gallery walls: tina’s take

unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably noticed that gallery walls are “in”. you may already have a gallery wall yourself. but a couple people have mentioned these to me recently, so i wanted to provide inspiration, thought starters (wow that sounds so business-y) and various techniques for placement and hanging, in case you’re planning one.

first, inspiration (a few of the bajillion great gallery walls out there):

gallery wall 1the inspired room via hi sugarplum!

gallery wall yhlvia young house love

gallery wall 2inspired design via hi sugarplum!

gallery wall dominodomino via the house of wood

gallery wall gridvia apartment therapy

gallery wall via it’s great to be home

gallery wallvia little green notebook

gallery wall via made by girl

gallery wallvia lonny (shared here before)

gallery wall_mixedunknown

all so very lovely. i think my favorite gallery walls are those that are huge (like the 4th, 8th, and 9th photos above). they make such an impact. and i lean towards random placements, versus a grid or symmetrical. but that’s just me. at this moment.

second, things to think about:


-all the same frame
-all the same color
-all the same material
-all the same style (thin & simple frames, ‘vintage’ wood frames, etc.)
-completely random

what goes in the frames:
-all the same subject matter (all silhouettes, all illustrations from the same artist/book, etc)
-photos (all b&w, all color, or mixed)

any non-frames:
-letter art
-animal bust

size: think about the size of your wall and the size of your materials. if it’s a smaller wall, then all smaller frames could work. but if you have a large wall space, use larger pieces or lots of smaller ones.

i personally think (and observed in most photos) that something should be consistent, whether it’s the frame style or what goes in the frame (i.e. all black and white).

(i’m not a designer. so take all this with a grain of salt. but, i do read a ridiculous amount of blogs.)

third, various placement/hanging techniques:

-kraft paper:  trace your frames on the paper, making sure to mark where nails should go. cut out. tape the paper to the wall in various configurations, figuring out the placement. when you’re happy with it, nail through the marked hole, remove the paper and hang your frames.

-photo: mark out the wall area measurement on the ground (or table, whatever’s big enough). play around with the arrangement until you’re happy. take a picture of it. to hang, refer to the picture, working from the middle out.

-wax paper: similar to above, mark out the wall area on a surface and figure out your arrangement. cover the arrangement with wax paper (tape pieces together to fit area) and trace over the frames. mark where the nails go. tape the wax paper to the wall, nail through the marked holes, place frames and remove wax paper (from roost home, via little green notebook).

-taped line: martha’s tip for a gallery wall is to tape a horizontal midline and place all photos above or under it (i tried it, and it didn’t work for me. i haven’t found many photos that adhere to this, but, it’s a tip and it’s something to think about if you are planning your own gallery wall).

-just wing it

also, kimba at a soft place to land just posted about a nifty tool she recommends called the hang & level. i may have to try it out in the next casa.

and i guess i’ll share the horrible photos of my own gallery wall(s) (seriously, i don’t think i’ve been home when it’s been sunny in weeks, maybe even months. so i have to use a flash-that sucks-and i hate that):

gallery wall right

this is the the “right” gallery wall. to the left is the bedroom door, then the bathroom door, then:

gallery wall left

the “left” gallery wall

(the same wall, two sections divided by doors)

for my gallery, i used all silver frames, mixed black & white and color photos, and also have added in the little art i have. to figure out the placement and hang, i used the kraft paper technique. it was a little time consuming, but i liked seeing the arrangement on the wall vs. on the ground (at a different angle).

my gallery wall(s) is not as grand as i would like. i had thoughts of expanding, adding as time went on, but since we’re moving it’s not going to happen. in the next house though i will get my gallery wall on, on a grander scale. i might even switch to different frames, but i can’t decide what kind i want. we shall see.

moral of the story? gallery wall was are cool. they are such a great way to display all the photos/art you love, and not have to have nine million frames cluttering up the surfaces of your house. and based upon the bajillions of gallery walls and the bajillion different ways to do them, there really isn’t a wrong way. just try it out and do what you like. it’s your house.

do you have a gallery wall? any tips i’m missing? have any favorite inspiration photos i can add to my files?




9 thoughts on “gallery walls: tina’s take

  1. I love your blog! We just hung a gallery wall in our new house. Thankfully, my father is very artistic and he simply hung up all the frames I had bought in a fashion he thought looked good. Danny and I attempted a very small collage of photos (not big enough to call a gallery wall) and it took us almost an hour! Our house is mostly decorated for now, but I’m going to keep all your tips for inspiration for our next place!

  2. Mines pretty boring – it’s all of your wedding. Just kidding, I love it but wish I had chose frames with matting in them, although it’s a pretty small space so I’m not sure I could have fit larger frames.

    • Mom, your gallery wall is the best ever, because it’s my wedding 🙂 I know what you mean about the mats, but you’re right, the wall is small so your frames are perfect.

    • thanks, there are so many out there, i might need a part 2! i saw your hall arrangement and noticed the martha tip – you definitely got it to work for you, it turned out well. can’t wait to see the new gallery finished.

  3. Pingback: weekend recap {cardboard jungle} | you're so martha

  4. Pingback: anantomy of my gallery wall {gallery wall complete} | you're so martha

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