Rules of Thumb for Creating Flawless Gallery Walls

Gallery walls, also known as photo walls, are extremely in right now. They're a great way to show off a collection of your favorite photos or art. They can transform a bare wall into something special (and tell a story in the process)!

To create your own gallery walls, you have to first decide what pieces fit together, then figure out the arrangement on the wall. The most popular location we've seen is above the television, but they can totally work anywhere, like hallways or bedrooms.

When to Finish?

It's important to first decide whether you want to complete your gallery walls in one fell swoop or if you want to have freedom to continue the design bit by bit as you collect items for them. Neither are horrible ideas, and both have pros and cons.

Personally, I really like lots of freedom with these types of projects and my living room's gallery wall has grown over time as I add more important, vital pieces, therefore the overall shape of my gallery wall morphs over time. I also prefer the "varied shapes and sizes" style in terms of each wall item.

Growable Gallery Wall by Love Grows Wild

Growable Gallery Wall by Love Grows Wild

This gallery wall (above) by Love Grows Wild is an easy shape to add to over time--it's built on a large wall that has room for expansion, as well as it's not rigidly designed and makes space for varied objects of different sorts.

What Style?

When curating your gallery walls, are you going to use items that are all the same shape and size, or add some variety in shapes and sizes? In this wall made by All Things Thrifty, the creator showcases beautifully symmetrical art (of similar subjects, might I add) in the same frames, creating a clean, simplistic look:

Clean, Simplistic Gallery Wall by All Things Thrifty

Clean, Simplistic Gallery Wall by All Things Thrifty

Which Theme?

Something to also consider, as All Things Thrifty highlights above: are you going to use the same genre of photo subjects? The above gallery wall is focused on floral photography, celebrating the gloriousness of all things spring! What is the subject of your gallery wall--family life? Old photographs? Your favorite hobby? Inspirational quotes and messages? Achievements?

Family Life Gallery Wall by Mother's Niche

Family Life Gallery Wall by Mother's Niche

The above gallery wall created by Mother's Niche is a great representation of a themed wall--one centered around family life and the moments captured by this young couple who are now married with children. This is a great gallery wall to be found in a bedroom or hallway, showing off the most intimate moments between you and the ones that you love.

Where's Balance?

If you're someone like me who decides to use different shapes and sizes of items to make up the whole, balancing smaller and bigger items will greatly help your gallery walls. Not only will this make the walls more pleasing to the eye, but it will also allow you to include more items than you would've if you used symmetry.

Variety of Shapes, Balanced Gallery Wall by Crafted Sparrow

Variety of Shapes, Balanced Gallery Wall by Crafted Sparrow

This next gallery wall by Crafted Sparrow showcases how you can balance smaller and larger, circular and rectangular objects on your gallery walls with little to no hassle. When brainstorming the items you'd like on your wall, it helps to lay out cut-outs of the frame shapes (and objects) and tape these to the wall you're working with, prior to gluing, nailing and hanging.

If this sounds super overwhelming, a little help from home decor site Shutterfly and their curated collection of over 85 gallery walls will have your creative juices flowin' in no time!

* I was super excited that Shutterfly reached out to me to team up with them to create this lovely resource for gallery wall creation. We hope this helped you! Did you make your own gallery wall? Leave us your tips in the comments!