Multiple parts, one dramatic statement: It’s never been easier to create a salon-style gallery wall at home. The modern framing industry has taken note, finding a sweet spot between the standard sizes you’ll find at big-box stores and the beauty and quality you’d receive at a high-end custom framer.
Oregon Home talked to the experts at Beard’s Framing, a retailer with nine locations in the Portland area, to get the best tips for a DIY gallery wall. In addition to its thousands of frame moldings and mat selections, along with ready-made solutions in standard sizes, the framing specialists have developed a new line of value-priced frames and mats, Simple Custom, which are both high quality and affordable, making large-scale framing projects — like that much-pinned gallery wall — possible in the home.
Don’t know where to start? “Custom framing doesn’t have to be expensive, difficult or intimidating,” says Beard’s product manager Teri Holland. Here she shares a few tips on how to get a luxe look at any price point.
Objects of Your Affection
The ordinary becomes extraordinary when in a group. When selecting objects, it helps to have things that go together, says Holland, but anything that makes your heart sing is fair game. Think kids’ artwork, family photos, vintage signs, game pieces, keys, coins, prints by a local artist or postcards. The possibilities are endless, so let your imagination run wild.
Put a Frame Around It
“Frames should reflect your individual style and personal preference,” says Holland. For a more eclectic, boho look, mix and match colors, materials and frame sizes; repeating metallic accents and wood tones can pull it all together. Identical frames create a more traditional, formal effect. To help determine how large or small to go, think about the space you are trying to fill, not necessarily the size of your artwork.
Bring It All Into Focus
Traditionally, mats served as a spacer between the artwork and glass — especially important in the damp Pacific Northwest. But mats can be a design element all their own, enhancing artwork with negative space that draws in the eye. “For a clean, contemporary look, you can’t go wrong with a white, double-thick mat with a beveled edge to create a sense of depth,” says Holland. For a classic, opulent feel, consider fabric-covered mats in raw silk or linen; both add texture and drama.
Hang Like a Pro
Before you put that first nail in the wall, Holland suggests visualizing and playing around with the layout of your pieces. Arrange them on the floor, paying attention to visual balance and a focal point within your composition. (You can also cut craft-paper templates and tape them on the wall.) Your frames should be close enough together that they appear closely as a group. “A grid is very modern,” says Holland, “but you’ll need to measure out the spacing precisely to get a clean, even layout.” As shown above, varying the spacing and alignment of each piece by an inch or two is much easier to hang, and creates a more casual, artistic look.
For more information on Beard’s Framing, visit pnwframing.com.