Think Gallery Walls Are Done? We Asked an Expert for 3 Fresh Takes on the Trend

Updated 02/26/19
Katie Hodges Design—Gallery Wall Layouts
Amy Bartlam ; DESIGN: Katie Hodges Design

We know what you're thinking. Gallery walls? What else needs to be said? In the lifespan of design trends, it would seem as though a gallery wall has already experienced its peak. They've appeared in television shows and magazines, on blogs and commercials, in apartments and houses. At this point, they're about as ubiquitous in the home space as a can of paint. But much like other tried-and-true trends—like white subway tiles and farmhouse sinks—there's also a reason why the look of a gallery wall has yet to fade in popularity. Put simply, it looks good. All it takes is a new angle to make it fresh.

"A gallery wall is an easy way to give a blank wall a bold treatment, and with the right planning, it can be completed in a few hours," says Sarah Fishburne, the director of trend and design at The Home Depot. "If you take the time to make your selections personal to your experiences, it will feel stylish versus overdone."

So let's say that you have a blank wall, and you're probably thinking, What should I do with this? Well, try creating an updated version of this aesthetic. Fishburne walks through everything that's necessary for this job below, from the tools you need to the time it'll take to complete. We also got her advice on the three types of layouts to consider, and what to keep in mind as you put everything together.

"Choose a theme that captures your sense of style or aspects of your life," Fishburne adds. And when you do that, a gallery wall will always be a top design trend.

What to know before you get started:

"I'd carve out about two to four hours to complete the install of your gallery wall," Fishburne says. "To start, find a blank space and a collection of treasured pieces. The size and color choices both have a big impact on the finished look. Various-sized pieces in a similar color or shade will fill the space without looking too busy. And wall art featuring bold colors will stand out better on a white or neutral wall."

"To keep the wall cohesive, show off art in similar shades and patterns to tell your favorite color story," she continues. "Or, relate your love of travel by mixing global-inspired elements like intricate wood panels, mirrors in gold frames, vacation photos, and modern prints against a dark wall. After choosing your story, select a special piece to anchor the wall. Ideally, this should be one of the larger pieces in your display."

Husky 20-Ounce Ripping Hammer—Gallery Wall Layouts
Husky 20-Ounce Ripping Hammer $20
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Wiss 10-Inch Shop Shear—Gallery Wall Layouts
Wiss 10-Inch Shop Shear $15
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Everbilt Picture Hanging Kit—Gallery Wall Layouts
Everbilt Picture Hanging Kit $10
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Milwaukee 25-Foot Premium Magnetic Tape Measure—Gallery Wall Layouts
Milwaukee 25-Foot Premium Magnetic Tape Measure $20
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Ram Board Temporary Floor Protection Roll—Gallery Wall Layouts
Ram Board Temporary Floor Protection Roll $30
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3M Walls and Wood Floors Painter's Tape—Gallery Wall Layouts
3M Walls and Wood Floors Painter's Tape $10
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Pratt Retail Specialties Brown Builder's Paper—Gallery Wall Layouts
Pratt Retail Specialties Brown Builder's Paper $15
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Grip-Rite Plastic 4M Vinyl-Coated Steel Smooth Shank Framing Nail
Grip-Rite Plastic 4M Vinyl-Coated Steel Smooth Shank Framing Nail $50
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How to arrange your gallery wall:

Symmetrical.
"Symmetric gallery walls tend to appeal to the 'type A' mindset seeking clean lines," she says. "An example may include a larger mirror in the middle and two smaller frames on either side or to use matching frames throughout."

Framing furniture.
"You can also consider arranging a gallery wall around a piece of furniture," Fishburne notes. "Pick an object to center your wall around. Mix up the frames or maybe follow a color scheme, like black and white or coastal greens and blues."

Eclectic.
"My personal favorite is just to go rouge with an eclectic gallery wall by using frames of all shapes and sizes—and leaving some pieces unframed—in an irregular, cloud-like arrangement," she adds. 

How to build your gallery wall:

Plan out your pattern. "Use builder's paper and painter's tape to arrange a look you like before you put a single hole in the wall," Fishburne notes.

Don't crowd the pieces. "Space your frames out, keeping them about two to three inches apart," she says.

Make sure every frame stays where you want. "Use proper hardware to hang and secure artwork," Fishburne adds.

Framebridge Marin Natural Wood Frame
Framebridge Marin Natural Wood Frame $70
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Jessica Rice
Jessica Rice "Waiting on Waves" $200
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Chaos and Wonder Design
Chaos and Wonder Design "Altered Painting" $10
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Milou Neelen Magique Wall Art
Milou Neelen Magique Wall Art $380
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