10 cool things to use in a gallery wall that aren’t your average photo

Stylist Vanessa Nouwens shows us how to get creative and display special objects in this alternative gallery wall


10 cool things to use in a gallery wall that aren’t your average photo

If print or photo walls aren’t your style, consider creating an alternative gallery wall using objects which hold special meaning for you. When grouped together, these pieces create a unique and interesting talking point. Here are a few ideas on what you could hang (but really, the sky’s the limit)…

1. Decorative plates
This small palm tree-decorated plate was given as a gift but was deemed too nice to use every day, so with a plate hanger attached to the back, it is now part of the wall display. A cluster of three of these can look great, too, so get busy raiding Grandma’s cupboards.

2. Holiday Souvenirs
Anything goes on a wall like this so why not dig out all those old holiday souvenirs – like this woven fan, bag and shell necklace – and put them on show? This is a fun way to add character to your home and remember the fun you had on holiday.

3. Wall hangings
Textile hangings are very popular and are great for adding texture to a wall. If you are crafty try making your own, or check out the options available in homeware shops.

4. Postcards & Greeting cards
Some postcards and greeting cards are just too nice to throw away so pop them in a frame and add them to your wall of wonders.

5. Accessories
Maybe you are a handbag fan or you collect caps – whatever it is you love, display a few pieces from your collection for everyone to ooh and aah over.

6. Wrapping paper or wallpaper
Some wrapping paper is simply too nice to fold and tape up (like this shibori-patterned paper on our wall). If you’ve fallen in love with some gorgeous gift wrap, place it in a frame to enjoy all year round. Do the same with an offcut of beautiful wallpaper.


7. Rugs & Tapestries
Who says rugs are just for the floor? A rug can make a stunning wall installation; ask a specialist supplier about the best way to hang it to avoid causing damage. Tapestries will also add texture, colour and warmth to your room.

8. Paint a canvas
Grab some testpots and get creative. With abstract art becoming more popular, now is a great time to whip up a series of canvases in your favourite colours.

9. DIY Banner
Have a go at making your own prints. The above ‘Eat, beach, sleep, repeat’ banner was made on the computer using a digital background bought from Etsy for US$2. I downloaded the image, added my text, had it printed and hung it using magnetic picture hangers.

10. Tea Towel or Fabric
Decorative tea towels or stunning fabric remnants also make clever art alternatives and look fabulous when framed.

Get the look

+ Abbey rattan chair, $450, from Shut The Front Door.
+ Macramé hanger, $79.95, from Mocka.
+ Essentials navy mirror, $79.95, from Bed Bath & Beyond.
+ Palm plate, $12.95, Madras rug, $349, from Freedom.
+ ‘Vitamin Sea’ A2 print, AU$45, from Little Brick Home.
+ Denim cap, $9.99, from Cotton On.
+ Flax bag, $2, from Look Sharp.
+ Shell necklace, $75, shibori cushion, $150, white shell tassel, $20, from Annabelle’s.
+ Wall painted in Resene ‘Black White’.

Created and styled by: Vanessa Nouwens. Photography: Wendy Fenwick.

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