animal-antique-art for grid gallery walls

Originally known as salon walls, gallery walls are defined as a collection of curated items (photographs, art and personal objects) hanging in a grouping. 

Creating a gallery wall layout can also be a source of anxiety. There is a lot to consider when you are designing a gallery and one poor design choice can ruin everything.

Thankfully, grid gallery walls make the process easier. Grid gallery walls work off of a grid with an equal distance between each frame. 

By following these tips, you can create a grid gallery wall that you will be happy with for a long time. 

Plan Your Gallery Wall Layout 

You should have a clear vision of your gallery wall long before you pick up a hammer and nail.

Begin by thinking about the overall mood of the room. By nature, grid galleries provide clean lines and symmetry. Typically they are consistent in shape and have a sense of conformity, making them best suited for a more formal space.

Consider the Space

Think about the space you are looking to fill.

Are you looking to fill a large space? Is there a lot of height? This can help you determine if you are going to have a vertical, horizontal or square arrangement.

If you are filling a larger space, you may want to include larger pieces. If the space is smaller, you can have smaller frames. 

As galleries are often a focal point in a room, make sure the gallery will compliment the mood of the rest of the space it's in.

Think About the Wall

Gallery wall layouts should have breathing room around them to avoid looking cluttered or too busy. You should also make sure you're leaving room between the edge of the bottom frames and any furniture (a couch or shelf) located below or beside the gallery.

Before you begin mapping out your grid gallery and decorating a wall with picture frames, measure the area you're looking to fill and not the wall you're looking to fill. If you're measuring the area above a couch, you can multiply the length of the couch by 2/3 to determine the appropriate length of a grid gallery.

Make sure you aren't hanging the gallery wall too high as it should be a focal point. 

Choosing the Right Frames

Measuring the area you are looking to fill and thinking about the appropriate size of the objects you're hanging can help you determine the size of frames to purchase for your grid gallery.

Frame and picture sizes on wall galleries can vary but you will still need to hang the items in a grid with equal space between them.

When it comes to picking a frame color, consider the color of the wall you're hanging the frames on. You can choose a frame that contrasts your paint in an aesthetically pleasing way, or you may decide to choose frames that blend into the wall so the prints inside really pop. 

Consider the orientation of the pieces that you'll be framing. Are the pieces vertical or horizontal?  If you have a combination of the two, you may want to consider a square frame as square frames accommodate both styles.

Purchase frames that have built-in hangers at the back. This will help you when it's time to hang them up.

Mapping Out Your Grid Gallery

Once you've determined the size of the space and the type of frame you'll be using, you can determine the size of your grid gallery wall. 

As a rule of thumb, each frame should allow for 1 to 3 inches between each other. Just make sure the amount of inches is consistent throughout your layout.

Add the length of the frames on each side with the space between each frame. If you are hanging 6 photos (with 3 frames across) in 8"x8" frames and you're allowing for 2" between each frame, your total gallery length will be 28" across. 8"+2"+8"+2"+8"=28".

Now that you have the dimensions of your gallery, you can map out your grid gallery wall to scale using a design program or use the services of an online grid wall generator.

Think About What to Hang

Do your best to tie the items in your gallery together in some kind of cohesive way (similar colors, mood or styles). But avoid using the same generic art throughout as this can feel tired and impersonal. 

You should find a place to order high-quality prints of any photographs you plan to include. Think about a theme for your wall, or consider making all the photos black and white so they are more cohesive. Make sure you flatten the prints by placing heavy objects on them before framing them.

A great gallery wall should feel personal and showcase your character.

Hanging Your Gallery Wall

Planning your grid gallery wall layout with sizes mapped out beforehand can help simplify the process of hanging your frames. 

Decorating a wall with picture frames doesn't need to be complicated if you've done most of the work planning already. You will need a hammer, nails, a pencil, measuring tape, painter's tape and a level. 

Create a Boundary

Use the measuring tape and painter's tape to map out a boundary on the wall. This should outline where your gallery and frames are going to go. 

You should begin by hanging the nails for the frames on the top left and top right sides. Hanging these first will help you determine the mid-point of your grid gallery. 

Prepare the Frames

Make sure the glass inside the frames is clean before you start hanging.

Mark the mid-point of each frame with painter's tape on the outside. 

Then, measure the distance between the top of the frame and the wall hanger. This will be the distance from the boundary tape to where you'll hammer the nail. 

Putting the Gallery Together

Use the pencil to mark where the nails of your frames will be. 

Don't forget to factor in the space between each frame and double-check your work using a measuring tape.

You should also check every frame using a level.

Creating a Grid Gallery Wall That You Love

Hanging a grid gallery wall doesn't need to be stressful.

By following these tips, you can map out a gallery wall layout that looks sleek and professional that you will treasure forever!

Follow our blog for more tips on framing.