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One Tip That Will Improve Your Gallery Wall

September 9, 2014

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I was helping a friend hang a gallery wall in her home a few weeks ago. She had a stack of frames (mostly from Ikea and Target) filled with all beautiful things and memories, but for some reason, she couldn’t make her layout feel effortless and casual. Upon looking at the mix of frames and material, I agreed: It did feel stiff. We changed one thing and it easily came together.

One Tip That Will Improve Your Gallery Wall

We took a couple mats out of the frames and filled them with something that would fill the whole frame! I know it might be difficult to remove the mat from a frame that maybe you paid for (or paid extra for), but every gallery wall needs at least two things that are mat free, in my opinion. Or! If everything is mat-free, add at least 2 mats. It helps things feel gathered and more modern and less stiff or repetitive.

One Tip That Will Improve Your Gallery Wall

There is one exception! If you are using all the same frame in the same size (in a grid arrangement or otherwise), the gallery of frames can all look the same.

One Tip That Will Improve Your Gallery Wall

I hope that helps anyone else putting together a gallery wall. Take a look around the gallery walls in your home (and on the internet!), do they follow this easy rule?

Photo Credit: 1, 2, 3

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What do you think?

  1. Wall Art says:

    Great tips! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Nice tip! I’ve been sitting on stack of frames being trigger shy to create a gallery wall. Effortless and casual is definitely the style I’m going for. Will need to try this!

  3. Michelle says:

    Great suggestions! I was wondering why my gallery wall didn’t feel quite right. I love the mismatched frames as well but played it safe and purchased the same frames in varying sizes. Hopefully, I can pull this off! Thanks again!

  4. Agree 100%. I also like to mix in a couple of things that aren’t in frames (a horse shoe, a clock, whatever) just to break things up even more.

  5. Nice tip! I’m working on a gallery wall for my kids’ playroom and I notice that I have both types of items and love the way it looks.

  6. Maureen says:

    I absolutely love the look of that first wall…it looks artsy, casual and eclectic. Just the vibe I like. Oddly enough, I just hung all of my picture frames for my gallery wall the other day. I am still working on art for all of them though. Your tip makes me feel more confident in moving forward! Thank you. P.S. Love your blog…seriously!

  7. Meagan Briggs says:

    I wish so badly that I had an eye for gallery walls. I love the look! (ryan does not…) but my favorite is the grid. If I was going to put up a lot of frames, it would have to be symmetrical and spaced out using exactly the same type and size of frames. You have such an eye for doing gallery walls!!

  8. Adrienne says:

    Great idea!! That’s the type of tip I love giving people. It’s so small but helps them tremendously.

  9. I’m headed out this weekend on a mission to find things for a new gallery wall in our living room and then this gem of a post pops up on my reader! How perfect!

    • Julia says:

      Don’t forget cropping magazine pages, kid art, old postcards, something sentimental (Chris and I fell in love through letters and I framed one of the envelopes!) and even photos. But definitely mix in some real art, too. Can’t wait to see how it comes together!

  10. Nice tip! I love gallery walls. Our old house has plaster walls, so it’s a little trickier to put holes in – requires more planning on our part. But I can’t wait to get some art up. Using a combo of mats and mat-less frames gives the look a nice variety.

  11. Marianne says:

    Hi Julia ! I totally agree, I also think that a gallery wall is a great way to mix personal memories like family pictures, wedding invitations, birth announcements, etc. with art and even inspirational quotes. I would love it if you could take a few seconds to look at a gallery wall I created very recently behind our TV, and tell me what you think : Love your blog !

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