Gallery walls have become a popular decorative feature in many homes. They allow you to display a collage of framed photos, art prints, memorabilia and more in a creative way. This eye-catching arrangement instantly becomes a focal point in any room. Gallery walls are often assembled above couches or beds, in hallways, staircases, or as the backdrop to a dining area.
A key element in creating a cohesive, upscale gallery wall is choosing the right frames. While mixed media frames have a trendy eclectic vibe, metal frames exude refined sophistication and elegance. The gleam of silver, gold, copper or black metal communicates luxury. Metal frames have a timeless, lasting quality and can suit any decor style. They are durable, easy to clean, and offer great value for money.
In this post, we’ll explore the advantages of metal-framed gallery walls. You’ll discover the most popular metal frame styles and finishes. We’ll provide tips to guide you in choosing frames and arranging them for stunning effect. Gorgeous gallery wall inspirations will fire up your creativity. By the end, you’ll feel equipped to design your own sensational metal-framed gallery wall!
The Many Benefits of Choosing Metal-Framed Gallery Walls
What makes metal such an excellent frame material for gallery wall displays?
- Timeless and elegant aesthetic – Metal conveys an innate sense of sophistication. The indulgent look of gleaming metal evokes luxury. Metal frames and decor never go out of style. They are a longstanding symbol of quality in the framing industry.
- Versatile for any design style – Due to their classic appeal, metal frames seamlessly fit into any decor. They enhance traditional spaces with an ornate charm. And their streamlined simplicity complements modern minimalist rooms.
- Sturdy, durable and long-lasting – Constructed from solid metal, these frames have real weight and substance to them. Metal is much more resistant to knocks, drops, and general wear-and-tear than many frame materials. Quality metal frames can easily last a lifetime.
- Easy to keep clean – Metal frames just need an occasional wipe down to keep them looking like new. They don’t attract dust and fingerprints like wood or show scratches like plastic. Metal’s non-porous surface doesn’t allow grime to penetrate the way natural materials can.
- Value for money – Although expensive initially, metal frames are a sound investment. Given their exceptional longevity and resilient nature, the cost per use is low. Plus higher quality metals like solid brass offer value appreciation over time.
- Customizable with different metal finishes – From classic silver and gold, to trendy rose gold and bronze, metal frames allow you to match or accent your existing decor. Just swap out frames down the track for an instant style update.
- Eco-friendly – Compared to other materials like plastic and wood, metal is highly recyclable and reusable. A quality metal frame can serve many generations over hundreds of years. Sourcing recycled frames gives added environmental kudos.
With this winning combination of aesthetics, practicality and longevity, metal frames are a standout choice for any gallery wall. Let’s look at some of the most popular metal frame styles currently trending.
Top 5 Styles of Metal Frames for Gallery Walls
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the extensive range of metal frame styles out there, these 5 options are surefire winners:
1. Simple Thin Black Metal Frames
Sleek, thin black metal frames have a pared-back aesthetic perfect for modern design schemes. Their dark color recedes into the background, placing all focus directly on the art. Black frames provide contrast against light walls for proper artwork display. Their streamlined silhouette suits a minimalist, uncluttered gallery wall look.
2. Thick Chunky Silver Frames
Add an eye-catching sculptural element to your gallery wall with bold, shiny silver frames. The thick, chunky profile adds artistic interest and makes the frames themselves stand out. Large square silver frames make excellent anchors and define the overall modern-glam vibe. They suit black-and-white photography and graphic art prints beautifully.
3. Classic Gold Frames with Filigree
For spaces leaning towards the traditional, classic gold frames embellished with filigree details are a perfect match. The ornate shape and metallic finish communicate opulence. Warm gold enlivens artwork colors. Use these frames to showcase landscape paintings and sepia photography for a cohesive time-worn look.
4. Antiqued Copper Frames with Patina
Weathered copper frames with a greenish patina instantly impart aged charm to a gallery wall. The oxidized, almost rusted finish and dusty color connect to vintage eras. Photos of ancestors, aged family heirlooms and classic art reproductions gain depth in these frames. Their earthy appeal suits country, farmhouse and rustic spaces.
5. Minimalist Floating Frames
Floating frames forgo visible borders for a pared-back modern look. The frame hardware and edges are concealed behind the artwork. This gives the illusion that prints are just suspended in mid-air. Floating frames help draw the eye to the imagery rather than the frames. They work best for gallery walls with a sleek, streamlined aesthetic.
When selecting your metal frames, bear in mind their size, how heavy they feel, the artistic style they suit, and the overall gallery wall look you wish to achieve. Play with mixing frame finishes and alternating between landscape, portrait and square orientations for maximum impact.
