7 Sim­ple Steps to a gor­geous Gallery Wall

Sage wis­dom from Mariam Naficy, founder of Minted – a favourite cu­rated on­line mar­ket­place of works by in­de­pen­dent artists and de­sign­ers around the world – about how to ar­range your art in a mag­a­zine-wor­thy way.

Style at Home Big Style for small spaces - - Small Space Survival Guide -

1 TAKE YOUR TIME

“Rome wasn’t built in a day,” says Mariam ( pic­tured right). “And the same is true of a good gallery wall.” Col­lect­ing takes time, es­pe­cially if you have an eye for ex­pen­sive art. In the mean­time, build on the works you al­ready own and love by us­ing in­ex­pen­sive prints as fillers un­til you find the per­fect pieces.

2 SELECT DIF­FER­ENT SIZES

Va­ri­ety lends in­ter­est, so be sure to in­clude pieces large and small, tall and short. And don’t over­look ori­en­ta­tion – a mix of hor­i­zon­tal and ver­ti­cal op­tions keeps the eye en­gaged.

3 MAKE IT PER­SONAL

In ad­di­tion to mean­ing­ful art­work – such as a land­scape you love or some­thing picked up on hol­i­day – in­cor­po­rate fam­ily pho­to­graphs in your gallery wall. But avoid the stan­dard pose with ev­ery­one sim­ply smil­ing at the cam­era and select pic­tures that are more can­did and artis­tic, sug­gests Mariam.

4 BAL­ANCE THE COLOURS

Have a pal­ette in mind. Pick a piece with a strong sig­na­ture colour and then find some oth­ers that fea­ture the same hue to a more sub­tle ex­tent.

It’s also im­por­tant to bal­ance out the light and the dark – if you’re drawn to softer pieces, en­sure you in­clude some­thing bolder to an­chor the look.

5 MIX OLD AND NEW

For a col­lected look that’s far from util­i­tar­ian, it’s im­por­tant to pair modern art with vin­tage pieces, but Mariam sug­gests go­ing a step fur­ther: “If you have a con­tem­po­rary medium like a pho­to­graph, frame it with some­thing vin­tage. And if you have a vin­tage medium like an oil paint­ing, counter it with a more modern frame.”

6 ADD IN­TER­EST­ING OB­JETS

Adding two or three non-art­work items – like a mir­ror, bust, sconce or other at­trac­tive piece – is es­sen­tial be­cause it breaks up the grid and pro­vides di­men­sion. “I have a cook­book that I stuck on my wall with strong ad­he­sive,” says Mariam. “And I plan to add some old paint­brushes I bought at a flea mar­ket in Paris, too.”

7 MAP IT OUT

A per­fect gallery wall is all in the plan­ning. So af­ter you’ve se­lected your art and be­fore you put any holes in the wall, make pa­per cutouts that repli­cate each piece you in­tend to use and re-ar­range them un­til you have a pleas­ing dis­play. Keep in mind that you should bal­ance colour and medium – place some­thing dark next to some­thing light, a photo next to a paint­ing. It can be a bit of a puz­zle to get the look just right, so be pa­tient and give your­self a break if you start to get frus­trated.

MORE EX­PERT TIPS

“You can have frames in dif­fer­ent sizes, but they should al­ways be the same dis­tance apart – you have to be fairly rigid about grid spac­ing. But above all, en­joy it. Pour a glass of wine, put on some mu­sic and have fun!” - celebrity de­signer wind­sor smith

“De­cide which piece you want your eye to jump to the mo­ment you walk into the room and hang it off cen­tre. This trick keeps that show­stop­per from over­whelm­ing the rest of the gallery wall.” - style star emily hen­der­son

“I never line up paint­ings to share a top or bot­tom line. In­stead, I ar­range them to share a cen­tre line [be­cause] an ar­range­ment of pic­tures, when or­ga­nized around a sin­gle cen­tre line, or point, will suc­cess­fully hang to­gether as a whole.” - dec­o­rat­ing doyenne alexa hamp­ton

Turn to page 24 to find out how to win your own gallery wall from Minted!

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