How to Design & Make a Gallery Wall

Gallery walls are a great way to add personality to your home, while creating visual interest as a single focal point composed of multiple pieces. From picking a theme to hanging up artwork, check out these nine gallery wall ideas!

Find the Best Spot

Choosing a location is the first step in planning a gallery wall! Make an entire accent wall of gallery-style pieces, span it across an entire wall, or tuck the gallery wall into a corner—don’t be afraid to take up space! Just try to avoid direct sunlight and high-traffic areas when deciding where to hang art on the wall, as sunlight and movement can damage art over time.

Decide on a Theme

When first starting your gallery wall design, start by solidifying a theme—which could be a color, aesthetic, shape, or other feature found through each piece of the gallery. This will help make it easier to gather pieces that work well together as a cohesive unit. For example, complete a dark academia gallery wall theme with gold frames, dark colors, and lush botanicals. Let the finer details make a big impression with a minimalist gallery wall—or opt for a maximalist design with bright pieces, busy artwork, and more!

Gather Artwork

Once you’ve decided on your gallery wall theme, start collecting your featured pieces. There are lots of ways to gather artwork—it just depends on your budget. Check out local thrift stores and art galleries or browse wall prints online for your perfectly curated gallery wall. Consider canvas pieces, lightweight sculptures, neon signs, and more to anchor the gallery design. While building your collection, make sure to keep patient and have a place for artwork storage!
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Use Photos for a Personal Touch

Your gallery wall theme can include personal touches, too—in fact, plenty of people create a gallery wall of family photos! Photos are easy to edit to match any theme, whether you’re making a black and white gallery wall or looking for a way to add in more color. Add multiple photos to one frame to give your photo wall some diversity, and squeeze in some personal touches!

Play with Dimension

As you continue collecting pieces for your gallery wall, it’s good to keep in mind that it doesn’t have to be composed of only flat, framed pieces and photos. Instead, you can play around with three-dimensional pieces like sculptures, mirrors, or even musical instruments! Like houseplants? Mount a couple throughout the gallery wall, add a plant shelf, or consider a gallery wall with urban jungle influence. Consider stringing lights around pieces, hanging varying sizes of disco balls, or strategic spotlight placement. Sculptural pieces can help fill in any gaps while adding visual interest to your art wall.

Vary Size

Depending on what mood you want your photo wall to inspire, you may want to consider keeping the featured pieces consistent in size. This will allow you to keep better track of how many and what types of frames you should purchase. Though, some design styles like bohemian and cottagecore are better displayed in gallery walls that use different sizes of featured work. You can create even more of a size difference by not framing some pieces, and paying attention to how the thickness of frames adds to the size and emphasis of the art.

Find a Sense of Cohesion

Wondering how to make a gallery wall cohesive? As you gather all your pieces, you’ll need to consider how each piece works together. Combine different interior design styles to create a look that fits your aesthetic. Don’t be afraid to mix and match colors, frame materials and designs, and types of work—and repeat colors and materials to help your gallery wall blend. Condense your collection to pieces that work well and highlight one another, as you’ll want to make sure each piece is on theme.

Experiment with Your Gallery Wall Layout

Planning your gallery wall layout before hanging items can save you a lot of trouble! Measure the space you want to create the gallery wall on, then outline it on your floor. Select a place for your largest piece and build around it, placing vertical and horizontal pieces as you go. Once you’re happy with your layout, outline the frames or shape of each item with paper, then tape it where you want it to go—and rearrange to experiment with different placements and positions. This might sound tedious, but it could help save you from unnecessary holes in the wall.

Start Hanging Your Gallery Wall

Hanging a gallery wall can be tricky, so be sure to use the right tools. You’ll want to have the proper nails for picture frames, a level, and a stud finder. This will help keep your gallery wall pieces secure and even. Mark where you want each nail or screw to go, then use a hammer or drill to place it. Make sure each frame is level before hanging the next.

Explore Renter-Friendly Gallery Walls If you need renter-friendly wall decor, gallery walls are still an option for your home! Rather than using anchors or even screws, make an easy gallery wall with nails or double-sided adhesive that won’t pull off paint. Or, if you can afford some holes but don’t want a ton, install floating shelves! You can easily place and replace your artwork, photos, frames, and more, as they won’t be nailed into the wall. Or consider hanging frames from aesthetic chains.


Need more room while creating your gallery wall? Extra Space Storage has many convenient self storage locations nationwide to help you store art while renovating your home or moving. Find storage units near you!


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