Handy Tips for Choosing the Right Metal Frames
You’ve decided on key metal frame finishes to use in your gallery wall project. Next comes the fun yet challenging task of selecting the perfect frames to display your chosen artworks and photography.
Follow these tips when evaluating and purchasing metal frames:
- Consider your existing room decor – The frames should complement your current color scheme, style, and atmosphere. Are you working with warm wooden tones or cool gray and white hues? Traditional or modern? Choose metal frame finishes that enhance the overall look.
- Select a frame finish well-suited to the art – Pay attention to the color and detail of prints and paintings. An ornate antique picture or map won’t stand out nicely against an equally elaborate frame. Floating frames help simpler modern art shine.
- Frame thickness should align with the artwork – Thin, delicate frames suit prints and photos set in mats. Medium width frames are ideal for standard paper prints. Heavy, thick frames accommodate the depth of canvas paintings.
- Standard sizes are easier to arrange – Frames in popular standard sizes like 8”x10” and 16”x20” will give you more layout options. But custom, uneven sizes also add interest through asymmetry.
- Mix frame finishes for eclectic gallery walls – Using different metal colors and patinas together adds visual richness. Just ensure your selections make sense together aesthetically. Unify through identical sizes and symmetrical arrangement.
- Choose an assortment of frame orientations – Square frames present as ambient neutrals. Vertical portraits and wide landscapes help guide the viewer’s eye around the arrangement.
- Larger frames tend to suit standalone impact pieces – Anchor your gallery wall with one or two big eye-catching frames. Fill remaining spaces with smaller supporting frames.
- Carefully measure artworks before buying frames – Nothing spoils a gallery wall project more than improperly sized frames! Check dimensions and ratios so frames fit your pieces perfectly.
- Cohesion matters more than uniformity – Whilst frames don’t have to precisely match, your selection should feel cohesive overall. Keep to one or two metals with variance in size, shape and orientation only.
With some thoughtful consideration around these tips, you’ll end up with the perfect stack of metal frames for your vision. Now comes the fun part – playing gallery curator and arranging them gloriously on your wall.
Hanging a Cohesive Metal-Framed Gallery Wall
You’ve gathered your precious art pieces and purchased your metal frames. The creative work lies ahead in arranging and installing your gallery wall.
Here are some techniques and tips for hanging metal-framed artwork in a polished, pulled-together way:
- Map arrangement out on the floor first – Lay frames out on the ground before hanging them. Shuffle pieces around and experiment with what looks best. This allows you to perfect the layout before making holes in your wall.
- Balance pieces symmetrically or asymmetrically – Symmetry provides an orderly, predictable look. For more randomness, position frames to look visually balanced without mirroring each other. There are no rules – choose whatever appeals most!
- Mix landscape and portrait orientations – Include a mixture of vertical and horizontal frames. This adds movement and helps guide the viewer’s gaze around the entire display.
- Vary frame sizes, shapes and finishes – From a distance, uniformity shows. But up close, viewers will appreciate eclectic details like mismatched sizes and metals. This adds hidden depth.
- Use large frame(s) as anchor pieces – Curate your gallery wall around one or two bold focal points that grab attention. Surround them with progressively smaller, simpler frames as supporting elements.
- Place related pieces together – Group pieces thematically for stronger cohesion. Frames displaying family photos or travel pics can form a cluster. Or arrange by color scheme.
- Ensure heavier pieces are secured safely – Use wall anchors or stud finder hardware for large canvas portraits or metal frames themselves. Safety first! Prevent accidents and property damage.
- Step back to evaluate frequently – As you start hanging frames, keep taking a step back to see the overall look. Make adjustments to spacing, placement, and layout until you’re fully satisfied.
- Leave some breathing room – Frames don’t need to be jammed tightly together. Generous gaps prevent a cluttered look and allow the eye to appreciate each piece individually.
With meticulous planning and these tips, your stunning metal-framed gallery wall will come together beautifully. Take your time and have fun exploring different options. Before you know it, you’ll have a dazzling custom art wall to enjoy for years.
Metal Gallery Wall Inspiration and Examples
Still searching for that flash of inspiration to ignite your creative juices? Here are a few examples of drool-worthy gallery walls featuring metal frames.
Eclectic Black Frames Showcase Botanical Prints in a Boho Urban Loft
In a modern loft living room already decked out with plants, these fern and foliage prints framed with thin black metal frames fit right in. Their unfinished DIY vibe contrasts the sleek industrial bones of the space. An asymmetric arrangement adds quirky character in a room dominated by straight lines.
Thin Brushed Gold Frames Outline Minimalist Ocean Photographs for a Breezy California Living Room
Crisp white walls serve as the perfect clean backdrop for these ethereal oceanscape photos. Printed in black and white, their graphic nature pops through slimline matte gold frames. Grouped in a relaxed grid, the similar framing and color scheme unify the whole wall beautifully.
Chunky Iron Frames Display Bold Geometric Abstract Art in a Sleek Modern Great Room
These dimensional iron frames make a sculptural statement that contrasts gorgeously with the soft furnishings. Their rich wood-grained finish and thick beveled edges add natural warmth while honoring the mid century modern decor. The bold art pops within the frames to create an eye-catching focal feature wall.
Floating Copper Frames Mount Whimsical Family Photos in a Cozy, Inviting Kitchen
The beaten copper finish of these thin floating frames matches perfectly to the handles, taps and accents featured throughout this traditional kitchen space. Family snapshots mounted give such a heart-warming touch to the room. The floating frames keep things looking streamlined and uncluttered.
A Mix of Bronze, Black and Silver Frames Show Travel Mementos in an Industrial Farmhouse Loft Stairwell
This eclectic gallery wall transforms a forgotten stairwell into a captivating moment. Vintage postcards, ticket stubs and trinkets collected from trips near and far are framed in various metals. The medley of colors and sizes suits the playful, piecemeal vibe of industrial farmhouse style.
Ornate Gilt Frames Mix with Simple Black Ones in a Moody, Dramatic Dining Room
For this dark, romantic dining space crying out for opulent allure, large vintage-style gilt frames provide the perfect foil. Their lavish champagne finish catches the light beautifully. Mats in deep eggplant and contrasting black frames ground the look with modern simplicity. The mix prevents excess ornamentation.
Reader Questions About Metal Gallery Walls – Answered!
Convinced that metal frames are the way to go for your gallery wall but still have some lingering questions? Here we address some commonly asked queries about working with metal frames.
What’s the best way to hang heavy metal frames?
Opt for screw eyes and sturdy braided picture wire designed for weighty frames. This disperses force evenly and provides a safer hanging method. Ensure you hit studs or use appropriate drywall anchors for heavy frames.
How should I clean metal frames over time?
Use a microfiber cloth to gently remove accumulated dust. For deeper cleaning, use a glass cleaner formulated for frames or mild soap and water. Avoid abrasive chemicals or materials that could scratch metal finishes.
Should I stick to just one type of metal for all my frames?
Not necessarily! Mixing metals like silver, bronze and gold actually creates more visual interest in a gallery wall. Just opt for finish combinations that complement one another nicely, like antique brass with black metal.
Can I hang a metal gallery wall on drywall alone?
Frames under 15 pounds can generally hang safely on drywall using heavy duty anchors and picture hooks. But any large or heavy metal frames should be secured directly to wall studs for optimal safety and weight distribution.
What type of artwork and prints look best in metal frames?
Metal suits almost anything! But thin, delicate metal frames work best for displaying photos, digital prints and works on paper or cardstock. Thicker chunky metal frames are ideal for canvases, wood/metal signs, and heavyweight art pieces.
How should I arrange frames of different orientations and sizes?
Mixing portrait, landscape and square formats adds great visual interest. Aim for an asymmetric balanced layout – perhaps a large landscape anchor piece, balanced by several smaller portraits on the other side.
What distance should I leave between metal frames for a cohesive look?
General rule of thumb is 2-4 inches between frames depending on their size and the wall dimensions. Whatever spacing you choose, be consistent across the entire gallery wall for optimal flow and harmony.
We hope these tips help you gain clarity and confidence around designing your perfect metal-framed gallery wall! From choosing frames, to arranging artwork, to finally hanging your masterpiece – you’ve got this!
Go Forth and Create Your Metal-Framed Gallery Wall!
We hope after reading this post, you’re feeling newly energized and brimming with inspiration to create your own sensational metal-framed gallery wall!
Remember, gallery walls are such an artistic yet attainable decor project. With some thoughtful curating and arranging, you can transform any bare wall into a captivating display.
Follow the tips we’ve outlined above to select quality metal frames, choose prints with meaning, and thoughtfully compose your layout. The end result will infuse personality into your home and become a cherished focal point for years to come.
We suggest looking through your existing art prints, photos, childhood drawings, travel momentos and anything else meaningful. Displaying these personal pieces in artful new ways brings joy every single day.
Once your new metal-framed gallery wall is complete, we’d absolutely love for you to share photos with us online! There’s nothing more satisfying than seeing our design advice come to life.
We hope this guide served as a helpful starting point for evaluating and choosing metal frames. Thank you for learning with us – now go forth and begin creating your spectacular metal-framed gallery wall!