With the colder months upon us, we want to come home to a place that feels warm, welcoming and cosy. Surrounding ourselves with meaningful items and beloved moments will do just that, and what better way to display those moments than on a unique gallery wall.
It sounds easy, right? But what is a successful gallery wall and how do you create one?
A successful gallery wall has two elements to it.
The first element is substance: it contains photos, artwork or items that bring you joy every time you set your eyes on it. This display means something to you: whether it is past family moments, snaps from your travels, pieces of fabrics you collect, photos of restaurants you wish to visit or your kids' drawings. In fact, substance is reason why great gallery walls and great conversation starters!
The second element is style. This is where you decide how you will display your items: will you go for the same style of frames or perhaps completely different frames but black and white photos? Will you create harmony or contrast with your gallery? Do you prefer symmetry or asymmetry? Will you frame everything you display? Will there be round pieces? The best part is that there is no right or wrong answer! As long as you put some consideration into it and stick to your plan, a successful gallery wall style is one that is perfect for YOU.
Let's look at some examples of successful gallery walls in Swiss homes and discover why they work and copy our tricks.
In this family vacation home there is a passage that leads to the terrace between the sofa and the wall, so we decided to fill said wall with all sorts of maps, art, pictures and information about the area. The gold frames combine with the pillows on the sofa and chairs further to the left. The black frames are meant to integrate the TV opposite them. This wall is a great source of interest for guests visiting as well!
This teenager knew exactly what she wanted: a black gallery wall above her bed that she would gradually fill with her own meaningful artwork through time. So we knew exactly what we had to do: plan the full gallery and install it with white backgrounds. The frames are all unique, we selected them in thrift shops and painted them black.
In this wonderful project we utilised the gallery wall to introduce a more rustic element in the design of the home and counterbalance the shine of the sideboard. In order to do that, we stuck to the same old wooden style frame finish but chose different sizes and completed the full length of the sideboard. My clients are avid travellers so we displayed images from their travels in a palette that enhanced the style of the frames.
To go with the modern, cosy, minimalist style of this living room, we decided on large images and although the ones with brown in them were framed accordingly, the other four were printed on an aluminium finish. The frames tie into the cosy feel of the home along with the warm textiles and the wooden lamps, while the aluminium alines with the modern elements of the design and the cement wall.
In this young lady's bedroom we opted for a flexible wall gallery by creating it on a thin shelf above her bed. At the time of the design she was in love with fashion but admitted she might want to change the pictures later on. So we chose large silver frames that will forever tie in with the chandelier and the photos were printed out in a green tint to go with the tones of her floral bedding.
For this bachelor's apartment we decided to combine his love for New York City and the tone of his chosen hanging lamp. The monochrome gallery wall was created and two empty turquoise frames were placed around two of the prints adding depth and interest to the display.
In this transition area we took inspiration from the kitchen backsplash and the fabric window panels. With that in mind, we spray-painted our selection of frames and used said fabric as the backing for our frames. This created cohesion between the two spaces. Printing the family's
photos in sepia added harmony and contributed to the country style of the furniture.
With this picture gallery we wanted to bring warmth to the angular grey furniture mounted on the wall. The trick was to integrate the grey by choosing it for the passepartouts and to combat the static pieces, we created a dynamic feel by placing our frames on thin shelves. One was hung on the wall to break away with the symmetry and add an even more relaxed, fun touch.
In this case the selection of photos was very personal so we created the gallery wall in our client's bedroom. In this gentleman's space we went for one style of black string frames in one size and all photographs were framed without a passepartout.
If you're working in a tight space, on a tight budget or you can't hammer too many holes on the wall because you live in a rental property, a great way to add a gallery wall is to purchase one or two ready made photo frame sets and then arrange them on the wall to create the gallery wall feel. In this small entryway, we placed the sets vertically above the bench and the white finish allowed us to bring colour through the pictures to our monochrome furnishings.
These are just some of the gallery walls we've created for clients over the past couple of years. As you can see, there is no right or wrong when it comes to surrounding yourself with the meaning they add to your home. All you have to think about is what you want to display and then choose the design that works for you. Thee key is: once you settle on the look: stick to the plan!