The rather clichéd ‘feature wall’ has fallen somewhat out of favour now, so how about hanging some pictures, either art work, family photographs, maps or a mixture of all of them and making a gallery wall instead.
A personal stamp on your room
This is a much more personal way of putting your own stamp on a room and will say a lot more about you and your family than some expensive roll of wallpaper or a vibrant pot of paint. It is much more flexible too as the items can be easily changed either by putting new pictures in the frames or changing the frames around the existing items. If you use the reusable picture (Command strips) mounts then the whole lot can also easily be moved around and changed without leaving damaging and unsightly holes in the wall.
What should I hang?
The simple answer to this is what ever you like. Chose something that you are passionate about. It could be holiday photos alongside some nautical artwork or art deco travel posters. You could also mix up family photos with some graphic art and inspirational quotes. Don’t forget to include pets, vehicles, motorbikes etc. in your family gallery. Guests will then have an instant snapshot of your interests and more importantly it will make you smile when you walk into the room. Amongst the pictures you could also intersperse a mirror or a clock or even a treasured family plate to keep the feeling loose.
How to link the items together.
Depending on the rest of the decor of your room, you may go for a formal regimented look, or a mix of colours and shapes, if all the artwork is in a similar colour to the room you can go for completely differing colours and materials for the frames. If you go for a wide variety of colours and themes for the gallery then it is better to keep all the frames the same colour or material but in different sizes. A more regular formal layout looks best and is more effective against a dark background and an eclectic mix suits a white or very pale coloured background. Of course as we covered earlier, its your personality so if want a random mix of everything against a black wall then go for it.
Planning your layout
Do not attach anything to the wall until you have decided definitively on the layout. First measure the area you are planning to cover and then measure the same area out on the floor. Next lay your objects out on the floor and move them around until you are happy. Avoid hanging items too high. The best height for viewing things is obviously eye level, but that varies from person to person so around the 1.7m mark is usually fine. Most items look better hung close to piece of furniture rather than up near the ceiling. It is essential that you use a spirit level and measure accurately, keep the gap between the pieces the same between 5 and 10 cm. try and make sure that the outer edges line up too. Also take into account reflections of lighting and daylight shining on glass-fronted pieces. You can use non-reflective glass, which will help solve this problem. It is not as easy as it looks to set up an attractive pleasing layout so also consider calling in a professional to help.
Classic wooden frames are always popular, but you can use all sorts of material to either tie in with you house style and personal taste. Ultimately this gallery wall is to showcase your likes, hobbies, interests and tastes. Very popular are aluminum frames, which go with all decors, and there is always plain black, which with incorporating a white mount will really show off your pieces. Do not feel you must slavishly follow the style of your house by using victorian frames in a victorian property or art nouveau/art deco ones in a 1920s property unless that is actually your taste. You could even go for no frames and use printed canvases. Many firms now make wall art that actually comes in several sections (usually an odd number of panels). You can also have your favourite pictures printed on a textured canvas made of acrylic, foam or even wood.