In case you haven’t heard us banging our birthday drum, this is a big year for Enter Gallery – we are celebrating 30 years as Brighton’s leading independent gallery.
Seeing as we’ve been around for so long, it’s safe to say we’ve been hanging gallery walls since way before they were the hottest trend in interior design.
Gallery walls are a brilliant way to showcase your art collection, and offer a fun way to combine works of art with photographs, heirlooms, and any weird and wonderful types of hanging décor.
In today’s blog, our Creative Director and Gallery Curator are offering their words of wisdom on how to hang your gallery wall at home. Of course, all walls are not the same, and personal taste plays a big role in creating the perfect gallery wall. The tips we list below are suggestions that should be used as starting points rather than hard and fast rules. See what tips work, what appeals, and apply them if they feel and look right.
Here we go…
1 – Pick a spot
You can create a gallery wall almost anywhere – bedrooms, lounges, hallways, on your staircase. If you have the wall space, your dream of a gallery wall can become a sweet reality.
Before you hang your gallery wall it’s important to consider whether it’s the best location for your art. If the room gets a lot of sunlight, we always encourage customers to consider glass that will protect the art from sun damage – particularly if the piece is valuable. Our Creative Director, Lindsay Alkin advises:
“As a general rule, if your curtains or the fabric on your sofa is fading, your art will do too. UV glass acts like sunscreen, protecting artwork from the damaging rays that could make them fade. Also, if any of the pieces you wish to include are black, combat glare that might make it difficult to see by opting for ClearColour glass.”
“We also find that some customers are concerned about hanging art in playrooms where they might get bashed around, or in public spaces with a lot of footfall. In that instance, we can replace glass with acrylic for extra protection.”
To discuss how to best frame your piece, including glass options, contact the gallery on +44 (0)1273 724829.
2 – Start big
Centre your arrangement around any statement pieces you want to include in the gallery wall. Spread out big pieces to keep things balanced, and then fill in the space outward using your medium and smaller sized pieces. Lindsay says:
“Positioning your big pieces well can help you to optimise the height of the gallery wall. If you’re hanging your gallery wall behind a piece of furniture, like a sofa or side-table, we recommend centering the piece. Whereas if you’re hanging an entire wall, we suggest lining up the centre of the artwork 164cm up from the floor. That way, it’s at just the right height to be the perfect focal point.”
If you’re looking for advice on how to choose art, these top tips from Tash Bradley - Colour Psychologist and Director of Interior Design at Lick Paint - will set you off on the right foot.
3 – Testing out your combos
Once you know what pieces you want to include in the gallery wall, you might like to lay out the artworks on the floor so you can see how the arrangement will work together. Don’t be afraid to mix up horizontal and vertical frames, as well as frame colour and size. Eden, our Gallery Curator and Co-ordinator advises:
“Some find it helpful to outline each frame on paper (wrapping paper is an easy option), label the artwork with its name or a defining feature, then tape it to the wall, and make adjustments until you are happy with the overall placement. This allows you to try out different shapes and formations, before you commit to drilling holes.”
4 – Lovely lines
While gallery walls can be anything you want them to be, if you’d like to add a professional touch, Lindsay advises placing the pieces along vertical lines…
“One thing you’ll spot if you come into the gallery is that we have lines running from floor to ceiling that the artworks are positioned along. This helps us to give the gallery walls some structure, and to stop them from looking too disorganised. These lines are usually 10cm wide.”
Eden adds that you will also want to make sure you space out your pieces evenly to give them space to shine.
“We leave between 8-10cm around artworks so that they have enough space to breathe.”
5 – Variety is the spice of life
To give the wall a nice flow, it’s good to space similar pieces or colours out so that every artwork gets the attention it deserves. Eden explains:
“Say, for example, that you have a lot of blue pieces, or a lot of pieces that are text heavy – try spacing them out across the gallery wall, so that the pops of blue, or the snippets of text, flow across the space and tie the gallery wall together.”
One final thought…
Remember, you’ve chosen your selection of artworks for one reason… because you liked them! The minute you laid eyes on them, they spoke to you. They are a reflection of your personality and your tastes, and that’s exactly what the gallery wall should be too.
While this article outlines a few ‘rules’ to help you get started, really – hanging your perfect gallery wall should be fun. So, our final piece of advice is to enjoy the process, play around with different arrangements and combinations, see what works, and pick the formation that speaks to you.
Eden tells us:
“We often have a plan for how to hang the walls at the gallery, and then halfway through we change our minds and decide on something completely different because we see what works best together when we see it hanging.”
“Instinctively, you’ll know what feels right when you see it in front of you. We always advise people to trust their instincts when it comes to buying art. The same goes for how you hang it on your wall. It should bring you joy and make you want to look at it. Don’t be afraid to play around a bit.”
“I rely on my instincts entirely when hanging a gallery wall. You just know when something works and when it doesn’t – I’ve no doubt you’ll have exactly the same feeling when it comes to hanging your artworks.”
Need help hanging your artwork? In this handy video, Eden talks through how to hang your artwork at home.