Written by Victoria Purcell

How to create a gallery wall

A gallery wall is a great way to switch up your interior decor. It can bring a blank wall to life with a pop of personality, without committing to a style-defining feature wall – simply swap pictures in and out as the seasons or your taste changes. But where do you start? Good Homes magazine asks the experts at Desenio and MADE.com for their top gallery wall tips…

How to create a gallery wall

Step 1: Choose your aesthetic

‘First, you need to choose the artwork,’ says Annica Wallin, Creative Director at Desenio. ‘Do you want the artwork to blend in or make a statement? Do you have a love for photography or is abstract art more your style? Adding a few personal photographs makes your gallery wall that bit more unique.

‘When considering the prints for your gallery wall, it’s important to find a thread that ties your gallery wall together,’ adds Adam Daghorn, Head of Design at MADE.com. This could be a colour palette or theme such as the tropical Natural History Museum set. Combining different styles of art, such as photography, typography and abstract prints like this Lost In London set, will help to give your gallery wall a more organic and curated aesthetic.’

Desenio gallery wall featuring Monet, pastels and prints

Photo: Desenio

Step 2: Choose your gallery wall frames

It’s also important to consider which frames to use. ‘A light frame will make the artwork pop, while a black frame creates contrast,’ says Annica. ‘Black frames often look nice paired with monochrome photo art.’

‘To make a more interesting gallery wall, try experimenting with a variety of different frame colours, sizes and materials,’ adds Adam. ‘Adding a mirror is another great way to add depth and create the illusion of space.

Desenio gallery wall featuring Frida Khalo, greens and neutrals

Photo: Desenio

Step 3: Lay the groundwork

‘The next step is to plan where to place the frames; a top tip is to lay the groundwork by making the floor act as your wall, playing around with composition until you find a look you love,’ says Annica.

‘While your art is still on the floor, take a few minutes and experiment with the placing. Usually, we would recommend spacing the frame 5-10cm (2-4in) apart. You could also try hanging them closer together to create the look of one solid piece of art. It all comes down to your personal taste and style. Start with a 5cm spacing between frames and go from there.’

Also, ‘consider what formation you want your gallery wall to take on before you start hanging,’ adds Adam. ‘Determine whether you want to opt for uniformed prints in a grid-style format, or a scattered and relaxed layout.’

Watch MADE.com’s guide to creating a minimalist gallery wall:

Step 4: Get measuring

‘When you’ve perfected the composition of your artwork, use a measuring tape to find where the centre of your arrangement should be and mark it with a pencil,’ says Annica.

‘A universal rule is to place the centre of your gallery wall approximately 145cm (57in) above the floor. Do feel free to experiment with this rule – if you have a high ceiling, it may have to be adjusted a bit. Also take features such as furniture into account, for example, the edge of the sofa – here, the lowest-hanging frame should hang at least 15cm (6in) above the sofa.’

Watch MADE.com’s guide to creating a maximialist gallery wall:

Step 5: Hang your gallery wall

Using your preferred picture-hanging method – whether that’s nails, clips or Command Strips – start hanging your gallery wall. If using nails, it’s never a bad idea to use a detector to find out if there are any pipes and cables in the way. Then, holding the frame in place, use a pencil to lightly mark on the wall where the top centre of the picture is.

Measure the drop from the top of the frame to the hook on the back of the picture (or picture wire), transfer that measurement to the wall and mark the spot where the nail or other hanging method should be. Drill, or stick, then hang your first pic! Continuing with the same method, build out your gallery wall from there.

For further guidance on how to hang a picture, watch Wickes’ ‘how to’ video below:

How do influencers create gallery walls?

Alex Stedman, former fashion editor and founder of lifestyle website The Frugality has built a cult Instagram following thanks to her approachable style and living tips. Alex takes a more relaxed approach to creating a gallery wall, starting with her favourite piece, hanging it at eye level, and then building out from there, working clockwise. She balances neutrals with brights, but isn’t too strict about co-ordination – her philosophy is simply, ‘if you like it, it will suit you’!