As its name suggests, a picture wall refers to that well-curated display of artworks, photos, and other personal memorabilia. Photo frames shape such a display, as if you’re viewing a gallery in a real museum. This is one element of interior design that’s become quite popular over the years, simply because of its ability to transform a plain wall into one with more life and personality.
A picture wall is also a good way to steer away from generic wall art, so what you have is truly one that’s personal and unique only to you or your family, especially if what you have displayed are photos of the family throughout the years. It preserves special, vital moments any family member can revisit anytime they like.
While there are no absolute, hard-and-fast rules to follow when creating a picture wall, there are basic steps to guide you to achieve coherence and symmetry, particularly with framing ideas for the modern home, among other interior design concepts. Such are discussed below.
1. Start With Art
If you’re working on a huge wall space, you don’t have to feel overwhelmed, thinking that you have to fill it with just your personal and family photos, especially if you don’t have a lot to work on.
You can mix and match personal photos and memories with art. However, a word of caution: the ‘art’ being referred to here doesn’t mean buying mass-produced, printed wall art from department stores. Otherwise, your home is going to look like a model house. ‘Art’ means real art or painting. These don’t have to be expensive pieces. Go to the flea market or a vintage shop, for instance, or you can also buy some pieces when you travel. You can even incorporate fabrics or other memorabilia from your travels.
When you alternate such elements with your personal photos, your picture wall will look even better. It’ll have so many stories to tell, and it’ll instantly make your dull wall more interesting.
2. Keep It Cohesive
Keeping it cohesive doesn’t mean your picture wall should have frames of the same style and equal size. You’re free to incorporate a variety of designs. Cohesion, however, refers to ensuring that even when you’re mixing and matching, your picture wall and the room’s theme or design remain harmonious.
If you have a minimalist home, you can still have a picture wall, but keep the frames simpler and more muted. If your home has all sorts of items you’ve collected, giving off so much color and design elements, that’s when you can also be more adventurous with frames of different colors and textures.
3. Measure The Wall
Don’t buy frames or even start drilling holes in your wall without measuring first the space you’re working on. You need to have the exact measurement of the perimeter, so, at least, you won’t over- or under-buy frames.
When you measure the wall, be sure to include equal spaces between the frames as well. Those equal spaces ensure your picture wall will still look organized and cohesive despite having frames of different styles and sizes.
4. Mix Horizontals And Verticals
Like the frame style and size, the orientation doesn’t have to be all the same as well. In fact, mixing horizontal and vertical frames is another way to achieve balance and symmetry.
Moreover, a mix of horizontal and vertical frames gives you more options as to the photo and art layout you’ll incorporate as well. That way, you can choose portrait and landscape photos from your collection. This will make your picture wall look more interesting.
5. Choose Colored Or Black-And-White Photos And Pieces
While you can have a mix of different things in terms of layout, size, and style, there’s one thing that has to be uniform all throughout: the color of the photos. If you want to have just black and white, then keep it black and white with all your photos. If you prefer splashes of colors, then maintain that concept as well.
If you have photos that are a hodgepodge of different colors, unfortunately, your gallery wall will look too confusing and busy. There won’t be a sense of coherence and unity with your photos. It's enough that the frames look busy; the photos should, at least, be more put-together.
The best takeaway from this guide is that the steps above don’t have to be finished all in one day. In fact, your gallery wall can be a work in progress. You can have the frames ready and hung, but fill them in only as you add more memories into your life. Most of all, remember that it doesn’t have to be perfect or matchy-matchy at all. It only needs to be one that’s truly and uniquely you, sitting in quite well with your home’s overall theme and interior design.