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Gallery Wall Mistakes to Avoid

Two women comparing paintings

Nowadays, nearly everyone collects some form of artwork to hang on display in their home. Those living in the Oakland waterfront apartments are no exception. Art allows you to place your interests, memories, inspirations and personality on display for everyone to see. This form of self-expression is so popular that you can find an art gallery in almost every apartment here in Oakland, but there are a few things people get wrong when creating one.
Grouping your works together in a way that compliments you space is an artform in itself. While it isn’t as complicated at painting the Sistine Chapel, it still takes a little finesse and know-how to pull off. If you’re ready to breathe some new life into your walls, then here are five gallery mistakes to avoid.

1. Matching Frames

Creating a series of matching frames places your artwork in a box of uniformity and unoriginality. This fussy, formal look contradicts the free expression of art itself, and it just looks boring. Much like the pieces you choose, your framing shouldn’t be an afterthought.

Mix the materials your frames are made of for a more eclectic yet wholesomely artistic appeal. Metals, woods, and a variety of colors will make your gallery stand out while adding dimensionality to your space. At the same time, avoid anything overly ornate or flashy. You don’t want a single frame stealing the show from the rest of your chosen works.

2. Same Sizes, Same Shapes

Every gallery wall should have some semblance of symmetry, but creating a grid of identical shapes turns what could have been an eye-catching statement into a bland, dismal display. Instead of playing it safe, show off your creative side with a little organized mix-and-matching.

You could take a pair of eight-by-tens, for instance, and pair them with a large poster. Alternatively, you could turn one on its side, place it next to the other eight-by-ten, then surround them with larger or smaller frames. Don’t be afraid to mix things up. As long as you can align a few corners here and there, you’ll be fine.

3. Redundant Medium/Style

Whether you really like Art Deco or Neo-Cubism, too much of a good thing is always overkill. Anyone viewing your gallery needs just one piece from that style to know that you enjoy it, and the same goes for mediums. An entire wall of print or pastel is simply too much of the same.

Like any art gallery, your wall should display a rich tapestry of styles and mediums from a variety of artists. Shop around for works that stand out or speak to you, then try to select something different each time you make a purchase. Don’t be afraid to throw in non-traditional styles, either. A tribal mask or tapestry can fit in with your gallery better than you might think.

4. Inconsistent Spacing

This mistake relates back to symmetry. If your framed pieces are practically rubbing together, it creates a sloppy and cluttered look for your gallery. Leave too much space in-between your pieces, and viewers are distracted by the awkward blank spots on your walls. It’s a fine line to walk, but there’s an excellent rule of thumb to follow.

In order to make sure your artwork is hung close enough that your pieces relate, stick with the three-inch rule. Allow precisely three inches in-between each piece so they have room to breathe but aren’t hanging in outer space.

5. Zero Planning

While throwing a few pieces of artwork might seem like a no-brainer, it shows when you fail to plan in advance. There are a number of things to consider if you want your gallery to look its best for your own enjoyment and when guests arrive.

First, the center of your arrangement should always be at eye level. It doesn’t matter if your gallery runs the entire length and height of your wall, you need to start at the center. This will also help you keep everything symmetrical without relying on the same spacing and size for each piece. If you are hanging pieces somewhat behind furniture, allow twelve inches of space between them.

Before you start hanging your frames, however, it’s highly advised that you draw a rough draft of your design ideas on paper. This will help you plan out each piece, eliminating any empty gaps while aiding your alignment.

Once you have your design on paper, begin placing painter’s tape on the wall where you want your frames to hang. Create a silhouette of each frame that holds its potential place in your gallery. Then, give yourself a few days to decide if you enjoy this arrangement or need to make adjustments.

After you’re certain about your gallery design, start hanging your pieces from the center outward. Remember to avoid the four mistakes above, and your wall will look as though it came straight out of a museum.

Oakland Waterfront Apartments

Artistically designed, masterfully crafted, Fourth Street East ushers in a new chapter of life on Oakland’s waterfront locale. Keys to these newly appointed luxury apartments unlock more than just another Bay Area home, they provide access to a wealth of community indulgences.

Relax after a long day in the library lounge, rooftop sky deck, or fireside lounge. Handle today’s projects in the co-working space, or mingle with residents in the game room and grilling areas. Stay active in the 2000-plus square-foot fitness center, then cool off in the pool or unwind in the spa. Entertain guests in the chef’s kitchen and private dining room, or get crafty in the DIY workshop. From pampering your furry friends via the pet spa to planning a simple commute with transit screens, Fourth Street East covers all the bases.

Each residence comes fully equipped with the finest in modern finishes from waterfall edge quartz countertops to custom MecoSystem roller shades and smart home features. Meanwhile, the bulk of the Bay Area is yours to explore with easy access to Oakland’s public transits. It’s the best of both worlds combined.

Two apartment buildings, one street, one vision. Welcome to Fourth Street East.