How to Create a Beautiful Gallery Wall

by Lisa Doherty 26. June 2018 15:57

If you’ve always dreamed of having a gallery wall in your home, then why not make it a reality? They are striking, visually interesting and a great way to show off your taste and favourite art styles.

With a little bit of thought and consideration, a gallery wall can give you that glossy interiors magazines look in your own home. We show you how.

What is a gallery wall?

Just like an art gallery or museum, a gallery wall is made up of five to six large pieces - or more for smaller paintings - clustered or grouped together on a wall.

If you’re starting from scratch, this is a great opportunity to think about whether you want to have a theme for your gallery wall or whether you want a mashup of styles or genres. Both can be fun, eclectic and reflect your personalist. Either way, a gallery wall is a collection of art, so it’s a great excuse to start building and developing your range of paintings.

If you’ve got a small collection already, but it needs building, you can start creating your gallery wall now and add to it, each time you find that perfect painting, photo or sketch.

Themed, eclectic or random?

The only rule with a gallery wall is that no matter how different they appear, all the paintings should work or connect together in some aesthetic way and have some sort of visual flow. Otherwise, your viewer is going to get confused and the wall risks looking like a jumble of paintings.

Here are some ways to theme your wall:

  • A selection of portraits
  • Still life’s
  • A series of near-identical paintings or
  • An eclectic mix of vintage, period and modern

The great thing about art is the way the unexpected happens, especially when two opposing art styles work really well together. How this happens is largely down to the eye and the layout of the wall, but a classical-style painting can sometimes work amazing well alongside a contemporary work of art.

The Shopkeeper by Alan  Harris
The Shopkeeper by Alan Harris

There are also other ways you can make your gallery wall connect by either using the same frame throughout, display paintings from the same artist, hang in uniform rows or randomly ‘scatter’ them on a wall in a mix of shapes and sizes.


A gallery wall is likely to be the focal point in your room, so it's best to keep your walls simple in colour for this to work well. Patterned wallpaper, for example, will make it too busy for the eye, although you could separate the art from the wallpaper to create two distinct sections on a wall.

In the setup below, we have overlapping unframed prints above a patterned wall. The prints stand out against the deep blue, whilst the green of the sofa complements the colour scheme. 

Study Sketch -
Study Sketch - "Are those birds?" by Aasiri Wickremage

Another way is to zone your walls by creating a clearly defined area for the gallery that can be complemented by a different colour scheme. This can also help create a sense of space in a smaller room.

Awareness by James Shipton
Awareness by James Shipton


1 Model Man by Toby Frossell
1 Model Man by Toby Frossell


If you have a large space in your home, then a range of different sizes and shapes of painting will work well. However, in a smaller room, it may be worth looking at paintings that don’t overwhelm, and it may be better just to use a single wall to create the gallery.

How to arrange your gallery wall

Gather your paintings, arrange them on the floor and see how they look. Keep re-arranging until you’re happy and take a picture to remember the layout.

Following that, start measuring-up and thinking about distances between paintings. If you’re hanging an eclectic mix of art, then give them a little more room or ‘breathing space’ so the eye can take it all in.

Wandsworth Common high summer by Louise Gillard
Wandsworth Common high summer by Louise Gillard let's go walking it is sunny spring summer day pencil ink sketch paper by Elena Haines
let's go walking it is sunny spring summer day pencil ink sketch paper by Elena Haines

If you’re renting or concerned about nail holes in the wall, then you can also create a gallery wall with picture shelves. These are really effective and look great in any room. Large retail outlets, like Ikea, sell a range, and you can buy them online.

A mountain to climb by Richard Freer
A mountain to climb by Richard Freer I'm Half The Man I Used To Be by Laura Kinnell
I'm Half The Man I Used To Be by Laura Kinnell

Picture frames

Since a gallery wall consists of many pictures, the eye is not focussed so much on one individual picture as the impression that the whole collection creates. Because of this, the frames you choose are much more part of the effect than when hanging individual pieces. 

So, if you’re looking for a more uniform look, then it is probably best to use the same or similar frame throughout. But many people choose to go a bit crazy with the frames to create a more scattergun, eclectic feel.

Mix and match any which way you want. Wood frames, next to coloured frames or light colours next to dark. You choose! The only consideration is whether to place deep-framed pieces next to flat-framed pieces - this can sometimes be too jarring. 

If you don’t have the budget for a bespoke framing company, then places like the SAA or Ikea sell-ready-to-hang, cost-effective frames and framing kits. If you’re going for a more aged or weathered look, then junk shops, charity shops and vintage markets can also be great places to buy frames at very low prices. You might need to throw the picture away to salvage the frame. 

Where to create your gallery wall

A gallery wall deserves the largest wall in a room, whether it’s above a sofa, a corridor, bed or on an opposing wall, it needs to be in a place for all to see. It needs to hang where people can stop, look at it and enjoy it.

