Find inspiration for art wall galleries with a few fun DIYs, styling tips, art arrangement ideas, and beautiful examples.
Are you tired of staring at your plain, empty walls? Do you wish there was a way to infuse personality and style into your living space without breaking the bank?
If you’ve ever felt like your home’s decor lacks that “wow” factor, you’re not alone. Many of us have faced the dilemma of transforming our walls into captivating focal points.
The good news is, you don’t need to be an interior design expert to achieve this. Wall galleries are the perfect way to achieve a well-designed space and show your unique style and personality.
Wall Galleries: Tips and Tricks
I absolutely love that wall galleries are all the rage now. I’ve been hanging large groupings of paintings and pictures ever since I had my first apartment 20 years ago.
My family, both close and extended, loves to take pictures and collect art, which leaves us with a wonderful collection of wall hangings. So I’m constantly looking for new ideas to display art and create wall galleries.
And since we are a retired military family and have moved so often, I’ve had lots of practice with numerous walls and gallery displays!
What’s the Best Way to Hang Art?
First, let’s chat about the best way to hang art. Hanging art can be both an art and a science. The right hanging method ensures your art stays securely on the wall with minimal wall damage. Here are some essential tips:
- Use Proper Hardware: Invest in high-quality picture hooks, wall anchors, or wall hangers that can support the weight of your art. The type of hardware you need depends on the weight and size of your pieces.
- Measure Twice: Before putting any holes in your wall, measure the space and your art to ensure proper placement. Precision is key to achieving a balanced and visually pleasing arrangement.
- Eye-Level Placement: As previously mentioned, aim to place the center of your art at eye level, typically around 5’6″ from the floor. This ensures that your art is easily viewable and part of the room’s focal point.
- Gallery Wall Arrangement: For gallery walls, start by arranging your art on the floor to get the desired layout. Measure the wall first, create a marked space on the floor with painter’s tape, and play with an art layout adjusting until you are pleased with the arrangement. Transfer the layout to the wall starting with the centerpiece (s) and going out from there. Follow your layout pattern closely to maintain consistency but don’t be afraid to adjust.
- Leveling: Use a level to ensure your art hangs straight if you have straight walls! Older homes (and some newer) may not have perfectly even ceilings or baseboards so sometimes eye-balling is better.
Keep in mind these tips as you plan your wall gallery to ensure your art is hung safely and displayed beautifully.
DIY Wall Gallery Layout Ideas
Using a Small Vertical Space
If you appreciate not having any large empty spaces on your walls, try hanging a couple of statement pieces and smaller accent pieces vertically between pieces of furniture, doorways, and windows.
Here are a couple of etches mixed with a small mirror and wooden angel sculpture between a DIY cane cabinet and floral curtains. It helps define the dining room in an open layout.
French Matting and White Frames with Family and Art Photos
A great way to embellish a cohesive art display is to use French matting and the same color of frames. French matting is a technique used to embellish a mat by lining it with ink, paint, or pencil to draw the eye to the art.
I used a fine-tip and thicker-tip coral ink pen and a #2 lead pencil to apply this technique to six photos and spray-painted all of the frames white.
It is a very simple and fast process. Use a ruler as a guideline and either color the inside edge of the mat or move the lining out a little. You could also draw multiple lines, thick or thin, and use a second mat for a layered look.
Tip: Some frames have a stand on the back; don’t be afraid to pull those off so that they lie flat on the wall. I also used double-sided tape to keep the pictures from moving.
Furniture Vignette Small Gallery
A small collection can be a striking display when hung above furniture and filling the wall to the ceiling. Small-width walls are perfect for an accent piece, decor, and art. Keep your collection cohesive with similar frames and art styles and/or subtle or neutral colors.
This foyer collection includes a thrift store federal-style mirror, watercolors, a playbill, a brass candle sconce, and a little series of framed dried flowers.
Creating a Floor-to-Ceiling Gallery
For those who have high ceilings and want to make the most of the vertical space, a floor-to-ceiling gallery can be a stunning choice. You can use the entire height of your wall to showcase your art.
Mix different sizes of art pieces, and remember to maintain balance and alignment even on a grand scale. Don’t be afraid to include oversized pieces that draw the eye upward.
Tip: Plan your layout by laying all of your pictures on the floor and work from the center out when you start to hang them. Try to keep the distance between the frames consistent and not too far apart. A lot of space around frames can make them look like they are “floating” instead of anchored in a display on the wall.
Creating a Landscape Art Hallway Gallery
Hallways often present an opportunity for unique galleries. Consider a landscape or other cohesive art gallery in your hallway. Display the pieces above a chair rail for a neat and formal appearance that is gorgeous.
I wanted to create a soothing, picturesque journey as you make your way to the bedroom side of the house. I used mostly landscapes but there are a couple of black and white portraits mixed in.
All of the frames or lighter and/or thinner with lots of subtle colors and matting in the art to keep it from being too overbearing on the blue and green two-toned walls.
Watercolor Collection above Headboard
After my husband came home from deployment with 12 watercolors, we had yet another gallery wall in our house. It makes such a lovely focal wall for our bedroom. Now I am a pro at eye-balling placement!
To save money on framing, I had custom mats made but used off-the-shelf frames. The framing department at Hobby Lobby assembled them professionally for a fraction of what full custom framing would have cost.
Eclectic Gallery Above Built-ins
This cute gallery was in a rental home in Iwakuni, Japan which had lots of restrictions when it came to the wallpapered walls. Only thumbtack types of nails were allowed.
I created this gallery by leaning heavier pieces on the built-in cabinets and arranging lightweight decor and art above. Our landlord loved it.
Tip: Consider mixing vintage and antique frames with modern art for a unique, eclectic look when creating a gallery wall.
Art Gallery Around a Floating TV
Ah! What to do with the floating tv display. I know this is a challenge for many. Anchoring it with a piece of furniture is a start but displaying art around it is a lovely finish.
Notice that the space between the bottom two centered pieces and the dresser surface with a good 12 inches or so and is intentionally styled with books and decor to fill the negative wall space evenly.
Desk Art Gallery Space
For those of you residing in an apartment or dealing with odd placement of electrical boxes and such, think outside the box! I taped beautiful postcards and a photo right on top of a couple of electrical boxes in a rental home and used decor objects, art, and wall hangings to create a unique and practical wall gallery above my desk.
This sliver of wall between a kitchen and foyer instantly became my home office space providing storage for small office supplies, hiding eyesores, and looking beautiful.
Tip: While creating your gallery, don’t be afraid to experiment with different styles and art pieces to find what resonates with you the most.
I hope these examples have inspired you to try a wall gallery if you haven’t tried one yet, especially if you have photographs and art that need to come out of storage. 🙂 I would love to hear your thoughts or find out which one of these examples is your favorite!
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