Gallery Walls With The Paradise Catcher's Emily Armstrong |

Gallery Walls With The Paradise Catcher’s Emily Armstrong

The home gallery wall is an enduring interiors trend that really packs a personal punch at home, engaging family and guests alike. It looks fabulous on Instagram and Pinterest, but can you really execute it at home? Absolutely. The Paradise Catcher’s Emily Armstrong shows you how to have some fun selecting your gallery, plan it well, hang it well and voila, your space has an individual style injection…

The key to a successful look is abundance and variety, but you don’t need to wait until you have a big art collection. Start with a favourite piece and place it above a key item of furniture (like a sideboard) and work your way out, adding in or swapping with new pieces as you acquire them. Break the old rule of only hanging art at eye level and fill up the wall. Be playful with the composition – just add what you love and mix up the colours and frames for an eclectic, relaxed elegance. If you like things a little more ordered, then choosing a single colour scheme or the same frames can also be very impactful. Before you get started, here are a few things to consider: Choose your wall No doubt you already know where you want to create your gallery wall – popular areas are hallways, staircases, dining rooms and bedrooms. Don’t limit yourself to one gallery wall but one per floor is plenty. Look for areas that are dead space or a large wall that needs some impact. Theme You could choose a single theme – e.g. a grouping of artworks or family photos or kids paintings or antique maps. Or you can mix it up to great effect – try combining photos with different types of artwork – old and new, a quote, a lithograph, a sketch, a vintage map, a concert ticket, a postcard and a kids drawing or two (so really anything that is sentimental to you, links to fond memories and creates a talking point). Frame and layout Once you’ve decided on a single theme or an eclectic mix, you then need to choose whether to: Go monochrome or mix with colour. Keep framing uniform or a combination of non-framed and varying frame colour/finish (white frames are failsafe, but you can also have fun with neon frames mixed with white, black and antique-looking wooden frames). Align the top and bottom, and the sides of the gallery or create a more random effect. When starting, select your biggest or best piece, place off centre (so it’s not always the focus) at around 165cm (average eye level) and build around from this. If you’re the planning type, you may wish to draw around your proposed frames onto cardboard and stick them up first to see if the overall layout works before hammer time. Hang on Lastly, decide on how to hang your wall – you could: Attach in the traditional way via the back of a frame to the wall. Stick your artwork up without frames using neon tape (great for kids artwork but not so great for your wall paint). Lean your artwork on shelves (good option if you want to frequently move around your composition). Create a backing wall like a pin board or corkboard (see example below). And remember if you are in a rental or worried about wall damage, there are great adhesives available that can help you achieve the look in minutes. In my last home, I created a huge gallery wall along the corridor linking the formal sitting room to the casual dining space. It was placed under a glass roof so was well lit during the day and some well considered down lights lit the space to create a focus at night. I started with family photos in a mix of black and white, colour, size and many different frames. I then started to add in some artwork, postcards from favourite exhibitions, kids drawings and quotes. It was a continual moving feast and a magnet for guests. For my next home, inspired by the corridor of an ad agency I once worked in, I want to create a double row of clear Perspex frames along the wall outside my children’s bedrooms so we can continually have their ‘artwork’ on show. It will also help to keep the paper protected until it moves to the keep or recycle decision stage. I have also always wanted to create a Polaroid love heart above a bedhead or mantel (see example below). I plan to use Picture Postie to print and post back my favourite Instagram snaps to achieve this playful look, perfect for my five year old daughter’s bedroom. Another look I am longing to create is a small cluster of mixed artwork in random frames arranged over patterned wallpaper in a powder room. So many walls, so little time! So go on… take your children’s paintings off the fridge and mount them on the wall. Download those photos from your phone and create a gallery. But don’t get hung up over the composition, you can always move and replace, that’s the fun part. To get you started, here are 12 of the best home galleries to inspire you to give your walls some personal attention…