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  • Writer's pictureGinny

How To Gallery Wall

Layered gallery wall over bed with plants and floral bedding
Upstairs Gallery Wall

I have always loved gallery walls. They are such a fun way to display art while being a little creative yourself. It is like a puzzle, Tetris if you will. 

autocad layout of gallery wall
cad plan of upstairs gallery wall

When I start a fresh wall I always begin with size. You want to either lay it all out on the floor or (my preferred method) draft it on the computer to scale. This allows you to move things around as much as you like without making a hole in the wall.

autocad drawing of gallery wall
cad drawing of downstairs gallery wall

The reason I prefer drafting to laying out is how precise you can be, not restricted to floorspace or time...since I have a toddler I can't have pieces laid out for days (or months- thats how long I took planning my upstairs gallery). You can really play around with flow and take your time when drafting.

Colorful gallery wall in living room with pink, red and oranges.
Downstairs gallery wall

Laying out the pieces for color story

Next up is color. You can either have a color theme for your wall, like my upstairs gallery which is mostly soft greens and blues OR you can have all the colors of the rainbow but need to find the balance-like my downstairs gallery. There are so many styles, tones and colors, I  created the balance with matting, paint and tape, more on that later.  

Close up of layered gallery wall. Greens, blues and pinks with plants
Upstairs gallery with color theme

Once the general layout has been decided I like to roughly put the pieces out on the floor to see how the colors look together. You might find you need to make slight adjustments to create a harmonious balance. For example my downstairs gallery wall has a few pops of yellow and I had to make sure they were evenly distributed since it is such a strong color. Same with red in my upstairs gallery.

Looking down wood stairs with lots of plants and a gallery wall view
View of the downstairs gallery wall

Before tape and paint: not enough cheerful vibes

If you find your pieces aren't flowing together easily, try creating some cohesion by experimenting. When I laid out the downstairs wall, the two portraits in the center were looking really heavy and just not flowing nicely with the rest of the pieces. But I was determined to make them work since they are close to my heart ( family friend) and had to come up with something.

Taping tape together to make an art piece

I thought about paint, but didn't want to commit ( what if my style changes or I chose the wrong color). And then it hit me, colorful tape! I immediately ran out to Target, bought an array of colors and started playing with it. I used it on a few random frames to distribute the pink and red tones evenly and also for a high up pop of color. 

Once I started with the tape I got excited and started to play with it alone. I ended up making a linear mountain/sailboat thing that I placed up high for flow and really to tie all the colors together.

Gallery wall before tv

Finally I love to make gallery walls that have a subtle movement. My downstairs gallery used to be a two wall creation, which I loved, the peak was over the door and it had such a cool vibe. When we got our wall mounted tv though, the flow just didn't work.

Gallery wall after tv was added

The scale of the tv was off and I needed to bring it all in to make it make sense visually. I'm so happy with it now, I love it way more than before, and I didn't even know that was possible. But I still craved that movement so I placed smaller pieces and tiny pieces on the whole exterior to give it that whimsical energy I adore.

Thats all I have to say about gallery walls for the moment, except I'll say it one more time I LOVE GALLERY WALLS! 

Colorful gallery wall with tv in living room
Downstairs gallery wall

Loft bedroom with plants and gallery wall
Upstairs gallery wall

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Where did you get the headboard??


Aug 20, 2019

Oh yes,I love that one too, thank you! I found it at an antique store in Ontario.It was used in Canadian classrooms once upon a time to show the children what an "ideal family" looked like.


I love the print of the mid-century family in the downstairs gallery wall. Can you tell me more about it?

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