Although large pieces of statement art are on trend right now, our love for gallery walls is unabated. Few stylish homes are without a gallery wall or two. No wonder: there is no better way to reflect your style, personality and memories than through a carefully curated display.
Gallery walls have the potential to add huge impact to your interior design. But is your gallery wall all it can be?
There was a time when a gallery wall was considered to be a collection of prints or paintings displayed as they might be in an art gallery, spaced out in horizonal lines. Yaaaaaawn.
These days the best galleries still comprise a display of prints. But they also include items of different shapes, textures and material, to create a real feast for the eye.
It’s shameful but I do not yet have a proper gallery wall in my home. I have an accumulated a collection of prints, frames and objects but no clear plan what to do with them.
I analysed the most striking images and spotted five strategies that were key in taking gallery walls from so-so to Stunningsville every time. And here I share these with you. Listen and learn people, listen and learn.
1. Use the whole wall
Conventional wisdom suggests that art should be hung at eye level. And of course there are times when that’s the best thing to do.
But if you want to create an visually arresting display then a clever tactic is to take the display all the way to the floor.
Stairways lend themselves particularly well to this approach and displays continued low, following the stepping of the treads, can be very effective.
2. Don’t stop at the wall
The most exciting displays are not limited to the wall, but rather extend over the floor, furniture and use the ceiling too.
This gallery doesn’t end at the skirting board. A rug and even the space under the table are styled to enhance the display.
A coat stand, leaning pictures, and honeycomb balls add texture and extra dimensions to this display.
Tables and hanging decorations add layers and colour repetition draws this display right into the centre of the room.
3. Mix Up Shapes
If you’re aiming for maximum drama a winning technique is to mix up shapes, dimensions and textures to create a varied and irregular display.
This is your chance to be as bold and eclectic as you dare.
Here frames are hung in portrait and landscape orientation (remember when that was just up and down the way and sidey-on?), with chains on display, and without. Rounded frames and some 3D elements break up the straight lines in this bold gallery.
Vintage barometers, a decorative tray and a frame doubling as an impromptu shelf makes this display a captivating vignette.
4. Add natural elements
Depth and texture are key ingredients in gallery wall success and plants, taxidermy (real or faux), and wall hangings made with natural materials can all seriously up the ante.
Deer antlers and a woven hanging create balance in this simple gallery.
Pairings of antlers, mounted butterflies and animal prints give this display a feeling of harmony though the Mona Lisa stops it feeling too themey. This sophisticated gallery even succeeds in disguising the heating control panel.
Once seen, never forgotten. I can’t think of a better way to add impact than to mount an actual unicorn’s head. Well ok, not an actual unicorn’s head. (If you simply must have one of these in your life – I know I must – scroll to the gallery at the end of this post for source info.)
5. Nailing it (or not)
Do you like the idea of a temporary or evolving display? Don’t let the hassle of leaving nail marks in your wall hold you back.
First up, there are command strips. If you haven’t tried these yet, prepare for a revelation.
Or why not try another less conventional way to create a display? Here are three of my favourite ideas.
Lisa used cork tiles in her home office to create a backdrop for a display that can keep pace with her fierce styling abilities.
Cara uses a peg board in her serene home office.
Michelle uses washi tape in her daughter’s room so that the stylish display can effortlessly grow with her.
Now go supercharge your gallery wall
Are you feeling inspired to up your gallery game? Any of these stunning Etsy finds would give your display some welly. And yes. There’s that unicorn….
So what are you waiting for? Try something different to take your gallery wall to the next level.