Hanging things on the wall is a big commitment. For four or five years, I have been admiring all kinds and variations of ‘gallery walls’, but I have still yet to do the real thing. I will hang posters and prints here and there, but a gallery wall seems like a big undertaking, lining everything up with such precision, and also nailing so many holes into one wall. There are many interpretations of this trend, from perfectly symmetrical to the mixed-frame organic approach.
The symmetrical arrangement
- Frames are arranged uniformly, with the same size and colour – in groups of 3 in a row, or a grid of 4, 6 or 8.
- Height of arrangement depends on the furniture below – if you are doing a grid design, lower furniture (like a bench or console table) works best, so art is the main focus.
- Best for art with similar themes, or a continuous image displayed over multiple frames.
The salon-style gallery wall
- Best for large collections of art or varying themes and sizes.
- Use multi-material frames (metal, wood, or unframed) and other mixed media such as mirrors, wood carvings, or personal items to break up the space.
- Start with one large piece off-centre, and then add smaller pieces. With an asymmetrical design, you can always build on the original layout.
- Or you can “disguise” your tv as just another piece of art on the wall.
White versus black frames
- With white walls, black or dark frames will look more dramatic and fill the space well. However, white frames can look great if you are going for a minimalistic design, or if the art is very colour-saturated.
- With darker walls (medium greys, blues, greens), white frames stand out and show great contrast, and only enhances the wall colour.
Not sure what to include on your gallery wall? Check out Little Gold Pixel, who has curated fantastic free printables, and has also arranged them in some gallery wall formats for you to use.
Now if only I can take my own advice, and get on creating my gallery wall. I am slowly acquiring the frames for the various prints I have “collected” over the years, so I may need to give myself a deadline to ensure it gets done. Stay tuned!
(Image sources: Thomas Yung, Flickr | Marica, Flickr | It’s Great To Be Home, Flickr | Enchiladaplate, Flickr | Jocelyn Durston, Flickr | Ideas to Steal | Abbey Hambright, Flickr | Wicker Paradise, Flickr | Ben Edwards, Flickr)