10 IDEAS FOR A GALLERY WALL
Gallery walls are an all-time favourite of mine when it comes to giving an empty wall purpose and creating individuality in a space to make it truly feel like a home.
Whether you’re a lover of photography, art or have a collection of unique pieces you want to display, a gallery wall is a versatile way to showcase your unique style.
In this article, I’ll share my 10 ideas for a gallery wall which you can create in different rooms throughout your home. I’ll share my tips on how to mix and match different types of artwork to create a cohesive and eye-catching display and create a gallery wall that truly reflects your personal style.
Nadine Richardson is founder and designer of Interior Motifs,
an interior design studio in Market Harborough, UK.
Ideas for a Gallery Wall with Purpose
If you’re thinking about ideas for a gallery wall, the first step is to consider its purpose. Are you looking to fill an empty wall, showcase your favourite artwork or simply add visual interest to a particular room?
Determining the purpose of your gallery will help guide you when it comes to curating your collection and will ensure your display achieves your desired effect.
You’ll also want to consider which pieces to display.
Are you looking to create a display of family photos? Maybe you’re considering a specific topic such as flowers, dogs or hobbies. Maybe you’re looking to proudly show off that eclectic mix of artwork… collected throughout the years on far-flung travels.
Design with purpose and you’ll be guaranteed to achieve an authentic look.
A Gallery Wall in Your Entrance
Family pictures are always a winner in communal areas like the entrance, landing and downstairs toilet. They add a personal touch which helps to create a welcoming atmosphere in an area that can be often overlooked from a design perspective.
Most homes have a narrow hallway with a long empty wall and a radiator on the long wall. This makes the perfect space for a gallery wall.
My advice when you have a narrow corridor:
• Opt for large frames.
• Keep the frames all the same size and colour.
• Make sure the middle of your frame is hung at eye level, which is around
130-150 cm from the floor.
Ideas for Your Stairs Gallery Wall
The stairs tend to be darker area so you don’t get to appreciate the full beauty of the art going up the stairs. But of course, there are many houses that are suitable for a stairs gallery wall. If you are lucky enough to have a large or wide staircase and plenty of natural light, go for it.
My advice would be to create a gallery wall at the top of the stairs or just before you go up the stairs (see pink circle for the spot) Keep it simple. Go for A3 (minimum) size, and use the same frame throughout for continuity, leaving plenty of space in between the frames. In terms of how much space to leave between frames, I would suggest around 50-100 cm.
Hang your frames portrait as this looks better than when they’re landscape. Make sure the frames are not too close to the handle rail too, as you don’t want to knock them by accident.
Living Room Gallery Wall
The empty space above a sofa is a great spot for a living room gallery wall. Depending on the style you are after, there are various things you can do.
- Have various frame sizes with different types of art-style prints. Make sure the colours in the frame relate to your accessories in the living room. For example, if you have a yellow vase, make sure one or two of the prints have some yellow in them. and if you have a striped black and white accent colour, you could add black and white text to your print. You can either keep all frames in one colour or mix two different colour frames together.
- If you have decided to opt for a square frame gallery, all in one size (in any colour matching your room) this is perfect for displaying family photos. Keep it calm and use all black and white pictures. or if you prefer, opt for colour photos. Incorporate as much as you need to. Choose the colour of your frames to match the aesthetic of your room.
- Combine a mixture of portrait and landscape pictures and arrange them in a set grid. You can choose family photos or a mix of art prints here, just make sure each photo or print is related to each other in some way, either by colour or topic. This ensures you keep a level of continuity throughout your living room gallery wall.
Inspiration for a Bedroom Gallery Wall
Most of the time, there isn’t much space for a large bedroom gallery wall so above the bed or above a drawer cabinet would be the best spot.
If there isn’t much space for a gallery, you could add a picture (ledge) shelf and display some of your favourite artwork. Another option is to have a miniature gallery above your bedside table and keep the space above your bed empty. You could use small frames with postcards for example.
In the bedroom, find inspiration in images that have to do with resting, relaxing or love. Add some frames with text to keep it interesting and meaningful.
How to Create an Eclectic Gallery Wall
The easiest way to make an eclectic gallery wall is by using picture (ledge) shelving as it makes the various frames and pictures instantly cohesive.
It’s best to keep all your frames in the same style but do mix the frame sizes as well as the frame colours – the idea is to create an eclectic mix. Overlapping some of the picture frames brings this look to life as it needs to look random…even though you’ve given it a great deal of thought 😉
Make sure the colours in each frame relate to each other and spread them out across the wall.
Don’t put all the pictures with green in the same corner, instead, you’ll want to randomly arrange them across the entire wall.
How to Create a Gallery Wall With Photos
When you want to hang photos with colour, I would advise you to opt for a strong frame. Either strong in colour and/or equally strong in thickness and make use of the passe-partout (the white rim) to frame your picture. This together creates unity and ensures your wall doesn’t look chaotic with all the different colours in your photos.
Black & white or sepia pictures are perfect to create impact. With one colour in your photos, you are less restricted and can choose any frame colour to go with your interior. Adding a picture light above will highlight and draw attention to your gallery too for added visual interest.
Expert tip: Play around with your layout by organising your frames on the floor before you commit to them going on the wall, you’ll find it a lot easier to create a sense of flow and cohesion this way.
Inspiration for a Modern Gallery Wall
I love curating a modern gallery wall of art and putting it together based on colour. Be playful and find some vibrant pictures to spice up your hallway, kitchen or kids’ bedroom.
Use the entire height of the wall and take your gallery wall from floor to ceiling by using extra large prints.
How to Create a Gallery Wall of Art
If you are considering creating a gallery wall of art and want various art pieces on the same wall, you need to think about how each piece relates to the next. You may want to think about using the same style of art or perhaps the same kind of colour scheme coming back through each art piece.
In this example, you can see that each frame is used in a different way and each size varies too.
To pull this look off you really have to look at the complete compilation as one art piece. There are only three main colours used and nothing in the art stands out too much to overpower the next piece of art. Make sure the frames aren’t dominating the artwork either.
It takes a trained eye to do this type of arrangement, but follow my tips because when done right, it’s a powerful design statement.
Ideas for a Gallery with Wallpaper or Wrapping Paper
If you love wallpaper as I do, you may have some leftover pieces to utilise in your gallery wall. Or maybe you have some great wrapping paper you love – this works equally well.
You can create a gallery with all of your favourite prints. Whether it’s in a hallway or living room, it is a great way to add colour, texture and pattern to your space. Ideally, you would use the same size frames and the same style of wallpaper. For example, using just flowers or prints from the same designer.
Create a Gallery With an Art Style
To create a cohesive look with your interior, opt for art in the same style.
For example, if you have a Scandi interior, a gallery filled with pop art would look amazing.
A modern interior with all abstract art works a treat.
And how about a wall full of inspirational quotes?
If you favour traditional styling, Post-impressionism will look incredible with a mix of traditional frames.
You can also think outside the box and create a wall of art combined with macramé, plants, and a mirror and creatively bring it all together to create a space that truly reflects your unique style.
As you can see, there are a range of ways to introduce a gallery wall into your home. I hope this article inspired you with lots of ideas to create a gallery wall you can be proud of.
If you would like me to create a gallery wall for you, I can certainly help. I’ll simply need a picture of your wall along with your measurements and we can discuss your wishes. I’ll then create a mockup of your wall and images of the proposed design to ensure you are happy with the end result.
Get in touch here or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org
Interior Motifs sells personalised name prints, great for kids rooms.
You can find some great art in quality frames at King & McGaw