“When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.” -Ansel Adams
You have several pictures of your life’s travels and adventures. Or maybe your family loves documenting events and get-togethers. Whatever the subject matter of your photos, you should display them in your home. They’re the perfect expression of who you and your family are.
A gallery wall is a great way to display several pictures in one location. It’ll be easier to appreciate and share them.
But where and how do you create your own picture gallery? These picture wall ideas will help you get inspired and creatively display your art and photos. So grab your hammer and picture hanging hooks, and let’s get to work!
1. Black And White Picture Wall Ideas
Art that lacks color can look sophisticated and chic. It’s perfect for a black and white motif and allows you to focus color in other areas of the room. To showcase your black and white art effectively, you need to have your pieces in the right frames and hung correctly on the wall.
Keep in mind that the color you have around your art will bring out more tones and hues. So if you surround your black and white art with dark greys and black, your art will look darker. If you place your art in a black picture frame with a white mat, it will look brighter. Think about both the frame and the color of the entire wall.
2. Frame And Hanger Picture Wall Ideas
While it’s important to create the right arrangement of art, it’s also important to choose the right frames or hanging method. You can use a hidden hook or use cable, cord, or wire with a statement hook. This will take up more space on the wall and is perfect for a gallery wall layout that isn’t big itself, but arranged on a large wall.
Another way you can visually take up more space is by choosing larger statement frames. Use a variety of frame sizes because you don’t want the frames to overpower the art. A good strategy can be using some larger and ornately carved frames next to some plain frames with minimal details.
3. Staircase Picture Wall Ideas
If you have stairs in your home, you have the perfect place to create a stairway DIY photo wall. The best part is you have floor-to-ceiling space to hang your gallery. People can view the different elements as they ascend or descend the stairs.
A collage-style works best since you can stagger the pictures as you work your way across the wall and up the stairs. You can keep the gallery to just the stairwell, or you can continue it beyond the stairs for a full display on the first or second floor. Just don’t hang your pictures too low at the base of the stairs; they’ll never draw attention since they’re nowhere near eye level.
4. Dark Wall Picture Wall Ideas
The color of the wall behind your art can either highlight it and showcase its beauty or take away from the focus by competing with it. You want your wall decoration to stand out, not sink into the wall. A dark accent wall can be the perfect backdrop for your lighter black and white art or color pieces.
While dark neutral colors are always a safe choice, you aren’t limited to them. A dark green, blue, or red can look visually stunning with white frames around each piece of artwork. The white matting around each picture highlights the image and breaks up the wall visually. Be sure to leave enough space between each frame to have the dark wall color show through. This will help highlight the pictures and create depth.
5. Living Room Picture Wall Ideas
When deciding on wall decor ideas for your living room, a gallery wall design is perfect for your blank wall. The living room is where you entertain people, so choose pieces that express who you and your family are. There are a few places where you can arrange your wall decoration. A few common areas are the wall above the couch, the space around the TV, above the fireplace, or another large empty blank wall.
If you hang pictures above your couch or fireplace, they need to take up at least two-thirds of the width. You can do this with one horizontal picture or with several pictures. If your gallery isn’t at least this wide, it will look visually unbalanced.
6. Hallway Picture Wall Ideas
The hallways in your home are the perfect transitional spaces to try out these gallery wall ideas. You aren’t limited by other decor since hallways tend to have minimal to no furniture or decor. It’s also a place where you have a large bare wall to work with.
Try to create a theme for the pictures you hang in your hallway gallery. They could all be black and white or feature another color. If the pictures are varied, then you could give them all the same photo frames or make them all the same size.
7. Photo And Art Decor Picture Wall Ideas
You can create a unique gallery by using more than photos. When creating your gallery, start with a few pictures. Then add a few pieces of art, such as prints, paintings, or word art, then add wall hangings. Wall hangings are three-dimensional pieces that could be wood carvings or metal sculptures. Finally, look for larger pieces, such as a reclaimed window frame, clock, baskets, or a candle holder.
The trick to making this mix of items work is to balance the pieces. Look for similar pieces that you can pair. Then place them on opposite sides of the display both horizontally and vertically.
8. Bedroom Picture Wall Ideas
You need to work around the furniture in your bedroom when creating your bedroom gallery wall. The bed is the main piece of furniture and typically the focal point of the room. This makes it a smart place to start when building your gallery wall. Do you have space above or on either side of your bed’s headboard? Then you can use this wall space to hang your wall decor.
If you have high ceilings, you’ll have plenty of space on the wall above the bed to hang either one or two large pieces, or several smaller ones.
