Also known as how to avoid driving yourself crazy when creating a gallery wall
There are a few different types of gallery walls. The easiest to get your head around but the hardest to get spot on (unless you’re particularly talented with your spirit level and tape measure) is the Grid.
This grid of 6 photos of the Yorkshire landscape near this Ilkley property is a great example of a gallery wall in a grid formation. Because the panoramic photos were so long, and the walls were such a dark colour (Farrow & Ball’s Plummett) the grid had to be spot on, and it took several goes by my ever patient handyman to get them right.
For this type of gallery wall, you need to have pieces which are in the same frames and which are the same sizes. So at least that’s one set of decisions off the table. Next, lay them out on the floor and see what looks best. You’ll see that each row of these photos have the same spaces between them but there is a slightly wider gap between the top and bottom rows, so that they were spaced proportionately on the wall.
So this one is pretty simple but actually takes a lot of very careful measuring to get right.
Right, so that’s the easiest gallery wall to explain and the one I find hardest to do.
OK, I get that all gallery walls are intended to make a statement but this one is aimed for places like entrances where you want a grid, but maybe not the perfect grid we had above. A bit like this one that I mocked up on Canva.
It would look great on a sideboard in a hall, with a pair of generous lamps at either end. So if you’ve got a generous hall which calls for a statement, go for it.
If you’re going for a less formal look, first get all your photos and pictures together. Make sure you have them all framed. They don’t have to be in the same frames but I wouldn’t go for too many really decorative styles- I tend to keep them pretty simple so that I can just focus on the gallery wall itself.
My favourite is to find way to do a gallery wall is to find a central image and decide where it goes before adding the second. This approach only really works when your gallery wall has about 5 or 6 pieces of varying size. It’s the approach I’ve taken in my office. It’s great because once I had 3 pieces of different size, I put them on the floor, decided on the space and put them up. For the first one, I found a central point and then hung the 2nd one approx 7.5cm apart, about 1/3 higher, and I went on from there. Which started the organic kind of look I was looking for and I just kept on adding to it. The frames don’t match but as they’re all either black or gold, they work together. Now, when I want to add to the gallery, I just pick up pieces I like when I’m out and about and, keeping the same gap, add it to the wall when I get back to the office.
There are ways to make gallery walls easier than others. Here are my ways to get an easy win (in no particular order):
Once you’ve mastered a gallery wall in your sitting room, go for the trickier spaces like the stairs. The same principles apply- choose images you love and frames which have something in common with one another. The only reason I think this is harder is because you can’t really lay things out in the same way as you do for other walls. So make life easy for yourself. Decide on the starting point and the end point. And draw a line between them (ideally do this with masking tape which you only touch lightly to the wall) and keep all the pictures in line with it.
Photography by Heidi Marfitt, Colin Poole, and Mark Harrison respectively.
If you want to add a gallery you can do that here. Otherwise, right click on each section to delete it.