Marvelous Mondays: Gallery wall inspiration

29 July 2013

One of my July goals is to hang art downstairs in our new house, and we’ve been making some progress: we hung the chart and the Abe Lincoln print, both of which you can see in our apartment tour. We’re held up on a number of other pieces because we want to paint the walls they’ll hang on first.

The art that I think will make the biggest impact in our combined living/dining room and kitchen is the gallery we’re planning to hang on the back wall. I’ve been collecting pieces and trying to analyze inspiration photos I like so we can possibly implement this weekend. A few favorites:


via The Everygirl

Black, white, and wood frames (almost all with mats) mixed with canvases and “objets d’art.” Asymmetric arrangement. Colored wall.


via Young House Love

White and cream frames, all different and thicker, some with mats and some without. Stand-alone objects and photos mixed in. Tight arrangement. Light gray wall.


via Lonny

Gold and black frames, all with mats. Neutral and black and white artwork. White wall.


via Darling Dexter

Mostly white and cream frames. No mats. Colorful artwork. Canvases and objects (mostly circular) mixed in. Taupe wall.


via Les Confettis

Birch frames with pops of color. Colorful artwork in a tight palette. Thinner mats. All framed pieces. Blue wall.

When I collect inspiration photos on Pinterest I’m usually not pausing long enough to figure out why something appeals to me, just that it does. But when I’m actually trying to draw from that inspiration, I find it helpful to go back and really pick out the individual elements to get clues as to how I might be able to create something similar. That’s what I was trying to do here!

Have you ever hung a gallery wall? Did you lay everything out on the ground first? Use the wax paper trick? Just wing it? I’m considering winging it, but any tips are welcomed :)

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July 29, 2013 8:10 am

I did a gallery wall with a mixture of black and metallic frames, some with mats, some without. I ended up in Pottery Barn around Christmas and they had a 5 piece silver gallery wall collection on sale and we purchased it knowing we were going to have our wedding photos back around then. We ended up somewhat winging it. What we did do was basically format it on the ground in the living room trying different ways to organize it and settled almost on a rectangle for the dining room. We pretty much winged the hanging part of it though. I did start with one corner and basically build the outline first though. Then just used a level to make sure everything was straight. I think the beauty of a gallery wall though, is that it doesn’t have to be perfect! :) We also had a large ampersand that we hung because our initials are A, N, D, and so we’ve kind of adopted the ampersand as part of us. I LOVE my gallery wall and want to do another! It’s probably my favorite part of my house.

July 29, 2013 12:02 pm

YAY for your new house!! I have several small gallery walls throughout our home, and I’ve tried several methods that blogs suggest.. however, I’ve been happiest just following my gut and as you said “winging it”. :) I love having fun and meaningful art in our home and galleries are such a great way to do that. Visitors are always drawn to the galleries. Can’t wait to see how yours turns out, friend! XO

July 29, 2013 1:03 pm

That Every Girl gallery wall is one of my absolute favorites! I have such a fear of attempting a gallery wall though. It seems my execution will likely not be as flawless as these!

July 29, 2013 2:53 pm

My husband and I hung a gallery wall over the couch in our very tiny apartment – it made such a difference! Everyone always comments on it when visiting. We used all birch wood frames from Ikea (very affordable!) and did varying sizes, some with mats, no particular color scheme for the photos/prints. When hanging, we used a tip from Young House Love and cut templates out of newspaper to play around with different arrangements before nailing anything to the wall. It was surprisingly easy!

July 29, 2013 7:28 pm

From an interior designer: space the frames 3 inches apart or less – you will feel urges to spread them out, but resist! It will look so much better.

July 31, 2013 5:16 am

Hello Em, I LOVE gallery walls too. I hung a black and white frame collection behind my couch in my apartment. I does take time to decide on layout and measure up, however I found what helped me was laying out my design on the floor first, and marking up with my measuring tape, and then actual rows of painters tape (that will peel off your wall without damaging the paint). To attach my frames I used Command Picture Hanging Strips:

You attach the conjoined strip to the back of your frame, then, lining the frame into the painters tape markings on the wall, press the frame and strips onto the wall.

This is my wall here:

I hope that helps. Good luck x

July 31, 2013 10:06 am

I haven’t hung a gallery wall yet – but I really want to in our new house. I just looked at the wax paper trick but it is genius. Now to find cute frames..

August 1, 2013 12:05 pm

We had to paint every wall in our new condo and so I was a little gun shy about winging our gallery wall since I had just invested a lot of time and energy with Spackle and paint. We used templates out of paper (thank you young house love) and lived with those on the wall for a while so I could rearrange and play with the placements! Good luck

August 1, 2013 12:39 pm

I cant wait to work on the art on my wall too – In our house in Canada which is pretty much unsettled even though we have had it for almost a year now. lol

August 8, 2013 8:46 pm

We’re planning a gallery wall in our home too, Em, so this post (and the comments) are helpful! :) I love the idea of mixing in objects as well as canvas prints with frames… I’m intrigued by the eclectic feel! Can’t wait to see your end result!