Photo Credit: Astrid Wilson

How to Create a Gallery Wall, The Clever Way

Express yourself to your guests with a gorgeous gallery wall: an easy and attractive way to spice up your space.

 

A gallery wall is a wonderfully elegant and surprisingly simple way to showcase your taste. Express your favourite art, present your precious photograph: this is a chance to exhibit your creative side, and it’s easily achievable with a few tips and tricks.

Let’s talk conceptual. What’s interesting to you? Photographs, framed prints, paintings, wall decor - there’s no point displaying it if you don’t feel something for it. You could think of it as: what do you want your guests to see inspires you? Whether it’s a film poster that’s struck a chord with you, an event you attended or a set of postcards from long ago, this is your design. Treat it like you’re curating an exhibit of your interests. 

If you’re struggling for specificity (as we sometimes do; when given the choice of everything, I often struggle to think of anything), remember that a unifying idea is useful. Whether it’s rows of roses or maps of memories - a theme stands out, whether it’s colour coordination or a recurring motif. 

Photo Credit : House and Garden

Pick your favourites

Above, the use of maps achieves this specificity. Perhaps they are places important to the person, or spaces significant to a relationship - either way, if there’s a story behind them it can show new sides of you. So gather your photos into groups, separate into sections of some correlation - it might make your life easier. See these photos of flowers? The orderly arrangement is calming, reminiscent of a garden one would present with pride.

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Zangrandi Marquetry Frame 6x4" £34.00
Ferrante Marquetry Frame 6x4" £36.00
Valduga Marquetry Green Frame 6x4" £36.00
Photo Credit: House and Gardens

Pick up a tape measure

We’ve talked about inspiration and we’ve considered how to get ideas, so let’s get practical. What are you working with? Measure the wall. Twice, just to be sure. Take note of windows and doors; you don’t want to have a door handle smash your hard work. It should also be said to measure your frames, but I’ll assume you’re smarter than me and know that A3 is bigger than A4). 

The largest of your selection should be seen as the centrepiece - it can be helpful to build around it, using it as an anchor of sorts, helping to ensure symmetry and balance.

Use graph paper or a dining table to map out the design. It should be stated at this point that at every step, take a step back (literally) and consider if it’s right or whether you’ve hit a wall (figuratively). It’s much easier to adjust things when the work is horizontal rather than vertical; it’s similar to why we learn to walk before we learn to mountain climb.

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Colonna Marquetry Frame 7x5" £34.00
Di Morra Marquetry Frame 6x4" £32.00
Photo Credit: House and Garden

Measure the spaces - again, easier to do when the work is on the table in front of you. You want to show the approach hasn’t been scattergun: your goal is to clear the clutter. Observe below: every inch of space is used, without any unsightly space or feeling of claustrophobia. Work with the space you have, not against it. Equally important: no unsightly gaps, or strange spaces. It looks like you’ve ran out of ideas. 

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Gambara Marquetry Frame 7x5" £34.00
Gambara Marquetry Frame 6x4" £32.00
Photo Credit: House and Garden

Put up the art

Vary the heights of your pieces - it gives depth and dynamism. As you can see below, the different sizes mean the wall is less of a pyramid and more a presentation. It’s a wonderful way to keep visual interest. 

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Amalfi Coast Placemats - Set of 6 £70.00 £56.00
Aqua Planter Vase £48.00 £33.60
Photo Credit : Renovating Love Lane

We’re at the home stretch now (maybe stretch if you’ve been putting all these up too - your shoulders will thank you). Add some lights to add ambience and, well, illuminate your artwork. You don’t want anything overpowering but a little touch can be perfect. 

Finally, step back and adjust. It’s your wall, your design, your place: is it working for you? Are you happy? If not, it’s easy to make a change. A beautiful aspect of this design is if one part doesn’t work for you, replacing it shouldn’t require planning permission or an extended issue - just taking an element down and substituting another in. 

There you have it - a picture perfect presentation that expresses personality, and will be utterly unique to you.

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