Curate a beautiful wall gallery using these seven common elements to build your art and photography collection. A big thank you to Minted for offering a great place to find independent artists and for providing original prints for our new cottage. This post contains affiliate links.
Creating a one of a kind wall gallery for your home is exciting and scary all at once. There are so many inspiring examples on Pinterest, yet it can be challenging to decipher WHY you love a particular wall gallery. Learn seven common elements that create visual cohesiveness within a wall gallery, and you'll have the tools to customize a wall gallery and curate a beautiful collection of art for your home.
Earlier this year, our family bought a cottage off of Lake Superior near the Apostle Islands National Park. Sailing is a huge part of the Bayfield community, so I was excited to pull in some nautical decor and shop Minted for coastal wall art. I had to share what I learned with you!
Whether you're shopping for your lake cottage, beach house or your family home, these common elements will help you pull together a beautiful wall gallery and create a sense of cohesiveness throughout in your home.
7 Elements for Creating a Beautiful Wall Gallery
There should be one tie (or more!) that pulls your wall art together. Use one of these seven common elements when picking artwork for your home collection.
1. Choose a common MEDIUM when playing with wall gallery ideas.
Choosing wall art in the same medium — whether it is a paint style, black and white photography, or sketched works on paper — is a simple common thread that can transform otherwise unique pieces into a cohesive art collection for your home.
For example, I've always been partial to the lightness of watercolor paintings.
When kickstarting your research for beach wall art, use the "Type" filter on Minted and search artwork filtered by paintings, photography, mixed media, graphic, and drawing for a cohesive medium collection.
2. The simple use of COLOR can unify a unique collection of art pieces in a wall gallery design.
Color is a strong unifier that allows you to exercise creative expression and play with a wide assortment of art within a gallery design. When deciding on a palette for your wall decor and artwork, use a tone that's complementary to your wall color or choose an accent hue from textiles in the room.
When browsing fine art prints on Minted, click the "see more filters" option on the bottom righthand corner to choose from twenty different color search options.
3. If you prefer to play with a variety of media or color, consider sticking to a specific ART PERIOD when searching for wall art ideas.
Create a sense of cohesiveness in your home or wall gallery by putting together an assortment of artwork from a specific period or style. For example, use modern art, impressionist pieces or realist works, to curate a unique but cohesive set of art pieces.
If you intend to include photographs in your wall gallery, abstract art is a fun way to bring in the feel of the ocean without visually overpowering your family photos.
Search limited edition art through a variety of "Styles" — abstract, modern, minimalist and more — when browsing through work from Minted's independent artists.
4. Consider multiple pieces showcasing a particular ART STYLE from a single independent artist.
If you come across an artist whose work you enjoy, be sure to check out their full collection of pieces. The history and story behind your art pieces can be what ties your wall gallery together.
For example, through Minted, I was able to learn more about Julia Contacessi, her work and even connect to her independent portfolio website, too. It was fun to read her bio and know the person behind the art...
After graduating from Pratt Institute, I moved from Brooklyn, New York to Norwalk, Connecticut where I currently live with her husband, Mario, and little guy, Neo. I love painting, photography and all things design. Sprinkle in the occasional 5-mile run and feisty conversations across the family dinner table on Sunday evenings and you have a good view of things in my world.
I fell in love with Julia's coastal prints and collectors series.
Each piece of fine art on Minted showcases the name of the independent artist and where they're from directly below the piece. You can click on the name of the artist and open their full collection of work along with an artist bio. Some of the independent artists at Minted not only have wall art but also offer home decor and custom fabric designs often in a similar artistic style!
5. Make LOCAL LOVE your wall gallery theme.
Add a bit of local flair to your coastal decor, consider hand-drawn maps, state paintings, local flowers, and landmarks as a unifier for your wall gallery. Celebrate your community with fine art prints (or by commissioning an original piece of artwork) from a local artist.
To honor Lake Superior and our family time in Bayfield, I chose the unique watercolor and ink drawing below to display with our lake painting.
