Gallery Walls in 2016

Gallery walls have been around for a few years. In fact, I featured Young House Love’s fantastic gallery hallway here in 2013. John and Sherry created the comprehensive guide to the how-tos of building a fun, dynamic and meaningful gallery space. That was back in 2011, but gallery walls don’t seem to be going out of style anytime soon.

In my 2013 post, Living with Photos, I discussed the role photos play in creating a beautiful space that reflects who you are and the things that are most important to you. Today, I’m excited to share my top tips for gallery walls and how to keep them timeless and fresh, even six years into the trend.

  1. Combine black and white images with color photographs for a classic look. The best gallery walls look like the pieces were collected over time, with an organic, personal feel.

  2. Or choose all back and white photos for a dramatic effect that won’t compete with other textures and colors in the room. This modern collection of crisp black and white prints is a gorgeous contrast to the raw wood, straw, and stone in this space.

  3. Incorporate the unexpected into your layout. Perfectly symmetrical arrangements tend to look like a set of frames you picked up at Target. You’re really not looking for a “gallery wall in a box” look. Asymmetry takes care of that right away, even when you choose the clean look of identical frames, below.

  4. Keep it personal with items you might not have thought to frame. Incorporate a page from your favorite book, a map of your hometown, your scribbled wedding vows. Make it meaningful and unique, not something that just anyone could have in their home.

  5. Choose a gorgeous color scheme. This brings cohesiveness and happy energy to a space you walk through every day.


  6. Bring in some dimension. Add a textured weaving, three dimensional word art, even a string of bright pom poms for an interactive feel. Please just avoid the “Live Laugh Love” canvas prints. In twenty years, those are going to be what shag carpets were to the 70s.

  7. Use washi tape instead for a spontaneous rotating gallery anywhere. This is great for a dorm room, the inside of a closet door for daily fashion inspiration, or above a desk. Such a great way to show off favorite instagram photos.

  8. Continue your gallery all the way down the wall. This works especially well in a corner for a cozy, casual feel.


    What are your favorite gallery wall tips? Do you like to create a wall all at once, or let it grow over time?

I’d love to share photos of YOUR gallery wall! Tag me on Instagram (@sara.bellin) to have your photo featured in my next post!

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