It’s safe to say the gallery wall isn’t going anywhere soon. There are new trends gaining in popularity literally all the time (like the floating ledge, floor-to-ceiling, and 3D object gallery walls, must we continue?). The latest is the grid gallery wall. We spoke with Tessa Wolf, Creative Director of Framebridge, to get the lowdown on how to recreate this trend in your own home.
How would you describe this new gallery wall trend?
Gallery walls as a general concept have been super popular for a while. While we’re all used to seeing spaces filled with a mix of framed pieces (different colors, sizes, art types) that feel like they were collected over time, we’re now seeing more and more people who are instead choosing to display collections of photos and art in perfect grids of identical frames. The consistent presentation allows a grid gallery wall to visually read as a giant single piece of art rather than a collection of pieces. In short, this is a cleaner and more grown-up gallery wall!
What do you like most about this new trend?
This is going to sound counterintuitive, but this look is actually easier to make look great than a more random gallery wall! All it takes for a stunning finished space is a clear perspective on what you’re looking for, some planning, and a bit of measurement at the time of installation. Sometimes people struggle to tie random pieces together successfully and worry too much about getting the arrangement to read as balanced and thoughtful. With a grid gallery, you don’t have to worry about any of that!
When did you start seeing people arranging their frames this way?
The idea of framed pieces in a grid has been around for a while—we’ve seen people framing identically-sized book pages, botanicals, and maps and hanging them together for years—but the idea of creating a grid of personal photos and art has really emerged as a trend over the past year at Framebridge. Thank you, Instagram!
What’s the coolest grid gallery wall you’ve seen?
Emily Jackson of Ivory Lane recently shared a reveal of a giant 3x4 floor-to-ceiling gallery wall of black-and-white photos in warm silver frames in her bedroom. It’s SO classic and light, and people absolutely love it. (Note: It’s been repinned over 100k times.)
What are some different ways you can style this trend?
The two most effective ways we’ve seen the grid gallery wall trend used are to fill a space from floor to ceiling and to fill a space from above a piece of furniture to the ceiling. You can use standard-width mats (2.5 - 3 inches, depending on overall frame size) and adjust the sizes of your photos and art to fill the mat opening or you can go with smaller photos and use oversized mats to fill the outer frame dimensions you’ve determined you need for your design.
How would someone go about creating their own grid gallery wall?
First, you’ll have to do a little bit of math. Don't be scared!
1. Decide the space you want to fill with your grid and how many total pieces you want in that space. We love the look of 3x3 (9 pieces), 3x4 (12 pieces) and 4x4 (16 pieces).
2. Take the total width of the space and divide it by the number of frames you want, accounting for about 2 inches between each one. So, if your space is 70 inches wide and you know you want your grid to be three frames wide, here's where you'd land: 70 inches minus 4 inches (two 2-inch gaps between three frames) is 66 inches; 66 divided by 3 frames is 22. So, each frame should be 22 inches long. Do the exact same thing with the height to determine how tall each frame should be.
3. To figure out how big you’ll need each photo to be, just subtract the width of the frame and mat from the width you determined in Step 2. In our example, let's assume the frame is one inch and the mat is three inches. The 1-inch frame plus 3-inch mat is 4 inches; 4 times two (the right side and the left side) is 8 inches. 22 (the size of the frame) minus 8 (for frame and matting) is 16. Each photo should be 16 inches wide. Do the same for the height and crop each of your photos to be exactly the same size.
Once you frame your photos, measure and mark them carefully on your wall before hammering. Hang and level each frame, and you’ll be good to go!
Any advice for people deciding what type of frame to choose? I feel like choosing one type of frame for many different pieces is a big decision!
For a wall like this, you’ll want to use a frame that, first, will look great in your space (an installation of 9 frames is much more of a statement than a single piece, so be sure you go with something that you’ll truly love with your home and furniture) and, second, will look great with whatever photos and art you want to display now or in the future (which is actually the opposite of what we recommend when framing individual pieces). Sounds like a tall order, but we’ve found that you can’t go wrong with a thin white gallery frame for a clean look, a champagne silver or antiqued gold for more of a classic feel, or a clean black frame for a little bit of an editorial statement. And use white mats for this type of gallery no matter what!
Does it have to be even (like 4x4) or does a line of prints (3x1 or like 3x2) framed the same way count, too?
I don’t think I’d necessarily call a line of prints a grid (but there’s no question that the line is a great look in and of itself), but the cool thing about this arrangement is that it can very easily grow into a grid! As you take more great photos or find art pieces you want to incorporate, you can just add another row. And, because the frames will all be the same size, you can easily swap placements to get the perfect balance in your arrangement.