Furniture makes a space functional and comfortable, but artwork and personal photographs are what transform it into a home brimming with character. There's a reason we hang up our proudest achievements and get our favorite works of art or even just a photo framed; they remind us of the value of being surrounded by beauty and sentimental memories.
In fact, a great gallery wall can make something two-dimensional so much more powerful, even communicating certain moods to inform how you feel on a day-to-day basis. Whether you decide to mix mediums, styles, price ranges, family photos, and abstract art; would rather keep things minimal and modern; or even just want to display your kid's artwork in an elevated way, our tips and hacks below will help guide you. Ready for some wall décor inspiration? Scroll through these 20 gallery wall ideas, each with a stunning visual for inspiration.
Craft a Narrative
We're in love with this seating area, where every design decision contributes to an engaging narrative. The dissonance between simple elegance and casual relaxation keeps the aesthetic pleasing and engaging without feeling forced. If you love photography, consider choosing pieces that make sense in the context of your home and that will contribute to the story you've already created with the other elements of your interiors.
Find the Right Frame
In the right frame, anything can be art. In fact, some frames can even be considered a piece of art in their own right, making ticket stubs, postcards, and polaroids look expensive. On the other hand, if your artwork is strong enough, a simple, clean frame (or no frame at all) might be the answer.
This cool dining room is so inviting that it almost looks more like a living room. We love how the frames flanking the window add another element of interest. While symmetry may work in a home with a different style, we really like that the art doesn't mirror itself here. For a bigger statement, use a large frame in a bold color, and then hang two smaller ones with a neutral frame.
Mix Clean With Clutter
Busy doesn't have to be bad, and this gallery wall is proof. Though it's covered in eclectic frames and hectic seascape paintings, the crisp white paint, clean wood built-ins, sleek lighting, and modern furniture all work to elevate the overall space for a polished feel. It feels authentic and livable but also photo-ready.
Of course, the artwork doesn't have to be the focal point of the room. Decorative pieces—like the branch and the metallic objects here—immediately draw our attention while the artwork takes a backseat. Without the two framed pieces, though, the shelves might look unfinished. And a good way to make sure the art doesn't overwhelm your desired look? Casually lean your frames against the back of a shelf wall.
For a photo-wall idea that looks beautiful and personalized, consider displaying your personal images of family and friends. Mix and match frame styles for an eclectic look, or stick to one color and shape to keep it streamlined and modern.
Pick a Common Element
While you don't want to go overboard, picking artwork with a common theme or similarity can be helpful in creating a unified gallery wall, even if it's as simple as all wood frames. These delicate agate slices range in color, shape, and size, but together they create one gorgeous art installation. We're particularly fond of how the gallery frames the houseplant and sofa.
Keep It Clean
This casual seating area shows the power of a crisp black and white gallery wall, from the photos all the way down to the frames. When set in a symmetric grid, the monochrome display reads clean and fresh and doesn't overwhelm the small space. Notice how one photo has a pop of red, which coordinates with the photo on the opposite wall? So subtle yet genius.
Put Your Love on Display
Art is at its most captivating when it has feeling behind it. Take advantage of things that mean the most to you, whether that be your family photos, kids' creations, wedding tokens, vacation souvenirs, or whatever else brings you happiness. Put just about anything in a frame and you can call it artwork as long it speaks to you.
We know we said we'd be talking exclusively about display ideas for your walls, but who says art has to be hung up to look good? We're really digging the way these frames are slouching against the wall on the floor for a relaxed environment. In fact, everything in this bedroom looks grounded in a very literal way.
Consider the Backdrop
The backdrop for your art display can be just as important as the art itself. For example, if the wall behind this setup was white, the patterns of the art just wouldn't pop the same way and all that drama would be lost. Let the colors of your art speak to you and play with various backdrops (read: paint color, wallpaper, etc.) until you're happy with the effect.
Step to the Ledge
Picture ledges (also photo ledges or art ledges) have become the obsession of It girls everywhere in the past few years. That's really not surprising when you realize how versatile and renter-friendly they are. With just a few holes in the wall, you have the combined power of an editable gallery wall and floating shelf at your fingertips. We won't judge if you decide to change it up daily.
Use the Unexpected
Don't be afraid to think outside the picture frame and incorporate unexpected, everyday items into your art displays. We love how a vintage badminton racket and brass candlestick holder add such character to this old-school bedside vignette—they look right at home alongside the folding table nightstand and metal bed frame.
Work Around Eyesores
We all know how it feels to be thwarted by a less-than-ideal piece of technology or other necessary eyesores when styling our homes. Our advice? Incorporate these into your design, like in this home office where a desktop computer becomes part of the gallery wall. This would work just as well for a TV, too. On the other hand, some items just can't be made to look pretty no matter how hard you try, so do your best to camouflage or cover them with strategic decorating.
If you've found a picture that really is worth a thousand words, sometimes you've just gotta let it sing. We love what the designer did in this modern living room with one image spread across three frames. To replicate the look, divide your image with photo editing software and get each piece printed separately to fit your chosen frames.
Drawing sharp sightlines with your art is a great way to accent modern aesthetics, be it industrial, minimal, or otherwise. See how the straight lines of the gallery wall in this urban loft elongate the hallway and mimic the industrial fixtures on the ceiling? It's sleek, crisp, and lets the black and white family photos do all the talking.
Go Off the Grid
If you fancy yourself a collector or inspiration gatherer, a clippable photo grid might just be the best choice for you. Buy one ready to go or DIY a metal grid, buy some clips, and get to outfitting it with your favorite photos, quotes, crafts, and anything else that motivates and brings a smile to your face; no frames required.
Take It Floor to Ceiling
If it's drama you're after, take notes from this apartment's kitchen. Use all your carefully curated pieces in a floor-to-ceiling gallery wall that demands attention in all the best ways. Sticking to a grayscale color palette keeps it collected and streamlined (and in this case lets the fabulous light fixture and furniture shine), but colorful art would be just as dramatic if that's more your style.
As you've no doubt come to realize, a good art installation is about more than just color and content. If things are falling a bit flat for you, texture and depth can take your display to the next level. Including a few elements to break up the monotony—whether it be a light fixture, sculpture, or intricate frames—can be just the trick to bring your gallery wall to life.
Wrap It Around
We've covered floor-to-ceiling displays, but another option for when you've got more art than you know what to do with is to wrap it around multiple walls. This look, in particular, can lend itself to an art museum vibe, especially if you opt for gilded and ornate frames like in this dining room that could open its own gallery.