Gallery walls also work in any room in a house, from kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms, studies, offices, or even a downstairs loo, you name it, it will look great.

With these tips, you too can create a gallery wall that is worthy of the pages of Elle Decoration or Homes & Gardens, so what are you waiting for?

Image credits


Sixteen Doors

Katie Ridder

Interior Therapy

Peg Berens

L. Weatherbee Design Studio

Turner Pocock


Heidi Caillier Design


Buying Art | The Art World

Art for Interiors: Minimalism

by Anthony Annarino 13. June 2018 15:22

Minimalism. For people who feel less is more.

In a hectic world, minimalist art is a great way to escape and have a tranquil moment. It’s also an enduring interior design trend that never seems to go out of style.

We look at the best art for minimal interiors to help you create a serene oasis within the chaos of family, friends, career or general life commitments.

Minimalism in art

Minimalist art is different to minimalist interiors, but they both converge to complement each other and have the same overall effect; a calm and centred environment.

A minimalist interior is, more often than not, made up of white walls and simply furnished with Nordic-style wood, black, metallic or off-white furniture. It is a very clean style with no additional or decorative objects - or some might say ‘clutter’ - as you would with a Vintage or Art Deco interior, for example.

In contrast, Minimalist art is colourful and bright. It’s usually an abstract composition, but (and here’s where we touch on a bit of art theory) it doesn’t refer to anything but itself. The pattern on the canvas is meant to suggest nothing more than - a pattern on a canvas. There’s no reference to society or politics, which means you can enjoy and lose yourself in a painting for what it is; essentially, it’s an immersive experience.

Timeless by Paresh Nrshinga
Timeless by Paresh Nrshinga

Mark Rothko and Barnett Newman were the key artists of this movement. They believed in colour theory and its impact on emotion, as they felt that colour and art combined should be a more mindful experience. Which is why this is such a great style for interiors as it’s calming and relaxing.

Multicolour abstract by Monika Howarth
Multicolour abstract by Monika Howarth

Today we are very influenced by the impact colour has on mood, especially when it comes to home decorating, and it’s these artists who helped shape this way of thinking.

What to look for when buying Minimalist art

Less is very much more when it comes to choosing a minimalist painting. They’re usually abstract works of art and are always clean and simple pieces. The barest, well, minimum needs to be in the painting, so they are very uncluttered.

Since a minimalist interior is quite white and sparse, it’s often best to go art which includes bold colours, to break things up a bit. Barnett Newman’s paintings were usually just one tone or shade over a whole canvas but were always calming shades of reds, blues and greens.

Abstract oil painting
Abstract oil painting "Space Y". Size 39.37/27.5(100/70cm). Unique impasto texture. by Karina Antonczak Yellow abstract painting  by Monika Howarth
Yellow abstract painting by Monika Howarth

The best interior styles for minimalism

Although we’ve only focused on minimalist interiors, there are other styles where this art also works, such as mid-century modern and Industrial, which is defined mainly by exposed brick, cool-coloured walls, black piping, neutral browns and woods, especially when it comes to furniture.

Feng Shui Water Element 1 by Rodney Holt
Feng Shui Water Element 1 by Rodney Holt Malmö by Jonathan Talks
Malmö by Jonathan Talks

The Scandinavian style also uses muted colours but with more of a focus on greys and greens for furnishings and accessories. There’s also the Bohemian style, which uses more natural wicker and hessian materials, patterned and textured furnishings.

As these styles do tend to use a colour palette that is on the cooler end of the spectrum, the colours in Minimalist art will bring a space to life and add warmth and depth to a room.

Dynamic I Ltd Edition Large Canvas by Pauline Thomas
Dynamic I Ltd Edition Large Canvas by Pauline Thomas

Where to hang Minimalist art

Due to the mindful nature of this style of art, it needs to be hung in a place where you can sit down, relax, unwind and look at the painting in order to take a moment.

With this in mind, calmer spaces such as bedrooms, studies, offices and even bathrooms are ideal. Even though a minimalist painting doesn’t relate to anything it’s not something you can simply engage with quickly, so it needs to be in a place where you can take time and enjoy the process of looking.

Mark Rothko believed his paintings worked best in a Church environment, so that gives you an idea of how calming this art is supposed to be.

Calming Thoughts by Stefan Fierros
Calming Thoughts by Stefan Fierros

Art reduces stress, and, as we’re living increasingly busy, smartphone-based lives it’s even more important to take a time-out from it all. It’s almost as if the original minimalist artists predicted the future!

There is now also an overall trend towards minimalism, whereby people are focusing on reducing life ‘clutter’ in order to sharpen their minds and create time for the things that really matter in their lives, such as friends, family or hobbies.

The mindful, or meditative, nature of a minimalist painting aims to start you on that journey for a more balanced life, which is a great way to think about original art.


Art History | Buying Art | The Art World

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