gallery wall goodness

There are few things I love in a space more than a gallery wall.  It seems to just say “home” in such a stylish yet personal way. Maybe I love it so much because it’s inspiring to see a homeowner’s collection of art or photos whimsically displayed on a wall.

This week I’m attempting to complete my own gallery wall as well as a separate family photo wall.  Been meaning to do this since our big move, but time slips away as quickly as sand in my hands. I also seem to have a big case of what I like to call  selection anxiety disorder as we have 11 years of meaningful pics of our children and I have trouble choosing which ones to hang.  I feel a tinge of angst every time I deem one picture “frame worthy” and leave behind five or six in a box.  It’s crazy.

Love the magnificence of Amanda Peet’s gallery wall staircase…

In case you may be thinking about a gallery wall in your own space, here are some inspiring pics and thoughts.

Gallery walls come in all shapes and sizes.  The subject matter can totally vary or have a more cohesive feel.  And the style in hanging can be funky, symmetrical, or a combination. That’s the beauty of a gallery wall…it’s all up to you.

A few guidelines to follow when creating your wall:

  1. Select a wall that will be a good focal point for the room.  Gallery walls are real divas in that they command a great deal of attention. So you want to be sure that the surrounding walls are visually quiet, giving a proper bow to her highness, Ms. Gallery Wall herself. When looking around a room, your eye needs to have certain “resting points.” Otherwise the result is visual chaos.
  2. Have a table or some standing object that anchors the pictures on your wall.  It can even be two chairs with a small table and lamp in between.  
  3. Find your style.  Are you into an eclectic grouping like below?  Or do you prefer a more symmetrical feel? Much of that decision depends upon your collection.  If you have a wide array of art in different sizes and frames, then an eclectic mix will naturally work best for your grouping.    
  4. Consider cutting out templates of your pictures or art in paper and taping them to the wall to play around with your arrangement.  Or play with the arrangement on a blank space on your floor. This will save you ample holes in your wall and probably a frustrating or tiresome session hammering away with your mate (voice of experience here).  Try this wonderful tutorial on hanging art right here.      
  5. Just like furniture groupings, keep your art huddled together, not too spaced apart.  Most importantly, the center of your grouping should be at eye-level.  That’s approximately 5.5 feet from the floor.  Once you establish that imaginary line, then you can add pictures above and below it.

If you like things more symmetrical or orderly, sets of prints may be a good fit for your aesthetic. There is something so calming about the quiet rhythm of prints hanging in a structured formation.

If you like a more spontaneous look but still prefer more consistency in your moldings, this kind of grouping is a hit.

Here is a similar example of mostly gilded frames with subtle pops of black.  I like how the subject matter is all the same. Always a clever look.

A monochromatic palette has a similar soothing effect.  This one is especially delicious. Notice how the desk anchors the grouping.

And who couldn’t help but stare at this pop of color amongst a sea of white…the color makes this oh-so-petite gallery wall really pop.

Seeing pics hung all the way to the floor always makes me happy.  I think pictures hanging ceiling to floor are best appreciated in nooks, hallways or small rooms.

I’ll share a pic when I complete my own gallery wall.  Until then, happy hanging!

[photo sources: elle decor, southern living, country living, house beautiful, domino, la belle vie and hopscotch & grace]

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  1. Victoria says:

    I’m so excited that you posted this. The past couple of days have found me looking through my inspiration pics and online for gallery wall goodness…I’m finally trying to tackle one in our new house! And your post is full of not only inspiration pictures, but some good, solid advice on actually making this thing happen! I guess my plans for the day have changed. I’m gonna do this thing!

  2. Uggh – I seem to have selection anxiety disorder even when it comes to placing just ONE pictures on a wall. I act as if I can’t ever move it again! Hope your projects go well!

  3. Geli says:

    Yes, pictures are essential for a home, I have quite a few hanging myself – always have,
    even way back when at home as a teen. Your selection is very nice, Seleta, the very first
    and the last two are my favorite. In fact I’ve taken a screenshot of them for my deco files.

  4. Jennifer says:

    Ah! What I’ll take away from this post is “selection anxiety disorder” . . . this honestly affects my life in several ways! Prevents me from making decorating decisions and completing projects. And we all know how it feels to live in the “unfinished” stage – – not fun!

    I enjoy a gallery wall when the frames are the same size . . . I love symmetry.

