2) Choose your frames
Again, no strict rules here about what types of frames to include. The most important thing to consider is how the grouping will look as a whole. If any of your artworks have mattes, it’s pretty important that these are all neutral and as close to one another in shade as possible. If you want a look that’s cohesive, but not uniform, I recommend a variety of frame styles all in one finish or a single frame style in a variety of finishes. Since I already had some simple Ikea frames in black and white, and Target makes some affordable modern frames that I like in a natural wood finish, I decided to use modern minimalist frames in a mix of black, white, and natural.
3) Plan your layout
When planning a layout for a gallery wall the goal is for the overall design to look balanced. Following some basic guidelines can save you time and help ensure success.
Try to keep the middle line of the collection at eye level (that’s 57-60” from the floor). In my case this wasn’t possible since I was hanging my pieces above wainscoting, but on an architecturally naked wall, this rule applies (even when there’s furniture involved.)
Start with the largest piece, which will anchor the entire grouping. Place it slightly off center in the space you’re working with, because if you put it right in the middle it will look like all the other smaller pieces are orbiting it.
As you add the remaining pieces to the design, building off the anchor piece, keep the following in mind:
The other trick to achieving a balanced look is to evenly distribute the following:
Black, white, and natural frames
Color images and black & white images
Vertical, horizontal, and square shaped pieces
I like to use photoshop to plan gallery walls because it makes it so easy to move things around and to see a large collection all at once. I take a picture of each piece and upload it to a black photoshop template (cutting out any background images from the pictures so I’m left with just the framed images on a white background. Then I adjust the sizes of the images so they appear realistically proportioned to one another. I don’t go crazy getting this perfect, I just sort of eye it. As I move stuff around, I take screenshots of all the arrangements I like so I can compare my favorites before making a final decision. Here are a few I came up with: