In the world of décor, a new style is emerging as a trend. In decades past, two styles dominated home decor. The formal style placed a horizontal art piece over the couch with sconces or other items on either side. The eye had a focal point, and the look was balanced as one side mirrors the other. In the asymmetrical style, the two sides use different shapes to achieve visual balance. Today Pinterest gives strong evidence that a new, preferred style is emerging: the gallery wall. Groups of art displayed collectively use multiple individual pieces to create a sense of visual balance. Home décor retailers have embraced the trend and Christian retail can, too.
MY LOOK, MY WAY
Driving this new look is at least in part the millennial generation, who likes to make home décor personal. The gallery style lends itself to making signature décor statements. To make a connection with today’s customers, think about the wall décor in the store as a source of inspiration that may go home as decoration. Be a resource that helps them find what they love.
DECORATING GALLERY STYLE
Gallery style is an eclectic mix displayed to look and feel like a collection of loved, found treasures. Frame colors and styles can but don’t necessarily match. Colors may complement or contrast. Shapes may vary. A mirror or other unexpected item (a plate, a giant initial, an arrow, a set of antlers) might appear among the art. The key to success is the visual shape of the whole. To merchandise gallery style doesn’t require an investment of anything but time. By definition, gallery style is eclectic, so almost any store wall décor can work. Instead of hanging wall décor to fill as much space as possible, reimagine the store as gallery wall demonstration space. Envision sections of slat wall as a gallery vignettes. A 4-foot wide section, two 4-foot wide sections made into one long section, another 4-foot section can each feature different examples of gallery style.
Gallery templates use basic shapes to give ideas on how to do gallery style in a variety of formats. Templates offer triedand- true shapes as well as eye-pleasing configurations that take the guesswork out of the process of creating vignettes. Another way to achieve gallery style is to bring together wall décor that has a commonality. For example, a grouping of black frames on a section of slat wall can achieve a gallery look. Or group canvases of similar size, theme, and/or shape. Check with art vendors for other ideas. After finishing a vignette, remove one picture and add a slat wall shelf. Place two or three other items (a cross, books, and/ or a photo frame) to replace the picture in the space. As a cross merchandising technique, adding the extra items both demonstrates “how-to” decorate with gallery wall style and merchandises in a purposeful way.
MARKETING THE GALLERY STYLE
Make simple signage that suggests, “Let us help you create your own gallery wall style.” Take pictures of store gallery vignettes and use them as email blasts, Pinterest, Instagram, or Facebook posts. Invite customers to send pictures of their gallery walls created with store art for social media or email use. Invite a designer to host a “How To” event at the store. Empty a slat wall and invite customers to play with the art to help them to achieve the look they want. Offer a coupon on minimum-dollar purchase.
THE BOTTOM LINE
What will a retailer gain from this new approach? In addition to giving consumers new reasons to shop and buy multiple pieces of wall decor, you’ll also offer them a new way to discover that Christian stores are trend savvy and relevant to their lives. Merchandising art in gallery style connects art in the store to the way people decorate now. Be on mission in a whole new way to help customers keep Scripture “written on the doorposts.”