Cover Colourful furnishings and artworks liven up the simple off-white walls of this room

From eye-catching murals to wall-hung decorative plates, here are some great ideas for displaying artworks in every room in the house

A gallery wall instantly helps to bring a space alive. Besides adding a striking touch to a blank wall, a well-laid display of photos and prints is also perfect for showcasing memories or flaunting precious art pieces. Whether it’s in the living room, kitchen, or bedroom, a gallery wall can also instantly change the mood and look of a space whilst easily elevating the overall aesthetic of the room.

Turn your gallery wall dreams into reality with these inspiring ideas, below. 

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1. Embrace different sizes and colours

A bold mix of hues in the living room of a family home gives it a playful feel, which is enhanced by the striking artworks. Bright shades abound on the gallery-style wall around the TV—which features an eclectic mix of vintage prints, original artworks and a delightful paper fan—while a set of black-and-white photos on the other wall offsets all the bold colours beautifully. The use of a wide range of differently sized pieces on the gallery wall also works to engage and hold the viewer’s interest.

The black-and-white photographs are by South African director Clive Will, and the painted wooden Tintin figurines and Lucky Star tin-can stool were bought in the Democratic Republic of the Congo during the owners’ travels.

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2. Style decorative dishware

One would expect the home of a curator to be a lesson in the display of artworks of all sorts, and this abode is exactly that. This exuberant wall of specially collected plates in the kitchen is a “friends’ gallery” of handmade gifts, each of which has great sentimental value. The display features both round and oval plates in various decorative styles and colours; it is also an excellent demonstration of the fact that “carefully curated” need not mean overly arranged, nor involve being obsessively “matchy”.

The wall-mounted ceramic vases included in this mix are especially charming: they offset the rounded shapes of the plates with a more linear feel, and emphasise the three-dimensional appeal of the installation when filled with fresh blooms.

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3. Use contrasting colours

A refreshing dose of colour in the form of an orange locker unit from Mother City Hardware serves as a fun example of Johannesburg-based interior designer Tristan du Plessis’ signature of combining high design with an urban aesthetic. The set of anatomical plates on the wall by Studio 19 and the custom “Love” sign that leans against the wall counter the slight severity of the room with their circular forms.

4. Melting pot in the kitchen

Combining practical with aesthetic considerations, this kitchen in a stylist’s home features walls and fitted storage cupboards painted pure white to serve as the ideal backdrop to an ever-changing display. It’s a joyful and confident mix: a trio of golden ceramic ducks draws the eye upwards, while the shelves hold an eclectic mix of cooking essentials and collected treasures. A beloved image snapped by the owner in Namibia is used as a focal point behind the hob.

Take inspiration from the arresting photographic image featured here, and enlarge and frame your own snapshots. Then, display them wherever they will regularly catch your eye and give you pleasure, be it on a kitchen shelf or a bathroom windowsill.

5. Frames in the bathroom

When this historical home was renovated to include ensuite bathrooms for its five bedrooms, elements of its past were enhanced via the use of architectural styles and finishes, and by adding artworks from the homeowner’s extensive and varied collection. Here, a trio of delightfully diverse pieces—which also showcases an attractive range of framing styles—has been hung to frame a doorway, creating a lively display.

Create instant visual interest with artworks by combining pieces in very different styles: here, a full-length portrait, a vintage map, and a lush landscape painting contrast with one another to make each piece stand out memorably.

  • ProductionSven Alberding
  • PhotographyGreg Cox, Warren Heath, Elsa Young and David Ross/Bureaux
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