How to Pick the Perfect Art for Your Gallery Wall

Pull off the coordinated yet collected look of a gallery wall with our top tips for choosing art and arranging it in a cohesive fashion.

Designing a gallery wall for your home is a labor of love. It should be a reflection of your style and interests, and, ultimately, it's about what makes you happy. After all, you want artwork that will bring you joy each time you walk by it. Luckily, there's no one right way to create a gallery wall. You can have five pieces or 15, incorporate photography and sculpture, or stick to a single color. So have fun with it, and use our expert tips for picking gallery wall art to achieve a look you love. Your gallery wall should tell a story, and each story will be different.

sitting area with various wall decor
Jason Donnelly

Getting Started

If you have a favorite piece of art that you haven't found a home for yet, use it as an anchor for your gallery wall. It doesn't have to be the biggest or boldest piece on the wall, but let it serve as a jumping-off point for the entire ensemble. Look to your anchor piece for color inspiration, or allow it to set the tone for how modern or traditional the other elements should be.

If you're starting your gallery wall from scratch, the only limit is your imagination. Give yourself time to explore options. Browse online and in stores to determine what you're drawn to. Do vibrant graphics energize you? Is there a photographer whose work you admire? Or maybe you've fallen in love with a specific color or texture combination. After you spend some time exploring the possibilities, narrow your focus to a style or color scheme that fits your home and speaks to you.

gray living room assorted wall art
Annie Schlechter

Play with Location

Gallery walls don't require a grand space to make a stylish impact. Seek out quirky nooks and crannies in your home that would make an excellent host for a salon wall. Think stairwells, entry areas, and hallways when you consider a locale for a gallery wall. Old homes that have been updated over time lend themselves especially well to unique gallery wall settings. Use windows and door frames as another element in the configuration of your design.

living room gallery wall with modern chair and foot stool
David Tsay

Mix It Up

Whether the inspiration for your gallery wall theme is botanical prints, artwork by local makers, or seasonal shades, variety is key. Play with color, size, and scale. For example, if you adore portraits, mix headshots and full-body photography with images of small details. If you prefer abstract artwork, incorporate a few straightforward pieces to prevent the look from becoming too busy.

Mixed media gallery walls are also very eye-catching. Group oil paintings, watercolor artwork, vintage prints, and graphic text pieces for a wall with lots of personality. Just make sure each piece features a common color to keep it cohesive.

To add texture and interest to your gallery wall, throw in a sculptural piece or two. Switching up frame styles is another great way to create a collected look. Mix frame widths and colors—or mount a canvas without a frame!

girls bedroom with painted dresser, framed artwork on wall and pink striped walls

Connect to Your Space

What works well in one area of your home may not feel right in another room. Pulling together a gallery wall for a kid's room will look very different than a gallery wall in your own bedroom or in the living room. As the space allows, take opportunities to be more playful or vibrant. Save more sophisticated pieces for where it makes the most sense.

In any space, look to wall colors, rugs, or furnishings as a jumping-off point for your gallery wall's color scheme. Or flip the script and let your artwork influence the color palette of your room. Coordinate accessories, such as decorative pillows, throw blankets, and tabletop accents, to bring out colors inspired by the gallery wall. Mirrors are a great addition to gallery walls in small spaces as they boost light and make even the modest rooms feel more expansive. Conversely, if you have tall walls, don't be afraid to use an oversize print as the foundation for a gallery wall. Reducing large expanses of empty wall space will make a big room feel cozier.

gallery wall with flatscreen tv above vintage Hollywood Regency credenza
David Tsay

Create Cohesion

Embrace the eclectic nature of your favorite artwork. Each one tells a story that is authentic and one-of-a-kind. Maybe you have a collection of artwork that you've acquired over the years but the pieces don't have an obvious connection. Don't worry! You can still make seemingly unlike artwork blend beautifully on a gallery wall. Simply create cohesion in the way you present the pieces. For example, a wide white mat and a thin frame will relate all your treasured art.

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