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A gallery wall is the perfect example of organised chaos – frames of all different shapes and sizes, images that don’t necessary relate and a pattern that is intentionally skewed. But if you can pull off a gallery wall it can set the tone and make all the difference to a space. Here are some of the best tips on the creative and practical sides of gallery walls to help you create a stunning visual masterpiece.
The brilliant thing about a gallery wall is you can opt for a theme or you can make the collection legitimately random. You can incorporate similarities into your gallery – a colour, an artist, a recurring symbol – or you can just select an assortment of images you simply love. Whatever you decide, our tip is to pick prints of varying intensity and detail so they complement each other and create a cohesive final product.
Don’t always look for new frames! Some of the best frames, in terms of character and price, will be found at second hand shops. Older frames will also be totally unique and have already lived so they add that extra dimension to your wall. Again, you can go with a theme or go completely random and vary the intensity don’t be afraid to experiment – colours, textures, metallics, material, shapes, sizes – there are so many options so don’t limit yourself to one type. Sometimes the frame can be the centrepiece.
You’re probably already thinking of the ideal spot for your gallery wall and the good news is you don’t actually need a huge amount of space for one. The size and shape of your gallery will essentially be decided by the space, so you can have a simple small 10 piece arrangement above your bed or a larger 20+ piece arrangement along the staircase or in an open living space. A great idea is to choose a space where you can keep adding as you continue spotting prints you love.
This one isn’t essential, but an anchor piece can be a stunning inclusion in any gallery. The purpose of the anchor piece is to be the first thing the eye is drawn to and then set the tone for the rest of the gallery as the eye continues to wander. Typically, this piece will be the biggest and have the greatest impact – you will know which one is the anchor when you see it!
Actually installing the gallery wall can be challenging if not properly prepared. Whether you choose the prints or frames first is totally up to you. Once you have chosen them, lay them out of the floor in the exact same way you will on the wall. This way you can move them around easily, like a puzzle, until they all fit. A hot tip for actually getting them on the wall is to trace the shape of each frame onto some newspaper, cut out the shape and tape it to the wall. Hammer or drill the nail into the wall through the newspaper and remove the paper around the nail – now your nail is in the exact spot you need it and you’re ready to hang your gallery! Be sure if your frame uses string or wire to hang you allow for hanging room.