  5. I so admire when someone can arrange a series of pictures/painting/photos and make them look cohesive. Love the inspiration!

  6. RLG says:

    I love the look of gallery walls. Beautiful photos!
    I don’t have the confidence to pull it off, even though I have tons of great stuff.
    Also, I’m so type-A that crooked pictures make me nuts, so I use ledges. Sigh.

  7. April B says:

    I had lost you – so glad I found you again after your move. I’ve missed your posts!

  8. Kwana says:

    I love a gallery wall too. You’ve inspired me.

  9. I have been acquiring frames for the past 2 years, now that our house is sold I am packing them up and saving them for the next home…big plans for some fab gallery walls there. I just love the way they feel, especially with a mix of photos and art…and I am really drawn to the imaged with the mixed frames, it add so much and makes them even more appealing.

  10. Christine says:

    I LOVE a good gallery wall – these images are perfect inspiration!!

  11. moi says:

    i especially like the last picture. i wish i had the patience for projects like this. i usually end up skipping the planning phase and nailing everything to the wall haphazardly. not in a good way. bleh.

  12. Pru says:

    I love the bed with the gold frames above it, it is so pretty. I’m into ‘nesting’ at the moment and am thinking up ways to make my bedroom more cosy for the winter, a photo wall could look really good instead of lots of photo frames around. You are inspiring me to give this a go. I can’t wait to see your photos.

  13. I love a gallery wall. It is such a great way to express one’s personality. Thanks for tips on how to pull it off.

  14. Simply Seleta Fan says:

    Super helpful post!

  15. I LOVE a good gallery wall!

  16. kayce hughes says:

    I love them all! Thanks for the inspiration.

  17. Erin says:

    I have been following your blog for a little over a year and LOVE it! I, too, am a mom of four and would love to do a family gallery wall in our house. I’m having the same problem of where to start. We’ve been married almost 11 years and our kids are 9,7,4, and 7 mos. Can’t wait to see what you do you in your house to get some ideas. Thanks for inspiring me!

  18. Stitchfork says:

    I love a gallery wall that tells a story of the family living within those walls.

  19. Great post! I plan on doing a gallery wall in our home and I am saving this post as a reference – thanks!

  20. Rachel says:

    I’m so glad you are doing a gallery wall, looking forward to seeing photos of the finished project. I have bare walls and want to do a gallery, now you’ll make it so much easier. All I have to do is copy yours, I know it will be fantastic and perfect. Thank you!

  21. hana says:

    love this. i used the same photos for inspiration for my own gallery wall.. which has yet to be hung! can’t wait to see yours, maybe it will be motivation :)

  22. Allison says:

    I’ve been working on creating a gallery wall of all black and white photos of my family. I am going back generations. It’s a lot of fun and a lot of history. I’ve made my focal point of the wall a gorgeous photo of my Mom who I lost to cancer a few years ago. It’s a nice way to honor her. Thanks for your inspiration on hanging the photos. I’m been playing around with that and you had some great tips. Can’t wait to see your gallery wall once it’s finished!

  23. Vicki says:

    Oh, how I suffer from Selection Anxiety Disorder! Definitely need an intervention. At you overcame long enough to “select” gorgeous examples for us!

  24. paula says:

    I am obsessed with gallery walls, maybe a little too much since we have 3. We rotate out pics of the kiddos as they grow.

  25. christi says:

    i love the flexibility of a gallery wall — adding and subtracting things as the days pass.

  26. I LOVE a gallery wall! Great inspiration photos Seleta!

  27. Rachel says:

    I adore gallery walls! I am actually planning one for our home too, but haven’t gotten around to doing it – your post has just inspired me to get a move along x

  28. Gallery walls are just divine! I vow right now that I shall never get sick of a good gallery wall. A lovely roundup. Thank you for sharing with us. Your blog is lovely—glad to have stumbled upon it!

  29. Felt So Cute says:

    What great selections! I especially love the last photo of the narrow green stairwell. How cozy and warm. I just finished redoing a gallery on our staircase and love seeing all my favorite people each and every day.

  30. Great post on gallery walls for sure! I linked this to my project: decorating post too, please pop over and take a look!

  31. amy says:

    I absolutely adore the lush look of a million small pieces of art collected in one space. It makes me want to grab a hammer and nails right this instant!

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    SeletaI‘m Seleta, a city girl living the beach life with my family. A former TV personality turned designer, I love to share the sparkly side of life. Read more here.
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