Who hasn’t seen one on Pinterest or Instagram? Taking the leap and creating your own gallery wall can be intimidating, but it’s not that difficult.
I’ve put together a list of the main principles to avoid mistakes and tips to help you recreate your favourite gallery wall style at home. At the end of the article, I also give you some tips for finding original pieces.
The key principles.
Before we look at the different types of gallery wall, there are some general guidelines to follow so as not to end up with a wall that is too wobbly.
Identify the right wall and take measurements.
Gallery walls are often seen above the sofa, on a sideboard or in corridors. Why not build a wall of photos and illustrations above the TV? In any case, the photo gallery will immediately catch the eye and highlight the wall you have chosen.
Be aware of the space you have and take measurements to help you compose your work (e.g. by making sketches).
A tip seen on Pinterest is to cut pieces of paper to the size of the frames you are going to hang with tape to get a better idea of your composition before you drill into your wall.
A great principle is to create lines even if your composition is eclectic. They create a better impression of order and harmony.
Build your collection over time.
Avoid buying a whole set of posters on the same website. It’s nice and harmonious but it’s not original. Moreover, when you go around on Instagram you always find the same posters in the influencers’ walls. You deserve better. In short, buying a piece or two on Desenio, why not, but if you want an original decoration worthy of a magazine, vary the styles and colours.
Which style to choose?
There are many different styles: eclectic, symmetrical, upward aligned, square or rectangle… The rule, to tell you the truth, is to choose the one you like best.
How to choose the colours?
If you don’t want to take any risks, opt for colours that are close to the existing decor and add stronger or complementary touches to give it a boost, or take advantage of the opportunity to use basic colours to soften the atmosphere.
Some tips depending on the style of the gallery wall.
I want something tidy and symmetrical.
First of all, you measure your frames and your wall to the nearest centimetre. The gap between the frames should be even.
To emphasise the symmetry and harmony, photos or illustrations in the same colour palettes and themes are chosen. A wall of sepia wedding photos, landscape photos or illustrations in harmonious tones.
In addition, identical frames are chosen and the same mats are added if necessary.
There are no real rules, so you can also play with contrasts and display various illustrations.
I want an eclectic wall.
For me, this is my favourite composition. You can start your collection with a few pieces and add to it as you go along, without breaking too strict an arrangement. Similarly, frames of different colours and materials can be used.
To avoid mistakes, you can choose to give priority to a particular colour (obviously with shades and touches of complementary colours) or to a theme.
For example, if I want to use neutral and soft colours, I will rather vary the themes: photos and illustrations about nature, travel, animals, a quote.
If I opt for an explosion of different colours, I will try to stay within the same theme like botany or portraits. Or not ! You can play with eclecticism from start to finish.
An eclectic wall is also an opportunity to hang something other than photos and paintings. Macramé, embroidery, jewellery, postcards, book pages, mirrors, dishes… Take your pick.
Important: even if the composition is not as strict as the symmetrical style, it is important to align some frames vertically and horizontally.
I am a tenant! My landlord doesn’t want me to drill (many) holes.
If, like me, you are not a homeowner and making holes in the walls is tricky, shelves are still the best solution (at least they saved me).
Plus, there’s no fuss to get all the frames straight (which also saves me). Do you like it ?
Some suggestions for finding original pieces
Redbubble: artistic prints on different media by artists and designers.
Etsy: handcrafted products.
Yard sales and solidarity shops.
Instagram: to discover new designers.
You can find my latest suggestions in the comments (and don’t hesitate to tell us your favourite photos, illustrations and frames).
So ? Are you ready to get started? If you have already done so, I would love to see your ideas. Show me your gallery wall in comments or on Instagram!