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How to Design an Art Gallery at Home

Updated: 2019-10-25

Building a Gallery Wall

When you have a wall space that’s ripe for a little design, why not inject some personality with a gallery wall? A curated collection of some favorite pieces makes a statement about who you are and what you like. You may already have some favorite family shots to create a photo gallery wall in the stairway or a collection of floral prints that would bring out the colors in your living room. With a few gallery wall layout options and a few tips about how to create a gallery wall, you’ll learn how to design an art gallery at home in no time.

Start with a few pieces you want to hang - prints, paintings, children’s art, photos, or 3D sculptural objects. Think about incorporating a stylish clock or an interesting mirror. Ideally, the pieces should share a similar theme or color palette. Then choose frames that are also related to each other in color, theme, or style. You may even find a coordinated set of prints, or empty frames to fill. Once you start collecting, you might find several gallery wall ideas.

Bassett Gallery WallGallery Wall Layout Options

There are a few general arrangement options for creating a gallery wall layout.

  • A grid or linear gallery wall layout comes across as more formal. 
  • A salon arrangement – an eclectic grouping of images and objects – reads as more playful or informal. 
  • Picture ledges are also more informal, and they offer additional flexibility by enabling you to move things around without lifting a hammer. That way you can easily change your arrangement, layer it or rotate pieces in and out.

Whichever design for your home art gallery you choose, you’ll save time and a lot of nail holes by arranging it on the floor before you hang anything. Start with the focal point. This is usually the largest item and would go near the center. Experiment with different arrangements, aiming for symmetry and balance. Snap a picture of each arrangement so you can compare and decide which you like best. 

Bassett Gallery WallHanging Your Gallery Wall

Designing an art gallery at home is a bit of an art in itself. A level, a measuring tape, and a pencil are your friends in this situation. Plan to start the middle of your design at eye level, which is generally 57 inches from the floor. Allow 12 inches above any furniture, and try to balance the pattern against other furniture. There should be a minimum of 1 inch between frames, and ideally 3 or 4. 

For a surefire method of hanging your gallery wall right the first time, you can trace the gallery wall layout onto a large sheet of craft paper, and then use masking tape to affix it to the wall. You can actually hammer the nails right through the craft paper to make sure everything hangs just as you envisioned it.

What if you know how to design an art gallery at home, but the idea still seems daunting? Casey Folks, a design consultant at Basset Home Furnishings in Dallas, shares that there are plenty of other ways to design your wall. With a few simple items like a big mirror and two sconces, “we can make it look really elegant and finished.” So even if a gallery wall is not your thing, you can still create a personalized statement with a few shakes of a hammer. Stop in or schedule an appointment today. 

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