DIY Wall Magic

Learn how to create your perfectly personal gallery with our Creative Director, Sarah.

Dreaming of assembling your very own gallery wall? Our Creative Director, Sarah, welcomes you into her home and walks you through the entire process.

 

My fiance and I love this apartment so much! We’ve had a lot of fun experimenting with paint color and design over the years because our landlords are the coolest. The mint walls and pale blush ceiling in this room are inspired by my time in South Beach, Miami.

I picked this wall because it’s smack dab in the middle of the place. It’s in our dining room which (in true New York fashion) doubles as a work area for Dave, a photographer. It’s also one of the first areas you see as you enter our home, but it really wasn’t making a statement. And if I know anything, it’s that art is the best and quickest way to make a space your own.

 

I started with some wonderful Fab finds. I’d been eyeing Planet Health, Cheetah Leisure, Sunnies, and Flawless since before I worked here and immediately knew I wanted those to be featured. I have a love for all things vintage and all four of these have a retro quality with a decidedly modern twist.

We had a few special treasures I wanted to include as well, like the propaganda art poster we discovered in Shanghai that seems more beautifully romantic than the government intended. Dave snapped a fantastic photo of a floral bonneted promenader at the Easter Parade here in New York; it’s one of my favorites. I also have a faux taxidermy flamingo that was a housewarming gift – a whimsical nod to my Floridian inspiration.

With my hero pieces chosen, I looked through my Fab wish lists for other works of art that had qualities and colors in common with those six selections. The key is to get a variety of sizes for that authentic gallery wall look. I even tore a few pages from one of my art books for the tiniest pieces in the arrangement. It’s all about getting creative.

Now you could get a gallery wall matching frame set readymade and work from there, but I think that’s cheating! I hunted online and at local shops in my neighborhood for a variety of frames that really suited each piece of art. I went for many different styles that spoke to me because the finished product should feel eclectic, yet complimentary. I even threw a frame around our apartment buzzer to work it into the story!

 

Plan out your arrangement on the floor in front of the wall you’re going to hang it on. It can be tricky to achieve that precise spontaneity gallery walls are known for. I used Planet Health as the central anchor point of the entire composition and created strategic grid lines surrounding it to give the organic arrangement a bit of structure.

Next, trace and cut out all the shapes of your art using a roll of brown paper from your local craft store, carefully marking where the nail should go in relation to each piece. Attach the brown paper onto your bare wall using artist’s or painter’s tape. Then start hanging your art directly over the brown paper so you can quickly assess and tweak as you go. Don’t overdo it on the perfection though, that offbeat quality is the stuff unique gallery walls are made of.

 

There will be moments of uncertainty along the way, it’s completely normal. I had some, and I do this sort of thing for a living. It’s an art, not a science. But in the end, I love my gallery wall! It’s so us; I can’t wait to install more collections of personal art throughout the rest of our home. What will you do in yours?

Show us! #howifab

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