Your Home, Your Walls, Your Personality
Whether featured as a DIY project on your favorite home reno show or posted by someone you follow on social media, gallery walls are incredibly popular. But it can be a bit intimidating to get started. What should you include? How do you hang a gallery wall just right?
Here, we'll answer your questions and provide tips to keep you cool and your walls perfectly collected.
Now, let's get back to what makes gallery walls so great. Here are just a few reasons why you should power through those hesitations and get started right away:
They’re personal. While we provide tips below, gallery walls are ultimately and completely up to you. There are no rules, so mix a sleek and modern black frame with something vintage, Baroque even. Feature fine art prints and your favorite travel photos. Kid creations. A boho basket you found at the flea market. A glam mirror and bling. You’re the one who will see it every day, so make sure each piece fills you with joy.
They go with every design style. If you lean modern and minimalist, a triptych (three connected pieces in a row) or symmetrical grid pattern using matching frames might be the perfect gallery wall for your home. And if you want to create a hygge haven, mix warm wood frames with a cozy, textural macrame wall hanging. No matter your particular vibe, it’s simply a matter of curating and showcasing pieces in a cohesive way.
They can be achieved on any budget. Shop thrift stores and flea markets. Raid your parents’ garage. Buy a stretched canvas from the craft store and use all that leftover sample paint you have lying around to create your own art. Frame a wallpaper sample, a page from a coffee table book, a collage of love notes, or your favorite scarf. Or simply start with a few treasured pieces and add to your gallery wall over time.
They fill big, blank open walls. From entryways to stairways and hallways, not to mention main living spaces, a typical home has a lot of wall space to cover. A great place to start is an area where you entertain guests. Tell a story you wish to share in that blank space above your living room couch or cover a dining room wall with conversation starters. Prefer to start small? A tidy vignette over a foyer console table is another good spot to tackle.
Most importantly, gallery walls are timeless. They're not shiplap, gray paint or any other design trend that might come and go over the years. So, even as your style changes or your kids grow up, you can easily swap out prints and photos over time. A Boho gallery can be transformed into a Dark Academia showstopper without having to take out a home equity loan for a full renovation. Gallery walls can evolve with you, your style, and your life.
Tips to Turn Empty Space Into a Masterpiece
Even if you have the items that you wish to use and a blank wall begging for a gallery, the entire process might seem intimidating. That’s understandable. Creating a cohesive layout, figuring out measurements (math is hard, y’all), ensuring pieces hang evenly, and getting the whole thing to turn out how it looks in your mind is no easy feat.
So, take a deep breath then tackle the project one step at a time. This isn’t banging a few nails into the wall and putting things up willy-nilly. Assembling a gallery wall takes time. It might be a weekend project or a month-long project. And that’s perfectly fine. To help you along, here are ten great tips to help make things picture perfect:
- Use colors, frame styles or matting to create cohesion, but showcase pieces that are personal.
- Measure your wall, outline the space on your floor with painter's tape, then plan out placement.
- Hang pieces 2-3” apart so they feel connected—a level and tape measure will come in handy.
- Paint the wall you’re using for a more dramatic effect and to make your collection a real feature.
- Start with the largest item, then mix and match placing smaller pieces to create visual balance.
- A mirror, macrame, sconce, art canvas, and other dimensional pieces can all be incorporated.
- Be mindful of hanging pieces near frequently used doors which can cause pieces to tilt or fall.
- Nothing is permanent and stuff happens. You can always patch holes and adjust the placement.
- Take your time. Put one piece up, then take a step back to see if it feels and looks just right.
- If it feels too permanent, a picture ledge or two will allow you to swap out artwork on a whim.
If you’re ready to get started, you can also find tons of tutorials online like this one and this more technical one where you cut out item shapes and hang them on the wall with tape to design your perfect layout. Smart!