“Ideally you’ll have one picture to build from, but this doesn’t necessarily have to be centered,” interior designer Hillary Thomas advises. When building your gallery wall, try hanging pieces to the left or right of center for an arrangement that is less formal.
Image courtesy of Hillary Thomas Designs
Choose the right frames. If you’re working with a collection of artwork across themes, using frames of a similar design or style is one way to tie the collection to your home’s style.
We love this gallery wall, whose tones balance the room perfectly while providing the perfect pop of color through a single orange artwork.
Contemporary Home Office by Los Angeles Interior Designers & Decorators Lindsay Pennington Inc.
Eclectic Bedroom by London Interior Designers & Decorators Jino Design Ltd
Displays that have a central concept always look a bit tighter — more put together — than those that don’t. This gallery wall would be great for a foyer, a dining room, or any place where you’re looking to add a layer of sophistication. Unlike the first wall, this one sticks with a fairly neutral color palette, but it’s the variety of objects that really attracts attention. The animal motif is expressed in both the pencil sketch of the elephant and the large metallic knocker. The two…MORE combine with the small wooden piece to give an unmistakable feeling of the outdoors. We especially like how the animal and plant elements are subtly repeated on the console table below the gallery wall, making the entire space look very polished. The two unique mirrors are beautiful additions and have the added benefit of making the space appear larger while reflecting natural light and adding a warm metallic to create a textural contrast with the warm wood tones of some of the other pieces. This is a fantastic example of how you can mix textures, materials, and objects to create a gallery wall that makes a really unique style statement.
Transitional Bedroom by London Interior Designers & Decorators Violet & George
Build a grid. Gone are the days when a single statement piece of art above furniture was the norm.
Start with the largest item first. Balance and symmetry are key to creating a gallery wall that works. Start with the largest piece and use it as the focal point. Work from the center out. We recommend spacing artwork at least 1¼ inches (3 centimeters) apart to make each piece stand out on its own. Try to keep the overall pattern balanced against other furniture or centered in a room.
Contemporary Kitchen by London Interior Designers & Decorators Ensoul Interior Architecture
You can showcase art with a variety of shades for a colorful display, or use works in a similar color palette that will complement the space that your art hangs in. Christiane Lemieux, founder of DwellStudio and curator of its new Art Shop, is a fan of a gallery wall with a specific color palette, “Design a whole room around modern abstract paintings.
I’m loving working with the bold black and whites. It’s so graphic and chic — a palette that works all year!” Image courtesy of Dwell Studio
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Fill a niche. Have fun and be playful. Gallery walls can be added to any nook in the house. A small desk with a blank wall can be transformed into a butterfly preserve, for example, as seen here.
Just like every piece on your wall doesn’t have to be an image, every part of your gallery doesn’t have to be on your wall. If you place a gallery wall behind a credenza or entertainment center, use the surface as part of your display. In this space, some of the pieces on the wall are so low that they appear to be on the mantle, and some of the pieces on the mantle are tall enough that they look like they might be on the wall. Playing with levels in this way creates wonderful moments…MORE like the tall statue of the ballerina on the right side of the mantle that’s flanked strikingly at the top by two paintings on the wall, and at the bottom of one wall-hung piece and one that’s sitting on the mantle. This is another excellent and unexpected way to build layers into your design and add depth to your room–definitely something to try at home.
Certain artwork, including pieces in a series, geometric works or other minimal lines look best in a grid. Smaller works in a series are particularly nice in this format.
Line a kitchen shelf. Create a gallery wall using existing shelves for a flexible and high-impact display. Combining artwork with kitchen items, for instance, can turn a storage shelf into a work of art.
Traditional Kids by South West Interior Designers & Decorators Nadia Reid Interior Design
When displaying art in kitchens, beware of placing it near heat sources and areas with high humidity. Gallery walls consisting of plates or decorative trays carry less risk of damage.
Traditional Dining Room by South East Interior Designers & Decorators Bespoke interior solutions
Offsetting a gallery wall with a lone, larger artwork — as seen here, with the big typography piece at the far end — is a great way to add extra punch to a space.
Tip: Reclaimed frames and made-to-order frames without glass can be an inexpensive way to make your art stand out.
Keep it personal. It’s your home, so use art and personal effects to make your gallery wall stand out. We love it when clients combine art they’ve purchased with family photos, sculptures, artifacts and children’s drawings.
More: Should You Lean or Hang Artwork? Find Interesting Prints and Posters for Your Gallery Wall 14 Creative Ways to Hang Art Liven Up Your Walls With Trendy Wallpaper
Hang with precision. There’s nothing more frustrating than hanging your art only to realize it’s at the wrong height. Most galleries hang works with the center of the piece 59 inches (150 centimeters) from the floor, so it sits at average eye level. Use a level and pencil to mark the holes before you drill. Double check each measurement to ensure you have the right height and balance.
Shabby Chic Spaces by London Interior Designers & Decorators Honey Bee Interiors
Or keep lines sharp. Creating a sharp boundary above a piece of furniture can open up the room and, in some cases, limit potential damage to art. Try to keep your gallery wall at least 12 inches (30 centimeters) above furniture.
