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A gallery wall is a display of personal photos, art objects, prints and paintings. It can contain all the fun elements that you want to display yet don’t quite know which room they fit into. A gallery wall can make a statement and reflect your personal style or it can be a lovely representation of photos and family history. It shows the world who you are, your interests, and the things and people that matter most to you.
Choose a theme and colour palette.
Your display can have a consistent theme such as a nautical theme with starfish, boat prints, sailing quotes, ropes and pictures of family members at the beach. Or it can depict your love of all things rustic—a piece of reclaimed wood with a stencil of “Blessed” on it, a wooden clock, a barn photo, prints of farm animals and a metal star. Perhaps your wall will tell the story of your fairytale romance, with wedding photos, baby photos and framed keys to your first home. How about a holiday wall depicting all the happy moments you’ve shared as a family? Trip photos, a framed map, inspirational quotes on travelling and wooden arrows depicting the many directions that life has taken you, can all come together in a fun and eclectic display. You can showcase colourful photographs and art pieces or keep the palette neutral in chic black and white.
Lay it out with a homemade template.
Painter’s masking tape or sheets of tracing paper cut to the actual shape and size of each object can be taped to the wall or laid out on the floor so that you can visualise several layout options. Take pictures with your mobile phone to compare which template you think works best. It’s a good idea to choose 3 or 4 pieces you want to focus on and then place them first and fit everything else around them. For example, if you’re planning a wall that reflects your family’s story, you might want a large wedding photo in the middle, with smaller objects, prints and inspirational quotes designed around it. A few items at the core of the design will create a focal point for everything else.
Looking for template ideas? We’ve created a handy guide that covers some aesthetically pleasing styles.
Factor in the furniture and other décor in the room.
Once you decide where your gallery will hang, look at the placement of furniture in the room. If you often rearrange your living room furniture for example and may want to move the couch in front of your gallery wall next month, be sure no art is hanging below couch level. A rule of thumb for hanging photos over a chair or sofa is to leave approximately eight inches between the top of the furniture and bottom of the frame.
Mix it up.
Black and white photos can be placed among colourful prints. Wooden objects can be mixed with metal. Anything goes on your personal art gallery wall, because it’s your home and there is no right or wrong way to express your creativity. Add that beautiful painting you purchased on a recent art tour and group it with a framed finger painting your youngest created at nursery. True art comes in all forms. Your gallery wall is a display of your personal treasures—items that melt your heart or lift your spirit.
Step back and admire your “exhibit”
Once you get the hang of it (no pun intended), you’ll realise that any open wall space can be turned into another gallery. There’s no limit to what you can create. And the beauty of it is, you can use as many or as few items as you like. The key is to lay it out beforehand so you have an idea of how the placement of objects will look.
Enjoy the grand opening of your gallery!