5 Tips for Creating a Gallery Wall

October 19, 2015

At MDI we encourage our clients to collect art with abandon. Buy what you love, whether from an antiques store, thrift store, local artist or gallery, and it will add to your home’s distinct personality.  A great art collection usually incorporates everything from investment pieces to kids’ drawings to mementos of good times.


Displaying all of your treasures without having it look like a flea market stand takes some effort, but with a few tips and some experimentation, you can create your own gallery wall that is casual and smart at the same time:

1: If you’ve got good frames, don’t replace them for the sake of uniformity. If your frames are underwhelming, however, replace with frames in two or three different finishes.

2: Don’t be afraid to mix colored frames with natural wood and metal frames.

3: Use a large piece to anchor your collection, or group a few smaller pieces tightly to create the effect of one large piece. For a formal look, center it. For a more casual look, place it off center. From there, start to build the collection outward.

4: Do a dry run on the floor or on the wall with painter’s tape and brown paper. Mix photos with paintings and fine art with kids’ drawings. The more eclectic your collection, the better your gallery wall will tell your story. Leave at least 3” of space between art.

5: Make sure your eye keeps moving. As fashion designer Diana Vreeland said, “The eye has to travel”, and so it is with a gallery wall. As you start to put pieces together, make sure one piece leads your eye to the next. If your eye stops traveling, you’ve got a speed bump that needs to be relocated. Try substituting speed bumps with works of unusual colors, shapes or textures to add motion and energy.

Gallery walls are a great way to show off your personality and display a diverse art collection. Don’t be afraid to experiment, give it some time to evolve and your gallery wall will become your favorite focal point.