Hanging photos, pictures and illustrations across a wall is a sure-fire way to make the inside of your home look a little more interesting — and to find a way to display items that may otherwise be stored away and not properly enjoyed. The latest in interior trends for homes is the creation of a ‘gallery wall’ — transforming the way we’ve all hung pictures in frames in horizontal line arrangements into something considerably more eye-catching and bold. Even the New York Times agrees that gallery walls are “a simple way to bring style and personality to a room”.
A gallery wall displays pictures and photos both horizontally and vertically, and of all shapes and sizes for a really striking aesthetic affect. With the right picture hanging hardware, a variety of pictures, crafts and imagery to hang, and this guide, you’ll be well on your way to making a beautiful gallery wall that surprises and delights visitors and residents alike!
Step One: Collect the art
Of course, in order to be able to have a gallery wall full of beautiful pieces, you need to have those beautiful pieces ready to go! Collect together art, photos, canvases, cross stitches, crafts, any image at all you’d like to feature, of any size or shape. If you still have pieces to buy to complete your collection, consider searching flea markets, antique stores and looking up artists online for copies or direct piece purchase.
Step Two: Create a theme
While your pictures to be hung may not be all from the same collection or on the same lines, an overall theme will help give some cohesion to your gallery wall. The easiest way to do this is to set a color palette of no more than three statement colours and ensure everything to be hung includes at least one of them (in the frame if not the piece itself). For gallery wall inspiration to help you navigate ideas, search Pinterest!
Step Three: Select your frames
Frames can make or break a gallery wall. Some gallery walls look striking because their frames are all the same type or colour (although usually different sizes), but some stick to the abovementioned colour palette to give a brighter look. Whatever you choose, source your frames carefully to ensure that they’re good quality and will last — and check that if they do vary, the surfaces don’t clash (if you don’t want them to). For example, sometimes plastic can look bright and shiny compared to wood or fabric finishes.
Step Four: Get measuring
Work out exactly how big the area you wish to cover with your gallery wall is. Gallery walls look best when not necessarily stretched across as large an area possible — you can always add pieces to the edges afterward as and when you buy them! Make sure that what you have covers the area required nicely, although things don’t need to be too close together, as this may make your gallery wall look more cluttered than creative.
Step Five: Map the layout
Whatever you do, don’t start drilling holes and hanging art right away. Nothing will kill gallery aesthetics like holes between pieces where you’ve moved things around! Instead, lay out all the pieces to be hung on the floor below the wall and play around with the layout. Mix and match horizontal and vertical pieces and space out large pieces and those with heavy colour or bold art so they’re well scattered across. A gallery wall should look well planned and balance everything out nicely.
Step Six: Hang
Once you’ve finally nailed (pardon the pun) your layout, it’s time to nail those pictures! If you don’t want to (or are unable to) drill, consider removable picture strips such as Command. These also make for a great alternative if you’re not 100% set on your layout and would like to see how it looks before you completely commit. Take your time over hanging your gallery wall pieces: after all, you may wish to switch things around or find that the light coming into the room and on to the wall changes your perspective on how things should look.
Step Seven: Enjoy!
Ta-dah — you’re done! Now your gallery wall is complete, you can sit back and enjoy the compliments sure to rain in on your new art installation. If you have more art to hang elsewhere in your home, why not consider what other blank wall spaces could be transformed into gallery walls, and get creative. Gallery walls can be installed around windows, along and above shelves, beds and cabinets and even above doors. Get curating, get hanging and get having interior design fun!