Gallery walls are all the rage and it’s one home trend I’m happy to jump on board with. It’s also one home trend that I think will be here to stay for the long run. A gallery wall is a chance to inject your personality into home. Starting a gallery wall can seem daunting (I mean, where do you even begin?!) but it doesn’t have to be. It’s a simple way to unleash creativity, discard the rules and enjoy your space.
My house is very far from being a home right now. Well, it feels like home but to the outside eye it probably doesn’t look like home. It needs a lot of work and I certainly didn’t hold back in my realities of being a homeowner post. Since moving in 3 months ago, do I dare say my front room is finally starting to come together? Mostly down to the fact I’ve made my start on creating a gallery wall. So, here go my top tips for creating a gallery wall
1. BUILD AS YOU GO ALONG
When starting a gallery wall, you don’t need to start and finish it in the same day. The beauty of a gallery wall is that it’s a collection that you get to build over time. Much like having a library where you don’t acquire all those beautiful books in one sitting, you shouldn’t expect to acquire all your art in one day. Instead, see your gallery wall as a visualisation of your personality. It’s something that grows overtime. So don’t stress about filling that wall straight away. Take it slow and build your wall of art as you go along.
2. PICK A COLOUR SHEME (OR NOT AT ALL!)
One of the hardest parts of creating a gallery wall will be choosing a colour scheme. But you don’t panic! Instead, have fun. You can choose a colour scheme that complements the colour palette of your chosen room, go bold with clashing colours, or throw the rule book out the window and don’t have a planned scheme at all!
When starting my gallery wall, I didn’t pick a colour scheme at all. Most of my prints were neutral black and white typography prints with pops of colour here and there. This means they will perfectly complement any location and if I decide to change up the colour scheme of the rest of my room, they’ll still look perfectly at home.
I later added my beautiful French Bulldog print which is currently the stand out piece. This print is the one with all the colours. I like to think the bright, bold frenchie print draws all the other art pieces together whilst brightening up my otherwise grey living room. I also picked up a multicoloured skull ornament to bring that colour into other areas of my living room. Try to follow the ‘rule of three’ if you can – repeating a certain theme throughout different areas of your room will help tie everything together. For instance, I have a copper framed print on my gallery wall, then further along a copper apple sits on my mantelpiece whilst on the other side of the room is a retro copper phone. Yay, it’s an easy way into tricking people into thinking I have my shit together when it comes to design!
Colours aren’t the only thing you can have fun with when creating a gallery wall. You can also experiment by mixing different types of art mediums and styles. So far my wall features typography prints, a liquid art piece and an illustration. You don’t have to stick to one style if you don’t want to. Go wild! Similarly, if you want to keep things minimal and symmetrical, then opt for harmonious styles.
3. FRAME IT
Again, this all depends on your personal style. You might want all your photos to be in matching white frames or you might want to go bold and have a mix of vintage frames or a combination of chunky and slim frames.
I originally planned to have matching black frames for all of my art prints. Then I wound up buying a £2.99 print with a rose gold frame (thank you The Range) and my whole dream of a matchy-matchy wall was over. Truth be told, I think the mismatched look is more representative of who I am as a person. I’ve always been somewhat messy and uncoordinated, so why should my gallery wall be anything different? After all, I want my gallery wall to be a reflection of my personality.
4. LAY DOWN THE PRINTS
Before you take to hammering nails into the wall, it’s a good idea to measure things up. How do you want your prints to look? Do you want them all lined up perfectly or do you want to play with juxtaposition? One of the fun things about having a gallery wall is that it provides you with so much creative freedom!
To help you decide on a layout, map your prints out on the floor first. Measure up the wall space you intend to fill and then measure out the same dimensions on the floor and play around with the layout of your artwork. This is perfect for helping you to visualize how your gallery wall will look before you commit to nailing them into the wall.
When choosing your layout take into account things like nearby decor or furniture and the distance between the prints. These factors could influence how your gallery wall looks. I knew that my floor lamp would block some of my frames at certain angles which influenced where I put my prints. A good idea when laying out your frames is to start with one anchor piece and build around it. For me, that was my French Bulldog. I laid that frame down first and then readjusted all the other prints dependent on how they looked around the Frenchie print.
5. HANG YOUR ART
Now that you’ve chosen your prints and planned your layout, it’s on to the fun part. Hanging all those gorgeous prints on the wall and making your gallery wall a reality! Before you get started you’re going to need nails, a hammer and potentially even screws and a drill. Be sure to check there aren’t any pipes or live wires running behind the wall you intend to use too.
Based on your pre-planned layout, measure out on the wall where you’re going to place each frame. This can be quite a meticulous task as you’ll need to account for distance from the edges of the wall and distance between each print. You’ll also need to consider where abouts the fixing is on the back of the frame too. Once you’ve got all your measurements sorted and pencilled onto the wall, it’s time to get hammering and hanging.
I started out carefully measuring my prints but as soon as my nail hit the wall, I also realised that I’d hit a problem. I was trying to hammer nails into an external brick wall. This meant I wound up with lots of bent nails and holes in the wall from trial and error hits. Now, I probably should have stopped what I was doing and waited until I had a drill so I could effectively drill some fixtures into the wall. Alas, I’m impatient. Instead I decided I’d just throw my prints up with no care for accuracy. Luckily, I was already going for quite the mismatched layout so I managed to get away with my careless tactics.
I probably wouldn’t recommend following my lead. My wall was already very worn (seriously, my frames hide a whole world of sins) so I wasn’t too fussed about adding a few extra holes to the collection. Hence my careless behaviour but hey-ho I wound up with a gallery wall I love!
Now that you’re done you can step back and admire your craftsmanship. The exciting thing about gallery walls is how fluid they are. You can freshen it up by swapping out old prints for new ones or mix up your layout. And who says you need to stick to just framed art? Add different wall decor to shake things up a little whether it’s wall plaques, fairy lights, cute polaroids, wall-mounted ornaments or anything else you can think of. You can also use washi tape to mount your prints and adorn your gallery wall with fairy lights. The options really are endless and it’s a true chance to unleash your creativity.
What would your gallery wall say about you? Mine probably says that I’m a crazy dog-lady with a low tolerance for humans…