Gallery Walls 2.0

What’s new and next for art-filled accent walls? Check out these 10 designer spaces and tips.

Photo By: BAMO

Photo By: BAMO

Photo By: Laura Negri

Photo By: David Christensen

Photo By: Ellie Tsatsou

Photo By: Matt Odom

Photo By: David Christensen

Photo By: Laure Joliet

Photo By: Laura Negri

Photo By: Studio Jaki Photography

Casual Flair

The travel collages were commissioned from an artist who works with European ephemera. Having them in equal-sized frames mirrors the room's formality, but the collage adds a touch of casual, says Babey. They were hung individually with two hooks. This group of framed pieces "bounce" along the wall, adding interest and personality, she says. "It makes a person stop and look."

Mirror, Mirror

A mirrored wall in a home office holds a collection of items representing Italy and Hong Kong as well as the sea. “When the wall was mirrored, the bedroom felt a little bare,” says designer Pamela Babey of BAMO, a San Francisco-based firm. A reveal at the ceiling allowed the designer to insert an old-fashioned gallery hook and a small, metal rectangular link chain. The framed artwork is then hung from the chain with an "S" hook. “I always like the quality of mirrors on mirrors, pictures on mirrors and multiple layering and illusions,” she says.

Eclectic Example

Start with a center focal point and build around it, adding to the sides and gently tapering off, but don’t line up the edges, says Nina Nash of Mathews Furniture and Design, who with Don Easterling designed this room for a Southeastern Designer Showhouse in Atlanta. “I prefer to mix different frames for original art, but for a clean photography wall, a simple thin frame will look best in black, warm silver or antique gold, depending on your decor, with a nice white mat,” she says. For textiles and jewelry, Nash suggests using a linen shadow box or acrylic frame that can be mixed with media, such as oils and photography.

Stylish Solution

Gallery walls in unexpected areas of a home, instead of above a sofa, are the next progression of the trend, says Amy Morris of Amy Morris Interiors. "A gallery wall is a great solution for a wall that’s hard to fill, like a small wing wall or staircase,” she says. Abstract layouts, such as when the art continues around a corner, a window or door casing, are in, and she also loves the trend of incorporating empty frames into art walls. Her feminine ladies lounge was in a Southeastern Designer Showhouse in Atlanta.

Location, Location

A living room by Meraki Design features a wall gallery of photographs in a stairwell. Being encased in the glass gives it an even more dramatic look. For pictures to have the same color tones, apply the same filter to the photos, designer Eris Koutsoudakis says.

Shutters Galore

Antique, handpainted shutters from Indonesia are a focal point on a wood-paneled wall in a renovated historic home. The shutters are another unexpected item to compose a wall gallery, and because of their intricate nature, designer Sally Draughon says she decided to use a simple layout for the living room in this Design House showcase in Macon, Ga. But when using paintings, she usually displays half in oil and half under glass for a visual and textural difference.

The Room's Dessert

Designer John Oetgen assembled and photographed floral collages for his wall gallery in the master bedroom of an Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles Home for the Holidays Showhouse. “Collect enough pieces of art to make it work. Photographs are great, but have them enlarged to a substantial size,” he says. Then, start from the center of the space and work out. He suggests thinking of a wall as a cupcake or ice cream cone with artwork as the toppings.

Linear Lineup

Framed art hangs above a bed in the Kimpton De Witt hotel in Amsterdam. Using similar frames and an underlying color of black makes the wall gallery work, says Willem J. Stear of Tonic Design Studio. “It makes a room feel more personal because wall galleries are sort of random,” he says. “So it really just makes it feel homey in a way.”

Paintings and More

A lovely living room with blush tones, designed by Rivers Spencer Interiors, shows off a gorgeous gallery wall with a panel painting and sculptural pieces. “Objects d’art add depth and texture, and combined with traditionally framed art, the mix makes for a more interesting composition,” says fellow designer Amy Morris, who also had a room in the same Southeastern Designer Showhouse in Atlanta.

Bold Background

A wall gallery of abstract green and black art anchors a living room in a modern urban Atlanta condo designed by Wake + Loom. The dark accent wall lays the foundation for the gallery over a mirrored console, which connects the dining space and living area with a graphic rug and leather couch.

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