The innate desire to create a living space which feels not only fully inhabited, but immensely personal, necessitates the desire to create a gallery wall layout which is filled with the imagery you love, that inspires visual joy.
The use of neutral colors such as gray, white, beige, and wood tones, showcasing clean lines, geometric shapes, mixed-media, and more allows numerous art forms to meld. This also creates the focal point for a designated area of your beautiful abode.
Gallery Wall Ideas: Neutral Defined
Interior design defines neutral as being “without color.” Neutrals are the most versatile wall colors which will, as a quiet background palette, enhance the warmth and diversity of your artistic choices.
Neutral colors are not easily categorized. The standard definition of neutral is any color which is not part of the anchor hues of the color wheel: red, yellow, blue, green. They are classified as whites, off-whites, blacks, grays, light grays, browns and beiges, and are considered “non”-colors, which connote feelings of tranquility and calm.
The tonality of the neutral is versatile. A neutral supports any other color contained within the art that is displayed, offering warmth and timelessness to any décor, including traditional, modern, mid-century, boho or industrial.
Today’s New Neutral
Art is, and has always been, open to constantly evolving interpretations. The term neutral has now been re-defined by many artists and designers to include shades or hues with strong underlying and discernable colors. Innovation, along with the popularity of colors with depth, has created a demand by art lovers for hybrid colors. A mix of gray, off-white, and beige, for example, is now often combined within a single shade and referred to as “greige,” which is a subtle, sophisticated combination of all three hues. It has an impact for the discerning eye.
Gallery wall layouts can resonate with a quiet wow factor, and with a neutral palette that enhances a space rather than dominating it. The neutrals create a landscape where art and artifacts can breathe, have star-power, and reveal their themes with subtlety.
Becoming an Art Curator – Creating a Mash-Up of Your Favorite Prints, Paintings, and Treasures
A gallery wall is a blank canvas, and a mood board, all-in-one. It has the potential to:
- Make a personal statement
- Inspire emotion, elicit surprise, encourage humor, motivate
- Set a mood
- Embody depth from a multitude of textures, including embroidery art, woven throw blankets, framed textile art and more
- Tell a story
- Promote responsible and sustainable practices
As curator, you decide the theme and mix and match the content: artifacts, frames, matting (over-sized, acid-free, unmatted), small-scale prints, large paintings, mixed media collages, landscapes, 3D-elements, or photography, determining the neutral color palette, which best fits your personal aesthetic.
Eco-friendly, reclaimed, wooden framed, textile art in earthy tones, or mesmerizing tapestries, gathered from artisans discovered on-line, or from traveling around the world, brought together in neutrals, are timeless. These quiet hues work to emphasize the closed lines, circles, patterns, and textures of the pieces chosen to enhance the space.
The Focal Point – Complementing the Architecture of the Space
Choosing one or two pieces of art as the center, or focal point for your gallery, requires thoughtfully selection.
When centered on the wall, or to the left or right of other pieces, the architecture of the wall space is allowed to shape the grouping, creating a natural symmetry and balance. Working in groups of 3’s, (odd numbers add interest), build out from these pieces, allowing 2 to 3 inches between the straight edges of each element, for viewing impact and comfort. Again, the neutrality of the artwork allows each of the objects to have stunning visual impact.
Laying the grouping out on the floor and playing with the arrangement of them offers a preview of how they will look when hung. Place frames horizontally and vertically, for added interest. Thinking outside the box, to add a shelf with handmade pottery, masks, mirrored objects, parchment scrolls, old letters, unique antiques – hued in natural earth tones and textures – will create an ambiance that is uniquely your own.
End Result of Fully Engaged Effort
Stepping away from your effort to view it with fresh eyes, the content will look organic in the space. Your stunning neutral gallery wall will provide the warmth, comfort and impact you desired, and will celebrate your love for art, culture, and the planet.