I'm just going to come right out and say it...I'm over gallery walls...I know, gasp. What can I say, they've been around for a couple years now and are almost always done wrong. It's time for change people...With that said, I will also say when done right, a gallery wall can still be sophisticated. If Pinterest has taught me anything lately, it's that there are definitely certain characteristics that make a gallery wall work.
For instance, color balance. No you shouldn't have all the prints/photos matching, but it helps to have several of the pieces share the same tone to balance the others in the gallery. In this space you'll notice that most of the photos have a base of black, and those are spread out, but the gallery is filled in with a few pieces here and there with color. Also in this space, you'll notice the large black and white painting anchors the whole wall. One big piece, can be a great jumping off point, but should always be off centered, and relate in some way to other art in the space. In this case, the black brush stroke relates to the other black and white works on the wall. Basically, you should disperse the pieces equally. You definitely do not want all the prints with color on one side of the gallery and all the black and white pieces on the other side.....this would be bad.
Another good thing to keep in mind is size proportion. You should have all different sizes, and they should be dispersed throughout the wall. In this space, all the prints are larger, but are not all the exact same size, which keeps your eye moving and adds interest.
Then there's orientation. Don't be afraid to hang both vertical and horizontal pieces. Again, this will keep your eye moving, making sure that all your beautiful pieces get the recognition they deserve, instead of stopping at one.
Now this is the trend, that I am loving right now. Why not, use photo ledges spanning the width of the wall, with leaning pieces. I can't wait to try this in our next home. You can switch out pieces whenever you like, and there wouldn't be nearly as much damage to your walls.
Now you tell me. What do you think about gallery walls. Are you over them, or do you think they are just getting started? Talk to me.