Bare walls begone! Sassy mama contributor, Laurian shares with us her tips on how to style a gallery wall
Styling your walls is usually the last thing you will do after a big move. Often the art that is in your possession will stay on the floor for a long time before getting hung up (oh yes, I am guilty of that too!). It’s quite hard to decide where to precisely put the pieces and if there are several artworks you would like to hang together, how to composition them.
Have no fret mamas, we will give you a guide from start to finish: where to buy nice prints or art, how and where to frame them and then how to style your walls. We will even give you a tutorial on how to design a gallery wall! Remember, nice art prints don’t have to be expensive, as long as they are personal to you. Artwork on your walls is often the most personal part to your home.
Start transforming your home into your own gallery right now!
Buying Prints or Art
Often it is more difficult to find nice prints than paintings in Hong Kong. We all know there are plenty of art galleries and art auctions where you can buy (expensive) art. However, beautiful prints and photos are sometimes harder to come by.
An alternative to buying it in Hong Kong is finding your prints online. Prints are usually not expensive items to ship. We found some beautiful (and adorable) prints on Etsy, like this online shop.
If you are thinking of having some family portraits made and framed, you could check out Suzanne Goodwin Photography or Venture Studios. You can also find beautiful limited editions artworks at YellowKorner. Here you will find everything from monochrome vintage photographs to urban photos from all over the world. Plus, YellowKorner also sells beautiful photos of Hong Kong, available in different sizes.
Having your art or print professionally framed makes all the difference. And the good news is that it’s quite affordable and easy in Hong Kong. Professional framers can help you decide on the colour of the frame, the width and the type of glass. I have often found experienced framers have a better eye for this than myself. There are many framing shops, right on the street in Hong Kong. Check out Zetter Picture Framer, on 40 G/F Hollywood Road or Lee Wah Art & Frames, 5 Chancery Lane, Soho.
Calling in your handyman for hanging your art is often the easy part. Where do you want to hang it and at what height? Here are some start-up tips:
- Use proper picture hanging hooks, instead of screws or nails. This way your art hangs much more securely.
- Use a helping hand that can hold your frame against the wall so you can see whether it is in the right place.
- Hang your art 58” (1.47 cm) high, measured to the centre of your artwork (so the centre of your piece should be at 58” from the floor). Many galleries and museums use this rule of thumb; the reason for this is that 58” is the average height the human eye is at. You would be surprised how low this actually is, most people hang their art up too high! When hanging multiple artworks, treat them as a group, and figure out where the centre of the group is, so you can position that at 58” from the floor.
- And lastly, have fun hanging artwork, photos and prints. They are the most personal part of your home and it can be great to change things up often. A great way to do this, is using large picture ledges (find some great ones at IKEA), for example above your bed. This way you can change your art as much as you like, without having to fill holes and paint walls!
Designing a Gallery Wall
If you are interested in hanging a large group of artwork (you can even mix up photos, prints and paintings), it requires a bit planning ahead. First you have to decide which piece of art you would like to hang together. There are several methods to decide on which art looks best together:
- Group the artwork by similar art styles (for example modern artwork). Your art can have various sizes and different frames, but it will look cohesive because the style binds them together.
- Different artwork, framed in the same frames, all the same size or a limited range of sizes (as seen in the image above). The different types of artwork makes this wall interesting and the frames and similar sizes create is pleasing to the eye especially a symmetrical art wall.
- Your gallery wall can also be based on various frames, in all different shapes, sizes and even colours. Make sure your artwork has similar colours that combine nicely together to one interesting and cohesive wall.
Tip: making a gallery wall of your child’s artwork is a great way to display their best work. If you like to change their artwork often, you could think about hanging several wooden clipboards as a gallery to display their art.
Preparing and Hanging Your Art
And now, the second part; planning a configuration and hanging of the artworks. The preparation is the most important part. Here are the steps:
- First lay out the frames you intend to use and try out the configuration you like on the floor.
- Then trace all the shapes of the edges of the frames onto paper and cut out the shapes.
- Tape the paper shapes onto the wall in same the arrangement you have laid out on the floor with the actual frames. This way you can see whether this arrangement works on the space of your wall and where exactly it should be. (Remember the 58” rule for the centre of your arrangement and make sure the top frames are not too high up.)
- When you are satisfied with the arrangement, start putting hooks on the right places of the papers.
- Remove the paper and hang your artwork.
Voilà, your own gallery wall that is totally Pinterest-worthy, personal to your family and beautiful to look at!