Leave at least five to nine inches of space between the top of the headboard and the bottom of your picture frame. This will keep the wall from feeling crowded. If you have less height, stick with a landscape piece that’s at least two-thirds of the headboard’s width. This will keep everything feeling proportional.
9. Dining / Kitchen Picture Wall Ideas
People often forget about the kitchen when it comes to hanging art. But if you have empty wall space in the kitchen, why not create a mini gallery. You could make it food-themed and hang art with photos of food and kitchen utensils. Even if you have a small space, you could hang a small collection of items for a mini collage.
When it comes to the dining room, people will be sitting in place for extended periods. The art you hang on the wall should be detailed and visually intriguing. You can create an interesting display with a photo collage.
Try elevating the look by using canvas prints.
Typically, you don’t want pictures to be too low on the wall because it makes it hard to see them. However, in the dining room, people spend the majority of their time sitting. The seats lower their lines of sight, allowing them to see lower pictures. You can use more pictures on the wall by hanging them lower.
10. Office Picture Wall Ideas
Skip the cheesy motivational posters for your home office. Instead, why not create a gallery that is uplifting or industry-relevant. You could create a gallery of your favorite photos. Then every time you look at it, you’ll smile and feel happy while working.
Another wall art idea is to create a gallery of things relevant to your work. This could be artistic drawings, photos of completed projects, or vintage displays. Instead of celebrating your industry, you could celebrate your accomplishments, such as your degrees or completed projects.
You could hang your gallery on the wall above your desk. Then you just have to look up and see your beautiful arrangement.
11. Polaroid Photo Wall Picture Wall Ideas
Not all picture galleries are a formal display. Sometimes the best DIY photo walls are informal and relaxed. The best example of this is a Polaroid picture wall. These are perfect for displaying candid photos of friends and family.
While you could mount the Polaroids directly on the wall, this isn’t the easiest method. Instead, hang a series of horizontal strings with clips and clip the Polaroids to the string. You could also use small hooks with a clip. These two methods won’t cause damage to your pictures.
Complete the casual look of your display by stringing decorative lights through or over it. Fairy lights are perfect for this. Their soft light highlights the pictures but won’t create much glare, fade the images, or producing a lot of heat.
12. Picture Wall Ideas With Shelf
You don’t always have to hang your pictures on the wall. Committing to a gallery can create several holes throughout the entire wall. If you aren’t happy about this, then a great idea is to mount a shelf on the wall and arrange the gallery on top.
Most people opt for a floating shelf, but you can choose any type of shelf that you want. Just be sure it’s deep and wide enough to support multiple framed photos. Then you can layer various pieces of art and frames of different sizes.
13. Minimalist Style Picture Wall Ideas
You don’t have to have a lot of frames or use large pictures to create your gallery. If your images are smaller, try adding more space between them. Keep the mat and frame balanced with the size of the smaller images. The balance will keep in line with the minimalist approach by having plenty of space around the frames.
The other approach to your minimalist display is by only using a few large pictures. Skip using a mat and keep the frames thin and streamlined. This maintains the minimalist look by having simple frames and only a few pieces.
14. Picture Wall Gallery Ideas
Instead of arranging a photo gallery on your wall, why not make the entire wall your gallery? This picture wall idea is perfect for creating a one of a kind accent. Start by choosing the right wall. It needs to have plenty of blank space and clearly defined edges.
Arrange your pictures to be right next to each other until you’ve covered the entire wall from left to right and floor to ceiling. When the job’s complete, there should be no visible wall left, save for some space between your frames.
You could do this with the raw images or have them in frames. Smaller images will blend together visually, while larger framed pieces will retain more autonomy.
Picture Wall FAQs
How do I arrange multiple pictures on the wall?
There are two approaches you can take when arranging your pictures. The first is to line them up vertically and horizontally in a grid pattern. This is easiest when they’re all the same size. But if you have pictures of different sizes, then you could go for a collage approach. Start with a central picture and then build off of it in both directions.
How do I keep my photos looking great?
Do not buy cheap frames. Your frames should have glass over your pictures. Plastic will trap moisture and encourage mold growth. The glass should have a UV-filtering treatment, but you should also have your photos in a place where they won’t be in direct sunlight.
Do I have to use a mat with my frame?
A mat inside of the frame gives the frame a finished look. It also helps to preserve the photo by encouraging airflow, which reduces moisture buildup. The mat also creates a buffer between the glass and the art or picture. This prevents the image from sticking to the glass and potentially damaging it.