How to create a gallery wall
Choose your layout
Depending on the wall space you have to work with, begin by deciding on the type of gallery wall you want to create. Would you prefer a symmetrical and evenly-spaced design, or more of a mismatched feel?
Look on Pinterest for inspiration and think about the size and shape of your wall to get ideas on what will work best. For example, a large blank wall behind a sofa can be filled with straight rows of frames, whereas a wall leading up a staircase may be better suited to a diagonal layout.
Cut scrap pieces of paper to the sizes of your chosen frames and lay them out on the floor to mock-up different layout options. Play around with the composition and work out how much space should be left between each frame.
You can also apply this mock-up onto the wall itself by sticking up the sheets of paper using masking or washi tape and moving them around until you’re happy with the positioning and have decided on the height of each frame. Don’t forget to take a photo of your finished mock-up to help you recreate it later on.
Sourcing art work
Choosing the type of art you want to display will be different for everyone depending on your interior style at home. Popular options for gallery walls include family photos, art prints or paintings, or a mixture of them all.
A set of black and white family photographs in sleek black frames will make a sophisticated display, or you may wish to combine colourful graphic prints for a more eclectic look. Take a look at Scandinavian brand Desenio for inspiration. Their “perfect pair” option allows you to source prints and photos which work well together and visualise them in different room set-ups.
If more traditional artwork is what you’re after but you don’t know where to start, take a look at The Affordable Art Fair, where you can shop online or visit one of their markets to browse in person.
Find your frames
Once you’ve chosen the selection of photographs or artwork, decide on the style of frames you want to use to complete your gallery wall.
For a more uniform look, stick to one frame colour throughout as this will instantly unite your artwork even if the prints are stylistically different from one another. Alternatively, mix and match different coloured frames for a playful finish and pull out dominant colours in your artwork as a base for this. The same rule applies for the shape and size of your frames—mixing different sizes will add interest to the wall display and it can give you more flexibility in creating an unusual layout.
As an alternative to traditional frames, set your gallery apart from the rest by displaying your artwork in different ways. Use strips of colourful washi tape to stick up prints directly onto the wall, or create a charming set-up using rustic clipboards instead of frames.
Wooden poster hangers are a great option if you like to change your artwork regularly or, for polaroid-style photos, try stringing them up in rows for a quirky focal point. Don’t feel limited to just using frames in your display, either—mix in other pieces such as wall hangings, clocks and mirrors for variety.
Traditional picture wires or nails can be used to fix most frames to the wall. Remember to use a spirit level to ensure each frame is hung evenly, and check the spacing between the frames using a tape measure.
For those living in a rental property where damaging the walls may cost you your deposit, use 3M Command picture hanging strips instead of nails. They come in different sizes which are suitable for different weights, so make sure you purchase the correct type before using them.
Gallery walls don’t have to be displayed directly on the wall itself—picture ledges are another popular way to showcase collections of artwork and only require putting up the shelves rather than each individual frame.
This option also means you can add in additional styling touches to your displays, such as vases and ornaments to vary the look.