A Comprehensive Gallery Wall Guide For Beginners
Gallery walls have been trending now for quite some time, and with due reason. If done right, they create a beautiful focal point for a room, and can display a collection of art rather than forcing you to choose between your favourite pieces.
After much reading and scouring, I've realized that everyone does gallery walls a bit differently. That's why I wanted to create a comprehensive Guide on how you can implement your own gallery wall - and make the results look fabulous.
Before we begin, here are my core principles behind gallery walls: the lines should be clean, and the colour variations should be minimal. If that's something that resonates with you, let's jump into how to set up your own gallery wall.
Here are the things you'll need:
- Prints (see some of our top ones here)
- Adhesive hooks (like these ones from 3M)
- A level
- A picture hanging wire kit
Now let's dive into the steps:
1) Select a simple design.
There are a couple of different layout options you can go for.
- a) A Grid Gallery Wall
Grid gallery walls use frames that are all uniform in size, and are typically square or rectangular. They're displayed as a grouping.
- b) A Mirrored Gallery wall
This one is pretty simple because the layout mirrors itself - one side of the layout is more or less exact at the opposite side. Note that it doesn’t have to be a perfect symmetrical image. It can also be flipped vertically on the other side
I should note that there are some variations to modern gallery walls, but the idea remains the same: a clean, simple design.
When you picked what type you’re leaning towards, it’s now time to proceed to the second step of the process.
2) Plan on simplifying your aesthetic
To achieve that modern look, you need to consider the following:
- The style of your frames should be simple
- The colours of your frames should all be the same
- The colour palettes of your prints should all be similar, or at the very least cohesive.
Those aren’t hard and fast rules - you can have frames that are different shades of the same colour or different sizes. As long as there’s some level of uniformity, you’re good to go.
3) Measure Everything Out
The key to making your gallery wall look amazing is to spend time measuring. This involves choosing the right sizes of prints, measuring the space you have to work with, and making sure that there is adequate space between the prints.
Some rules of thumb:
- i) measure the gallery wall to be 6-12 inches above furniture. This will allow the gallery to not look like it’s randomly hanging on a wall, but rather that it’s part of the room decor.
- ii) measure between 2-4 inches between each frame. Any more than that and it will look less like a gallery wall and more like just randomly framed photos.
4) Lay Out Your Design
You might think that this step is excessive, but playing around with the actual visual layout will save you a lot of time and frustration.
First, grab some postal paper and trace around each frame. Cut out the pieces, and start taping them to the wall. This will give you an opportunity to play around with layout before committing. Plus, but hanging your cut-outs first, you can make decisions like having the lowest print 6 inches above your furniture instead of 12, or having each piece farther apart.
Next, lay out your framed prints on the floor to pick which single of each pair/set goes where. Once you decide on that, you’re ready to begin hanging them up.
5) Time to hang up your prints!
While there are many ways this can be done, I prefer to not create holes in my walls. I use the 3M strips and 3M hooks whenever possible. For the larger prints, you can use the 3M large hooks. Hang up all your prints using the said hooks, and voila, a gallery wall!And there you have it, a guide on how to plan and create a gallery wall suitable for any home. For some wall art inspiration, check out some of my favourite pieces here.