Let's Get Lost by Sam Dubea — A playful piece of painted lettering, encouraging adventure and discovery. "Let's Get Lost" is a simple message, but an important reminder that getting lost in something is not necessarily a bad thing. Whether it's within your own city or a new place around the world, new adventures are to be had when you let yourself wander.
Stone Pile by Kelly Witmer — This abstract watercolor is part of a series playing with color, movement, and gravity. The pile of balanced stones has a meditative or zen quality to it.
Together this trio of pieces represents the story of our cottage, a special place to find balance and adventure.
If you'd like to mix in some local love into your nautical wall art, check out Minted's unique "Series," which showcases many state options. Also be sure to look at the Destination and City & States "Styles" too.
6. Use FRAMES as an easy way to tie together a variety of gallery wall art pieces.
If you have a truly diverse collection of art, try using similar frames when displaying each piece to create a sense of visual unity throughout your home.
When I ordered art prints for our lake house I decided to go with Minted's Distressed Cottage White Frames (see above) for all the pieces to ensure a sense of unity between our wall gallery and the art throughout the cottage:
Handcrafted wood frame with a distressed white paint finish. These charming, casual frames are perfect for children's art or creating a beach home atmosphere. No two frames are alike. Imperfections, flaking, and chipping are intended to achieve a distressed look.
Minted offers a variety of frame options when ordering fine art prints allowing you to create a cohesive feel throughout the art within your home. The Distressed Cottage White, White Wood Frame and Reclaimed Barn Wood are all great compliments to nautical decor.
7. Break all the rules and display pieces that are IMPORTANT TO YOU.
The best thing about creating a wall gallery is that it offers the opportunity to display so many different things all at once. Yes, the art in your home can have a theme or a common element tying it all together, but you should also feel free to pick out personal photos, art pieces, and anything else important to your family that brings you joy. It is 100% a'ok to have you and YOUR FAMILY be the common element. Some of my favorite wall galleries are a beautiful, unique hodge-podge of personal pieces.
I am a firm believer that family photos should be mixed in as part of a wall gallery. I mean, how could I not include these lovely images of our adventures in Bayfield?
Do you see how the lake, stones, adventure trio above is perfect for our vacation home?
Create a blueprint for your wall gallery BEFORE ordering your artwork.
Once you've chosen your art pieces and frames, it is always a good idea to create a blueprint of where everything should go on your wall BEFORE placing your order. Cut out paper the size of the actual size of each frame and then move them around to see what looks best where. If you're feeling stumped, click here for 20+ wall gallery layout ideas.
Grab this cheat sheet if you're doing a gallery or considering large wall art for the living room.
If you're hanging artwork over your couch or credenza, it should be ⅔ to ¾ the width of your sofa. Your artwork should never be wider than the sofa or couch.
If you opt for 2-3 smaller pieces rather than one large piece, consider leaving this much space in between.
If you're hanging large art above the fireplace in your living room, the width of your art shouldn't be smaller than the fireplace’s opening or wider than the mantle
Click here for a sizing cheat sheet when playing with large wall art for your living room and home.
I was giddy when I came back from a lake walk with the girls to see my husband had brought THIS into the cottage.
I love the way the lake and stone painting compliment one another over our cottage fireplace (photo below)!
Mixed with our driftwood mirror, the stone fireplace, and other casual pieces it feels like a lovely homage to the warm sunshine, the wildflower fields, the boreal forest, and the Great Lakes.
As you continue to research and plan your wall gallery, I urge you to skip "Pinterest perfect" and curate something that tells your family's story. Start with one or more of these common elements and create a collection that makes your heart smile.
PS: If you're still feeling stumped and overwhelmed, reach out for FREE art styling help. Minted has made getting help with art styling beyond easy.
- Text a photo of your wall to 415-993-WALL (9255) and answer a few simple questions, all from your mobile phone.
- Your Minted stylist will choose art that is perfectly suited to your wall or room, and text you back recommendations rendered onto your wall.
- Your art will be waiting for you in your cart in your Minted account (no obligation to buy). Choose the pieces you would like and check out!
Get the full details here.
Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored post.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value to write it. Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”