10.23.23

The Gallery Wall in My Bedroom

I am really excited about today’s post because it was literally years in the making! In late August, my dad helped me hang the gallery wall in my bedroom that I have been dreaming about and scheming up since the day I moved into this apartment back in 2020.

While I’ve admired gallery walls for a long time, up until now, I’ve never curated or hung one in my own space. The way my bedroom is laid out is perfect for this kind of installation as there’s one long wall opposite my bed that’s not conducive to placing furniture against it. And, because I rent, I didn’t want to paint or hang wallpaper in my bedroom, so a gallery wall was a great option to bring in color and visual interest without making any permanent changes. (I’ve done temporary wallpaper before — but if I was going to do it in this room, I’d do the wall behind my bed — not opposite. So it wasn’t really a great option for this space!)

I am very picky about art — I like to buy pieces that really speak and are meaningful to me, so curating and framing everything (which can add up so quickly!) was a years-long process. I initially was going to do a mix of gold and white frames, but as I began to collect and frame everything, I realized I was gravitating towards gold frames — and so I made the decision to do only gold frames and love how it turned out. There are 18 pieces in the gallery wall — with space to add more as my collection continues to grows overtime.

love, LOVE how it turned out, and below have shared how I created the layout, some tricks for hanging a gallery wall, and sources for all the art + frames.

THE PREP —

I’m a visual learner, so once I thought I was close to having enough artwork to fill the wall, I decided to lay everything out before hanging it to save myself time and hundreds of nail holes.

There wasn’t really a good place for me to do it elsewhere in my apartment — like for example, on a floor — so I used re-purposed grocery bags and wrapping paper scraps to cut a “template” of each piece of artwork to size. I labeled each of the pieces of paper with what artwork it was, and then arranged them on the wall using blue painters tape. I moved the pieces of paper around until I was happy with the layout. This process also helped me identify a few gaps I needed to fill — some of which I grabbed art from other places in my apartment for and some of which I am still on the hunt for! (Like I said, I never rush art.)

Coincidentally, I hung up all these pieces of paper right before a busy couple of weeks at work and Labor Day Weekend, when I was out of town — meaning the gallery wall wasn’t actually hung for several weeks after I laid it out. This ended up being so helpful because it allowed me ample time to make tweaks and get it just right before hanging everything. Whenever I hang a gallery wall next, I’ll definitely be leaving the pieces of paper up for a few days before installation even if I don’t “have” to.

THE HANGING —

To actually hang the gallery wall, I called in the best handyman I know — my dad. I can decently hang pictures, but for this job, I knew there would be a ton of math involved and quite frankly, I don’t have the patience for that type of tedious work. (Let’s all recall, I was a Liberal Arts major and took one math class my entire four years at UVA.) As such, if I hung this gallery wall this myself, the end result would not be up to my exacting standards and I would have hundreds of extra nail holes in the wall.

Luckily for me, my dad is very generous with his time, good at math, and has quite a creative eye as well. It took about two hours to hang. Horizontally, the pieces are 2″ apart and vertically the pieces are 1.5″ apart. We kept the top row at all the same height, but the sides and bottom do not create the other three sides of a rectangle to give it that gallery wall look.

As each piece was hung, I could see my vision come to life — and I am obsessed with the finished product!

ART & FRAME SOURCES —

Below I’ve linked to all the art and frames I could — as I mentioned, I collected art for this gallery wall for years, and some of my finds were at antique stores or on my travels, which can’t be linked.

  • The Royal Hawaiian Watercolor in an AERIN Gilded Bamboo Frame — acquired at The Royal Hawaiian in Oahu
  • Christmas Swim by Slim Aarons in a Society Social Gold Foliage Frame — printed the image on Shutterfly myself, but it is also available here; the frame is no longer sold 
  • Botanical Print #4 by Inslee in a Georgetown Frame — the print is no longer sold
  • Custom Home Drawing by Joseph Gallantino in a Richmond Frame

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If you have any questions about my gallery wall, don’t hesitate to drop a comment below or email me at katie@atouchofteal.com.

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