DIY Blog Post

How to Design and Hang a Gallery Wall

Everyone has that one wall in their home that seems infinite and impossible to decorate.  A blank canvas, especially a large one, can be intimidating. But, if you look past the intimidation, that blank wall provides the opportunity to showcase your unique creativity and style. In the central living space of your home, the wall décor can set the mood for the entire room. Here is an HLV guide on how to design a gallery wall:

Step one: Choose your style and theme

While gallery walls should reflect your personal style, it’s always helpful to go into the project with an overall style and theme in mind. As for gallery wall styles, there is the clean grid look that is typical to farmhouse style, pattered art framed in light wood that is prominent in scandi-modern style, wooden shelves displaying plants for a casual bohemian look, oversized and abstract art for a modern presentation, or (my personal favorite) an asymmetrical mixed media style.

I know, it’s overwhelming. But really, this is just choosing the types of frames you would like to use, how they are arranged, and what type of art or images you would like to display.

As for themes, you can choose wedding photos, travel photos, black and white photos, art, or mixed media.

Personally, I chose an asymmetrical frame arrangement with a mixed media theme for my gallery wall design. I love to update and change my décor frequently, so I needed a style that would be forgiving to change. With an asymmetrical frame arrangement, you can add more frames without disrupting the layout. I also wanted the ability to incorporate art, pressed flowers, and polaroid photos.

Step two: Design and hang your gallery wall  

I can’t speak for everyone, but I am a planner. Especially when it comes to home décor. If you’re also a planner, and the thought of an off-center frame will keep you up at night, I highly recommend picking up a hanging tool kit. I found one at Home Depot that helped me measure, level, and hang each frame. To me, the $14 investment was well worth it. Here is a list of everything you’ll need to plan and hang your gallery wall.

  • Frames
  • Painters tape
  • Drill, nails, and anchors
  • Level (or handy hanging tool)
  • Pencil and paper
  • Tape measure
  • Ruler

Once you’ve gathered your supplies, you’re ready to go. Here is my detailed gallery wall planning process:

  1. First, arrange your frames on the floor (or on grid paper) in the way you’d like them hung on the wall.
  2. Next, grab your tape measure, pencil, and paper and write down height and width of the overall space of your design. This will provide your working space, and act as a guide while hanging frames. It will also help keep your gallery wall scaled and centered properly.
  3. Measure out your working space dimensions in painters’ tape, and place it directly onto the wall.
  4.  With a pencil, lightly mark where the top of the first frame should be placed. (BONUS TIP: Use a lead-based pencil when marking the wall. It wipes off much easier)
  5. Hang the first frame, then use the hanging tool, or a ruler, to place the next frame at whatever distance was laid out on the floor, and so on.
  6. Stand back and take in your masterpiece!

Although designing a gallery wall can seem intimidating and complicated, if you take the time to plan and lay everything out, it can be an amazing focal point in your home. In my opinion, the best thing about having a gallery wall in your living room is the ability to change things up! I switch out my pictures and artwork seasonally, or whenever I have a new project I want to display. The possibilities are endless!

Need some unique prints for your gallery wall? Check out my print shop!