It’s hardly a surprise that gallery walls are very much having an interiors moment right now. Whatever your budget and whatever space you have to work with, it’s a way of adding personality to a room, giving your photos, posters and prints the showcase they deserve. Once completed, a well-curated gallery wall is a real talking point – one that you won’t even have to pick up a paintbrush or do battle with a roll of wallpaper in order to pull it off. Gather your favourite pictures but don't reach for the hammer and nails just yet: here's everything you need to know before recreating the trend in your own home...
Do your research beforehand
Just as you might create a mood board before decorating a room, it's worth gathering images of similar set-ups that have caught your eye - and asking yourself why they work. 'It's good to consider the overall effect you are hoping to create,' recommends interior designer Katharine Pooley. 'Collect images on Pinterest or from magazines of the style you are aiming to emulate and consider which works of art or photography will embody this style within the space you have.'
Don't reach for the hammer and nails immediately, either. 'It's important to play around with placements and positions before you start hanging - once the holes are in the wall, there's no going back!' advises Holly Harper, senior curator at notonthehighstreet.com. 'Get a large bit of floor space and use this as a faux wall to ensure that you get the right layout. Try out multiple variations and take pictures of your favourites to remember them.' There might be particular hero images that you want to focus on: laying out your pictures beforehand will allow you to plan your wall around these and ensure that they remain at the centre of attention.
Pick the right spot
'Finding an unusual spot which can be "uncovered" can often be just as "wow" as being the focal point of a commonly used room,' says Holly. Plus, the space you choose will have an impact upon the layout. 'If the space features lots of clean lines in terms of the furniture and the accessories, I would opt for an even number of placements,' says Katharine. 'If it's more of a casual style, then an odd number of placements and different sizes can work well.' She also recommends picking up a tape measure beforehand, too: 'ensure you've measured the total height of the wall so you can work out how many pictures you can hang above one another,' she adds.
Do a trial run
Once you've got the measurements sorted and decided upon a layout, Katharine recommends doing a mock-up on the wall itself before fully committing. 'Before hanging the actual pictures, create templates of each using paper and fix the paper to the wall so you can assess how it will look,' she says.
Embrace a mismatched finish
Holly is an advocate of mixing up image sizes and placing different types of frame together. 'Mismatched frames are definitely the best option - this injects personality and originality into your home,' she says. 'By using a variety of frames and objects you have collected along the way, your wall will be kept alive and this adds to the curiosity factor.'
To avoid over-cluttering, she recommends avoiding frames that are too small. Another option is to choose an over-arching theme to tie the look together - 'whether that be colour palette, textures or even typography, which can be a great way to break up your images.'
As Cato Cooper, interiors expert and co-owner of The Emporium Somerset, explains, 'colour is an important factor. If your photos are more neutral, you could hang them against a coloured feature wall; if they're bright and bold, then hanging them against a more neutral wall will make them really stand out.'
Choose the right materials
'If you're hanging a heavier picture, consider using [drill anchors],' says Katharine. 'For anything lighter, you should be able to fix with nails.' It goes without saying that if you're in a rented property, you should certainly check with your landlord before you start hammering with abandon...
Take lighting into account
'Always consider reflections when hanging your photos,' advises Cato. 'Bright lights or light from windows can cause reflections on frame glass, so try the frames at different times of day to check for anything that might affect people seeing the picture before hanging them permanently.'
Switch things up
So now you've decided on a layout that you're happy with - that's great. But should you change your mind, it's pretty easy to change things around and re-experiment. 'The beauty of a gallery wall, once assembled, is how easily it can be switched up to keep it fresh and exciting,' explains Holly. ''Play around with texture and try framing things other than pictures to create a truly personal space: make sure you continue to collect pictures of objects from your travels, too, or you could even freshen it up by tapping into interior trends.'
'Play around with texture and try framing things other than pictures to create a truly personal space: make sure you continue to collect pictures of objects from your travels, too, or you could even freshen it up by tapping into interior trends.'