A gallery wall is a curated display of photographs, paintings, prints, or even embroidery arranged perfectly on a wall. It can be an innovative way to transform a blank space while adding colour and personality to your home.
Gallery walls can look beautiful “on the grid” and while gallery walls may look effortless, the truth is, displaying treasured photos or an art collection does take some planning.
Nicole Lambert, marketing manager at HelloCanvas, has some top tips on how to put your personal collection on display and transform a blank space into an Instagrammable gallery wall.
If it’s your first gallery wall, don’t buy what you think you’re “supposed” to buy or copy on Instagram; buy what you love or what makes you happy. This will mean so much more and will be much more authentic. If you prefer family photos, go for a collage of all your treasured memories.
But if you prefer a mix of photographs and art, there are plenty of places to buy art affordably. You could even get something designed by someone local or an artist online who can create something unique and personal.
This will be a more affordable way to add personality and create a great gallery wall. It’s best not to focus too much on following trends, too, as these change quickly, and trying to keep up with the latest trends could be expensive.
Plan it out first
Before you start hanging pictures up, it’s worth laying them on the floor to visualise where you want them to go. Move them around until you’re happy with the layout, and then stand on a chair and take a photo. This can give you a good idea of what it would look like on the wall before you start hammering away – although this only works if you have your pictures ready to hang up.
Stick to the 60/40 rule
When creating a gallery wall, the general rule is to cover up to 60% of a wall with wall art, leaving the remaining 40% blank. This convention applies when hanging a single piece or several pieces. Although, remember you’ll be enjoying your home every day, so you must create a space you love, and if that means filling the whole wall with family photos, go ahead.
Arrange your pictures in odd numbers
If you want your gallery wall to be the main focal point of the space, then you need to follow the “odd number” rule – a basic but effective guideline of modern wall art design that can instantly transform a living space. This rule states you should never use an even number of pictures when decorating a wall.
So when hanging a gallery wall, go for three, five or seven pieces. Items arranged in odd numbers are known to be more memorable and pleasing to the human eye.
It’s all about framing
When putting up a gallery wall, the main image should be hung at eye level, with other frames around it, so the main image anchors the entire design. If you’re struggling to know where to start, you’re best starting from the middle and then adding pictures around this.
However, be careful not to match the edges. Each image must occupy its space and shouldn’t line up with anything below it or to the side.
Ensure all elements work together
A captivating gallery wall should feel connected to the rest of the space. If you want to transform your living space with an Instagram-worthy gallery wall, any imagery you choose (whether it’s a selection of family photos or pieces of artwork) must work with the furniture and other design elements in the room.
If you have a vintage look in the room, you should opt for a vintage-looking art piece or vintage-style family photo, as a mismatch can ruin the overall ambience.
Mix it up
Gallery walls can not only be for displaying beautiful family photos and memories but also a way to create a statement in your home. Try using various media types to create a nice eye-catching mix. This will draw the eye to different parts and create something more interesting. Different media types include different-sized framed and unframed canvases, framed mounted photographs, drawings or digital prints, embroidery, collages, wooden photos or metal prints.
Some of my top picks for a unique gallery wall
- If you want a beautifully unique gallery wall, these landlord-friendly CusttomShapes have a free smart magnetic hanging system that is simple to use, so there’s no need to use a drill. The shapes are also easily rearranged or replaced with this magnetic system if you move or want to rearrange any photos.
- For a sustainable choice, opt for Felt Letters, made from recycled plastic bottles; they don’t need a drill and can be easily stuck to the wall. They also come with a free spirit level to keep those letters straight. Pair Felt Letters with a selection of CusttomShapes to upgrade a nursery wall instantly.
- Another idea is to choose some high-quality CusttomFrames featuring all your treasured photos along the stairs or in the hallway to spruce up a large plain wall into an Instagram-worthy gallery wall. Super easy to put up and suitable for all wall types, each frame has a free space for installation and a free magnetic hanging system, so there’s no need to drill any holes either.
- On a gallery wall, a canvas print is ideal for showing off your treasured photos featuring your family and friends or photos of your favourite things. Each canvas is available in various sizes and comes with a free hanging kit. Mix it with framed photographs and various sizes for the perfect gallery wall.