While we have been in lockdown our homes have never been so exposed to the outside world, as camera conferences with work colleagues provide the irresistible opportunity to snoop around other people’s houses.
Knowing that home working is here to stay, there has been a surge in Google searches for wall art, while interiors stores Habitat, John Lewis and Wayfair say their online sales of framed prints and canvases are at record levels.
Make a good impression with a home gallery wall
“Hanging art in groups is not as complicated as it looks,” says Helen Buckley, curator at Rise Art.
Now coming up to its 20th year, it sells the work online of 600 artists worldwide.
Buckley’s gallery wall at home started with three pictures and is now covered.
“Gallery walls tell a more personal story than a large, single artwork,” she says. “And collecting art this way is affordable and fun.”
The web is awash with art inspiration, including 1.2 million Instagram posts with hashtag #gallerywalls. Use them to get your eye in
Dawson says: “Mix typography with photography, charity shop finds with oil paintings, limited-edition prints with holiday memories.” Find her tips and many more in blogger Kate Watson-Smyth’s new book Mad About the House: 101 Interior Design Answers (Pavilion, £20).
“Variety adds vitality,” says London interior designer Shanade McAllister-Fisher. “Mix genres, such as botanicals, portraits, abstracts and photography. Similarly, mix frame styles and sizes.”
Consider wall sculpture and textiles to add depth and texture.
Where to buy art for your gallery wall
Buy from the web shops of the big museums and galleries. You can browse hundreds of international artists at The Other Art Fair Online Studios. Or access virtual art shows at a clutch of London galleries at Mayfair Art Weekend.
Find a detailed guide to fine art print-making at London Original Print Fair, the capital’s longest-running art fair, held at the Royal Academy of Arts.
Meanwhile, London Art Week Digital will run from July 3 to 10.
Habitat adds new artists twice a year to its London editions, with prices from £18 to £125.
Currently customers are loving graphic prints in bright colours, with typography and numbers.
Habitat in Tottenham Court Road reopened this week, with Finchley and Westfield stores following next week.
H&M in Regent Street is now open again, with prints by London artists from £9.99 and posters from £6.99.
Attwood says: “Take risks and trust your gut. A gallery wall has the power to change the entire feeling of a room.”
How to create your own gallery wall
Mark out the space of your gallery on the floor with tape, says Maria Hipwell from consultancy Art Absolutely. “Then lay out your pieces, starting in the middle and moving outwards. Take a picture and see how it looks.”
Going one step further is Katherine Lemin, wall décor buyer at John Lewis, who says: “Cut out paper to the size of your frames and White Tack these to the wall. Sellotape sheets together for larger sizes.”
Here are some neat notions for getting a good result. John Lewis does gallery sets of up to 11 frames designed to hang together, in walnut, gold, silver, white or black, at prices from £50 to £80.
Habitat sells a set of five frames, called Kupari, in copper or gold for £80. Sets available at Made.com also include the art, with four mono prints in frames costing £159.
But for the largest choice of instant edits head to online Swedish poster brand Desenio.
You simply buy a set of framed prints, from around £240 complete, and follow Desenio’s hanging guide. You get free delivery over £29 — but it won’t have that personal touch.
Gallery walls for art-loving renters
To avoid nails, use 3M Command Strips on frame and wall.
They click into place and you can peel them off later. From around £3.