Let’s be honest, there’s (almost) no wrong way to do a gallery wall. Mixing and matching art, colors, frames, and styles, there’s so much freedom and fun involved in creating a gallery wall — which is part of the reason we all love them so much. But if the mere thought of pounding nails and hanging pictures brings on the sweaty palms, we’re here for you, from a step-by-step guide on how to build a gallery wall to our friendly designer do’s and don’ts.
In this latest installment of artwork tips and tricks, we’re sharing inspiration on our favorite layouts for the perfect gallery wall — for every space, size, and style. Let’s hang!
Black & White Rows
If a modern, orderly look is what you’re after, two parallel rows of matching black frames showcasing black and white art or photography is a simple go-to. For a personalized touch, frame images from your favorite travels or of family and friends.
Designer tip: Hang each frame 2 – 3 inches apart for a uniform look. And don’t forget to use a level to ensure everything is nice and straight.
Dip into Diptych
Diptych is an artistic approach where a scene or piece is created across two side-by-side panels. Often a larger art installment, hang these corresponding pieces side by side for a dramatic wall statement — ideal for above a consul in a formal living or dining room, or really anywhere you’re looking to up the drama or create a focal point.
There’s power in repetition. For this gallery wall style, hang a set of complementary images in matching frames in a clean, structured format or neat rows. This option is a creative — yet safe and organized — way to play with color and abstract designs while still creating a cohesive vibe.
Out on a Ledge
Art ledges are ideal for arrangements above the sofa, as they work to elevate the eye and take up space. Ledges also give you the ability to easily switch up your design, arrangement, and works of art depending on your mood, style, or season (no nail holes necessary).
When curating your pieces, embrace an assorted collection but stick to a consistent color scheme that complements the room palette. Make sure to alternate frame heights — including vertical and horizontal — for an artfully-layered look. Oh, and a bit of overlap is not only allowed, but thoroughly encouraged.
Go Floor to Ceiling
Want to truly take it up a notch? Go out on the ledge, but with more rows. This is a perfect solution for rooms with higher ceilings to create vertical interest and maximize the wall space.
Open Book Look
If you love a good gallery wall but are intimated to curate so many pieces of art (or just impatient to hang!), adding a variety of books is a creative solution. Display open coffee table books, magazines, and even novels flipped to your favorite pages, along with other framed prints on the gallery ledges. For a clean, modern look, we love this acrylic style that creates the illusion of floating art.
For a bit more of a freehand aesthetic, arrange pieces in a more circular assortment anchored around a larger, central piece. Create cohesion and dissuade the look of busyness by using the same frame style for your pieces, and try leaning into a single collection, theme, or style of art.
Rather than a central arrangement over a couch, embrace an asymmetrical step-like layout. It’s fresh, fun, and a bit edgy. Keep the spacing between images the same, and display uniform frames and complimentary art, for a sense of visual order. These arrangements are ideal for adorning room corners and small hallway spaces, but can work equally as well on a large empty wall like this.
No need to have a massive collection for a gallery wall moment. A simple curation of 3 – 4 pieces can be a lovely anchor for above dressers, entryway console tables, and hallway end caps. With smaller arrangements, let creativity take flight — feel free to mix and match frame styles and colors for an eclectic vibe.
Go big and go personal with this larger than life gallery wall arrangement. Gather your favorite art pieces, prints, and mementos — postcards, menus, ticket stubs, and posters make great additions — and display them in a large, free flowing gallery scene.
Alternate sizes, frame styles, and horizontal and vertical layouts for an artistic feel. But harkening back to our essential “do’s”, make sure to work within the color palette of your overall room design.
The Layered Look
Trying to disguise a desktop monitor in your home office or the living room television screen? Try layering a gallery wall behind it. Not only does this technique mask your tech as art, it also creates delightful depth in your room design. Larger pieces alternated with a few smaller frames worked in help to create a sense of balance in this scheme.
Ready to deck the walls of your own home? Discover designer inspiration and recommendations, starting with our style quiz.