THE DESIGN SEEKER

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Sunday, September 24, 2017

The gallery wall is my best art work trick

(Left) I love this gallery wall by Abigail Ahern - intense colours & captivating images stand out against the dark walls. (middle) is a nice example of turning a boring beige doorway into an interesting gallery. (Right) I curated a number of gallery walls in Bellinter House using a selection of antique frames & pictures that capture Meath and the historical setting. 

The gallery wall is one of my design staples and rarely on a residential project will I will not want include it and here’s why. A gallery wall is essentially more than 4 pictures/photos/objet d’art placed on the same wall; anything less isn’t really a gallery. The goal is to curate a gallery that is unique, inspiring and stunning to you personally and in consequence brings that area to life with (*your awesome) style.

Gallery walls work really well in living rooms, bedrooms and stairwell, which are typically large blank spaces so this is a great option if you don’t have a large picture to compliment the dimensions and fill the space. I also regularly use gallery walls in small or ignored areas like corridors to bring them to life and get you to stop and look! Rather than making that disregarded wall or room feel smaller by filling up the wall, you’ll make that area special and full of interest. 

There are endless ways to curate a gallery look - Pinterest has very helpful layouts but the starting option is to choose between a grid or mis-matched design. This really depends on whether you prefer your aesthetic to be visually organised or you have a more organic, playful style. Here are some ideas for both:

(Left) I love the squared design and the wood frames soften the look. (Middle) These family photos work really well with the grass backdrop and give the images so much colour and life. (Right) Framed botanics have a traditional appeal and the large white borders do well to break up the rather overpowering striped background. All images from Pinterest.

I chose these photos from Pinterest as they illustrate a looser style of curating a wall gallery, which I love best. In each setting, the images are striking but not connected but you'll notice whilst the frames aren't the same there is a colour scheme, in both the images and the colour of the frames, which ties the whole gallery together.
You also don't have to just frame paintings and photos as I said earlier - you can use mirrors, taxidermy, clocks, signs, and any object that's not too heavy, which can be wall-mounted. Here are a few images from Pinterest:


One thing to consider is the frames - whether you want them to be matching to create a homogenous look, which works in a grid pattern or if you have lots of different images and you want to pull the gallery wall together. If you have a mix of frames, it allows you to grow the gallery wall more organically and chose frames to match pictures. 

Contrasting contemporary images with antique frames and the other way around can work really well so don't be tunnelled into choosing the obvious frame. Look around for awesome frames, especially if you're going to plump for one frame colour. Here are some frames choices I really like: 


And lastly don't forget to use a level so the pictures hang straight and picture hanging strips because even professionals make mistakes and nail marks are a pain to fill. 

Above all, a gallery wall is a wonderful opportunity to appreciated photos and pictures you love and also to get into art and images. If you have your own gallery wall, I'd love to see it!

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