Blank walls hold so much promise! Should you paint them? Paint a mural? Hang shelves or pictures? We have been in our house for about four years now and there’s this blank wall behind our couch that was just screaming to get decorated. I’ve always wanted to do something there, but I had so many ideas swimming around that I actually had a roadblock. One year, I would be inspired to do floating shelves; the next year, I wanted to do canvases. This was a wall in one of our main living areas, so it had to be PERFECT! Looking around our house, I noticed that we were very short on photos of us and our family. We don’t even have a wedding photo up! ????♀️ This is when I decided to do an amazing gallery wall!
A gallery wall is a collection of family photos and memorabilia on display! These can be things that matter to you the most: family portraits, trip souvenirs, memorable letters, etc. It’s a perfect way to spruce up any space in your home!
Related Post: Free Virtual Gallery Wall Designer
Choose your spot
Really, any blank spot on your wall could play host to your gallery wall. But don’t pick a random corner that nobody ever sees! You’re going to spend a lot of time and energy into imagining and actually putting together this wall, so choose somewhere that sees a lot of traffic. Living rooms and hallways are always great!
What kind of items do you want to display on your gallery wall? Is there a theme? Color motif? Do you want to include decorative artifacts? To get an idea, take a stroll down the home decor section of Hobby Lobby or browse Pinterest. Or are there certain photos that you definitely want to display? For us, we knew we wanted to show off our cute little family. I’m our personal paparazzi, so we had plenty of photos to choose from.
This step is a little harder because there’s no right or wrong layout. You can do grids or you can do a variety of sizes that are pieced together like Tetris. However, you do want to make sure that your gallery wall is balanced so it’s not too “heavy” or “light” on one side. There are many ways to plan your layout. You can use painter’s tape to outline your frames onto the actual wall or you can lay your frames on the floor and reorganize them that way. The first method is a little more tedious, but it allows you to see if your items are centered and evenly spaced. For me, I went all digital! I used canva.com to plan out our gallery wall layout. I posted step-by-step instructions with a free virtual layout planner in this blog post!
Be sure to take your time with the layout. Take photos of one layout before changing it up and compare to see which one you like better. Don’t forget to take a photo of your final layout plan so you can refer back to it!
Once you have your layout of your gallery wall, it is now time to gather your materials. Note the frame sizes and number you need, so your shopping trip is quick and easy. For the frames, we bought the Ribba series from Ikea because we wanted the same style over a variety of sizes. In addition, we wanted frames with mats since we had larger photos and didn’t want the gallery wall to look too crowded. The white space breaks up the photos enough and gives the whole wall an overall artistic quality.
For the photos, you can print them out anywhere photos are done! We printed our photos from the Costco Photo Center and they turned out great. We even had two photos that were 16 x 20 and the quality was amazing!
Get to work
Once you have all of your materials, you’re ready to put up your gallery wall! Refer to your layout photo throughout the whole process and take it one step at a time. My husband did most of the heavy lifting while I stood back and “supervised”, making sure everything was spaced appropriately and that the frames were straight. ???? We used a combination of nails and command hooks to hang up our 8 frames.
Sit back and enjoy!
And your gallery wall is done! It looks beautiful! We certainly enjoy having our family photos on the wall and it makes us smiles every time we cuddle on the couch. It’s such a statement piece for our living room and gives it so much personality! How did you decorate your family room? I would love to hear your ideas and inspiration!