You know when something catches your eye, and from then on you just keep seeing the same thing again and again? Like that time you bought a fabulous new dress and then all of a sudden everyone is wearing your dress!
Well, for me, it’s like that with botanical prints and gallery walls and I know they’ve been done over and over, but they really seem to be hanging in there (excuse the pun) and we can’t seem to get enough of this trend.
I fell in love with the work of My Deer Art shop when I moved into my new home and decided to change up my wall styling. I can’t remember where I first saw them.. perhaps a web search that had me sucked into a vortex leaving my neglected children to feed themselves cereal for dinner that night, phew! So, back to the point - I eventually tracked them down to “The Little Interior” and snapped up a few of my faves.
Anyway, I’m delighted for the opportunity to share some of those favourite prints from The Little Interior along with some others from Negin Designs, who is such a talented local illustrator, pattern and print maker and Leden design by Auckland based creative Lydia Batts who produces fantastic limited edition prints.
So, here is how the shoot went down at the awesome studio of The Life Style Edit, complete with some handy TIPS if you want to create your own picture wall at home.
Start with something meaningful. What do you want your wall to say?
My meaningful piece was “My Deer Art // Botanics String Of Pearls” which I bought when I moved into my new home and it represents a new start.
TIP: Some other ideas for meaningful art might be a piece that you had in your first home, artwork created by your kids or a momento from an amazing holiday with friends.
Choose a theme and gather your art work.
The easiest way to make a gallery wall feel unified is to choose a theme and in this case I chose a nature / watercolour theme. The String of Pearls print became the foundation for the picture wall and I careful added pieces that would keep within the chosen theme.
TIP: Decide whether you want your wall to be full of colour or if you want to keep things more toned down - be deliberate about your colour choice. You might want to consider one pop of bright colour and several neutral pieces to highlight and bring balance. Play with additional tones to keep things from looking too flat.
I was hoping to create a casual feel to this picture wall and wanted to avoid too much matchy matchy so I used varying sized frames in a mix of white, black and oak from Ikea, STiiCKs® - Magnetic Poster Frames and some others that I had at home.
TIP: For a casual look, if your artwork is matching make sure your frames are not and visa versa. However, if you are looking for a formal look then use matching frames but be careful that it doesn't end up looking a little one dimensional.
Create your mood board.
I really believe that a mood board is key to the success of a design idea. It allows you take the ideas out of your head and put them on to paper or screen. You will be able to see if your idea comes together as you imagine.
TIP: I like to use Keynote (Powerpoint for windows users) to create my mood boards, as it allows me to resize and reposition as I choose. Pinterest is also a very quick and easy way to create a mood board.
Prepare your wall.
Patch, sand and paint your wall as necessary to create a smooth clean surface or if you are after a more wabi sabi look then just leave your wall as is, like I did. Move furniture out of the way so you have clear access.
TIP: make sure the wall is at least clear of dust and dirt so your hooks stick tight. You don’t want your pictures falling of the wall in the middle of a dinner party.
Tools of the trade.
Make sure you have the following on hand: hammer, nails, temporary hooks, measuring tape, pencil for marking positions, spirit level and a window cleaner and cloth to make your hard work sparkle.
TIP: For a temporary installation or if you are renting and can’t hammer nails into walls, you can’t go past 3M hooks. I used a combination of Command Damage free hanging and velcro picture hanging strips. Just make sure your hooks can hold the weight of the frame.''
Arrange, hammer or stick and hang.
I arranged and re arranged the artwork on the floor in front of the wall until I was happy with the look. Then I hung the largest piece first and then moved on to the smaller pieces ensuring balance of space between each and continually stepping back to check the arrangement and make sure the frames were level. You might need assistance with this step and I was lucky enough to have the lovely Heidi, owner of TLSE, on hand to help me.
TIP: If you’d prefer a more ordered approach you could always cut out paper templates for each piece of art and play around with the arrangement by sticking them on the wall until you are happy with the look. Then you just need to replace the template with the corresponding picture.
And Ta Da!
Some of the prints I had intended to use in the first shoot didn’t end up working as well as I thought but I really wanted to use them in the shoot so I ended up creating a second wall in a different space using a more formal arrangement. To create this formal look mark a centre point of your display on the wall and arrange the art in a grid like fashion, always ensuring they are the same distance apart. This way you can create a more orderly looking gallery wall that can easily be added to over time.
TIP: Be flexible. Despite all this careful planning be prepared to change your arrangement as the right grouping can take time. Creating an amazing gallery wall is kind of like baking. The strength of the individual ingredients must be carefully considered in order to create a delicious mouthwatering cake. Did someone say cake?
Written and styled by Libby Williams of The Style Principle.
Photographed by Heloise Love, TLSE Photographic Director.
Birds Longing by My Deer Art, $59.00, available at The Little Interior / Botanic Shades of Green, $34.50, My Deer Art / The Lounger, $880.00, Byron Bay Hanging Chairs / Petunia Flower Weave, $660.00, Armadillio & Co / Floret Printed Cushion Cover, $69.90, Citta / Butterscotch Penny Round Cover, $49.00, Castle and Things / Moss Stitch Wool Throw, $229.00, Citta / Cactii and Basket, Available in store at The Life Style Edit
Rattan Pendent Lantern, $250.00, available in store at The Life Style Edit, Negin Designs Print in Custom Size, Price on Request / Reflect Wool Embroidered Cushion Cover, $64.90, Citta / Mercer Footstool, price on size, Heatherly Design / Plant and Basket, available in store at The Life Style Edit