How to create a gallery wall

How to create a gallery wall

Written by: Jojo Barr



Time to read 5 min

"Art is subjective. That's what makes it so wonderful!"

No one wants what everyone else has right?! Art is personal, its subjective, it evokes conversation! So what better way to let your personality shine through in your interior than through a well curated art wall? 

A gallery wall is probably the best way to express your personality and elevate your space. It is also an excellent way to take up empty space and add interest on a large wall, making the room feel fully inhabited, fun and welcoming.

Starting your gallery wall might seem overwhelming and downright terrifying. After all, it's an investment and you are about to start sticking holes in your walls, so of course, you want to get it right.


There is actually such a thing as decision-art paralysis. All you need to remember is that there isn't such a thing as right or wrong when it comes to creating your picture wall. Gallery walls allow the art lovers among us, to display our collections in groups so that we can get more pieces up on the walls. So without further ado, let's get started. 


The very first thing to consider when designing your art wall is the colour palette. Think about your personal style, which colours best represent your space, or even what colours is your space lacking? For example, if you are someone who leans towards neutrals, you can opt for art pieces that have some earthy tones to bring in some colour, without creating too much of a shock to the system. Think ochres, forest greens, and rusts. In general, bringing in colour, by working with your colour palette, even adding colours that contrast to the existing pieces in your room, will help to create a sense of depth and balance.


Now, if you are the maximalist type and want to go all in with your artwork with all the colours, no one is stopping you, but there is also a method to the madness that is gallery walls.

We suggest starting with your largest picture or brightest colour, then adding as you go, selecting pieces that work best with the scheme.


If you have a very neutral interior and then hang a neon pink art piece on your wall (see above), it will be the first thing that grabs someone's attention when they walk into the room. Therefore, my advice would be not to use just one piece with pink in it. Use it as a starting point, adding in a few images or items that contain different shades of pink to help disperse the attention.


You want an art wall but don't know how to choose the art, you say? Well, you will be pleased to know, you are not alone. Remember what I said about art being personal? That is really the key to selecting your pieces. Of course, you can follow the guides as to what is a classic art piece, but what's the point if you have to spend the rest of your life staring at something you despise? Equally, the way you arrange your art is really going to make a difference in how good it looks. 


So then? How to choose? When you look at a piece of art or a picture, you should really feel what's looking back at you. If it doesn't give you all the feels, then it's unlikely to show much of your personality. Is there a book you love? Why not tear out the front page, of your favourite chapter? Frame it. You got art. You get me?

Photo: Jojo
Photo: Jojo's Home

Artwork doesn't have to be expensive or look like something straight out of a gallery. If you are still building your art collection or don't want to break the bank, then posters are a great place to start. There are also a range of places online to source affordable art pieces. You can also try your luck at some antique fairs where you might score yourself a bargain. 


Wow, where did your mind just go? Back to the artwork, please. When it comes to gallery walls, proportions are everything. Yes, we said no rules apply but let's just play it safe for a second. That large piece of artwork you have, let's hang that up first. This will help you to visualise exactly how you would like the space to look, allowing you to place your other pieces around it.  

Depending on the size of the wall and space allowed for your gallery, it may also determine just how much artwork is needed. Play around with the arrangement and see what starts to work together naturally. Let's go back to our no-rules, rule. Don't think for one second that a small room means that you need small art pieces. Depending on the height of the room and access to natural light, a gallery wall with large pieces will make the room feel bigger, not smaller. 


If you are telling me that you like art but you aren't sure about all these varying sizes and proportions, you are a person of uniformity, consistency, OCD if you will. Don't you worry for one second longer, I've got you covered. 

Going monotone works particularly well if you want to display photographs, something we regularly do on our projects. Our favourite space to exercise this scheme is on a staircase, using fun family photos up and down the walls, instead of limiting them to the mantle piece (mantlepiece photos are OUT by the way, family portraits on stairs are IN).


Of course, there are those of you who want uniformity but don't want to miss out on the colour. Yes, you can still keep those lovely photos in an organised arrangement that soothes your soul. This is also a nice trick to use for rooms that can often feel chaotic, like kid's rooms, bringing some sense of order to the space.



As you gather the frames you want to use, arrange them on the floor first, using the largest size first method while arranging your other pieces. You can adjust your design much easier this way and save yourself the headache of moving anything after you have already hammered those holes into your wall - unless you like that second-hand dartboard look. 


If you want to go a step further and have all the time in the world, then cut out some paper the exact same size as your frames, then stock them as you see fit on your selected wall. Just make sure to use soft masking tape that won't mark the walls. Also, wash those hands to avoid any paw prints all up your nicely painted wall.


Before you get your electric drill out, may I suggest some handy hanging solutions?

White nylon non-trace drywall picture hanger hooks are a great solution for avoiding damage to the wall. They come in different sizes to allow for different sizes and weight frames. Alternatively, if you live in rented accommodation, and/ or aren't allowed to stick holes in your walls, command strips are your best friend.  

I hope that you enjoyed reading through this tutorial. Make sure you tag me in your gallery wall pictures, I would love to see the finished result. Just remember not to overthink it, this is a creative process and it's important to have fun! Now no more hanging around here, go and get started!