How to Design a Wall Gallery {Powell OH Family Photos}


The Spurling family wanted a large wall gallery for their family room that had a 2 story ceiling. The 9 frame grid pattern they chose is certainly a show stopper. This is the perfect session to help you with questions about hanging your own wall gallery.

One of the leading trends in interior design are wall galleries. They are a simple and chic way to collage your favorite photos and art together. I love that all the ways you can create a unique wall gallery to fit your style. I found quite quickly though that creating a wall gallery is not easy. There is a formula to creating a casual and simple looking gallery. So I have put together a short guide on how to hang a wall gallery that will add warmth and style to your home.

Location, location: Where to hang a wall gallery in your home.

  • There really isn’t a room in your house that a wall gallery wouldn’t look great in. So look for a room that has ample wall space and will be seen often.

  • Decide on a wall and then choose a pattern that fits the wall space best. Choosing the a pattern and corresponding frame sizes is where a designer helps the most. It helps to sketch out your design and then figure out your measurements.

  • Check out my pinterest board for design ideas. Two ideas I love are to fill the wall with frames from knee high to the ceiling and to center a gallery in a rooms corner. (Click on my pinterest board for examples)

Decide what’s in your grid:

  • Mixing the same type of photo or artwork is easiest. Such as color photographs from a photo session (they will be edited with the same colors and tones), black and white prints, or artwork by the same artist.

  • Choose the same frame and mat for every print for a cohesive look. If you want to mix it up just be sure to keep it balanced.

  • Go big or go home! A wall print should be at least a 10”x10” or larger. Only case where smaller frames are used is in a large wall gallery that includes frames that much larger frames.

  • If you have the space I love large statement pieces in a home. That would be 1 or 2 portraits measuring 24”x24” or larger.

  • On a budget? Frames and canvas elevate the look of your home for a reason. They take time to design and they aren’t cheap. But if want to hang family photos while saving for frames then you can print photos on matboard and hang them with 3M strips.

  • Mix old and new. I love the balanced look of mixing new photos with old family photos. A nice balance is to hang 2/3 new photos and 1/3 old photos.

  • If a wall gallery is too overwhelming a task to take on then you can hang 2-3 frame ledges. Then simply frame prints in a variety of smaller sizes and set them on the ledges.

Avoid swiss cheese wall:

  • If your gallery is straight rows of frames it helps to use a laser level. You can also stretch a piece of string between 2 push pins.

  • Groupings look best when frames or canvas are spaced tightly together. About 1 to 2 inches apart.

  • If you are mixing sizes start with the largest piece first and then work around it.

  • Use a gallery template from online as your guide.

  • To avoid making a bunch of holes in your wall lay out your collage first. Lay out a large piece of butcher paper with your frames on top. Trace around each frame and then cut out those pieces. Tape them to the wall to visualize your collage and mark out your measurements. This is the time to move things around until it’s just right.

  • For a gallery that’s centered in the middle of a wall you should mark the center of your collage at about 5 feet from the floor. Only exception is if you have really high ceilings. Then go a bit higher.

Now it’s time to hang this thing!

  • Install your hangers over the cutouts. Then remove the cutouts.

  • These are my favorite screws for any type of frame or canvas. I include them with all my frame and canvas orders

  • If you mess up no worries. It’s nothing a little spackle and paint can’t fix :)

I’m excited to soon be offering a new frame option! I will be providing prints on canvas hung with wooden frame sticks. Look for the launch of this product soon along with a discount code! Check out my current frame catalog HERE and other products HERE

Now enjoy this oh so sweet session from last fall.

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Spurling blog post 12.jpg