Gallery walls are a very popular way to display art, prints and photographs right now. At last count we have three in our house! Here are my tips for creating a show-stopping family photo wall in your home.
1. Choose your wall
First things first, choose where you are going to create your gallery wall. There is no shortage of possibilities - an alcove or nook, above a piece of furniture, on the stairs, or in a hallway. I decided to use the long corridor into our kitchen for my first gallery wall, which you can see in the photo below.
2. Discover your gallery wall style
There are no end of different styles of gallery wall about, from galleries with clean, uniform lines like the one I’ve created above, to more eclectic arrangements. I recommend investing some time looking for inspiration, and identifying which styles you like which will also suit your home. My gallery wall inspiration board on Pinterest could be a good place to start. Along with this article from Houzz on finding a gallery wall to match your personality!
3. Consider the colours
Before purchasing frames or printing photos think about your colour scheme. What colour is the wall? What colours do you have in the rest of the room? With this in mind you can choose which colour frames, and which colours in your photographs will complement it.
4. Find a thread of consistency
At this stage you should already have an idea of how you’d like your finished gallery to look, and the type of frames that will match the style of the room. When choosing your frames and photos I recommend keeping a thread of consistency running through them. For example, the same frame (albeit in different sizes), or photos from the same event (which will provide consistent colours in your photographs.) There’s no right or wrong answer about which one you choose, and you can choose for more than one thing to be consistent. The goal is to create a cohesive feeling across your wall.
Here are a couple of examples of how I’ve done this in our home:
These photos hang above our bed. They're all from separate events, but using the same frame and keeping them all in black and white brings consistency.
This set of four frames hangs in our hallway. The photographs were all taken on the same day at the beach, but I've opted to keep them black and white because we were dressed in bright colours which I don't think work well with the muted colour on the wall. As you can see the frames are all the same in this example too.
5. Take your time choosing the photos
There's no getting away from it - your gallery wall is only going to look as good as the photographs in it. Choose your photos carefully. I recommend considering whether you're proud to display the photos you've chosen, and whether you'll enjoy looking at them every day? If you don't like what you already have then plan the type of photos you would like to display and think about when you can take them. Perhaps put a few hours aside on your next holiday to take some photos when everyone is relaxed and dressed nicely, or book a family photo shoot that you can look forward to.
If (like me) you have thousands of photos, and need to organise them before you choose the photos for your wall, you might like to read my tips for organising your digital photos.
6. Play with layout options
Before you even think about drilling into your walls, lay all of your frames out on the floor and try different layout options, until you find one you like. Once you’ve settled on the layout, create a template of each frame using kraft paper or newspaper and stick these onto the wall to see the impact your finished gallery will have.
When you’re hanging your templates on the wall there are a few things to consider: keep the gaps between your frames consistent, and think about your viewer’s eye line. Where is your eye drawn to as you look at the templates? Do you want the viewer to be drawn to one 'feature' photos, or to see the wall as a whole?
7. Triple check the measurements before you drill
Once you’re ready to hang your frames, triple check all of your measurements, and use a spirit level to make sure they’re all in the right place (or if you're as terrible at DIY as me get someone else to check it and drill it!) When you hang one frame it’s not so important if the measurements are slightly off, but differences will be much more noticeable when all of your frames sit together.
I hope this guide helps you to create a gallery wall that you’re proud of in your home. What other questions do you have about displaying your photographs at home? I'd love to hear. Let me know in the comments below, and be sure to join my exclusive email list for photography tips and tutorials straight to your inbox.
You can find my other photography tutorials here.