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How NOT to create a Grid Gallery Wall

Gallery Wall grid with small ikea box frames spaced out too far hanging above a bed as an example of how NOT to create a grid gallery wall design.

How NOT to create a gallery wall grid.


Grid gallery walls or gallery wall grids are all the rage these days and such a stunning way to display artwork in a cohesive, non-messy way.  The art prints themselves can be as eclectic or personalised as you like but when displayed in a uniformed, symmetrical grid it eliminates the risk of looking unprofessional.  


Not only do gallery wall grids look amazing, they are also ever so easy to assemble.  You do not need to cut out pieces of paper and arrange them on the floor, then wall, then try desperately to assemble the same pattern on the wall.  You simply follow a grid design and as long as you have some experience, or borrow a friend who does have some experience with a drill and a spirit level then you can’t go wrong.  However, despite the simplicity some gallery wall grids can just look.... a bit.... wrong.


The worst example being this is when the artwork and frames is too small.   Yes we know when you’re strolling round Ikea, the little box frames for a few dollars and think that they would be a cost effective way of creating a gallery wall but no, it’s cheap yes but not a good look.  These are box frames, they are suitable for craft type projects where you put objects or materials inside the box and create a theme such as these ideas on Pinterest


The best type of gallery wall grid is with fairly large square frame of 16x16 inches / 40 x 40cm approximately however they can be a little smaller or larger.  The Large Ikea Ribba frame of 50x50cm is a good option for example, and at only $15 per frame it’s still a cost effective way of framing your artwork.  The size also still works with Gallery Wallrus prints as the Frame comes with a large matboard included.  We have actually used this the large Ikea Ribba frame as an example of how to frame the art prints here


Grid Gallery Walls can also work with rectangle frames and art work however, we don’t think that the overall look is as striking as when using square picture frames.   If you were to use a frame that isn’t square then we suggest choosing a frame which is as square as possible and not an elongated rectangle frame as these also do not work with a grid gallery wall.


Another mistake is have the wall or space itself too cluttered with furniture or other objects.  The gallery wall grid is supposed to be a striking showpiece of the space and having too much going on will not only take the attention away from the gallery wall grid, but also will create a “higgledy pickled” look which is exactly what the gallery wall grid is supposed to avoid. 


The final mistake we want to address is the spacing of the frames.  Depending on the artwork and gallery wall grids can sometimes work well when the frames are dangerously close, like almost touching!  However, it is quite difficult to pull off and can easily look too “try hard” or just plain messy, again the exact opposite of the look the gallery wall grid is supposed to create.  Just as bad is spacing out the frames too far.  If you have more space than pleasing to the eye then the gallery wall grid will look amateur.  We recommend a space of 1 or 2 inches however it depends on the wall space, the artwork and the types and sizes of frames.  We suggest that you start creating the gallery wall grid and if it looks too spaced out or not spaced out enough then adjust!  Before drilling in all the holes, start by hanging a few frames, stand back and judge for yourself if the spacing is right. 


Good luck folks in creating your symmetrical, eye pleasing gallery wall grid design and let us know how you get on!

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