Paid partnership with Desenio
If ever there was a time to hang photos of your nearest and dearest, that time is now. In fact we have been planning this gallery wall for YEARS but somehow never quite bit the bullet… the biggest stumbling block in this project was in fact the frames – if you have priced a full wall of frames you will well know that pocket money it is not. Enter Desenio (the smaller frames pictured here come in at just under £10).
It is a running joke with my art school friends that, whilst we may not have learnt much about painting during those four years at GSA, we did learn how to hang a mean exhibition space.
Scroll down for my five steps to the perfect photo gallery wall…
It can be really easy to get hung up on finding the perfect shots but really what you need to focus on here are the memories. Who are the people or places you want to see? Think of those family members and a favourite time you spent with them then search for that photo rather than scrolling through the thousands upon thousands in your camera reel. Do not get fixated on each image being in sharp focus or perfectly composed but rather hone in on those that bring you joy, that spark memories (if you choose to print them black and white, the biggest mish mash of photos will look cohesive as a group in any case). Still feeling overwhelmed? Just start somewhere – pick a single holiday or one month – printing photos is super cheap so you can switch them out any time.
Honestly, sourcing the right frames for the right price held up my project for so long (years in fact). I have had the pleasure of working with Desenio in the past and had a lightbulb moment when I remembered that, although they sell the most fantastic selection of prints, they also do great budget frames. The frames are either metal or solid wood with a lightweight and shatterproof acrylic glass – this felt like a better option for our home right now due to the gallery being in a high traffic area combined with two very young children. They hang either portrait or landscape and I personally like adding the pre-cut white mounts to give that custom frame look – the quality is excellent.
For reference my gallery features :
3 x 21x30cm black wood frames with white mounts
2 x 21x30cm gold frames with white mounts
2 x 21x30cm white frames with white mounts
3 x 30x40cm black wood frames with white mounts
1 x 30x40cm gold frame with white mount
MIX IT UP
I will level with you here – the perfectionist in me genuinely cannot cope with a squint picture hanging on a wall. You know those people who straighten frames in other people’s homes, hotels, dentists’ waiting rooms? I am, unapologetically, that guy. So the last thing I want to do is complicate things further by going for a uniform grid layout. Just imagine not only having to ensure those frames are straight but also that they are perfectly equidistant. No thank you. (Side note: a small ball of white tack at the bottom of the frame, on the reverse side, should keep those babies hanging straight even with an exuberant passerby).
An eclectic selection of frames in various sizes and colours allows a more free approach to hanging. This method really lends itself to stairs as you can trickle photos up or down the wall as you like without being confined to a strict pattern. It also means you can easily grow your collection whenever you fancy and I love that.
This step is a game changer. All that packing paper you never know what to do with? Those old newspapers? Give those guys new purpose and cut templates of your frames. Mark each one so you know if you are dealing with a portrait or landscape photo and start planning your gallery. I stuck mine to the wall with masking tape which is easily removed without damage. Just play around with the shapes until you are happy. I knew I wanted to wrap the door on the half landing so I began there, selecting the pieces to best fill that space. I worked with approximately the same width of gap between each template but absolutely did not measure anything… that, my friends, is dangerous territory.
It can seem daunting but, again, just start somewhere. Nothing is set in stone at this stage – this is a fluid process. Remember to step back regularly and, just like decorating a Christmas tree, it can help to half shut your eyes for a blurry and yet somehow clearer picture.
The beauty of this kind of template is that you can simply hammer a pin through it and then tear it off when you are ready to start hanging. Simples.
CREATE A MOMENT
I think what I love most about this gallery wall is that it has transformed what was once a mere through-road into a real ‘moment’ within our home. Do not discount a space because it is small or awkward – it might just be the perfect spot to create something special – a hallway, a downstairs loo, an alcove. We have lived here more than three years and not once had I stopped on these stairs to appreciate the light or the space itself. It may be small but now it is filled with a precious narrative – family members I can point out to my children and memories that bring me so much joy – we could all use that right now.
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