Gallery Wall Design – A Few Simple Rules

gallery wall design

A thoughtfully designed gallery wall is a tried-and-true way to display your photos

Decorating with photos is one of the easiest ways to personalize your space. Photos of children, milestone events like weddings and bar-mitzvahs, favorite vacations and pictures from our own childhood help make a space feel warm, inviting and uniquely ours. 

Your smart phone camera has an abundance of photos to choose from but exactly what to display and where can feel challenging. There are many creative approaches to decorating with photos, and specialists from framers to photo organizers work wonders with photos to make the most of your pictures.

These simple rules will make it successful

Decide on a visual theme that will unify the photos. No matter what photos you choose, a visually unifying way to create a cohesive display will connect even disparate photos.

Here are a few ways to achieve the look —

Uniformity of both the type of photo and the frame style. Select the same size and type of photo. Have them professionally matted and framed the same way to create a simple and striking wall.

Using basic black frames, or even frameless glass with clips is modern and fresh look.

Complimentary frame styles.
A wall of heirloom photos can look fantastic with all the frames evoking a vintage vibe.

The photos and frames, while all different, share a subject (“old family photo”) and an heirloom-looking frame style.

gallery wall frames debby katz interiors
art gallery wall debby katz interiors

Create an eclectic gallery wall. Varying the photos, frame styles and sizes and mixing in other works on paper like a watercolor or drawing, will achieve a more eclectic, “artful” display. 

Don’t be afraid to mix old and new for a fun yet collected look. The key to this type of wall (and to avoid a wall with too many nail holes) is to embrace variety and lean into its eclecticism. It’s not supposed to look too perfect, although this type of gallery wall involves a lot of thoughtful planning.

Start by carefully laying out the photos and art on the floor to get the arrangement, spacing and height just right. Use painters’ tape to map things out on the wall and bear in mind that you will likely need to rearrange things several times before the perfect lay out appears. 

When it comes to your photographs, think outside the box! 

Karen Herman of Organized Photos Forever is an expert at helping people organize, categorize, digitize and display their photos. Karen is your one destination for all your photo needs, plus she has some very cool and fun ways to show off your pictures that will up the wow factor and if you would like a designer’s take, I’m here to help with your gallery wall.

Read Karen’s blog about the many print choices available and more – A Designer’s Eye to Decorating with Photos.

Personalize Mosaic Wall Art

And just for fun – Personalized Mosaic Wall Art!

How about a completely different way to enjoy your photos? A mosaic is a design comprised of hundreds (or thousands) of photographs, and then printed in a large format on acrylic or metal. You can see each individual photo if you look closely, but from afar the primary image emerges. 

These mosaics can feature anything from a school logo for a teen’s room, a family portrait, a scenic picture from a vacation, or your beloved pet.

Capture a memory or give as a gift, either way, give Karen a call today! Karen Herman at Organized Photos Forever 

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Debby Katz

Debby Katz Interiors celebrates the connection between environment and well-being. Debby's design philosophy is simple - honor the identity and uniqueness of each client, focus on function to design spaces that improve the way people live in their homes and infuse each space with beauty, honing in on thoughtful details and carefully curated pieces.


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