at 4:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love gallery walls too. The fourth one is fabulous because of the variety and the last one makes me swoon because each pieces is so gorgeous. Okay, at the risk of pissing off a lot of people, I'm just going to say it. I can't stand mass produced art of any kind. There are so many artists creating such beautiful things at all price ranges, there is just no need for it. You've got a lot of great sources here already and my suggestions is to take your time collecting pieces you really like. Now let me piss off anyone I haven't yet by saying, I also agree with you about family photos. That's a big no in my book. Phew, I feel much better getting all that off my chest!

July 22, 2009 at 4:56 PM  
Blogger Blair said...

What a great list and such wonderful inspiration:) My artwork (the little I have) mostly comes from art fairs!

July 22, 2009 at 5:45 PM  
Blogger Melissa said...


July 22, 2009 at 6:24 PM  
Blogger pve design said...

You would love the Paul Smith wall in the city, I go there from time to time to shop and always have to go downstairs and see that wall full of things. I love letters framed too.
All your photos are really nice.

July 22, 2009 at 7:56 PM  
Blogger Lavender and Lilies said...

I love a wall gallery.

July 22, 2009 at 8:53 PM  
Blogger MMW said...

thanks for the how-to. I'm trying to put a wall together now.
One of my fave ideas for artwork is the Portland Art Museum gift shop. They actually have some fantastic giftwrap that looks like art...fabulous to frame.

Also love Etsy.

Also love browsing Flickr and Photobucket...asking photogs if I can buy a copy of their work - to frame...

July 22, 2009 at 10:18 PM  
Blogger Love Where You Live said...

I love the collected look as well. They just draw me into a space. Nice inspirational shots/post. -susan

July 22, 2009 at 11:57 PM  
Blogger Terry said...

We have a family wall. It's in a place where family sees it regularly but guests have to work a little to find their way there. It is precious to us.

I love the little family wall with the fan. Looks like it's in a relatively private part of the house. Everybody has pictures like these and I'm sure each means something personal.The frames are relatively inexpensive.

The best things we have are our children's art. We use a lot of it. A pro went through their work to help us pick it out.

It's great to go to another home and see their art/photographs and how it's put together. It always interests me and I get more curious and less jealous and less critical as I've grown up.

July 23, 2009 at 12:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love this post! I want to do a gallery going up our stairs, but can't decide how/what to do! I think pictures would be nice and make it more homey since we have paintings hung everywhere else, but then it's hard to choose pictures. I also don't want it to end up being a montage of just me and the husband! Can't wait to see your own finished project.

p.s. Ikea frames are great!

July 23, 2009 at 3:05 AM  
Blogger Tamstyles said...

you have got to check out mine...i just love it so..and its coming along very nicely i must ad...i just let it go allllll the way.

July 23, 2009 at 4:19 AM  
Blogger bluehydrangea said...

Thanks for all the sites for art work. I especially liked SCAD. I am determined to find affordable oil paintings..

July 23, 2009 at 7:12 AM  
Blogger Design Esquire said...

Thank you so much for this post, and how much time must have gone into it. I am trying to find and buy meaningful things that don't cost an arm or a leg, too. And I would LOVE a gallery wall.

July 23, 2009 at 8:01 AM  
Blogger paula said...

vintage printable seems brilliant. We have a tall wall that I am thinking of hanging 6 frames, but didn't want to do family pictures... this would be perfect!

July 23, 2009 at 9:11 AM  
Blogger Yansy said...

I also love gallery walls. I have one in my home that's a mix of thrift store finds and it didn't cost me more than $10. You can see it on my blog. Let me know what you think.

July 23, 2009 at 9:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a great resource list! I hadn't thought about doing a gallery-style display above my mantle, but am now intrigued since I'm not crazy about my mantle decor anyway. Thanks for the ideas!

July 23, 2009 at 9:58 AM  
Blogger Shannon said...

I want to do a gallery wall very badly but feel your same pains, I don't want it to look like I big-boxed it all in one day. But the problem is, I'm so impatient that I want to have it done in one day! The only thing I can think of doing is to hit up a bunch of eclectic spots in one weekend and see what I come up with, then I can swap out as I find even more unique, beautiful things. Thanks for the extremely helpful list!

July 23, 2009 at 3:24 PM  
Blogger Blueprint Bliss said...

Great, great post. Adore the first image.

July 23, 2009 at 6:11 PM  
Blogger A French Cloud said...

isn't it wonderful when you can create a gallery wall that looks effortless?

July 24, 2009 at 1:25 AM  
Blogger The Lil Bee said...

That top one is my fave of the bunch!

July 24, 2009 at 1:58 PM  
Blogger Alluring Interiors said...

I adore the look of gallery walls...and that resource list is fabulous...Thank you!

July 26, 2009 at 10:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm currently modeling my room, and art wokr will also be an issue for me, seeming as I'm in to pop art and that stuff tends to be on the exspensive side. What I am doing for sure, however, I'm taking a silver metal frame and I'm framing a matriel that I love. I suggest that idea, if your interested of course.

Good luck with your home!


July 26, 2009 at 11:04 PM  
Blogger Kat Lalisan said...

Like you, I LOVE gallery walls. I often wonder how long it takes folks to purchase, collect, and assemble these things! I am a fan of the eclectic, but I'm kind of stuck on creating one for my walls, as all the design possibilities are overwhelming. Do I use poster prints? My own sketches/artwork? Photographs from my travels? All of them? (Yes, but in what arrangement? In what sizes? With what color/style/shape frames?)

Argh! Decisions, decisions!

August 31, 2009 at 11:44 PM  

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