Humble clip-frame makes way for the chic ‘gallery wall’ | Life and style


They were a symbol of the 1980s and a cheap and cheerful way of hanging posters, photographs and other artwork while avoiding the indelible horrors of Blu Tack.

But after more than 30 years, the classic clip-frame is falling out of favour, as the booming trend for so-called “gallery walls” means consumers are seeking a wider and more imaginative range of framing options.

John Lewis is to stop selling the versatile but arguably basic clip-frame after a slump in sales. Instead, shoppers seeking to liberate their digital photographs and Instagram images to curate and create a style statement on their walls are choosing a more mix-and-match look. As well as photos, art and postcards, this includes pretty plates, funky mirrors and even customised empty frames.

“People are mixing posters, postcards and prints with photography to create gallery walls,” said Katherine Lemin, John Lewis’s wall decor buyer. “But they’re not using clip-frames, which were loved in the 80s but have now fallen so far out of fashion that we will stop selling them. Despite us all collecting huge archives of digital images, we’re seeing a return to a love of printed photographs. Inspired by images on Instagram and Pinterest many are adopting the US trend for gallery walls.”

Frames on a wall.



Eclectic frames are key. Photograph: Paul Grover

In the UK – with domestic space at a premium – gallery walls are being squeezed into small rooms, not only living rooms but also dining rooms, bedrooms and hallways. Mounted frames such as John Lewis’s multi-frame pack – where sales were up 164% in just one week – are helping to achieve the look. The store also sells gallery-frame sets – which come with a template – with sales of these up by more than 20%. Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of consumers are sharing their finished results on #gallerywall.

At Habitat, year-on-year sales of its best-selling Ontario frames – a mixture of sizes – have risen by 60% as people embrace the collage trend.

“The popularity of gallery walls – promoted mainly through Instagram culture – and the ease with which they can be created at home on a small budget, has led to many customers wanting to experiment with how they display artwork at home, demanding more interesting frame shapes and materials to play with,” said Abi Thurgood, assistant buyer for home accessories at Habitat. “We have developed new ‘gallery wall packs’ that give customers a curated selection of different frame sizes from which they can easily create their own.”

Ikea, meanwhile, has seen a rise in sales of its picture ledges – which can be used alongside photo frames to display belongings as well as pictures, while it also offers a template to help those who are not so nifty with a tape measure.

However, Kate Watson-Smyth, author of the Mad About The House style blog, said: “Gallery walls are a great way to bring personality into a space, and look wonderful going up stairs, but beware of creating them in a small room as they can make it look smaller and messy.”

Shoppers can also get inspiration at John Lewis’s flagship store on Oxford Street from Monday, where an interactive installation showcasing five themed living room spaces, with housing events and workshops, will be open for five weeks.

One room – created in collaboration with The Geffrye Museum of the Home in Shoreditch, London – shows how items salvaged from skips and treasured – if old-fashioned – family furniture can be refurbished and showcased in a contemporary setting.



Sahred From Source link World News

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