How to create a gallery wall in your home

If you want to create visual interest in your home, there is nothing more unique and exciting than a gallery wall. You can use this wall to hang your collection of African art or to display prints from your favourite artist. It is an easy way to spruce up a room, but a gallery wall can be difficult to create if you do not know where to start. Below are some tips on how to create a gallery wall in your home. 

Find inspiration

Before you even decide on which wall you are going to use, you will need to find inspiration for how you want your wall to look. Do you want it to look organised and put together or do you prefer a more eclectic, quirky display?

You could think about a specific colour scheme that you enjoy, such as bright jewel toned purples and greens or you could choose black and white prints exclusively. Your gallery wall should show your personal taste but should also be kept  with the theme of the room you choose for your gallery wall. If you already have a collection, you can paint or wallpaper your wall to match the art.

Think thematically

Once you have decided on how you want your wall to look, you will need to think of a theme for the art you would like to hang or display. A display that follows a theme always looks tighter and more put together, and it can help you to decide on what art to purchase for your gallery wall or what pieces from your own collection to hang.

You could choose to stick to a neutral colour palette and choose pieces depicting animals, plants and other natural scenes or you could choose to focus on a bright colour and pull it together with pieces that feature this colour in all of its different hues. You could choose to focus on African art going from traditional all the way to more contemporary styles. You can mix textures, materials, and objects to create a gallery wall that is synchronised but still unique and exciting.

Take some measurements

Once you know how you want your wall to look, you will need to measure it and then measure the artworks you want to hang on the wall. You will need to keep these dimensions in mind when you go shopping for any new art or when you are considering which pieces of your collection you would like to display.

Decide if you want to cover your whole wall or only part of it, and if you want to organise your pieces neatly or are more interested in making a quirky display of mismatched items. If you decide on the latter, then you will need to ensure that every piece you choose to display will fit on the wall. Try to choose items that are similarly shaped, such as rectangular frames, so that the measurements are easier to work with.

Play with levels

Just as everything on your wall does not have to be a painting, you do not have to have everything on one level. If your gallery wall is going to be above a mantelpiece over a fireplace, you can use this mantelpiece as part of the display and place some of your African art sculptures on it to add depth to the display.

You can place some pieces higher than others, or you could place some pieces low enough so that they appear to be sitting on the mantelpiece. Using layers and artworks that are different heights and sizes can help to make your gallery wall visually interesting and to draw the eye around the wall, rather than simply focusing it on one particular piece.

What tools do you need?

Once you have decided on where you are going to hang your artwork and where they will be placed, you will need to look at what tools you need for the job. If you are planning on painting the wall, you will need to buy paint, paint rollers, newspaper and paint thinner to clean the brushes.

If you are planning on hanging paintings, you will need to decide if you want to use screws, nails or a traditional picture hook. For sculptures, you might need to invest in double sided tape to keep them in place or place them onto stands so they are easier to see in your display. The essential tools you will need include a pencil and eraser, measuring tape, a bubble measure (level), painter’s tape and tissue paper and of course: the frames with the prints.

Be as creative as you like

A gallery is not on display to art curators or collectors. It is a wall that is meant to spruce up your home and make it an enjoyable place to live, while showing off your personal style to family and friends. Remember to find inspiration so you are sure about how you want your wall to look, and use a theme as a guideline so it appears pulled together and ensure that you have the right tools for the job. Play with levels and ensure that whatever you choose to put on your gallery wall makes you smile whenever you look at it.