If you came to my house, it wouldn’t take very long to realize that I am enamored with the whole gallery wall thing.  My staircase gallery was probably the first project I did when we moved into our house. (Yikes…  4 years and I shill haven’t repainted the two silver frames).




and this summer, when I redid my office, it only seemed natural to create another gallery wall.



So when I met with one of my clients last week to reveal the images from her family session and design her artwork and displays, I was ecstatic when she mentioned that she had been looking at a hanging wall gallery display from Pottery Barn.




You see, they have just moved into a new house and have a lot of empty wall space.

WHY Yes!  I would love to help with that!

Wall galleries are pretty awesome!  …but they can be pretty tricky.  As I perused the web to try and gather examples and inspiration, I came across some fabulous wall galleries and some that were very poorly executed.

What Elements are Crucial for a Good Gallery Wall display?

Honestly, it is hard to say.  Often times, most collages, and a wall gallery is a type of collage, are a very intuitive sort of thing.  Some of the poorly executed wall galleries that I found online lacked a unifying factor.  I would suggest only using 1, maybe 2, frame colors in your wall gallery.   Using all black and  white photos can also help to unify the gallery.

However, I think that the biggest struggle I saw in the samples when I did a google search for web gallery, was a spacing issue. (I didn’t want to post images of ones I thought were poorly executed.  That seemed in poor taste.)  Too small, might not be the most accurate description.  It might be better to say that they were too spaced out.  A good wall gallery needs to be tight.  I wouldn’t suggest more than 4″ between artwork.


BUT not all gallery walls are organic and eclectic.  Some easier approaches to wall galleries are:

Picture Ledges-


With the freedom to shift your display whenever, picture ledges are an awesome gallery wall option.

Same Frame Grid-


A grid of the same frames is a very tailored and sophisticated display.

Symmetrical or Preformed Display-

Any sort of gallery wall display search will provide you with many prefab templates for your wall gallery.  You can even find frame groupings pre-made and all you have to do is insert the pictures.  Just remember you want to go big and you want to keep your spacing tight.gallerywallblogpost6

Organic Gallery Wall-

Granted it is a personal preference, but I am partial to wall galleries that are eclectic and organic.  I love when  designers incorporate artwork with different artifacts. Like this one:gallerywallblogpost3

Once you start incorporating different elements, whether it be different colored frames, different artwork, or different objects, balance becomes important.  For most artists balance is definitely intuitive, but it does include the proper spacing out of different elements and peppering the colors throughout.  Any additional distinctive elements you add to your wall gallery will make it more complex.   It can become a struggle to maintain continuity and balance.

There are many other examples that are a combination of the above types of gallery walls.  Some have defined boundaries.  Some have a common center line.

As you look at inspiration, study the examples you like.  What is their spacing?  What are the unifying factors?  What elements break the unifying factors?  Are there common lines running throughout?  What does the border of the gallery look like?  Noticing these elements will help you design your own gallery.

If you want to go the organic route, I would suggest making a little scale model.  Measure your wall and cut scaled frames out of a separate piece of paper.Designing a wall gallery GBlair Photography

Slide your pieces around until you get a design that you like.  Label your pieces and take a picture of it.

I took it a step further since it was for a client, laying it out on photoshop, finding and selecting frames and labeling everything.

designing a wall gallery GBlair Photography

For our gallery wall, we are going to fill the frames with both pictures from their session and existing pictures that they have.  I am so excited to be working on this!  I can’t wait to show the finished product.





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