The Easy 5-Part Picture Recipe for a Gallery Wall that Wows

This should probably just be called ‘the 5 Parts to a Gallery Wall that Won’t Make You Gouge Your Eyes Out,’ but we’ll go with a more subtle one.

I Googled ‘gallery wall trend’ for kicks, but I wasn’t prepared for so much animosity channeled towards a group of inanimate objects. Headlines screeched why they’re the ‘worst,’ why the trend is ‘outdated’ and why it needs to be ‘over for good.’ Most articles argue big wall art is back to stay.

Translation: people are tired. They naively saw a Pinterest image of a floor-to-ceiling statement gallery wall and thought ‘I definitely have enough generic family pictures and frames laying around the house to replicate this tonight.’ Until the next thing they knew they were rocking back and forth on the floor in the fetal position, begging someone to finish it for them. The horror.

I’ll admit—I had a little frustration of my own when I embarked on a gallery wall for the made over guest room. I knew I wasn’t one for the perfect grid look in that I didn’t want all the frames to be sized the same or aligned perfectly, so I didn’t fixate too much on that. I also knew I wanted, for the most part, an overall modern, abstract look—not one full of sentimental memories.

But I wasn’t without struggles. I had a little mental back and forth [if that’s a thing—could also just be called talking to yourself] while establishing the right balance of femininity / masculinity among the pictures. I wanted each piece to have its own personality—all of which would contribute to an edgy end look.

However, struggles included, I wholeheartedly feel the gallery wall is what anchors the guest room and gives it an identity, making it feel cohesive, dimensional and *finally* complete. My struggles = your secrets. You’ve just got to be willing to execute a simple 5-part recipe.

What is that recipe? Is it gluten-free? It’s the 5 types of pictures combined that finally satisfied my perfectionistic personality. If they can please me, they can certainly please you.

Why 5? Because 5 picture selections is the threshold for that fetal position scenario we discussed earlier. You could always add more [if you dare] on top of and below the middle picture if you choose. I ended up really liking it without though! It’s balanced but not painfully symmetrical.

Here are the 5-parts of a gallery wall that wows

More tips for preventing gallery wall woes:

  • Don’t obsess over measurements too much. See what frames you have [like the matching silver frames I had that were black before spray paint] and what frame sizes will suit your space before you go duplicating exact measurements of another gallery wall.

  • Randomize frame color[s] and picture mats. See how only one has a mat in this group?

  • Hate glares? Remove the glass! I don’t miss mine at all. With the exception of the teal abstract piece with glass built into its frame [can’t promise I won’t purposely break it soon], I removed all glass. I prefer the matte look over a shiny, ‘preserved’ glass aesthetic that can detract from the image. Unless a guest dumps a glass of red wine upside-down onto the pictures while jumping on the bed, I should be good—at which point there are probably bigger concerns to deal with anyway. Bonus: they photograph better without glass, too.

Get to work on that gallery wall! XO

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