If you were to look at all my home decor pins on Pinterest, there’s one thing most of the spaces have in common: beautiful artwork. No matter how well decorated a home is, with empty walls it just doesn’t feel complete. I absolutely love a good gallery wall (especially a well-executed one), so it was one of the first projects I tackled when I first moved into my current apartment.
Sadly, I started hanging my artwork with no plan or grid in place. And let’s just say it didn’t look very good, or very straight. I learned the hard way how to make a gallery wall, and (after several attempts) ended up with something that I feel really compliments my space (and isn’t crooked). To spare you initial the trial and error, ahead are five helpful gallery wall ideas, tips, and tricks to get you started.
Step 1: Choose Your “Gallery Wall Style”
A gallery wall is all about the art, so that’s the most important and first step of the process. Collect the artwork around your home you want to use, shop for new prints, and determine the style and look you are trying to achieve. Do you want your gallery wall to be cheery or muted? Eclectic or minimal? Pick out a few core pieces to anchor the collection around and then from there it will be easier to shop for pieces to fill out the rest of your wall.
This bright cactus print is perfect for a colorful gallery wall, while this simple geometric print will pair well with other modern pieces. Looking for something more uniform? These coordinating blue abstract prints will make any gallery wall pop.
Step 2: Don’t Forget About Statement Pieces
Want to add depth and dimension to your wall? One of my favorite gallery wall ideas is to add statement pieces into the mix. From resin animal heads to macrame wall hangings, these pieces make your gallery wall look unique while adding in more elements of your own personal style. This set of 3 wall sculptures can be placed in different spots on your gallery wall to add texture, while this simple script love sculpture makes a charming statement.
Step 3: Mix In A Mirror
You’ve curated your artwork, selected the right statement pieces, and now it’s time to get a mirror to complete your gallery wall. Like sculptures, decorative mirrors can add dimension to your space and are another great way to mix up the array of art in your space. From beveled to starburst styles, there are so many different mirrors to choose from.
Step 4: Plan Out Your Grid
Right after selecting all your artwork, this step is the most important when learning how to make a gallery wall. Before you start to hang anything, it’s essential to take a moment to make a game plan. It will save you from future headaches down the road and make your chances of having an even and level gallery wall much higher. Make sure all artwork is framed and ready for hanging. To make your wall look cohesive, keep frames limited to 2-3 colors, or for a more eclectic look choose different colors and styles for each frame. When in doubt, you can never go wrong with simple black frames, with or without matting.
A good rule of thumb is to hang artwork at eye level (about 57” from the floor), and to keep the space even between each piece (at least 1.5-2”). Also, if you’re hanging your gallery wall above your sofa, the lowest piece of art should be no lower than 6-8″ above the couch. Use a level and pencil to make fine markings on your wall to determine where each nail or screw will go. This will be the basic blueprint you’ll follow while assembling your wall.
Step 5: Grab Your Hammer
Now you’re ready to start hanging! Thanks to your blueprint and pre-planning, this step should be relatively stress-free. And with the right tools and equipment (like this 44-piece cordless drill kit), you can make it even easier. Depending on the size of your artwork you will need to use different screws or nails, and if you are hanging particularly heavy pieces it will be worth it to invest in a stud finder. Live in an apartment where you can’t put holes in the walls? Command hooks and strips are perfect for hole-free hanging.
Do you have more gallery wall ideas we didn’t mention here? Let us know in the comments below.