Wall of Fame

A gallery or display wall can solve any number of design issues.

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Andrea Monath Schumacher’s client had an incredible collection of mixed-media artwork. For this wall, she complemented the uniqueness of each piece with a custom frame while repeating tones for a random yet consistent display. The organic vibe of this arrangement is a bit deceiving—it was achieved using drafting software as the wall height proved to be a particular challenge. Photo By Emily Minton Redfield

Maybe you have a bare wall staring at you from across the room. Or perhaps you have a selection of smaller items—family photos or Picasso prints—and scattering them around the house seems, well, scattered. The answer is a gallery wall, artworks clustered together to create a multilayered, finished look, one that is expressive of your personal style and that engages the eye and the mind.

“I believe photos are the illustrations of our stories,” says Joyce Clegg, ASID, of Daydream Incorporated. “And everyone, every life, is a story to tell.” Clegg says she is a big fan of display walls for family memories, and she approaches each project with three key points in mind—all of which can help you create your own look or guide your interior designer.

First, she advocates a nice mix of old and new, color and black-and-white, people and pets and lots of beautiful and evocative faces.

Second, get organized by laying out the planned images on a table or floor to assess order, create groupings and, ultimately, make choices about mat and frame sizes and colors. “The key,” she says, “is that you are framing a wall, not an image, so they all need to work together. I will often do a paired center of photos that are significant—a family portrait or wedding photos—then surround those with various images, making sure the sizes and ages of the photos are well intermixed among ancestors, family pets and spontaneous moments.

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Joyce Clegg of Daydream Incorporated created this hallway wall in a 100-year-old Congress Park home. The photos were reframed and assembled into a wonderful walk down memory lane for a family getting ready to send their only child off to college. Photo By Ron Ruscio

 

The third step, she says, is to frame (or reframe) the images with coordinating mat colors and frames. Clegg is partial to solid black frames because they will make each image stand out. And, no, size doesn’t matter; larger mats can be used with smaller photos to make them more substantial. One last tip: Self-sticking backing and hangers, such as the Command brand, save you from endless adjustments of hook-hung pictures.

Andrea Monath Schumacher, ASID, agrees that a gallery wall is an excellent way for homeowners to make a personal statement that truly reflects who they are and what inspires them. Also, she says, a collected display feels organic. “It’s easily achieved by mixing and matching frames as well as mediums,” she says,.“For example, mixing black and white with color or high-end art with salvaged finds.”

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For this sometimes rental home in Steamboat Springs, Christine Loeb of CWC Designs wanted to give the Australian homeowners, and their renters, a showcase of the ski town’s seasons on the powder room walls. She floated a selection of Larry Pierce photographs between glass. Photo By Jim Winn Photography

Schumacher recommends starting with an anchor piece, hung at eye level, and then fanning out the remaining artwork from there. Depending on the look desired, she says, “hanging pieces in a distinctive linear pattern with exact spacing between each frame gives a collection a streamlined quality, especially when the pieces have a similar theme and color palette.”

Whatever your style, Schumacher highly recommends showing off the things you love. “Get treasured pieces off of the floor and out of storage,” she says. “Children’s artwork, favorite movie posters and vintage record albums are superb for wall displays.” Anything that’s meaningful to you can be used to create a one-of-a-kind gallery wall.

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This beautiful collection is composed mainly of the homeowner’s grandmother’s paintings and sketches. Schumacher achieved a unified look with the use of similar framing. Keeping the frames and mats simple helps maintain the focus on the artwork. Photo By Raul Garcia

 

Daydream Incorporated
720 S. Colorado Blvd. 303.329.3732 

Andrea Schumacher Interiors
2406 W. 32nd Ave. 303.458.6462 

CWC Designs
4015 Whistler Road, Steamboat Springs 970.331.1520