How to Style a Gallery Wall

A gallery wall of art above a desk.
  • 2-25 hours
  • Beginner
  • 0-100
What You'll Need
Craft paper
Painters tape
Hooks and nails
Tape measure
Items to hang

Gallery walls are all the rage in the interior design world right now since they're a fun way to add some personality and flair to your home. But if you're not familiar with them, you may be wondering what a gallery wall is, exactly. You’ve probably seen them on Pinterest or in a West Elm catalog—they're walls with a variety of art hung on it, from photos and portraits to paintings and 3-D items.

Because gallery walls are so versatile, they're perfect for a home of any size, style, or design. There are several aspects of them that you can accommodate to fit your vision. First, the overall style of the wall. Do you want it to be artfully mismatched? We have seen many of these look great with a pairing of modern and vintage style, and a wide mix of colors and shapes. Of course, a uniform look is appealing, too. Besides the style, the size of the wall is also up to your own creativity—from a long, rectangular hallway to a more perfect square to even a staircase wall. The possibilities are endless!

Step 1 - Choose the Location

A gallery wall of art above a desk in a bedroom.

The first step in the process of building your gallery wall is to pick the actual spot. This is important because it dictates how many items you will need, as well as their size. As mentioned before, a wall of practically any size will work! However, make sure to choose a space that won't cause you to feel overwhelmed by the size. Suggestions for great spots include the wall above a decorative table or piece of furniture, a hallway, or a staircase wall.

Step 2 - Choose the Décor

Once you’ve located the spot, you’re ready to choose your items! This is the fun part; for this step, the options really are endless! For best results, choose items that range in size. You can also use three-dimensional pieces. Besides the obvious framed photographs, portraits, and artwork, you can also include clocks, mirrors, letter initials, wooden signs, hooks, and even small shelves to hold plants or other decorative objects. Keep in mind that to get a great look, these objects do not have to be expensive or fancy! Find these things around your house or at places like HomeGoods, Target, or even thrift shops. The more eccentric, the better, in our opinion! You may even want to craft some of these items to customize the color and feel of your wall.

Step 3 - Create the Layout

A brick wall with art hung on it.

Once you’ve gathered all the items you want to use, you will have to piece together how they will go together on the actual wall. This may take some trial and error. To easily piece the puzzle together, use a roll of craft paper and a pencil to trace out the shape and size of each item you wish to hang. Then, cut the outline of these items out, making sure to label each piece of paper with the item it represents. Using painters tape, arrange the papers on the wall in a way that you like, fitting the pieces together however you think is best.
Have a tape measure handy and remember to keep at least an inch and a half to three inches of space between each item. It's also helpful to have a level on hand to ensure items are straight once they are hung. If you are designing your wall above a piece of furniture, leave at least six inches of space between the top of the item and the bottom of the first frame or object. Once you're satisfied with the blueprint you created, hang each item, removing the craft paper as you go along.

It’s as easy as that! Once you’ve hung your pieces, take a step back and admire your own work! You have just successfully transformed a blank wall into a statement piece that is sure to be a highlight in your home.