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gallery wall

10 Tips for a Gorgeous Gallery Wall

If you’ve got great taste in wall art (and we know you do), it can be difficult to narrow down just one favourite print or painting to hang behind the sofa, above your bed, or over the mantel. That’s where a gorgeous gallery wall comes in. Not only does a gallery wall allow you to display a collection of artwork rather than a single piece, but it offers artistic appeal in itself thanks to a creative and curated layout. 

Read on for our top 10 tips for creating a perfect gallery wall, and then shop wall art at a Corcoran’s store near you to find stunning pieces to enhance your home.  

gallery wall gif

Before you begin:

1. Choose a theme or colour story

While you can really go wild with your gallery wall and opt for a complete mishmash of pieces, the easiest way to ensure you have an artfully cohesive look is to choose a theme or colour palette to work with. You could choose a natural motif with pressed flowers and botanical paintings, or pair family photos with motivational prints and give your gallery wall an inspirational feel.

2. Plan before you hammer

We know you’re keen to get started on creating your gallery wall, but before you start hammering in nails, test out your layout by drawing it using pen and paper or using a graphic design tool like Canva. You can also use the actual art you intend to include, laying it out on the floor the way you’ll put it on your wall, to make sure it all looks the way you want.

3. Size to fit your space

When you imagine a gallery wall, you may be envisioning a huge surface covered by dozens of photos and paintings, but even in a small space you can create a gorgeous gallery with just a few images. The important thing is to appropriately fill the space, using a number of pieces that covers the area without overcrowding it. Also, don’t position wall art too high, where viewers have to crane their necks to see it, or too low, where it will be hidden behind your furniture. 

Creating your gallery:

gallery wall 1

4. Start with your showstopper

Now it’s time to design your layout. When you begin to create the layout for your gallery wall, begin with your star piece, usually the largest or most ornate. It’s the one that will immediately draw the viewer’s eye, and the one that needs the most space. Don’t put it dead centre above your furniture, or it’ll be the only thing your guests notice. An off-centre placement guides the viewer to look at the rest of the gallery. 

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5. Mix up your directions 

As you start to add other pieces to your wall, play with positioning using some wall art that is oriented horizontally and some that is vertical. Ideally, your largest and second largest pieces will be one of each, but if they both go in the same direction, position them on a diagonal from each other so it doesn’t look like you’re creating rows. Start with your biggest pieces and fill in smaller pieces around them.

gallery wall 3

6. Stick to coordinating frames

You don’t have to use the same frame for every image you add to your gallery wall — in fact, choosing a few options can add visual interest and keep the wall from looking bland. However, stick to a limited number of coordinating styles (with one or two bold outliers if you want) for a cohesive look. Choose your frames based on the theme of your art for all-around coordination. 

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7. Fill in the gaps

Now that you have your big wall art in place, you can fill in the spaces between with smaller prints and photos. Position art about 8 to 12 centimetres apart, and offset pieces slightly, rather than lining them up. This helps to create the effortless, natural look of a great gallery wall. For an extra eclectic look, you can even include some three-dimensional items like a shelf or wall sconce in the arrangement. 

gallery wall 5

8. Create a mini gallery

If you have a few small, similar pieces, a mini gallery-within-your gallery is a fabulous way to showcase them. Use the same principles as in your gallery wall as a whole to come up with a layout, and cluster the set together into a small grid that fits into your overall design. This keeps smaller items from getting lost in between the larger pieces. 

Other tips:

9. Shape your layout around your space

A gallery wall is an ideal option for areas with limited wall space, such as a staircase. Building the gallery wall up, following the shape of the staircase, lets you lead the eye upward and fills a space that might be otherwise difficult to decorate. Similarly, in spots that aren’t large enough for an impressively-sized photo or painting, a compact gallery wall with a few tiny pieces can bring an artistic element.

10. Use shelves for an adjustable gallery

If you’re hesitant to create a gallery wall because you’re always changing your mind — which isn’t exactly compatible with hammering a bunch of nails into your wall — you can always use easily removable mountings like Command strips, but you can also consider incorporating shelves for an appealing and easily changeable look. Place frames of different sizes next to each other to keep it from getting too uniform, and swap them out whenever you want to switch up your display. 

Corcoran’s has a fabulous array of traditional and contemporary wall art, including paintings, photographs, and prints in a variety of sizes and frame options. We also have other items that make great additions to gallery walls such as mirrors, clocks, and wall sconces. Visit our Kerry and Limerick stores or get in touch with our team and we’ll help you find the perfect pieces for your display.