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Coming back from a trip, it’s always the same story: my camera is OVERFLOWING! All these beautiful souvenirs in pictures, I want them ALL “within sight”. So I develop 5, then 10, then 20, then it becomes a veritable carnage of images spread out on the floor.

My husband, who doesn’t quite understand my photo craziness, almost thinks I have a serious mental illness 🤣. I console myself because I know that I am not the only one affected. I also know that this beautiful madness allows me to keep my travels alive because from my disorder of images a whole is born that creates a cohesive whole. This is it: a gallery wall.

You too can prove to your better half that your photo craziness is “the healthiest thing” by applying my ABCs to create a stunning gallery wall!

A: Create a Coherent and Harmonious Composition

You could take any image to create your gallery wall, but it would look weird and unaesthetic.

We must therefore think about a coherent and harmonious composition. To do this, here are some things to think about:

  • Which room will the gallery wall be in?

Small, medium, or large room. Your choice of room will determine the size of your gallery wall as well as the size of each frame.

  • What is the decor of the room?

Minimalist? Classic? Contemporary? Country? Rustic? Eclectic? Your decor will guide you on your choice of images, frames (material, shape, color, style), but also on their arrangement (symmetrical, asymmetrical, organized, disorganized).

  • What is the color palette already present in the room?

The color palette of the room will allow you to choose the images that will harmonize or contrast with it.

  • What is the dimension of the wall on which the frames will be placed?

The size of your wall will help you chose the size of your frames in addition to suggesting the number that would be “visually pleasing” to install.

My tips:

  • Build your gallery wall around a favorite image. This image can be a photo, illustration, and even a quote.
  • Stick to 3 colors and materials.
  • To save money, buy second-hand frames and repaint them any color you want.
  • Need inspiration? I advise you to take a look at Pinterest or Posterstore (warning! You might spend a lot of money there 😛).

B: Test your Composition

Testing your composition will allow you to validate the distance you prefer between each frame, the direction and size of your frames, but also to validate your choices of images.

For the more traditional, and those who like to see the result of their composition in real life, nothing is better than spreading out your frames on the ground and finding the perfect arrangement.

Techies like to use Canva, an awesome graphic design platform that lets you edit Photoshop-style in just a few clicks.

The more perfectionists, who need a more realistic rendering on a wall, like to use the kraft paper that they will cut to the dimensions of each frame and then affix them to the wall.

You could test these avenues:

  • To create movement and energize your decor (and it would fit the decor), opt for frames of different sizes, shapes, and thicknesses.
  • To create an intriguing optical effect, put a small photo in a large frame with a neutral (often white) mat (background). Why not take it a step further by putting an oval image in a square frame (again if the decor is suitable)?
  • For a surprising and unexpected effect, insert objects through your composition (a mirror, a wall decoration element, a hanging plant or on a shelf, etc.)

C: Hang your Composition

Are you finally satisfied with your composition? Now is the time to hang it to the wall.

  • For light frames, hooks or small finishing nails will be enough.
  • For moderately heavy frames, a nail or screw in the drywall should be enough.
  • For heavy frames, it is better to fix them with anchors and screws in the drywall.

If one of your frames is very heavy, it would be better to fix it in a post with screws and anchors.

To avoid holes, think about the 3M hooks that can support up to 5lbs, or a floating shelf, which is very useful since it allows you to rearrange the frames as you wish.

Finally, I dare to add a D to my ABC.

D: Add a world map

For me, I absolutely have to add a world map to my travel gallery wall. Sometimes it’s a complete map of the world, sometimes it’s just a map of the continent or even the city I’ve been to. This little detail is the difference that I think keeps my travels alive.

You too can get my many personal world maps, drawn by hand, in my shop!

Did you create a gallery wall with one of my maps? Send me a photo that I will share on my social networks! Who knows, you might just inspire someone else’s decor!

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