How to Create a Gallery Wall

Art is easily one of the most impactful ways to make a room feel polished and personalized. I’m not talking fancy art from galleries or high-end retailers, I’m talking budget-friendly pieces that you can find online, or maybe some you already own. You can make a statement in your home by mixing prints, photos and even paintings in a way that fits your personal style. If you’re interested in having a gallery wall at home but feel overwhelmed by the thought, try these tips to Create a Gallery Wall you love:

Gallery wall Sadie Road

What you’ll need:

·      Artwork
·      Frames
·      Hammer
·      Picture hanger set, like this one. (Or nails, command strips)
·      Masking or painter’s tape
·      Level

1.     Gather Inspiration. Decide what layout and color palette you like best. For layouts, you could try a symmetrical, non-symmetrical or gridlike patterns. Once you figure out the shape of your wall, think about what palette are you drawn to? Do you want to have a lighter, airier feel or more of a darker, moodier vibe in the room?

2.     Curate art. Start looking for prints, photos and painting that match your inspiration. Keep these tips in mind:

  • For a cohesive look, use artwork with similar shades. For an eclectic look, mix colors, black and white and consider a three dimensional object to add even more visual interest.
  • Look for 1 larger piece to serve as the focal point.
  • Mix the sizes (small, medium, large) the orientations (vertical, horizontal) and the shapes (rectangular, square, round).
  • My go-to sources for art are: Minted, etsy, artfully walls and personal photos from trips, meaningful moments.

3.     Select Frames. Pick out frames that go best with each piece of artwork. Here are a few tips for selecting frames:

  • Depending on the style you like best, you can do all one color frame for a unified, clean look, or I personally like to mix colors and textures for a more collected look.
  • Do get matching mattes (I like white) and intersperse a few with no matte
  • The matte does not need to be proportional to the size of the print; it’s okay to have larger prints with thin or no matte and smaller prints to have wide matte
  • My go-to resources for frames are Michael’s, Target, Ikea and Framebridge for affordable custom framing. You can also look for a frame set like this one.

4.     Measure wall space. You’ll want to map out the area on the wall you’ll use and record the dimensions.

  • If above couch or console, leave 8” from furniture to the bottom of the lowest frame.
  • Fill up an area about ½ to 2/3 of the width of any piece of furniture that your gallery will be located above
  • Hang at eye level (typically around 57” above floor)

5.     Layout the frames on the floor. Using the dimensions you took from your wall, starting playing around with different layouts. 

Gallery Wall Sadie Road
  • Start by placing the larger focal point piece off center, building a mix of vertical and horizontal around it.
  • Leave 2-3” between frames.
  • Balance is key. This does not mean you have to have symmetry, but have the heavier pieces interspersed and not grouped together.
  • When you get a layout you like, take a picture of it so you can remember it, and then keep playing with the arrangement- you may be surprised that you didn’t have it quite right with the first layout you liked.

6.    Hang the frames on the wall.

Gallery wall Sadie Road
  • Some may decide to go straight to the hammer and nails to hang the frames, or you can test out the layout on the wall by using masking tape to mark the top two corners of each frame in the spot where it will go. This gives you an opportunity to adjust the spacing of the frames before putting holes in the wall. Another option is to cut out the size of each frame with paper and place each piece on the wall. 
  • When you're ready to begin hanging, starting with the focal point piece, hang each piece with nails or command hooks/tape.
  • Use a level to make sure each frame is perfect.
Gallery Wall Sadie Road

And there you have it, 6 simple steps to creating a gallery wall. 

Gallery Wall Sadie Road

I realize that the thought of a hanging a gallery wall can be a bit daunting, but remember this doesn’t have to be permanent. You can always start with command hooks if you’re feeling trepidatious about nailing holes in your wall. But even with nails, you can easily repair them with a little spackle and paint. Feel free to leave any questions you have on the process in the comments below and I’d be happy to help out!