A Gallery of Ones Own

Gallery style art installations are something I would do in every home if I could.  It’s such a great way to display art, family photos or collectibles in a graphic and dramatic way.  They can be hung haphazardly, in a grid or even layered on wall shelves to give it a more casual feel.

Some tips on creating your own:

-I prefer the frames to match or all be the same color but vary in size and texture.  Or pick two colors- silver and white or gold and black and intersperse them in a visually pleasing way. I also like it if all the photos are black and white or all color.  Then you can mix in paintings, prints, graphics or anything you like.

– Trace the frames on brown craft paper and play with the layout on the wall using painters tape to not damage the paint.  Then you can hammer a nail right through the paper and rip it off once the picture looks be hung properly!

– If hanging in a grid the frames NEED to all be the same and hung close together- about 2″ apart.  Make sure the distance is the same between the side and above and below.

-If you don’t want to hang personal photographs find a great black and white photo or map and cut it into as many sections as you want your grid hanging to be.  Take them to a printing shop and have them blown up to the size desired and put each section in a frame in order so you see the full image but cut up into pieces.

-If using linear wall shelves and leaning them against the wall be sure to vary the heights of the frames- using some tall vertical ones and some smaller horizontal ones and vice versa.

Some inspirational images for you:

Picture 3 Picture 5

Picture 10

Picture 14 Picture 18

Picture 17 Picture 23

Picture 24 Picture 44

Picture 27 Picture 40

Picture 42 Picture 39

Picture 38 Picture 37

Picture 36 Picture 35

*images via Decorpad.


  1. I love the look of haphazard picture frames, but haven’t had the guts to try it. The craft paper idea is great- especially using them for nail placement.
    The botanical prints above the fireplace is a striking look!

  2. Oh my goodness! the second from bottom right one, I wish I knew where that was from. I want to see the rest of the house!!! great images.

  3. The gallery/salon style is great and such an interesting way to hang affordable (and sometimes small) art and make a grand impact. Here are two tips I have learrned form as well:

    1. I have found many great photographers will publish a calendar as well. An affordable way to get the art you want inexpensively.
    2. When doing a grid, mark it out on the wall with painters tape in your desired width and then create a template for exactly where the nail should be (assuming the frames are exactly the same size.) You can then put in all the nails, hang the art and it should be perfect.

  4. I’m wondering if there are walls where an art gallery-style installation won’t work? I would love to do this at my boyfriend’s house, but he has a traditional colonial and the ceilings are sooooo low – I’m wondering if it would dwarf the wall or open up the space?


  5. I love this look… For a really ultra cheap way to do it, you can use the Ikea Ribba Frame. They come in all different sizes and colors, and already have matting. I did it in my house, but I think I need to triple the amount of frames I used!

  6. I am literally creating a wall like this in my apt. Thanks for helping me to follow-through…I’ve been thinking about doing it for a year now, got craft paper a couple of weeks ago and today started laying out my frames. I need courage to actually place on the wall!!

  7. OMG I love that couch! Can you tell me where I can see a larger version of that image, and where it’s from? Third up from the bottom, right side, bright green table lamp.

    Yes, I’m afraid of the cluttered grandma look too. But I have so many little things that don’t fit in anywhere else….Also looks like a great way to brighten up this drab colored room I have. If I cover the surfaces with frames with light mats, I won’t have to paint :)

Comments are closed.