Gallery wall ideas – 10 ways to display pictures and artwork in your home
Maximize the impact of your favorite images with a few simple design tricks, and put added heart into your art
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Gallery wall ideas have never been so effortless. Affordable art fairs, where modern masters sell for under $1,000, are thriving, so creating your very own gallery wall at home couldn’t be easier, or cheaper.
Acquiring art is the simple bit, but creating a display for your wall decor ideas you can be proud to show off, can be somewhat perplexing. Let us take the confusion out of displaying wall art to provide you with a curated selection of our favorite gallery wall ideas – from showcasing a prized collection of vinyls to adding interest with vintage chopping boards – we have you covered.
Read on to discover the best gallery wall ideas to inspire you to fill any blank canvas, large or tiny, with exuberant life.
1. Curate a gallery wall that you will love for years to come
Curate your own gallery wall by hanging artwork together as a cluster. Decide which paintings, prints or fabric will anchor the scheme then take your decorating cues from them. In Elizabeth Hay (opens in new tab)'s home, the designer uses a mix of inherited heirlooms, art gathered from her travels and her own pieces to create a unique look. After all, your gallery wall should be something be visually pleasing to you.
Play around with the layout of your frames before hanging; try out evenly spaced rows and columns, or experiment with asymmetrical formations for something a little different - great for accent wall ideas.
2. Create a gallery wall in the kitchen
Unusual as it may seem, we are seeing more and more people experiment with gallery wall ideas in the kitchen. Now this may not seem like a most sensible space for displaying an expensive art collection, done right, it could be your most admired. Many would argue that kitchen art ideas are just as important as art in any other room, and we can't help but agree.
If you are dedicated to the cause, then we suggest taking your gallery wall above the backsplash, or perched on a shelf away from the sink or stove. However, it is imperative that you speak to a specialist framer before doing so. ‘Objects you might not notice, such as kettles and radiators, can cause damage,’ says Daniel Syrett, Runway Gallery owner. ‘If the artwork is going to go in a kitchen or bathroom it needs to be sealed in a particular way.’
3. Source vintage frames for country-style gallery wall
If you thought gallery walls only work in contemporary homes, think again. Turn a hobby, such as flower pressing, into a work of art by framing your own creations in rustic – slightly weathered – frames and hanging them closely together on a blank wall.
‘I like to source unique pieces from shops and markets on my travels and collect tableware, objects and books to display – it’s these accessories that add personality to a space,’ says Natalia Miyar (opens in new tab), Interior Designer.
4. Play with scale, color and pattern
If you are hoping to create a real statement with gallery wall, then opt for a maximalist approach.
‘It’s important to play with scale when displaying a collection. Varying the sizes helps to emphasize each item and the shadows created become very interesting,’ says Henriette Von Stockhausen, founder, VSP Interiors. Try mixing and matching different frames for a more eclectic display. 'You can never have too much art,' she adds.
5. Go for a cohesive look in the living room
For an alternative idea, consider hanging wall art as a series of panels for a statement focal point. This concept works particularly well for repeat prints or a series of designs that complement each other in color or style. Look for prints and photographs that lend themselves to longer than average portrait or landscape formats and group together as a trio, or in this case, a sextet. For more guidance, see our how to choose art for your home guide.
6. Display objects proudly
It is worth noting that art comes in many forms – not just pictures to be hung on a wall. For a truly unique collection of favorite things, it’s worth going that much further to find a special place or way to show them off. Here, the decorator carved out space in a recessed alcove for a curated selection of cherished antique teapots.
7. Add interest with an unusual gallery wall
A simple and appealing idea for a rustic look, this cluster of vintage chopping boards in a neat symmetrical arrangement pops out against the deep-blue wall. The woods echo the various tones of the furnishings to unify the farmhouse-style scheme.
8. Take a mix and match approach to art and framing
Studio Ashby proves with this bedroom accent wall that white (or off-white) is the go-to-choice when it comes to setting off a broad breadth of artwork and antique frames; this way no one color will dominate the others.
9. Highlight a musical collection
Turn treasured items into pieces of art. Here, Anna Hewitson shows off a client’s collection of old vinyl covers by framing them on smart black mounts with a brass frame.
10. Reflect light with a gallery wall of mirrors
Sometimes the frames make more of a statement than the artwork or, in this case, mirrors within. Here, their striking shapes create strong impact, while the warm patina blends well with the soothing tones of this bedroom by Rebecca Hughes Interiors.
11. Pick a coordinated selection to unite a gallery wall
A successful gallery wall is always united by one common thread. It might be an accent color that runs throughout, a frame style that is dominate, the style of photo or picture featured, or a regularity in size or shape. However, that doesn't mean that contrasting styles can't be introduced – just use the contrast as an accent rather than having equal amounts of different styles.
Above, this is demonstrated clearly with the black and white pictures, used as an accent contrast to the more colorful pieces. And, of course, they link visually to the rug on the floor for a cohesive feel.
How can I make my gallery wall look good?
There are multiple ways to make your gallery wall look good. Think about your style before you get started. Your decorating approach, whether it’s eclectic, colorful, minimalist or tailored, will lead the way when it comes to displaying artwork on your walls. This applies both to the pictures on display – black and white, or from a particular color palette – and to the frames you choose to display them in.
‘There are a few factors to take into account when deciding where to put a large gallery wall of pictures,’ says designer Sophie Ashby (opens in new tab). ‘Consider the position of furniture, the entry to the room and the windows – behind a sofa or above the fireplace is always a reliable location.’
Should gallery wall frames match?
Be daring with your frames and mounts. Although a simple white frame and mount may look best on children’s artwork, as it emphasises the bright colors they’ve used, I would always take a risk elsewhere. You’ll be glad you did.
Pick out a color in the painting – an off-white in a landscape, or splashes of red – and use that for your frame, mount or slip (a slim divider between the frame and an oil painting). It will bring out that particular detail.
Always start with the picture. For me an artwork framed to suit the picture always looks better in a room than one you’ve chosen to suit the décor. That can be too contrived.
Jennifer is the Digital Editor at Homes & Gardens. Having worked in the interiors industry for a number of years, spanning many publications, she now hones her digital prowess on the 'best interiors website' in the world. Multi-skilled, Jennifer has worked in PR and marketing, and the occasional dabble in the social media, commercial and e-commerce space. Over the years, she has written about every area of the home, from compiling design houses from some of the best interior designers in the world to sourcing celebrity homes, reviewing appliances and even the odd news story or two.
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