The Gallery Wall
The gallery wall is having a moment, and it looks like it’s going to be a long one. Nothing says “modern//hip/trending now” like a personally curated gallery wall. In these days of social media when it seems that everyone is a photographer and a writer, now everyone can be their own designer as well.
A gallery wall is a particularly personal look. A traditional decorated wall says, “This is what I think is beautiful”. A gallery wall says, “This is what you need to know about me”.
Like fashion for the body, which currently is more about personal expression and making an individual statement than it is about beauty, the gallery wall is not necessarily about beautiful decorating. “Collect, don’t decorate” is the new mantra.
Is this a good thing? Decorating is, after all, about creating a space that feels comfortable and reflects your tastes. So why not a gallery wall with things that are meaningful to you? Think of it as a living room selfie.
Gallery walls are usually arranged asymmetrically, and tend to break standard design rules: they often mix very art or objects, including things that might not be considered “art”, and might be hung floor to ceiling or in unusual configurations. When done right (and they’re not easy), they can showcase good design and the owner’s personality with great style. With the right touch, they add interest and an eclectic touch. When they don’t succeed, they’re simply a mish-mash, a cluttered collection that makes a room look chaotic.
Though I like the concept, lately I’m getting a bit of gallery wall fatigue. I just hope that we can all still appreciate the carefully decorated wall as well, showcasing a single fabulous painting or a carefully edited collection that might even be, quelle horreur, symmetrical.
What do you think of gallery walls? Depending on which camp you’re in, you might try these links:
“25 Inspiring Gallery Walls”, from the Elegance and Enchantment Blog
“But What if I Don’t Want a Gallery Wall?” from Lonny Magazine