If you’re ready to create your own DIY gallery wall, we can help. Here’s our expert step-by-step guide to the coolest of wall collages.
Gallery walls might be everywhere, but they aren’t created equal. Whether you want to showcase your curatorial spirit, flaunt your family’s photos, or highlight an unexpected design detail, a salon-style arrangement could be the answer. But it’s not as easy as hanging a quick pair of photos. So we asked Homepolish designers Savannah Grace Roberts andto guide you through creating an Instagram-worthy wall.
Step 1: Pick Your Style
First up, nail down (no pun intended) your aesthetic, because your gallery will have to fit the space. For those of you who consider themselves eclectic or romantic, perhaps a bit of disorder would be in order. Otherwise, a spaced-out grid would be good for anyone who is hoping for a classic look. “A good rule of thumb when doing a gallery wall is fives closed fingers apart,” Katherine opines. “Try to space out pieces so you that you don’t end up with three sculptural pieces clumped together. Instead, pace out framed and sculptural pieces evenly throughout the gallery wall.”
In the same vein, figure out if you would like your wall to follow a specific color scheme, or if you want your frames to look like they’re family. Don’t be afraid to mix materials—artwork, photos, unframed, sculptures, there’s room for it all in the mix. Katherine recommends sites like Saatchi, ArtSpace, MoMA Design for inspiration (or actual products).There are no wrong answers here—the sky’s the limit.
Step 2: Lay It Out
We don’t expect you to have a designer’s eye, so planning out your creation prior to pulling out the hammers and nails might be a good idea. Lay out the pieces of your gallery wall on the floor, starting with what you think could be your centerpiece and building out. Katherine Carter recommends varying the placement of similar types of artwork. “Try and space out pieces so you don’t have three sculptural items clumped together—mix framed and sculptural pieces evenly throughout the gallery wall.”
If you’re having a hard time deciding on a composition, try this: When you have something you like, snap a picture on your phone. Then make another arrangement. Do this a few times, and then flip through the snapshots. This “editorial view” can help you decide which you like best.
Step 3: Mock Trial
Next, to be sure that your composition is placed properly and looks good on the wall, mock it up with paper. Trace each frame onto a piece of kraft or tissue paper, trim to size, and tape to the wall in your desired order.
Ask yourself, is it grouped around nearby furniture appropriately? Is it at a comfortable height? Does it fill the space appropriately? Keep in mind the proportion of art to wall size and vice versa. Best of all: this step eliminates one a designer’s biggest pet peeves: unwanted nail holes.
Step 4: Hang Out
Now that you’re primed and ready, this final step is a breeze. Mark each paper with the spot where the nail should be placed, and when the paper is on the wall, hammer it directly into the mark on the paper, tearing the placeholder once your nail is in place.
One tip from Savannah Grace Roberts, if have similar sized pieces, don’t put the artwork into the frames until it’s hung—then you can be flexible with the composition and switch them out as needed.
Then comes our favorite part—hanging those glorious pieces up for you to enjoy.
Need a little more inspo? Watch Katherine’s curatorial eye at work.