I was going to name this blog post “how to create a gallery wall” until I realised that I am pretty sure I didn’t go about mine in the right way. Not the precise way you’ll all be expecting anyway. So I’ll tell you how I did mine, and let you make your mind up on how to do yours.
My first thought is to actually encourage you to go ahead and DO ONE. I am kind of disgusted with myself that it has taken me 11 years and three properties to create one. That I have stared at the blank white wall outside my bedroom for four years and only now decided to do something about it! When I thought about how to improve the space, it was kind of a no-brainer, as I have admired many a staircase/hallway gallery wall on Instagram and Pinterest, and love the way they can evolve and change with the seasons, and with your decorating style.
My gallery wall has shocked me in more ways than one. Not least because when I posted a photo of it to my Instagram feed on October 7th, it rapidly obtained 5000 likes and over 450 comments! I was completely stunned, as it only took an hour to complete! It also shocks me every time I walk out of my bedroom to go downstairs, because it is so beautiful. Hanging a bunch of artwork together creates SUCH drama, and is a stunning feature, whether that be on your landing, above a dining table or sofa, or above your bed. You can create them almost anywhere, and here’s a few tips on how to do it….
Firstly, start with a blank wall. It can be light or dark, but don’t try to do this on top of patterned wallpaper, as the end result will just look too busy and cluttered. Apart from this, there generally aren’t any rules to creating a gallery wall – you can hang anything you like – plates, baskets, postcards, an eclectic mix of bright, monochrome, old and new. You can essentially mix textures, materials, and objects to create a statement that is unique to you.
For my project, however, I knew I wanted a streamlined look, with a pared-back, Scandi vibe to tie in with the rest of my home.
I decided to use three frame colours – white, black and light wood. I actually ended up with three oak ones in there too, which wasn’t planned; but I actually like the warmth they add. I also knew I wanted most of the artwork to be black and white and so the large horse print pictured below was the starting point.
This is from a fabulous company called Poster Vibes which specialise in Scandinavian style posters for the modern home. I added a few more from them – some strong monochrome symbols and a cactus print, and then continued from there. I have been fortunate enough to work with some amazing small businesses over the past 6 months or so, and had quite a few prints in a drawer in my bedroom (I tend to change up what’s on the walls in my home fairly regularly). So I sifted through them all, choosing some that fitted with my monochrome scheme, but also others with pink and green tones within them to add a splash of colour. I’ll list these stores at the end of the post so you can visit them yourselves.
Next I put the art into frames (again, I had a lot of these going spare) and then armed myself with some large command strips, masonry nails and a hammer. This is where I can’t really say I put much planning into it! I basically hung the horse print on two nails which were already there, and then started filling in the blank spaces surrounding it. I had a nice mix of sizes, from A1 to A3, A4 and 8″ x 10″, plus a few postcards, so I was aiming for an asymmetrical, but balanced look. If you want to create something more uniform, then you may want to have symmetry in the frame colour, the frame size, or both. This precise style requires accuracy, so use a spirit level to ensure they are hung straight and place each frame an equal distance apart.
Some people choose to lay all the art out on the floor before committing them to the wall. I didn’t have the space for this, so chose not to. It can be a great way to visualise how it will look though, and this way you can arrange and re-arrange until you’re completely happy.
It’s a good idea to have a mix of art styles within your gallery wall. I have a combination of photography, typography and illustration on my wall. This keeps things varied and interesting. If you have too many words for example, then it can quickly become tedious to look at.
Once I had completed my wall, I stood back from it, and checked if it looked balanced. If you have prints of the same size, you can swap them around if needed. In the same way, a gallery can be easily updated whenever you feel like with new favourites. Just decide what you want to take down and replace it with a similar sized print (that’s what’s so brilliant about them!)
This is the finished wall for anyone who hasn’t seen it on Instagram. I hope you like it, and have found this blog post useful if you are thinking of creating your own.
Here is a list of shops whose artwork features on this wall:
Until next time,