I have just started sprucing up my living-room as I don’t have the time at the moment to make it over completely. I live in a Victorian house and we have had a damp problem on the back wall, which led to the plaster peeling off. So we will have to re-paint at least- the builders are in next week to fix the damp and re-plaster, and then we will begin painting. I have chosen a lovely blue-green colour called Arsenic by Farrow and ball, with James White for the ceiling, woodwork and above the dado-rail.
As we are keeping the same furniture and blinds, the easiest way to create wow factor is by accessorising and that led me to think about creating a gallery wall. There is a large expanse of wall behind the sofa that will be the perfect spot. This was cue for my husband to make a suggestion (quickly squashed !) to use a collection of old cigarette cards which he’d found in the attic, as part of the arrangement. Eek! And he usually has good ideas, absorbed through hearing me bang on about design ad nauseum!
The most important thing is to hang art, prints, photos that you really love and which mean something to you, rather than just going out and buying stuff to fill the wall up. The wall should grow organically and so will probably take a few months to complete.
One idea is to hang a large abstract painting surrounded by smaller prints. This looks especially effective if you reflect colours used in the room, in the painting. Or choose contrasting colours as an accent, as shown in the image below, where the pinks and orange contrast with the green furnishings.
Or if you are good at photography, why not display your photos. A neighbour, who takes great photos, has a collection of black and white family portraits displayed in her hallway. A group display has more impact where there is a link between the items, so that if you are displaying the photos in a multitude of different frames, you could link the collection by presenting all the photos in black and white.
Conversely, if the photos or artworks are random in content or colour, use similar style frames to link ( see image of blue wall below).
Think about the style of your room. Is it formal or minimalist ?- in which case hang pictures in similar frames in an even arrangement
Is it eclectic and informal?- in this case you can take a more random approach, mixing styles, perhaps adding a mirror or wall sculpture to the collection.
Think about the background wall colour. To create dramatic impact, use gilt frames against a blue or green background, whereas gilt used against a yellow or orange wall will make the collection blend more into the backdrop. Dark walls provide dramatic backdrop for architectural or classical prints and pen and ink drawings, as shown in the photo below.
its a good idea to hang the focal picture, which might be the biggest ( but doesn’t have to be) in the middle of the arrangement and group the other pictures around it, with the smallest pictures around the perimeter. Spacing is important- pictures hung within 5-10cms of each other will appear to be “grouped” , any further apart and the effect is more disparate.
To work out the best arrangement for a group of pictures, lay them flat on the floor and adjust until the balance and effect are right. Then cut out templates of the shapes and tape to the wall above. I wouldn’t start planning the layout until I had about 50% of the pictures framed and ready to go- you can add items later but you need the the basic structure in place before you start drilling holes etc.
I hope thats given you some ideas to create a special gallery wall of your own. Or if you would like some help with this, or any other interior design issues, email me: firstname.lastname@example.org