Hanging a gallery wall should no longer give you headaches. Here is the complete guide to nailing your gallery wall layout for any room.
Putting together a gallery wall is a great way to decorate a large wall in your space and showcase beautiful wall art, pictures, and memorabilia that reflect your personal style.
Creativity in this endeavour is a must, whether you choose to create a gallery wall for your hallway, the living room, the kitchen, the bathroom, and or a bedroom.
The main rule of thumb here is to be willing to experiment and be playful with the available space that you have.
Read on to find out great gallery wall layout ideas and tips to create the gallery wall that will bring warmth and personality into any room of your home.
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What Is a Gallery Wall?
A gallery wall, also known as a photo wall, is a display of curated wall art put together in a grouping. To create a gallery wall, use paintings, framed pictures, photographs, memorabilia, quirky prints and typography, sculptural and woven objects, just to name a few.
A gallery wall is an opportunity to infuse personality, visual interest, pops of colour, and different textures and layers in your rooms.
Instead of creating an accent wall using paint or a beautiful wallpaper for a feature wall, you can do so with a gallery wall.
When it comes to selecting a gallery wall layout, there are so many options for you to choose from.
Keep reading to find out the most prominent gallery wall layout styles you can draw inspiration from to help you pull off a gallery wall that works best for your space.
Gallery Wall Layout Types
Below are the main gallery wall layout types with the design principles that explore the different ways in which you can use them to make a gallery wall that suits your decor style.
The Streamlined Gallery Walls
Streamlined gallery walls are simple, unfussy yet sophisticated wall art decor that help to create an elegant and calming room environment. They bring attention to a single piece of art within a trio or a matching pair or a set of frames displaying complementary wall art.
Tips for Creating Streamlined Gallery Wall Layouts
Number of frames: use a smaller number of frames – a matching set of two or four frames, or a trio showcasing two smaller frames and a larger frame to create impact are great options
Colour of frames: pick frames with complementary shades that will work well together .
Space between frames: for a clean, streamlined gallery wall aesthetic, select frames that showcase larger areas of white or “negative” space to allow your wall art to seamlessly blend with your decor.
The Checkerboard Gallery Walls
A checkerboard gallery wall layout uses symmetry as its core design aesthetic to help showcase a series of identical pictures, photographs, or art pieces in a room.
Tips for Creating a Checkerboard Gallery Wall Layout
Frame sizes: choose photograph or print frames of similar layout sizes for your gallery wall. Consider 28×28 cm or 28×35 cm frames to create a large gallery wall display.
Frame types: use the same frame to put together a uniform gallery wall. The checkerboard layout style is all about visual cohesiveness and symmetrical arrangement.
Space between frames: add a little more space between your chosen photo frames if you have opted for an eclectic colour scheme.
Tips for Checkerboard Layout Variations (Central and Off-side)
Number of frames: use the larger wall art frame picture or print to create the focal point for the gallery wall display. Next, position 3 to 4 smaller frames around your chosen larger frame.
Your smaller photo frames need to be eight to ten times smaller than the larger picture frame to help balance your gallery wall arrangement.
Colour of frames: consider mixing two complementary colours for your gallery wall display. Make sure the colour of the larger picture frame remains the focal point of your gallery wall.
Gallery wall theme: feel free to pick a theme for your gallery wall to maintain cohesiveness in designing your arrangement.
The Oblique Gallery Walls
The oblique gallery wall styles are a departure from the symmetrical design found in checkerboard gallery walls to offer a more lively and vibrant movement in your space.
Tips for Oblique Gallery Walls
Frame styles: This design layout style evolves around the space and the energy you are seeking to bring into your space. So, pick your gallery wall frames based on the vibes you are seeking to create in your room for a tailored experience.
Frame colours: Like the checkerboard gallery wall variations, select a colour palette that highlights the larger art frames that are the focal points of your gallery wall.
Frames display: mix vibrant wall art pictures with muted, understated wall art prints to create contrast and visual interest.
The Kaleidoscopic Gallery Walls
The kaleidoscopic gallery walls are gorgeous multi-faceted displays of prints, heirlooms, vintage finds, canvases, woven art pieces, and photographs that showcase your creativity at its best.
Tips for Creating Kaleidoscopic Gallery Walls
Space between frames: as a general rule of thumb, when designing your gallery wall, keep between 5 to 10 cm of white space (about 2 to 4 inches) between your wall art frames. It helps with the breathability of your gallery wall and it allows for the eyes to enjoy the display with greater ease.
Frames display: place the largest wall art frame first, just off-centre, not too far from the middle to anchor your kaleidoscopic gallery wall layout with a larger collection of items.
Then, continue to position smaller items around your largest piece. Proceeding this way makes a more enjoyable viewing experience.
If dealing with a smaller collection of eclectic wall art pieces, consider placing your largest frame in one of the four corners of your gallery wall to make it more appealing.
Explore how to hang your second largest item diagonally from your biggest wall art piece, whether it is on the opposite side of the wall or right next door.
