South and Hickory Facade

Creating a Gallery Wall

Image of a gallery wall. Image credit: Jonny Caspari

June 2021

If you have art or photos that you love but they’re too small for the wall space you want to fill, creating a gallery wall is a great solution. If you’re not familiar with the term, a gallery wall (or salon wall) is a collection of multiple framed works arranged on a single wall. And while they look amazing, people often feel apprehensive about creating one. The good news is that if you follow a few basic design rules, you can create a gallery wall that looks like it was done by a professional.

Select the Pieces

There’s no one way to organize a gallery wall, but it’s good to have a theme. Yours could be a color from your decor, a medium (photos, posters, etc.), or a subject (travel, dogs, etc.). Once you have a theme, anything goes. Feel free to mix frame types, sizes, colors, or any other aspect.

Define the Space

Think of your gallery wall as one big frame and think of the pieces you hang within it as parts of a collage. Now imagine how high, low, and wide any piece will be. Make light pencil marks or use post-it notes to set the outside dimensions on your wall. Once you’re happy, measure it.

Hit the Floor

Mark the outside dimensions of your gallery wall on the floor. Post-its are good for this, too. Now start arranging your pieces in that space. It helps to begin with the largest piece you’ll be hanging and use that as an anchor point that you build around. Place a few other things down and if it looks good, keep going. If not, pick things up and start again.

Map it Out

Once you’re happy with your layout, create a “map” of it on paper. Sketch out where each piece is on the wall. Measure and mark down how far is it from the outside dimensions you’ve established, as well as all the other pieces around it? This will allow you to easily transfer those placements of your “floor gallery” to your wall gallery. It can also help to take a quick picture of your layout to use as a reference. Once you have your map, use it to mark the placements on the actual wall and hang your pieces.