Before placing your collection of pieces, Bekman suggests playing with a few layouts until you identify the best one for your gallery wall. “I recommend laying your framed work on the floor to try out a few setups.
You can even use painters tape to outline the size of the wall to help you visualize. Take cell phone snaps of a few variations that you like as you go. To start, use two to four pieces hung in the center at the same height to establish your anchor or focal point and fill in from there.
” Image courtesy of 20×200
Tip: Most gallery wall shelving displays are no more than two shelves in height. This creates an open look and allows enough space to accommodate larger works.
Jen Bekman, founder of the popular online art shop, 20×200, finds that creating a gallery wall is the perfect way to make a personal statement at home. “This is your opportunity to make a statement about who you are and what you like.
Mix paintings and photography, black-and-white and color and combine high and low pieces,” advises Bekman. Image courtesy of 20×200
As you are designing your gallery wall, think about the placement of each piece, particularly when you’re hanging art over a sofa or chair. “When installing artwork over furniture, leave at least eight inches between the base of the frame and the top of the furniture,” says Bekman.
Be sure not to hang pieces too low or too high. Eye level is best. Image courtesy of 20×200
Transitional Staircase by London Photographers Teresa Superville Photography
Get a layered look. There’s no law that says artwork has to be neatly or uniformly hung. Layering pieces on top of each other, as in this shelf display, creates a casual, accessible vibe.
Make a dramatic landing. Staircases are often overlooked when it comes to decorating, and what a pity — they’re one of the highest-traffic areas in the home. Create a gallery that draws in the eye by staggering work along the staircase wall. Keep the center of your gallery near the 59-inch (150-centimeter) height, and allow 10 inches (25 centimeters) from each stair to avoid damage when vacuuming.
Think shelf life. Using shelves is another way to create a gallery wall that can easily be updated without the need to rehang. If you don’t have a built-in ledge or shelf, you can buy thin shelving made for art display quite inexpensively, then paint it to suit your design.
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Tip: Looking for fun ways to expand your gallery or add one more work to your theme? Consider using old calendars, movie posters or inexpensive illustrations.
Eclectic Home Office by London Interior Designers & Decorators Turner Pocock
There will always be a few things that you need to have in your home décor that wouldn’t be in a magazine shoot. In that category, televisions, cable boxes and wires are among the first things that spring to mind. But by building a gallery wall around it, even your television can look like it’s ready for the front page.
Bryn Huntpalmer is a mother of two young children living in Austin, Texas where she currently serves as the Senior Content Manager for Modernize.com and nurtures her home décor obsession. Additional glimpses into her life can be found on her personal blog Her Own Wings or her podcast, The Birth Hour.
Transitional Living Room by London Interior Designers & Decorators Turner Pocock
Tip: Before you break out the hammer, lay the art out on the floor and cut newspaper to the size of each piece. Using masking tape, position the paper on the wall as you would the art, then try a few different arrangements until you’re happy with the effect.
The final and most important thing to remember when creating your gallery wall is that there is no specific formula for creating a great display. Thomas’s final tip: “Creating a gallery wall can be intimidating, but don’t overthink it.
Just jump in!” Enjoy the creative process and have fun creating a unique gallery wall that you will enjoy over time. Image courtesy of Hillary Thomas Designs
Or make it all about the frames. Gallery walls can be created using consistent frames. Even old boxes can be used to make a display on a budget. Simply add 3-D treasures you’ve collected, as well as photos or old postcards, and refresh them whenever you want a change.
Tip: In the collection seen here, the designer has created a vignette by sticking together a number of boxes with double-sided tape. She then added wallpapers to create a consistent theme across the gallery, one that works with or without added art.
Determine your style. Love lithographs? Fancy foxes? A gallery wall is your opportunity to style your home to reflect your passions and interests. Galleries can be tied together by theme, frame color, style or image palette.
A great gallery wall can be just pictures, whether art or photos. It can also be much more than that. To make a great gallery wall, start with your favorite images like photographs, drawings, or art, and then start adding in the things you cherish like postcards from favorite vacations, your grandmother’s dishes, jewelry, or pieces from your favorite game. The possibilities are essentially endless. Of course, you still have to keep it stylish. But with some practice and a keen editorial eye, creating an eclectic and chic gallery wall is no trouble at all. Check out these 6 unique gallery walls that go beyond the standard framed images to make a major design statement.
Eclectic Living Room by London Media & Bloggers Joanna Thornhill Interiors
Gallery walls can also be used as a unique way to document and tell a story of your travels and experiences. You can include photographs from recent trips and prints and artwork that you bought while on vacation.
Lemieux is a fan of identifying pieces that have a sense of story to them. “I’m always inspired by the vintage art I find while traveling and have developed a deep love of collecting pieces from flea markets and galleries all over the world.
I love artwork that has a back-story. It’s a real conversation starter.” Image courtesy of Dwell Studio
Like any design project, gallery walls are in danger of spinning out of control if they’re not watched over by an editorial eye. At the same time, going too tame leaves you with something visually uninspiring. Adding in non-traditional pieces can make it even harder to strike just the right note, but it’s also what makes it so amazing when it all works out. The key is in finding the places where you can be consistent and using that to connect all of your disparate pieces.
