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How to Create a Gallery Wall

Growing your art collection but unsure how to bring everything together? Creating a gallery wall is a great way to elevate your interiors without having to enlist the (expensive) help of professional designers. Singulart’s here to show you how to work with what you’ve got (and what to add to make it even better!)

A gallery wall is simply a wall decorated with works of art – usually a cluster of many pieces at once. It’s a unique way to create a feature wall in your home, and a chance to break away from the standard one-artwork-per-wall practice of hanging art.

Singulart’s expert Fairs Manager Marion Sailhen knows all about how to make art pop with the right presentation – it’s what she does every day at art fairs all around the world. Here, she lays out 5 fool-proof tips to turn collecting into creating:

1.) Express yourself

Arguably the best part about making a gallery wall in your home is that… it’s your home! This means your first priority should be ensuring your imagination and inspirations are at the forefront of your design choices, not necessarily what you’ve seen in an IKEA catalog.

According to Sailhen, “We create gallery walls to infuse a touch of personality in our home.” She recommends taking your time to collect contemporary and/or antique works that suit your taste.

2.) Embrace the eclectic

Don’t be afraid to mix up your gallery wall with a wide range of genres and styles – think portraits next to landscapes next to still life works. You can also create quirky combinations with different techniques, such as placing a painting next to a drawing, or perhaps below a striking wall sculpture. Next, include a variety of sizes and shapes: big and small, square and round… this will provide your gallery wall with movement and energy. For Sailhen, too much symmetry takes away from the potential dynamism of a gallery wall; she advises at least using different frames even if your collection is quite homogeneous. Old wooden frames can find friends in contemporary floating frames or classic, polished black and white ones. The sky’s the limit (or in this case, the ceiling!)

3.) Make it personal

One smart option for a gallery wall is to center it around a specific theme. This provides the perfect opportunity to infuse your home decor with personal memories and interests. Consider creating a gallery wall with beautiful photographs of your travels, or even items you collected during your trip. You could even compose a family tree-style gallery wall, with photographs from past and present or a colorful drawing your child made at school. An interest in sailing? Make a gallery wall full of marine-themed works (whilst ensuring a variety of techniques and styles within the theme are still employed.)

Original Gallery Wall
Here, variety in framing and ordering breaks up a clear theme. Photo: Architectural Digest

4.) Focus on order

Now that you’ve found yourself with a lot of different styles, it’s important to ensure you find coherency among them rather than confusion. Sailhen typically starts with sketches of how her gallery wall could come together, before placing all the works on the floor. This sparks a fun game of Tetris, moving pieces around until she finds harmony between color, shape and style arrangements. When she’s satisfied with her gallery, she takes a photo so as not to forget everything once the works hit the wall.

Something important to remember here is that you should aim for equal spacing between each piece; would you prefer a spread out gallery or a curated crowd?

5.) Find the right place

This step could come at the beginning or end—depending on where your inspiration lies—but finding the right location for your gallery wall is certainly important. Aligning with this article’s general theme, the choice of location is very personal. Marion Sailhen has seen gallery walls above sofas in living rooms, above beds in bedrooms, even impressive gallery walls in bathrooms!

A creative location for a gallery wall. Photo: Anthropologie

Once you’ve chosen your wall, measure the spaces that will go between each piece and use some trusty painter’s tape to mark your gallery on the wall. Some drilling and screwing later, et voilà! A smart, polished and personal gallery wall.

Browse Singulart to find works that will come together despite their differences:

Cover image: RoomFifty.

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