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Get Your Gallery On.

You might remember when we collected a gaggle of ornate frames from the Pittsburgh thrift niche over the holidays. While we love a good, gaudy gold, we’re not totally sold on the “fakes.” (You know, the ones made of plastic and weigh next to nothing). But that’s not to say we don’t want those, too – quite the opposite. So to remedy their misleading appearance, we think a spritz of glossy white does the trick.

Our frame hoarding was all for good reason, as we planned on using them in the studio. The “real” ornate frames kept their metallic sheen, creating the layered look we were going for. Over the last few weeks, I’ve been fussing over what art’ll go where, mat sizes and glass to-be-cut. (And in this meantime, you’ve heard me mention how these frames have been gracefully lining our halls, creating chaos and causing Jack countless panic attacks.)

It’s amazing how long this process can take – between unrolling on-hand art in tubes, ordering prints online, measuring, re-measuring and just getting yourself to the hardware store for custom cut glass.

We’re not completely done, but we’ve got a good start.

Here’s our highly thought out process (ha!) of hanging a gallery wall when you’ve got less than 8 square feet to shuffle about. After taping off where we’ll be installing a chair rail, we framed what we’ve got so far (using this process) and laid everything out on the floor. After moving frames about just so for the better part of an hour, we came to this:

The only problem with that layout is our teeny, tiny art was too high. As a girl that wants things done (and wants them done now!), I wasn’t thinking clearly and was about to call it quits for the day. That is, until Scott offered this genius solution: just flip it.

Using anchors (for strength and safety), we hung the largest middle frame on the bottom row first, then continued with the frames flanking each side. After the bottom was complete, we worked on the top from right to left, leaving an approximate 3 inch gap (mostly eyeballed) between each and every frame. Scott did the majority of the hanging using this trick and eliminating almost all math (while I said things like lower, higher, a little to the left, no no too far!), and that makes for one happy couple.

We know that there are many tutorials on how to hang gallery walls, but the beauty of a wall like this is that it’s meant to look less perfect and more layered, funky and collected. Yes, we could have cut paper templates for each frame size and tacked ‘em to the wall for proper placement (and considered doing so), but this method worked like a charm, too.

We love it.

There are still frames to fill (Big Bottom, I’m looking at you), but art’s on the way, and we’ll share what’s what once they’re all in place. A big, big thank you goes out to Ammo’s momma, Kyley, at Studio 3 for providing us with a few selected mats – you know we love Frames by Mail, but some of our sizes were so specific that they weren’t able to offer us the flexibility Studio 3 could.

Have you hung a gallery wall in your home? Or maybe you’ve thought of doing so but got stuck on the how-to?

See more of our studio ideas on our Pinterest board, right here.

  • rachel h - January 30, 2012 - 1:28 PM

    I made my hallway into a gallery wall! Y’all should check out fab.com for art. I purchased several pieces from them, some for only $5! It’s one of those flash sale sites, so I check it everyday to see if they have something new to fit in my space.

    Your office is looking great, by the way!ReplyCancel

  • kirsten - January 30, 2012 - 1:29 PM

    Love the gallery wall and of course, I’m a big fan of the “Work hard…” poster too! Can’t wait to see the finished room!ReplyCancel

  • Loren - January 30, 2012 - 2:03 PM

    This looks fantastic! Really nice job. I like that you didn’t spray paint all of the frames the same color. I like the mix & match look the best.
    I tried to do a gallery, I had plenty of frames but most of them are empty… But I went ahead and hung some of the frames with no art. Most people don’t even notice!ReplyCancel

  • Miranda @boucksy - January 30, 2012 - 2:31 PM

    I am loving your gallery wall and can’t wait to see what ends up in Big Bottom. I do have to say, though, I’m veeeerrrrry curious what that little happenstance in the corner is that mysteriously has been built. …You two are just full of surprises.ReplyCancel

  • Kim - January 30, 2012 - 2:36 PM

    Thanks, everyone!

    Rachel, I haven’t heard of fab.com. Thanks for the info!

    Aah, Miranda, good eye! It’s not finished yet, but we’ll share everything once it is! We’ve got our hands in many, many pots right now. Lots of projects brewing…ReplyCancel

  • Jen - January 30, 2012 - 3:10 PM

    Looks really – really nice. Great work!! I have a “gallery shelf” but trust me, there will be a wall or even two one day. I love’em!ReplyCancel

  • Jimmy - January 30, 2012 - 3:57 PM

    That paint-stick picture framing trick is GENIUS! I’ll definitely be doing that in the future. I’ve always tried to hold the screws with my fingers behind the frame, which never fit right and led to many more correction headaches.

    The wall looks great, by the way.ReplyCancel

  • Amanda @ Our Humble A{Bowe}d - January 30, 2012 - 4:27 PM

    Kim (and Scott)- Great work on the gallery wall! I love the mix of frames and the art inside. Can’t wait to see what else you’ve got going on. :)ReplyCancel

  • Kyley and Ammo the Dachshund - January 30, 2012 - 7:57 PM

    Oh I love it! We were waiting to see what fun art you had in store for our little mats :) Glad they have a happy home!ReplyCancel

  • Emily @ Our Waldo Bungie - January 30, 2012 - 9:13 PM

    Your office is looking so good! Can’t wait to see the finished product!ReplyCancel

  • Lacy @ downMODERNhome.com - January 31, 2012 - 6:23 PM

    Really loving how crisp the space is looking! The mix of frames adds a great personal touch.ReplyCancel

  • Lauren L. - February 16, 2012 - 11:51 PM

    This space is really starting to come together. I especially love the “word hard and be nice to people” print. I love that all the art in your house has sentimental value.ReplyCancel

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