Creating a gallery wall in your home can be an affordable way to transform a room with the paintings, photographs, illustrations and personal pieces that matter to you. Whether you want to create a statement in your living room or simply make a staircase or blank wall come alive, a gallery is a fun way to express yourself and showcase favorite items. For the uninitiated, creating a gallery wall can seem daunting, yet with a few tools and some creativity, you can have a simple selection up in no time. Here are some practical tips and style ideas to make your gallery wall stand out.
Color plays a key role in almost every aspect of design. So when taking your gallery wall to the next level, think of color first as it will most likely be the main line that ties all of your different elements together. On this wall, the Cameroonian Juju hat picks up the hot pink tone from the main art pieces while the mirror adds a second warm metallic frame to the collection. The slippers pick up some of the lighter pink shades present in the art as well as being just a really cute idea.
We all love gallery walls, and it’s not hard to see why. They do so many things. They’re an amazing way to infuse color and pattern into space. They let the art-lovers among us display our collections in groups so we can get more pieces on the walls. They’re an excellent way to take up empty space on a large wall, making the room feel fully inhabited. And most importantly they’re one of the best opportunities we get to show who we are and what we love in our spaces. Gallery walls…MORE are simply the best. But if you’re starting to feel like you’ve seen so many that you haven’t started on your own for fear of looking too conventional, then let me be the first to invite you to be unconventional.
Tip: In a busy room with lots of patterns and textures, the key is to stick to a single hue, perhaps adding small splashes of color into the mix.
The thing to love about eclectic gallery walls like this is that there is a variety of dimensions–everything isn’t just flat against the wall. Here, sconces with candles…MORE and small vases, and small floating shelves with keepsakes help to add a 3-D element while making the space reflect a more personal style. When creating a gallery around a television, the non-image pieces serve as a means to fit the television in as just another element. Consider mixing more rustic elements like unfinished wooden frames, old mirrors, or pressed flowers to balance the modern feel of the television. The simple colors of rustic pieces will also help to keep the impact of the design under control. In this room, there is a large variety of items on the wall, but the neutral wall color and simple frame colors keep the space from looking too busy.
Gallery walls don’t need to be done in a single cluster. Consider spacing out the works in balanced patterns. In this room, the homeowner has clustered only the core artwork, then used a few pieces outside the cluster to give the feeling of the works taking flight.
Take this wall…MORE for example. We notice something new every time we look at this wall. Did you spot the butterflies, the antique mirrors, the historic photos, the lithographs? There is so much happening on this wall, but the simple white backdrop and consistent black framing with white matting make every piece feel very deliberate and the entire wall, well organized. The mixed mediums create a great layered sense of texture on the wall, and we love that the gallery is floor-to-ceiling and incorporates the furniture so it flows seamlessly with the room. Last tip for a room like this? You’ll want to pull out a level for this one. Making sure that every frame is perfectly straight is crucial to providing a sense of structure.
Illustrations, paintings and a menagerie of distinctive pieces can all have a home on your gallery wall. “Do mix in drawings with photos and paintings. The more eclectic, the more you’ll get a ‘salon’ feel,” says Thomas.
Image courtesy of Hillary Thomas Designs
Eclectic Bedroom by London Interior Designers & Decorators Studio Morton
Your gallery wall is not just about the art on display, but also the frames that highlight the art. For a clean look, frames in the same color and style are the perfect fit. You can also mix and match picture frames so that you work feels like it has been collected over time.
“Frame your artwork with unique frames. Go for something distressed for an old-world vibe. I’m always finding vintage frames at flea markets. They can add so much visual interest to the home,” remarks Lemieux.
Image courtesy of Dwell Studio
Contemporary Living Room by London Real Estate Agents Domus Nova
Look closely at this wall? What do you see? Not a single one of these pieces is a painting or a photo. In fact, they are all serving platters. Who can turn down a great deal on a beautiful, unique serving dish, a ring bowl, or mismatched vintage china? We can’t! Unfortunately, unless you are entertaining very often, most of those beautiful pieces rarely see the light beyond the cupboards. But they can create a truly memorable gallery wall. We like that this gallery wall is in the bathroom for…MORE two reasons: First, the bathroom is often sorely neglected when it comes to design; and second, there’s not a lot of gregarious activity in the bathroom (think: impromptu kitchen dance party) that would make a gallery wall made of breakables especially vulnerable. But what we like most is that this is a truly creative use of unusual pieces in a space where you don’t usually see gallery walls. When planning your next wall-based masterpiece, look for opportunities to think outside the box. You’ll be amazed by what you come up with.
Tip: Consider using D-rings rather than wire or string when hanging art. Most wires on frames are attached with D-rings, so simply remove the wire and insert two screws in the wall that fit inside the rings. Hanging this way eliminates the prospect of crooked artwork in the future.
Go for a calming effect. In bedrooms, stick to soft palettes with splashes of color that complement the furniture. Bedrooms look better with gallery walls that aren’t too busy — this is where you come to unwind and sleep, after all. Keep things feeling spacious by limiting your gallery to two rows.