Gallery wall ideas – 10 ways to display pictures and artwork in your home

Maximize the impact of your favorite images with a few simple design tricks, and put added heart into your art

Gallery wall ideas
(Image credit: Future)

Gallery wall ideas have never been so effortless. Affordable art fairs, where modern masters sell for under $1,000, are thriving, so creating your very own gallery wall at home couldn’t be easier, or cheaper. 

Acquiring art is the simple bit, but creating a display you can be proud to show off, can be somewhat perplexing. Let us take the confusion out of displaying wall art to provide you with a curated selection of our favorite gallery wall ideas – from showcasing a prized collection of vinyls to adding interest with vintage chopping boards – we have you covered. 

See: Wall decor ideas – beautiful ways to decorate a blank wall

Read on to discover the best gallery wall ideas to inspire you to fill any blank canvas, large or tiny, with exuberant life.

Gallery wall ideas with colorful artwork

(Image credit: Future)

Curate your own gallery wall by hanging artwork together as a cluster. Decide which paintings, prints or fabric will anchor the scheme then take your decorating cues from them. In Elizabeth Hay's home, the designer uses a mix of inherited heirlooms, art gathered from her travels and her own pieces to create a unique look. After all, your gallery wall should be something be visually pleasing to you. 

Play around with the layout of your frames before hanging; try out evenly spaced rows and columns, or experiment with asymmetrical formations for something a little different. 

Gallery wall ideas for a kitchen

(Image credit: Future / Paul Massey)

Unusual as it may seem, we are seeing more and more people experiment with gallery wall ideas in the kitchen. Now this may not seem like a most sensible space for displaying an expensive art collection, done right, it could be your most admired. Many would argue that art belongs in the kitchen just as much as it does any other room, and we can't help but agree.

If you are dedicated to the cause, then we suggest taking your gallery wall above the backsplash, or perched on a shelf away from the sink or stove. However, it is imperative that you speak to a specialist framer before doing so. ‘Objects you might not notice, such as kettles and radiators, can cause damage,’ says Daniel Syrett, Runway Gallery owner. ‘If the artwork is going to go in a kitchen or bathroom it needs to be sealed in a particular way.’

Gallery wall ideas with vintage frames and pressed flower art

(Image credit: Future / David Cleveland)

If you thought gallery walls only work in contemporary homes, think again. Turn a hobby, such as flower pressing, into a work of art by framing your own creations in rustic – slightly weathered – frames and hanging them closely together on a blank wall. 

‘I like to source unique pieces from shops and markets on my travels and collect tableware, objects and books to display – it’s these accessories that add personality to a space,’ says Natalia Miyar, Interior Designer.

4. Play with scale, color and pattern

Gallery wall ideas with heirloom pieces

(Image credit: Future / Paul Raeside)

If you are hoping to create a real statement with gallery wall, then opt for a maximalist approach. 

‘It’s important to play with scale when displaying a collection. Varying the sizes helps to emphasise each item and the shadows created become very interesting,’ says Henriette Von Stockhausen, found, VSP Interiors. Try mixing and matching different frames for a more eclectic display. 'You can never have too much art,' she adds.

5. Go for a cohesive look in the living room

Gallery wall ideas with grey scheme and gallery of pictures

(Image credit: Future / Jan Baldwin)

For an alternative idea, consider hanging wall art as a series of panels for a statement focal point. This concept works particularly well for repeat prints or a series of designs that complement each other in color or style. Look for prints and photographs that lend themselves to longer than average portrait or landscape formats and  group together as a trio, or in this case, a sextet.

6. Display objects proudly 

Gallery wall ideas with grey chairs, wooden table, white walls and shelving

(Image credit: Future / Davide Lovatti)

It is worth noting that art comes in many forms – not just pictures to be hung on a wall. For a truly unique collection of favorite things, it’s worth going that much further to find a special place or way to show them off. Here, the decorator carved out space in a recessed alcove for a curated selection of cherished antique teapots. 

Gallery wall ideas with chopping boards on blue wall

(Image credit: Future / Adrian Briscoe)

A simple and appealing idea for a rustic look, this cluster of vintage chopping boards in a neat symmetrical arrangement pops out against the deep-blue wall. The woods echo the various tones of the furnishings to unify the farmhouse-style scheme. 

8. Take a mix and match approach to art and framing

Gallery wall ideas with mismatched frames and art

(Image credit: Studio Ashby)

Studio Ashby proves in this room that white (or off-white) is the go-to-choice when it comes to setting off a broad breadth of artwork and antique frames; this way no one color will dominate the others. 

9. Highlight a musical collection

Gallery wall ideas with framed vinyl artwork

(Image credit: Future / Brent Darby)

Turn treasured items into pieces of art. Here, Anna Hewitson shows off a client’s collection of old vinyl covers by framing them on smart black mounts with a brass frame. 

Gallery wall ideas with mirror wall and oversized lamp

(Image credit: Future / Richard Powers)

Sometimes the frames make more of a statement than the artwork or, in this case, mirrors within. Here, their striking shapes create strong impact, while the warm patina blends well with the soothing tones of this bedroom by Rebecca Hughes Interiors. 

Layering in interior design - living room

(Image credit: Habitat)

A successful gallery wall is always united by one common thread. It might be an accent color that runs throughout, a frame style that is dominate, the style of photo or picture featured, or a regularity in size or shape. However, that doesn't mean that contrasting styles can't be introduced – just use the contrast as an accent rather than having equal amounts of different styles. 

Above, this is demonstrated clearly with the black and white pictures, used as an accent contrast to the more colorful pieces. And, of course, they link visually to the rug on the floor for a cohesive feel.

There are multiple ways to make your gallery wall look good. Think about your style before you get started. Your decorating approach, whether it’s eclectic, colorful, minimalist or tailored, will lead the way when it comes to displaying artwork on your walls. This applies both to the pictures on display – black and white, or from a particular color palette – and to the frames you choose to display them in.

‘There are a few factors to take into account when deciding where to put a large gallery wall of pictures,’ says designer Sophie Ashby. ‘Consider the position of furniture, the entry to the room and the windows – behind a sofa or above the fireplace is always a reliable location.’

Be daring with your frames and mounts. Although a simple white frame and mount may look best on children’s artwork, as it emphasises the bright colors they’ve used, I would always take a risk elsewhere. You’ll be glad you did. 

Pick out a color in the painting – an off-white in a landscape, or splashes of red – and use that for your frame, mount or slip (a slim divider between the frame and an oil painting). It will bring out that particular detail.

Always start with the picture. For me an artwork framed to suit the picture always looks better in a room than one you’ve chosen to suit the décor. That  can be too contrived.