Photo by Jonny Caspari on Unsplash

Create a Dreamy Gallery Wall You’ll Love

Nothing beats a gallery wall for bringing wow-worthy visuals to a space. Even if your space is small, putting the focus on one wall for all your art and collectibles will have a bigger impact than scattering little artwork frames everywhere.

There are different styles of gallery walls to match any taste. You can choose a minimalistic approach or throw the rules out the window with an eye-pleasing eclectic gallery wall or salon wall.

A salon wall is like a collage of your favorite things. Include vintage art collections or shop for something new. For your wall, fancy lights online, modern prints, or a hanging tapestry can all be part of your gallery wall.

Often a gallery wall will include decorative wall lamps to brighten up a space. The key is to choose things that you want to look at every day. We’ve seen many things on gallery walls, including antlers, mirrors flanked by elegant wall lights, large beaded necklaces, plaques, tribal masks, hanging vases or small carved wood shelves with greens. 

Lighting is an important part of highlighting artwork and our unique collection of decorative wall lamps will boost the style and visibility of your gallery wall. 

Savoy Wall Lamp, Planter & Organizer

Flank a mirror or artwork with the Savoy Wall Lamp, Planter & Organizer for an eye-catching addition to a wall display. Fill the planter with real or faux greens for a vibrant touch. 

Colored Geometric Plate & Globe Wall Light

Our Colored Geometric Plate & Globe Wall Light brings a lively silhouette, bright hues and ambient light to any room. 

What’s your gallery wall style?

Eclectic or Salon wall: One of the easiest gallery wall styles, the idea is to blend different textures and colors… whatever pleases you. Mix traditional art in vintage frames with contemporary or modern abstracts in thin metal frames.

Salon walls originated in Paris, back in the late 1800s. Aspiring artists placed their work at the Paris Salon, which often had over 20,000 viewers a day. This concept lets you display lots of different art pieces at different heights and in different formations on the same wall.

The Minimalist: With this style, the artwork is in exact formations, with frames are all the same size and color, exactly placed. The idea is to create a big focal point, instead of a lot of disconnected pieces. An example would be all black and white prints in simple black metal frames.

Or hang a trio of decorative wall lights above three large prints for a uniform look. 

Erik Wooden Wall Light

The linear light of the Erik Wooden Wall Light lends an ambient glow to a modern wall art print or painting.

Scandinavian Style: Similar to the minimalist, this style is deliberate but allows for a few colored prints mixed in with mostly black and white. A great way to create a Scandi-style gallery wall is by using picture ledges. These shelves include a groove to keep smaller artwork from moving. Many artwork ledges are wide enough to add a small planter with greens, candlesticks and mini sculptures- all in the same color to keep to a minimalist color palette. Just remember to keep the proportions right, by changing the height of artwork so they stand out when layered.

A great thing about this style of a gallery wall is that you can use several ledges for a whole wall of photos and art.

Now that you know which style you want, here are eight easy steps to creating a gallery wall: 

  1. Get your tools ready. Some tools to have on hand: hammer, laser level, pencil, measuring tape, nails, or picture hangers.
  2. Collect your art. Remember not to overthink your artwork selection if you want an eclectic gallery- blending prints and paintings makes for an eye-pleasing mix of texture. Hint: Mix up the mats. Have some artwork with a mat and some without. A white mat is a classic choice.
  3. Choose your space. Above the sofa, down a hallway, or along a stairway are all great choices for a gallery wall. In a dark hallway, remember to include decorative wall lamps to brighten up the area and highlight your favorite pieces. An accent wall above your desk can add some daily creative inspiration. Hint: Leave space to include new items as your collection grows.
  4. Decide on the style or look you want to achieve. If your overall home décor style is minimalist, go with a simple grid layout. If you don’t consider yourself a minimalist but prefer a classic look, create cohesion with color. A mix of sketches, paintings, prints and objects in complementing hues and matching frames makes for a stunning wall display.
  5. Create your layout. The easiest way to do this is to set things out on the floor so you can play around with orientation. Start with a focal point, like a favorite piece and work around it. When you’re done, take a picture of your layout.  

Note: Landscape orientation refers to photos or paintings that are wider than they are tall (horizontal). Portrait orientation is vertical, so the artwork is taller than it is wide.  

  1. Trace and cut the frame shapes on butcher paper or brown Kraft paper. If your gallery wall is above your sofa or a console table, plan for the bottom of the lowest frame to hang 8-10 inches above the top of your furniture.
  2. Place your cut-outs on the wall using painter’s tape. For a purposeful look, keep frames 2-5 inches apart. This same spacing rule applies whether the piece is small or large
  3. Hang your artwork. Now stand back… enjoy… and call a friend to come over and celebrate.

Tips for hanging wall art

To hang artwork or decorative wall lamps, use painter’s tape behind the frame as a guideline. Put the tape across the piece and mark on the tape with a pen or pencil where the hanging hooks are.

Next, use a level and draw a straight line with a pencil on the wall. Then remove the tape and put it on the wall directly below your line, so you’ll know exactly where to put nails or picture hangers on the wall.

No more excuses!

What if you’re the type who is always changing things up? You can still enjoy a gallery wall. A Scandi-style wall with ledges is perfect for changing looks whenever it suits. But, even a fixed gallery wall can get a new look by adding a decorative wall light or swapping out a print inside an existing frame.

Finally, remember that a gallery wall is a growing creation – your creation. Have fun building your wall out, up and around the original arrangement.