Remember the house tour of Sunita’s gorgeous Chennai home? We had spotted a standard gallery wall of photographs in black frames, laid out in a grid, in her living room. She recently re-did that wall and completely replaced it with an eclectic gallery wall full of artwork! Since we are on a mission to demystify the process of creating gallery walls, we asked Sunita what went behind making this one.
There is no doubt that gallery walls make a space stunning but if not done right it can look tacky. So it’s quite important to plan the process well before you start hitting those nails on the walls. I’ve always been a big fan of gallery walls and wanted one for my living room. But it can be quite daunting to get that perfect look you’re going for. So let me tell you how I worked on mine.
My gallery wall was a grid of wedding & family photographs above the sofa in the living room. While there was nothing particularly wrong about it, I wanted to add some colour and a hint of whimsy to the area. I also love paintings and really wanted a wall that represented that.
First Step: Determine The Style
The first step is to determine your style. Are you going for an organic look or a grid layout? Uniform or an eclectic look? Black and white or colours? After going through a billion images on Pinterest for inspiration, I finally decided that I wanted to go for an eclectic look.
Next Step: Pick The Art or Photos
I picked all the artwork that I liked – some were free images and a few from Etsy. I used photoshop to make a mock-up to see if it feels right together.
Editor’s Note: You can even use MS Powerpoint!
Even though the end result was completely different, this set the mood for the gallery wall and the overall look I was going for. It set the colour tone and also made me realise that I was going to go for an organic layout.
How To Achieve The Eclectic Feel
Eclectic means a mash up of lots of different vibes, styles and looks. So I threw together photo frames of various sizes and finishes. I made sure I got the frames from different stores so that they didn’t look alike. I decided to add some of my old paintings (that I had made) to the gallery wall as well.
ProTip: Consider adding a piece of art you’ve created yourself to give it a truly personalised feel!
Once I got the frames, I laid them on the floor in different layouts to see which one worked the best. I started with a centrepiece (that abstract artwork on the right) but then ended up replacing it with another floral artwork of mine as this piece didn’t work well with the other pieces (see the final image). Once I fixed the centrepiece I started building the layout around it.
ProTip: Never place your centre piece right in the middle. There’s a lot of trial and error involved before you get to that perfect layout, so you do need a bit of patience for this. If you’re going for an eclectic look, don’t be afraid to add other decor accents like decorative mirrors to your mix. They sure add a quirky touch.
Getting The Balance Right
Once you fix the layout for the frames, you can figure out which artwork goes where. A gallery wall looks best when there is a perfect balance. For example, don’t place art pieces which are blue next to each other. Or if the artwork is a portrait, don’t place another portrait next to it, instead place an abstract art.
The next step is to trace out the frames on either craft paper/ old newspapers and cut them out and stick them in the same layout as you had planned on your wall. So now you know where exactly each frame is going to be placed and you can nail them without making a mistake. And there is your perfect gallery wall!
AFTER: The Final Look!
Ingredients to Sunita’s Eclectic Gallery Wall
- Mix of ornate & simple frames in a variety of finishes – note how there are multiple metallic shades (from bronze to bright and dull gold) along with glossy white as well as vintage finish neutrals
- The artwork is a mix of florals, botanicals, landscapes and abstract plus portraits!
- A couple of decorative mirrors (love the vintage hand mirror on the left!)
- What lies in front of the gallery wall is equally important – see how the cushions & houseplants pick up colours from the art to give the whole area a cohesive feel
Are you thinking about adding a gallery wall to your room?
Don’t forget to read our guide to gallery walls. And ask any questions you might have in the comments below! Check out our Interior designers in Bangalore and Interior Designers in Mumbai for more info.