Tips for creating a picture wall

Most of my clients and friends are daunted by the task of hanging their artwork so it usually never makes it on to a wall !  

Styling your walls with artwork and mirrors is something that people struggle with because they don't know where to start and when they do start, they usually hang everything too high and don’t group things to give a feeling of cohesiveness (see my separate blog post How to Hang Artwork).   

If you are going to create a gallery wall, it doesn't matter about the style or colour of the artwork nor the colour of the frames. What is important is the way you display them.  This is best done on the floor where you lay out the pieces with the same distance between each one (on all sides). Take photos of what you create, keep it on the floor for a day or two and revisit it frequently before starting to hang them.

Part of my hallway is quite dark as it has no overhead light so I created a gallery wall on the right hand side and have left the opposite wall totally blank. I started this gallery wall with about half the amount of pieces that there are on the wall now as I've been adding to it ever since. It's a real point of interest when guests come to the house; they like to linger and look at what is on the wall. 

Here are my top tips for creating a gallery wall:.

1. Mix up the colours, styles and frames. However if you have a group of similar prints with the same frames, create a separate wall with these.

2. Start with a couple of larger pieces that will anchor the gallery wall and build it from there - on the floor, initially, before you are happy with the scheme.

3. Keep the distance between each piece the same

4. Add other items e.g. mirrors, family photos and also some objects to create 3D interest e.g. old keys, spoons, hooks and even interesting Christmas baubles as I've done in my hallway54. Keep adding to your gallery wall as and when you buy pieces of art

5. Look in charity shops (op shops) and markets as they often sell some fantastic pieces of original art

6.  If you have a series of similar prints e.g. botanical prints, create a separate gallery wall with them rather than mix them up with other artwork (see the two images below where I have put botanical prints behind the beds).

7. Most importantly, be courageous and have some fun. The wall should represent you - your tastes, your history and the art that you love. What's the worst you could do - make a few extra holes in the wall?!

Here are some of the gallery walls in my home. Some are already complete (the two bedrooms with the botanical prints), some are well developed and I'm running out of wall space (my hallway) and some are in their early stages:

I’ve always believed that styling a room should be an ever-evolving process. Finishing touches should be changed around on a regular basis, within the same room or between rooms, to give the space a fresh look and provide new things to look at in different places. This always gives my rooms a fresh look, but beware of changing the position of artwork and wall hangings, as you don’t want to end up with lots of holes in your walls. One option is to use picture-hanging strips, such as those by Command, which are easy to apply and remove, but make sure you choose the right size strips for your picture size.  

I'd love to hear about a gallery wall that you have created or about to create.  Do contact me if you would like any assistance.

You may also like to read