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How to curate a stylish gallery wall in four easy steps

Petra Arko, founder of interior design firm Bergman & Mar, shares her advice on decorating with art

Edmund Dabney

A graduate of KLC School of Design and former design director of Spring & Mercer, Petra Arko, founder of interior design firm Bergman & Mar, brings a cool contemporary flair to every one of her projects. But it’s her attention to detail with the use of art in her spaces that really gets her noticed.

We asked her to share her essential tips for anyone looking to update the artwork in their own home – whether it's a creative corner or a full gallery wall.


When choosing art, don’t get too excited about one style and fill the space with it. Acquiring art should be very much a long process as you go through life, picking pieces that remind you of places you have been.

green wall with art
Bergman and Mar
Edmund Dabney


Have a variety of mediums and subjects on display: oil paintings, watercolours, photography, sculptures, vintage landscapes, modern abstracts, portraits. Combining colour with black and white images also adds character.

orange sofa with art work
Bergman and Mar


If a client has an existing art collection, I always start a design with this in mind, but otherwise you can choose whether to make art a focal point or a support for the space. As a focal point, you’ll want a piece that’s large and full of colour or texture. In a supporting role, it must not speak more strongly than anything else in the room.

Bergman and Mar
Edmund Dabney


The frame and placement of art can create just as much interest as the piece itself. Positioning a work in an unexpected location creates subtle impact, while using a contrasting mount is a beautiful way to draw attention to simple subjects.

art in dining space
Bergman and Mar
Edmund Dabney

This article appeared in ELLE Decoration September issue

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