How To: Master the Gallery Wall

What is it?
An artistic display of items that are important to you, ranging from frames to photos to wood signs and more.

What to include:
A gallery wall can honestly include whatever you like, but sentimental items are often at the top of the “must have” list. Choose family photos or important portraits and/or décor that fits your personality including wood signs, metal crosses, small clocks, or homemade items. Items you’ve collected from trips or letters you can frame also make good picks.


Commit to a design idea.
Chances are your gallery wall is going to feature a lot of frames, but how do you choose which frames to go with? “I like to either have all the frames the same or have it be really eclectic where all of the frames are a different size or style,” says Kathleen Jennison, an interior designer and owner of KTG Design Co.

The best rule of thumb is to commit to one extreme or the other. Choose frames that all belong together, or mix up colors, sizes, and shapes. Mixing it up can create a really fun wall, Kathleen says.

Choose complimentary items.
Gallery walls typically include several design elements, and even if you’ve decided to embrace the eclectic look, it’s important that some cohesion exist. Find consistency with the overall style of the wall such as frames that all look shabby-chic, or have modern cuts and edges. Mixing too many design ideas will make the wall look messy.

Consider monochromatic.
Create a wall out of all black and white photos and frames. The monochromatic look ties everything together, even if the photos themselves are different styles and subjects.

Plan ahead.
Don’t just start throwing items onto the wall. While it is possible to continue to add new pieces to a gallery wall, the initial design should be thought out. Put the design together on the floor first. This way you can easily move pieces around to find the right fit. When it’s perfect, start putting it onto the wall.

Be creative.
Gallery walls don’t have to fit anyone definition. Use your imagination to come up with your own ideas of what can go on the wall. Mirrors in different sizes and empty frames can be on display, but so can large seashells and pressed flowers. Play with color, size, and texture. Above all, this wall should represent what you love.

Ask an Expert:
Kathleen Jennison
(209) 932-9801
404 N. Harrison St., Stockton