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Resident holding a level against a wall while his friend prepares to hang a piece of art in his new home at Carrington Oaks in Buda, Texas

3 Tips for Designing That Perfect Gallery Wall


A gallery wall is a perfect way to create a big visual impact in your apartment and bring personality to any room. Whether you want to display your favorite artwork, framed photos from your travels, or children’s drawings, the key to success is to make your arrangement look purposeful and not like a crazy jumble. These 3 tips will help you get it just right, the first time.

1. Plan Your Layout First

Put the hammer down! The classic rookie mistake when designing your first gallery wall is to jump right in and start hanging things without a plan. Get some inspiration first from lifestyle magazines and websites or Pinterest. Then use your floor to experiment with different arrangements until you find a layout that pleases you and snap a photo for reference. Or cut pieces of newspaper in the same sizes as your artwork and use painter’s tape to attach them to the wall, repositioning them until you’ve got the look you want. THEN start hanging the pieces.

2. Have (& Use) the Right Tools

A few basic tools will make this process much faster and easier and give you an Insta-worthy end result. For this project, a level is your new best friend. It’s critical to level at least the first two or three frames, or the whole collage will end up annoyingly off-kilter. A tape measure or ruler is vital to get your pieces spaced evenly. Painter’s tape or masking tape can also be very helpful to create reference lines and boundaries. Consider removable adhesive picture hooks or hangers instead of nails to avoid damaging your walls and make any final adjustments easier. Or you can get yourself one of these fancy tools designed specifically for easy measuring, marking, and leveling as you’re hanging pictures.

3. Visual Cohesion is the Key

The secret sauce when it comes to making a gallery wall seem effortlessly organized is visual cohesion. This can be achieved in a number of ways. The most important – regardless of whether you’re creating a grid/linear style gallery or a more eclectic salon-style grouping – is uniform spacing between the pieces. A gap of 2 to 4 inches is ideal. You can also add to the sense of order and harmony with frames that are the same color (even if the frames themselves aren’t identical) or by having a common color theme within the subject matter of the pieces.

Contact us at Carrington Oaks to find the perfect wall for your next gallery and visit our blog for more great decorating and lifestyle tips.