Written by Megan Murray
Megan Murray is a senior digital writer for stylist.co.uk, who enjoys writing about homeware (particularly candles), travel, food trends, restaurants and all the wonderful things London has to offer.
In Big Trends Small Spaces we’ll be recreating the most popular interior design trends on Instagram in rented homes and compact flats. This week, writer Megan Murray tries creating a gallery wall in eight steps.
Gallery walls are an enduring interior design trend. Whether it be a line of prints leading up a staircase or a whole feature wall, this trend is so appealing because it can be adapted to fit any space and taste.
And so, ‘how to create a gallery wall’ is still a popular search on Google and a common conundrum for anyone attempting their own.
After all, while every interiors influencer you follow might have nailed the look in their own home, gallery walls can be quite intimidating if you haven’t done one before.
I’ve had lots of fun over lockdown transforming my living room into what I like to call the ‘pink palace’.
I’ve experimented with paint to create a scalloped border around the middle of the room, as well as investing in accessories such as candles and vases which I’ve used to arrange my coffee table.
But, while I’ve loved redecorating many aspects of my living room, the walls have stayed bare which has, in my opinion, left the room feeling unfinished.
So, inspired by the room’s pink theme, I decided to try the gallery wall trend out for myself.
If you’re hoping to create this aesthetic in your home follow my step-by-step process for an easy how-to guide on hanging pictures in a galley wall format.
What you’ll need:
- Art prints, posters or photos
- Picture frames
- Measuring tape
- Spirit level
- Command Strips
Gather some inspiration
First things first: seek out examples of the type of gallery wall you’d like to create. There are so, so many different formations out there and it’s important to work out what your style is.
You could opt for a wall crammed full of frames big and small with each one fighting for a space, or choose six frames that are the same size, and arrange in a simple rectangle shape.
Here, you’ll find some of my favourite examples of gallery walls from talented women showing off their flair for interior design on Instagram.
Home With Sisi
Living With Lotte
Pick your art prints
I knew that I wanted to go for a tonal look, so I started collecting prints that spoke to me and had accents of my key colours of pink, red and orange.
Getting a mix of images is really important so I would recommend not going for only posters, only photos or only typography. Ideally, you want four or five prints at the minimum in a mix of visuals.
Some of my favourite places to buy art prints from are Oliver Bonas, Astrid Wilson, Liberty London, Tate Shop, Society 6, Isabelle Feliu and Studio Clemence.
Pick your frames
There is a case for using a plethora of different frames but to be safe, I would recommend sticking with either lighter or darker colours. You really don’t need to use matching frames, in fact, I think that looks too corporate.
But, my advice would be to mix light wood, white wood, rattan, bamboo, mother of pearl and even gold, or to opt for dark woods, black, grey, metals and darker colours.
My favourite place to get picture frames is Desenio. This brand specialises in frames so there’s lots of choice in size and material, plus they have a big selection of art prints, too. Delivery is quick and easy, and the customer service is good.
Plot out and hang your gallery wall
1. Lay out all of your options on the floor
I had been gathering art prints for a while before I started thinking about my gallery wall formation, so to start with I laid out all of my options.
Initially I wanted to include a mix of art, photography, typography, pattern and a poster, but my wall isn’t big enough to carry off all of these prints.
Instead, I whittled down the options based on which colours worked best together and, inspired by Sara Waiste, if there was a central theme running through them.
2. Mock out a formation
After looking at all of the art prints I had, I used my measuring tape to roughly measure out the area of wall I wanted to fill and replicated this on the floor so that I could see how many prints would fit.
The general aesthetic I was looking to achieve was not uninformed but with a theme running throughout; a feeling of balanced randomness. I chose pink and red as my main colour scheme and stuck to oak or gold Desenio frames so that while I was using two colours, the frames still matched. I was also careful not to bulk the colours together, I didn’t want half of the gallery formation to be gold frames and the other oak, so I mixed them up.
To choose which prints would go where, I started at the centre with one of the larger prints and worked outwards. This is when having a measured out space became really helpful.
In the end, mixing landscape with portrait helped me work with the space I had. Inspired by Sara Waiste, I also followed a botanical theme and chose to incorporate the prints that featured floral images.
Top tip: take a picture of your formation when you think you’ve got it right so that you can refer to it later.
3. Outline the sizes of your pictures on the wall
Now it’s time to put the method into practice. Using a pencil I outlined the corners of each print on the wall to see if they would fit into the space.
By seeing where each print would sit I could work out if my plans would work in reality and it helped me to feel more confident when attaching the frames to the wall.
4. Start with the biggest or most prominent print
After attaching my Command strips to my frames, I held the most central print in my formation in position. I was careful to keep it a couple of inches away from the wall so that I could use my spirit level to check how level it was.
When it looked like it was in the right position I pressed the frame firmly onto the wall to stick it in place.
5. Work out from the middle
With my pencil marks in place, my Command Strips pre-stuck on my frames and a formation planned out, I pressed each frame onto the wall and voila, the gallery wall was finished!
Shop the look
Oliver Bonas / £65
Breakfast in Bed art print
Linnéa Andersson / £4.75
Leaves wrapping paper
Desenio / £26.95
Oak picture frame
Liv & Dom / £20
Warm floral nude print
Fiorella Gianini / £35
Beyond Process I art print
Desenio / £14.95
Wanderlust Paper Co. / £2.50
Marbled wrapping paper
Astrid Wilson / £29.90
Bologna art print
Desenio / £4.95
Oak picture frame
Images: Megan Murray
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