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6 Designer Tips for the Perfect Gallery Wall

6 Designer Tips for the Perfect Gallery Wall
4 min. read
Gallery wall

Image: Photographee.eu / Shutterstock.com

Gallery walls are one of those classic design features that never really go out of style. But as great as they are, they can also be a bit tricky to pull off successfully. If you’ve ever tried to create a gallery wall and couldn’t get it quite right, you’re not alone.

We’re here to let you in on a little secret, just like the perfect coffee table vignette, there’s a formula for the perfect gallery wall. Here are six designer tips to help you create a great-looking gallery wall every time.

Pick Your Palette

Like anything else, a gallery wall needs a cohesive color palette to look – well, cohesive. If you’re going for an eclectic look, you can be a little less strict with the color palette. But if you want your wall to have that curated feel, chose one main color to pull all the pieces together. Then try to keep secondary colors similar in tone and vibrancy.

Consider Your Gallery Wall Style

Another trick to creating a pulled-together look for your gallery wall is to stick to one style with the pieces you choose. For example, a modern poster might look a little jarring paired with a collection of vintage prints.

And don’t forget to consider the style of your home and decor. A gallery wall is an excellent opportunity to enhance your style, but it should complement your decor, not compete with it.

Gallery wall idea

Image: Photographee.eu / Shutterstock.com

This Ship Needs an Anchor

Consider your gallery wall the way you would a room. It needs a focal point to give the eye somewhere to start when looking at the collection. Choose a large piece to act as the anchor and ground your whole display.

But try to avoid placing your anchor piece right in the center of your gallery wall. Keeping the largest piece off-center helps the eye move around the gallery wall, rather than stopping right in the middle.

Mix Up Your Media

Unless you’re going for a totally uniform look, it’s OK to get creative with the different pieces you include in a gallery wall. Not everything has to be framed art or photographs. Add interest by mixing in personal touches, sculptural objects, natural elements and even everyday items.

As long as you can hang it on the wall and it fits with your theme and color scheme, the possibilities are endless. Bring your gallery wall to life with wall planters or add dried florals for a more romantic feel. Maybe you have travel souvenirs like postcards and wall hangings you can combine with your collection of vacation photos. And don’t forget those everyday items you have to hang on the wall anyway. Include clocks and wall sconces in your gallery wall layout, so they look like part of the plan.

To Match, or Not to Match

There are two types of gallery walls: the less-formal style with different frames and the orderly, symmetrical type with matching frames. Both are perfectly acceptable depending on your style and what you want to display.

A symmetrical layout with matching frames is a great way to create a big impact when displaying personal photos. Choose one size and style of frame, print all your photos the same size and hang them in a grid pattern to create a stunning photo wall.

But you can also collect pieces that speak to you and go with a couple of different frame styles. When mixing frames, you still want to ensure you have a palette or common element to keep your gallery wall looking cohesive.

Gallery wall concept

Image: Photographee.eu / Shutterstock.com

Plan Before You Hang

Here’s where things get tricky. Once you’ve gathered all the perfect pieces, it’s time to plan the layout of your gallery wall. Save yourself hours of filling holes and never hang without a plan.

The easiest way to plan out your gallery wall is to mock it up on the floor. Start by measuring the wall space where you want to hang your gallery. Then get the painter’s tape and tape off a box that size on the floor. Now lay out all your pieces within the box until everything looks just right. Stand on a chair and take a photo of the layout and then transfer it to the wall.

If you’ve been holding off on a gallery wall because you weren’t sure how to pull all the elements together, try these six designer tips to get the perfect gallery wall every time. 

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