The Gallery Wall – Put Down the Paint Brush and Pick-up a Frame!

After much prodding from friends I recently joined Pinterest ( – you can follow my pins at bobadesigner) and I now understand what all the hype is about! Pinterest is a great way to “Pin” things that you like and save them for later. I think it is going to be a great resource for my blog as well! Todays post was inspired by Pinterest, so I had to give it a shout-out!

After playing around on the new site I found a number of people with design boards had noted that they liked the “Gallery Wall”. I have always loved this decor technique and after giving it some thought, and seeing the public interest, I had to look into it.

The gallery wall is a collection of pictures (black and white, or color), that you frame (again, in black and white or color frames) and then arrange on a wall. I find it to be a great decorating technique for those wanting to display pictures, portraits, and artwork in a new and creative way. Also, for those living in apartments, if you can’t paint, this decoration technique can brighten up a space and transform a mundane white wall.

When creating the gallery wall, if you keep a few steps in mind it really won’t be that difficult or time-consuming. First, decide which pictures and/or paintings you would like to display. Decide if you are showcasing black and white pictures/paintings or color (if black and white get creative with the color of your frames keeping in mind the themes in the space – if you are using color pictures try to keep the frames black and white). Next, decide which wall you would like to put them on, measure the space you will be using and then layout the same space on an open area of floor. Layout the design you would like to have on the wall and play with how the frames line up. Whether you enjoy chaos or order, make sure to layout your design before putting holes in the wall!

To the left – Order.

To the right – Chaos.



If you can’t decide which you like try this technique.

The straight line up the middle draws the eye to it creating the illusion of order. But by varying the sizes of frames above the below the line it creates a dynamic mix between order and chaos allowing for a very unique feel.

The gallery wall can be used in a number of different spaces as well. These two demonstrate using it in a hallway. It not only creates activity in your transitional space, it can make a hallway appear longer if there are pictures running the length of the walls.

Another space the gallery wall can be used is in a staircase. I love seeing it used here because people occasionally forget to decorate this area leaving it rather plain. By creating a gallery wall on the staircase you create a dynamic use of wall decor in a space that is used frequently. Just keep in mind, when placing pictures on a wall going up a staircase, maintain the same distance from the steps as you move up. This will keep the pictures at eye level as the person goes up and maintains the upward motion of the wall.

This is just a quick sketch, but take a look at how the distance from the stairs remains the same, how the frame tops and bottoms match up (when applicable), and how a variety of sizes and shapes can be used. Layout the general flow you want to follow (dashed lines) and then fill in the space how you see fit. Don’t feel you have to stick to one pattern, chose different sizes and arrangements to make it your own.

A final note… don’t kill your budget on framing! Home Goods, Target, Peir One, Ikea, and Amazon are all great places to find inexpensive frames. If you are sticking to black and white it will be even easier to find them. The pictures and paintings should be what people are looking at, so keep the frames simple and in within your budget!


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