I’m a huuuuuge fan of gallery walls. They’re the perfect way to give your space personality and add a hint of eccentricity. I love that no two are the same, and each piece gives a little clue about the person who chose it.
There’s always talk about whether gallery walls are ‘going out’ or ‘coming in’, but I think they’re such a big feature of eclectic interiors that they will always be popular. And as you can probably tell from the rest of this blog, I’m not really one to follow a trend. (Read more about my thoughts on trends in interiors here.) I’m all about decorating your home with what you love and what makes you happy, not what the big mags are saying is cool.
Gallery walls are so versatile that there must be a style to suit every taste. I love the look of very uniform gallery walls in minimal / scandi interiors, where the frames are all the same size and colour, and there’s a theme to the artwork. Today, however, we’re looking at the best type of gallery wall (imho): the eclectic gallery wall. They are my favourite because there’s fewer rules, more artistic licence, and an end result that screams individuality.
Below I’ve listed some of the hallmarks of eclectic gallery walls that help them look interesting. You don’t have to use all these suggestions to make an eclectic gallery wall – depending on how wacky a look you’re going for, you may just want to choose one or two points and work with them.
Varied artwork sizes
I always think that gallery walls look more eclectic when they’re less uniform. One of the easiest ways of achieving that look is to use a mix of sizes of artwork. This also works pretty well because unless you’re buying lots of prints from the same place, the pieces you get probably won’t all be the same size! Check out this beautiful example below on Driven by Decor – I like how you can feel the continuity through the colours and nature theme.
Mix of mediums
The same goes for the types of artwork you hang – mix it up! I have one print from Juniqe, one original piece from my super talented friend Daisy Billowes, two framed magazines, an album cover, an embroidery ring, a textile piece, a 3D piece, a text piece, and two archaeological specimen frames. I want to get some photos and wall hangings up there too! Having a mixture of different types of art definitely makes for an eclectic look and is more interesting to the eye. I love Jen’s gorgeous example below, set against a dark backdrop. It’s got loads of different textures, but is given more order by using a colour theme.
I love gallery walls that aren’t scared of colour. For me, bold use of colour is a big part of eclectic style. Where you chose to be more thematic or go crazy, I think bright colours are a great way to give your gallery wall personality. Marcie’s space below is an ode to bohemian decor with lots of rich colours, patterns, and textures all coming together for a room that feels eclectic and lived in.
This is one I need to work on. My gallery wall is just made up of old frames I had hanging around and a couple bought from IKEA. But I always notice nice frames and love the look of different carefully selected frames. Lisa’s gallery wall is a great example: she has some ornate gilt frames, some of plain wood, some modern plastic ones, some with rounded corners, some with insets, some without…! It comes together for a really cool, eclectic look. If you’re going for a more ordered gallery wall, buy pairs of each frame you use to pull the overall look together more.
I think having some sentimental elements in your gallery wall is really nice way to make it more authentic. I have a little embroidery ring that one of my oldest friends made me, a little Navajo textile from one of my most memorable trips to the States, and some archaeological specimens that I collected from uni field trips to Pompeii and Ostia. It’s also a great way to appreciate your special possessions. Before I made my gallery wall, all those treasures were just in a box, being forgotten about: now I see them every day.