One of the first things we do upon entering someone’s home is gauge the feel of the space. Perhaps out of an innate need to adjust to our surroundings (or in some cases, it’s plain old curiosity), we immediately take stock of the environment and determine what the interior decor says about who resides there. In an instant, a gallery wall can offer a brief yet thorough glimpse into an individual’s life. Sure, these vivid wall displays elevate and energize a home. However, they can also reveal who we are and what we value most beyond our taste in furniture, wall paint, or thermostat setting of choice.
These popular curated photo displays infuse your living space with a sense of warmth and identity. And creating a successful gallery wall requires a bit more effort than haphazardly hanging images on a wall. (Unless you’re going for an abstract aesthetic, in which case, hang away!) For instance, what ties the photos together? Do they tell a story or share a common shape or size? Sure, you could easily duplicate a photo arrangement from your favorite home decor influencer’s viral social media post, or you could take a step back and carefully select and arrange images that creatively complement one another in a way that only you can.
Here are ten ways to style a gallery wall that is visually appealing, unique, and cohesive.
1. Highlight your hobbies.
Not into photos with faces? No worries. This doesn’t automatically mean you’re destined to have a lackluster gallery wall. Simply bypass the face-focused images and group selfies for ones that bring more attention to your personal interests. For instance, consider displaying that close-up shot of your fishing pole bearing your prized first catch. You could even hang a shadowy profile of you strumming a guitar during an impromptu jam session. Or you could share an inspirational picture from your latest nature photography adventure. Hone in on hobbies and travels to make your gallery wall layout more about activities you love.
2. Focus on your most memorable moments.
The minutiae of everyday life can sometimes feel uninspiring and mundane. There’s work, laundry, bills, grocery shopping, and an endless stream of emails that keep us occupied with everything we have to do, which often leaves us too drained to do things we want to do. Counteract this energy in your home and in your life by curating a set of prints that bring excitement to your space and remind you of unforgettable times past.
Whether it’s a collage of all your most sentimental engagement photos or a creepily comedic selection of all your favorite Halloween costume snapshots in one place, zero in on your best times and transform your gallery wall photo into a spirited life highlight reel that keeps you feeling vibrant, alive, and anticipating the opportunity to create and experience your next memorable moment.
3. Create a vacation timeline.
When you really need a getaway, it does wonders to look over all the calming images from past trips. Recall how it felt to finally turn on your email out of office message, log off for an extended period, and indulge in some much-needed downtime.
To curate this chill gallery wall, you could either pull images from a single vacation, your favorite trips, or even group photos according to the type of trip, such as water views and palm tree images from a beachy getaway, highlights from previous cruise excursions, ski trips, impromptu road trip group photos, carefree stills from out-of-town family gatherings, holiday escapes or overseas travel.
4. Curate candid moments.
Plenty of models earn huge paychecks to pose for images. Still, despite the commercial influence of carefully orchestrated images, there remains something incredibly charming about capturing people interacting in a natural manner and setting.
For instance, a snapshot of Grandpa perched on the edge of the sofa, fully engulfed in a baseball game, or an image of a curious toddler staring wide-eyed in wonder at who knows what is just as compelling as those pictures where everyone is buttoned up, posing according to height and coordinated outfits and wearing stilted smiles.
For a gallery wall that easily evokes emotions, focus on images that display candid moments where the subjects weren’t necessarily aware of or influenced by the presence of a camera. These raw photos tend to effortlessly capture more. Plus, seeing people in their natural element feels relaxed and relatable, which is indicative of a welcoming home environment.
5. Choose a color palette.
Another way to ensure that your gallery wall has that undeniable “it factor” is to curate images by color. For instance, consider creating a layout solely composed of black-and-white prints. Or create a selection of sepia-toned snapshots that are heavy on the nostalgic vibes. You could even tie the images into the room’s overall color scheme where you’ll hang your pictures, or use a primary and secondary shade to add a bit of contrast to the design.
Depending on the number of photos you have, picking out the most suitable ones can make this process infinitely more stressful, and that’s the complete opposite of what we’re going for here. Arranging pictures by color eliminates some of that legwork, not to mention that prioritizing color in your design makes for a more aesthetically pleasing presentation and helps your gallery wall look more organized.
6. Group gallery wall photos by finish.
Are you obsessed with your matte glass print collection, or does a glossy image make your day? Whatever your preference, stick to a specific photo finish, and make it the theme of your gallery wall. If you want to get even more detailed, choose images that contrast or complement the textures of the display wall.
7. Don’t forget your pets.
Animal lovers know it’s not enough to simply coo over their non-human friends and spoil them with toys and extra treats. They’re a part of the family. So why not give your pet the shine they rightfully deserve by featuring their adorable faces on a gallery wall?
Let’s face it—for all of the unconditional love pets provide, they deserve their very own dedicated wall of photo ops. Who doesn’t love a holiday photo with the family dog front and center? Take it one step further, and show your furry companion in all of their funniest, most entertaining moments with an assortment of heartwarming prints.
8. Make it a gallery wall of champions.
If it sounds like we’re encouraging you to toot your own horn by way of a gallery wall, we totally are. (Insert toots here!) Photos often capture celebratory moments. And, amid life’s challenges, we tend to forget how awesome we are and how much we’ve overcome.
Go ahead and create a visual representation of a self-administered pat on the back by displaying photos of the moment you crossed the finish line of a marathon, the picture of your child completing their first school recital, celebratory graduation photos, and other shots of the family’s biggest wins. Humblebragging via gallery wall? We totally approve.
9. Keep it all in the family.
Some of us are fortunate enough to own images of relatives from many generations past. Fortunately, all the available options for photo preservation and display make maintaining these priceless keepsakes much simpler. Suppose you happen to possess photos from a time when either owning a camera or being the subject of a photo session was a rarity or privilege. In that case, we absolutely encourage you to dedicate some wall space to a generation-themed gallery wall to highlight your family heritage.
Go for a more polished spin on your Grandma’s family photo displays. Group images according to the familial role. For example, you could assemble a collection of matriarchs. You could even create a separate display for aunts and uncles you want to pay homage to. This visual family tree makes for an intriguing conversation piece. Plus, it will serve as a constant reminder of those who came before you.
10. Find products that make it easy.
If you’re ready to invest in a sleek gallery wall, you’ve come to the right place. Each of Fracture’s eight new Photo Walls layouts feature glass prints and an easy-to-use template. So whether you’re looking for a small vignette for your office or a larger gallery wall for your stairway, we’ve got you covered.
Ready to transform your walls? Shop gallery wall essentials from Fracture today.