Mix horizontal and vertical items together such as a curated set of 2 to 4 similar smaller frames in a grid format to add another layer of visual interest in your gallery wall display.
Frame colours: whilst kaleidoscopic gallery walls can work well with a broad colour scheme, consider creating a cohesive colour palette to achieve a more sophisticated look.
Try to keep your items feeling similar in tone, shades, and intensity to make it work.
Gallery wall theme: if you are going for a vintage look bringing together old paintings, family heirlooms, and vintage finds, consider using smaller art frames with wider spacing in-between to keep it up to date.
Feel free to mix and match items such as a macrame textile next to a photo frame, or a painting displayed next to a ceramic art piece to make your gallery wall more interesting.
Add a personal item to your gallery wall to bring uniqueness to your wall decor. A handwoven textile, a dried plant, or a DIY painting can all feature in your gallery wall. The only limit you have here is your imagination.
Float mount your decorative items to achieve a more elevated wall gallery aesthetic. To achieve it, buy a few wall art frames online, or for more sophisticated frames, shop around for a framing service either locally or online to help you put together a beautiful arrangement.
Now that you have a good understanding of the main gallery wall layout types, scroll down to explore the process to make a beautiful gallery wall art arrangement for any room of your home.
Steps for Creating a Gallery Wall
Here is how to curate a beautiful gallery wall in simple and easy steps.
Build your collection
To pull off a beautiful gallery wall, start by collecting items you would like to feature on your wall art decor to draw inspiration from them.
Holiday pictures, old family photographs, fabulous prints and paintings, a gorgeous textile, a dried flower, or a woven basket can all be included in your gallery wall.
Anything visually appealing and quirky, including your own DIY wall art project, is a great starting point for your gallery wall.
Pick a gallery wall theme
When you are happy with the curated collection of wall art pieces you have selected from memorable family parties to vintage items found in a thrift store, it is time to figure out how you want to display them.
You will need to pick a theme that will work for the gallery wall items you have collected.
Do you fancy showcasing items of the same colour and size? Do your wall art frames need to be of the same shape or could they be different?
Is there going to be a specific focal print or wall art in your overall display, or will all pieces be seamlessly similar?
How will your chosen gallery wall theme work cohesively with the existing colour palette in your soon-to-be decorated room?
These are some points you need to consider when pinning down your final decision.
Measure your available wall space
Measure out the amount of space you want your gallery wall to fill. This will give you an idea of the number, the shape, and the size of wall art decor pieces you can group in your chosen wall spot.
As a general rule, if a wall is 91.4 x 121.9 cm (about 3×4 feet) high, you can display about seven photo frames on the wall. If you have a much bigger wall area to play with, you can certainly display a few more beautiful wall art decor.
Use a ruler to mark the specific spots where your gallery wall pieces will be featured.
Decide on your gallery wall layout
Planning a gallery wall layout requires thoughtful planning to ensure you display your items in the best possible style based on your available wall space.
When designing a gallery wall layout, map out the arrangement of frames to be placed on the wall using a large piece of paper that you will place on the floor first.
Lay out all your chosen gallery wall frames within that area. Then you can play around with all the art placement for as long as you like, moving things around with no fear of wall damage.
Once you’ve got your gallery wall mockup on the floor all worked out, take a picture with your mobile phone as a reference.
Then, cut the paper templates surrounding the wall art frames and tape them distinctively to the wall. These will help you figure out where to place your hanging strips and hooks. Use a ruler to inform your placement.
Aim for 7.6 to 15.2 cm ( 3 to 6 inches) of breathing space between each wall art piece and around all sides of the frames.
Consider positioning your gallery wall art at eye level, about 152. 4 cm (around five feet) from the floor. You can obviously go a little higher with your gallery wall art if the room you are decorating has very high ceilings.
Leave more space around large wall art frames, and bring smaller artwork together where this works best with the gallery wall layout you have chosen. Also, leave enough space between frames, moulding, and trim to ensure your gallery wall can easily breathe.
Select your gallery wall frames
Choosing the right gallery wall frames can make or break your gallery wall design. So, take great care in selecting the frames that will work best for your space. There are to key options to explore:
- Curate a gallery wall by hand picking individual artwork you wish to showcase
- Buy an already curated set of wall art frames and prints for your space
Before investing in any wall art frame, you need to decide whether you want them to blend in, add contrast to the wall. Find out if you want your frames to all be exactly the same, or if you want lots of different colours and how many frames you wish to purchase for your space.
Hang your gallery wall
In these ages and days, it is very possible to hang an awful lot of pictures without nails, especially if you are a renter. Yes, that’s right. For your gallery walls, draw lightly on the walls where the top corners of the frames will be. Measure and mark how much lower down the picture frames you want your nails or hooks to be.
If you have used the gallery wall paper template method described above, you should be able to know exactly where each item of your gallery wall will fit.
The next step for you is to hang each gallery wall art in your chosen spot. Sit back, enjoy and relax.
Remember, you can easily update and swap items in your gallery wall as you see fit. Have fun!