4 Smart Strategies for Creating a Stylish Gallery Wall
Artwork can bring so much good energy to a room. But getting from a blank wall to that happy place can feel daunting—even for the most confident DIYer. (If you've ever left a frame leaning against a wall in the den, you're not alone!) Whether you want to curate a mix that encapsulates your family's style, or you're an avid collector who simply needs a nudge to finally populate that big bare wall, here's a guide through the process of creating a flawless gallery wall.
As you gather a collection, consider this advice from a few professionals.
Art should complement, not compete with, your room's focal point. Look at your rug, for example. If it has a busy pattern, stick with one large piece instead of a gallery wall.
Incorporating sentimental ephemera (like cherished kids' drawings or ticket stubs) instantly brings character to a collection. In your display, aim to have one out of every five pieces feel homemade or autobiographical.
If you like the look of paintings but are on a print budget, search for words like "giclée" or "artist enhanced" in the description. These techniques give a suggestion of brushstrokes.
Frames can get expensive (especially custom ones), but they're worth the investment because quality options elevate the look of the entire room and last longer than bargain versions.
If you plan to hang something across from a window, consider matte paper without glass or a canvas print to prevent glare. Alternatively, museum glass is relatively glare-free.
Even the pros can have a hard time getting different frames to line up evenly. That's why they swear by this trick: Stick painter's tape across the back of the frame and mark or poke a hole where the hook or nail should go. Then transfer the tape to the wall and attach the hardware in the right spot on your first try.
If there's an architectural element in your space (like a fireplace), display one large piece of artwork above it and hang a gallery-style arrangement on the opposite wall.
If you'd like to start a collection beyond family photos and kids' art, check out these sellers.
etsy.com: Consider this your go-to for options in a variety of styles and price points. You can even request customized pieces from the many talented artists.
20x200.com: The affordable, limited-edition artworks mean you likely won't find the same piece hanging above your best friend's sofa.
juniperprintshop.com and bffprintshop.com: These sites offer art on demand—they'll email you a digital file to print at home in whatever size you like. Plus, they curate a relatively small collection of art, which is great if you find yourself easily overwhelmed by endless options.
minted.com: With thousands of fine-art prints, starting at $31, this site lets you pick from multiple sizes, frame styles, glass types, and matting to personalize your selection.
Thrift stores and flea markets: The beauty of shopping secondhand is twofold—you'll find one-of-a-kind pieces to make your home feel extra special and you're upcycling.
- Bobby Berk, interior designer and star of Netflix's Queer Eye
- Barrett Brynestad, design director at Artifact Uprising
- Dayna Isom Johnson, Etsy's trend expert and judge on NBC's Making It
- Jenny Komenda, interior designer and founder of Juniper Studio
- Shea McGee, interior designer and founder of Studio McGee
- Mariam Naficy, CEO and founder of Minted
- Liza Pruitt, founder of Liza Pruitt Art Collective
This article originally appeared in the May 2020 issue of Real Simple.