As an artist I have entered countless juried art shows over the years, and I have been lucky enough to act as a convener and curator in a number of them as well. One of the biggest questions I get asked from a lot of my friends is for help with curating gallery walls in their homes. Thanks to Pinterest and all the beautiful pins, one can find a variety of photo wall inspiration but the truth is even with all this inspiration, executing a beautifully curated gallery wall is no easy feat.
The first thing I always do is ask my friends to choose a variety of images, the reason for this is that sometimes the images themselves do not work side by side. Secondly, I suggest finding quite a few landscape and portrait images, this helps build the wall and ensure there are no empty spots. Once a collection of images is sources I then go through the images and determine where each should be places based on direction, colour, and size.
Determining these items first will help planning and layout go much smoother.
There doesn’t always have to be one central image in the focus, but it is an easier approach to most photo walls. If you want to use an image to centralize the wall I would opt for a larger sized photo and let that determine the height of your curated wall. If you choose to go with smaller images as a central focus I would work with an even amount of photos that would fill a “larger void”.
I myself am drawn to a more eclectic approach and love mixing and matching sizes, shapes, colours and most of all metals. I have helped a few friends curate photo walls using decor items to round out shapes and create a flow through the visual approach.
Room to Grow
My biggest tip that I always mention is to remember to leave room for the future, as time passes new memories are made and you will want to add more images to your wall. I always like to leave a few spots available at the ends that would work to add more images to later on.
Most importantly, you need to consider your frame sizes, colours, shapes and matting! Some people find it easiest to stick to one frame to use throughout the whole photo wall, my suggestion is to break it up. My justification is that although you LOVE that frame, if you want to add to your wall in the future you may not be able to find that frame or shape. Simplest solution is to stick to one colour and use that tone to be concise. But as I stated above I LOVE ECLECTIC and mixing in different tones makes for a beautifully curated wall.