I helped a new client today. We picked out a dining room paint color and I hung some charming family photos in an upstairs hallway. It was a great way to start my morning and it reminded me of a recent conversation. 

Several months ago oijoyphoto asked if I had any tutorials on frame walls...aka gallery walls. I told her I didn't but that my mantra is JUST START HANGING. She thought that was good advice and today that is just what I did.

Here is the hallway before I got started. 


My client had a collection of beautifully framed family photos in varying sizes and tones. Even though several matching frames could have been hung as sets I decided it best to mix and match and make the wall feel organic...especially since the rest of the space had so many hard lines. 

After that...I JUST STARTED HANGING. I grabbed a larger long frame and hung it a little above eye level under the window. And then I worked my way down the hall from there. I know it sounds too simple. No cutting paper bags, or pre-drilling holes. But over the years I have found it the best remedy for overcoming nail hole phobia. Is that an official thing? And it makes the collection feel wonderfully imperfect...and well...collected. 

An hour later....


Yes, I've had a few years of 'experience' working on this sort of thing, but even today I had to move a few frames. And guess what. The holes don't show. JUST START HANGING. 

Here is another client. They wanted to fill this hallway with family photos and treasures. 


So I did. I grabbed a frame and hung it. And then I grabbed another and hung it next to it. 


I follow the same manta in my own home. This is the first gallery wall I tackled...in our Minneapolis home...with a friend...who had done one before. :) Baby steps.


Here is our current living room. I tried the 'situation' on the left but it felt off from the beginning. 


So I changed it...and guess what. There are a few holes showing. :) All fixable. 

Colonial living room with classic oil portrait of mother and child.

Here is our hearth last winter. I threw up the weasel picture when we first moved in but again it always felt off...small mostly. But even the mat color didn't feel right for the brick.


Then I found this print at an estate sale and knew the perfect spot. I love how the color and proportions work better with the space. 


And finally our back stairway. A few months ago I toured a house with art up and down several of their staircases. It felt intimate, personal, and casual. I immediately came home and JUST STARTED HANGING. I have plans to continue to the top landing and through the hallway, but for now I love how it feels. 


So there you go. Next time you have nail hole phobia...JUST START HANGING. 

Anne Golliher1 Comment