6 easy steps to create your perfect picture wall August 21 2019, 2 Comments
I love a picture wall don't you?! For me it tells the story of a home and who lives in it and it's the best excuse to put loads of stuff on your walls and most importantly put your own stamp and personality in to your home. It can be scary to pop that first nail in the wall but I hope with these simple steps you'll soon be feeling fully confident to create a wall that reflects you and your home and gets you itching to create more!
Why a picture Wall?
Well I mean WHY RUDDY NOT?! But let's pretend I'm talking to my dad who probably wouldn't have a beanstalk what I'm on about because to him walls are there for keeping your house upright. A picture wall makes a great interest point... they're a great space filler, and if you do it right and make sure your pictures all compliment each other it will make each individual picture look better as a result because styling is all about careful grouping. You can have one lovely picture, and it can look quite lovely on its own and no one is going to grumble about that, but if you style it with some other lovely pictures you suddenly get that va va voom and real impact that only a careful grouping can create.
You agree yes?! But you're a bit hesitant to bash that first nail in ja? I hear ya! I can't claim I've ever been afraid of popping nails in as my walls can attest too but if you follow these simple steps you'll be hammer happy and picture wall pro in no time.
Step ONE: Pick your stuff
I never claimed it would be catchy! But for want of better words you need to pick the stuff you want to put on your walls.
Now every successful picture wall demands some kind of clarity. By that I mean that the pieces you choose need to have something in common. Not everything - but something. What that something is depends on the kind of look you want to achieve and how uniform you want it be. The more your chosen pictures have in common the more structured and controlled the end result will look but even one carefully considered common factor will lend it the clarity it needs.
Here's some of the things you could choose for them to have in common
- All the same colour frame
- All the same style of frame (black/ white/ clear glass/ hanging chain/ no frame)
- All the same size picture
- All the content in your pictures is the same medium (photographs/ vintage maps/ quote prints / whatever...)
- All the content is in a similar colour pallet (the stricter the pallet the more refined it will look)
My preference and something I seem to do without even thinking about it is to group in the same colour pallet - in fact that's my styling preference for everything, but that's me and may not be you - you just need to find a common element for your wall to create unity and clarity. Even if it's not something I've mentioned - if it's something they all have in common thats going to draw it together it will take on a 'look' as a result and create impact not chaos.
Step TWO - Spacial Awareness
It's absolutely no use to anyone if you pop your favourite 6x4 photos at the top of the stairs because from the bottom of your stairs they will just look like blurry blobs of colour. You need to make sure that from wherever you're standing in the room you can see the image/s you're looking at. This stands for all pictures whether in a grouping or on their own. So think about the space, where you will view the wall from and the size of your images. For this reason alone I find photo walls often work best going up the stairs as you're always close to them and can see them, bigger images are better with a bit of distance between you and them. When you've thought about the spacing this will help you determine the quantity of pictures your wall will need which happens to be step three...
Step THREE - Quantity of Pictures
To constitute a Picture wall you really need a minimum of 5 pictures. Odd numbers are ESSENTIAL except in very formulaic symmetrical settings where you may pop 4 together in a quad -but then you wouldn't need to read all this if that was your plan... Odd numbers are always better - it's a natural rule that could have a whole blog post about it but for now, just trust me and go with it, it works. So 5, 7, 9... around then you probably stop counting and nobody will notice but odd numbers force you to be non symmetrical which automatically makes it a bit softer and effortless looking, it just looks more stylish somehow.
Step FOUR - Spacing
I'm going to give you my GOLDEN rule and best styling tip ever:
The spacing between your pictures is AS CRUCIAL as the pictures themselves. If your spacing is crap, it's going to look like your 3 year old hung them up even if they're the most beautifully chosen, aesthetically pleasing images on the planet (and you may well have a wall of pictures of different crisp packets)
So how do you get it right?
This is how.
You need to make sure that the spacing between each and every picture is the same.
It doesn't matter so much what that space is... it just needs to be the same space between that picture and the one next to it, and the one underneath it, and the one to the left of it... Generally speaking the bigger your picture wall, the tighter you should go and the smaller your gaps should be. Now I'm not saying you need a ruler, I've only ever done it by eye, but the more precise your spacing is the tighter your final wall is going to look. I personally keep it a bit loose - ie not exact as I'm far from a perfectionist, I like it to look a bit accidental, so find your happy place in terms of spacing and stick to what looks aesthetically pleasing to you but make it your number one consideration when arranging your picture wall.
Step FIVE - Arrangement
Now you could pop them all in a straight line if you wanted - that could be their common element but have a think about the space and how you would like it filled. There's so many ways to fill a wall. Top to bottom? If you're not precious about the images you could consider not only eye level which is potentially 3 pictures high, but covering the whole wall... so obviously you're not going to pop your original Picasso just above the skirting board but if you've got a whole load of pictures and prints then this is a great way to display them and cover the whole space.
A general rule for hanging is to hang your first picture in the middle of your arrangement, and then add around that - the top of the next picture should sit half way down from the first, the next stagger half way down again - making sure to keep the spacing between them all consistent, something like this...
Hang the buggers. And yes... I think this is probably the bit that makes you squirm a bit but the golden rule is to arrange them all on the floor before you get hammer happy. So, lay them out in front of you exactly how you want them to appear on your wall. No nails or scariness involved - you can spend as long as you like on this bit - have a play - move them round, see what looks best keeping the spacing between them at the top of your mind.
Assess the content - does it work in that layout? Assess the size of the frames? Is there a nice mix? Are there 2 pictures next to each other that look a bit similar? Move them.... 2 quote prints? Maybe try them at different levels - one high up on the left, one low down on the right... spread out anything similar whether it's content or to do with the frame. There is no right and wrong to the order or specific arrangement, it's just got to look aesthetically pleasing to you and the spacing has to be right!
Once you're happy with the arrangement on the floor take a photo of the arrangement and hang the blighters up! I use a nail and a hammer and have no expertise to lend here, I literally pop the nail in and hammer! BUT I have been told that command strips are an alternative to this- apparently these stick your frames on without ruining your walls although a friend of mine did say one of her pictures fell off with command strips and the glass smashed so just be careful if you choose to use it - maybe stick to lighter objects. However you do it, do it with confidence because if you follow these simple steps you cannot go wrong, you'll be a picture wall creator for life.
Feeling inspired?! Email me photos of your photo walls! I'd love to see
Let me know in the comments if you've enjoyed this blog coz if you say you have I'll do loads more!
Want to know all about the unique and bespoke styling service I offer?
Limited slots available