Gallery walls have been a constant in interior design for decades. Reaching peak popularity in the 2010s, gallery wall ideas offer a simple decor solution to express creativity through decorating with art. But has the gallery wall now had its day? It's fair to say that in recent years, gallery walls have become less popular than they once were.
We spoke to a selection of interior designers to get their take on this wall decor idea. While gallery walls may not be such a standout interior design trend anymore, the overriding opinion is that gallery walls do still have their place in home decor ideas, you may just want to re-think how you create them to ensure you avoid an outdated look.
Are gallery walls still in style?
'Gallery walls have been around for centuries and they’re not going anyway any time soon,' says Olma Fuentes, Principal and Founder at Deni + Dove Interiors. 'They’re such an eye-catching way to display artwork and create a unique focal point since no two walls are ever the same. As your collection grows and your art preferences evolve, your wall gallery can easily be updated to reflect those changes.'
'Gallery walls are timeless,' agrees interior designer Jennifer Davis. 'They might evolve in style, but they remain a fantastic way to showcase art and meaningful photos and mementos.'
Jennifer fell in love with design at a young age and has been working in the industry for over 25 years. She has developed an eye for detail and a talent for creating timeless designs. Jennifer offers a balance of creativity and forward-thinking with a structured, organized, and detailed mentality. Jennifer is driven by her deep passion for design while curating an exceptional client journey, ensuring pure delight from the very beginning to the end.
While gallery walls are generally still embraced by interior designers, the way in which you style them is crucial. In 2024, it's less about a perfectly curated display, and more about using a gallery wall to show personality while embracing a mismatched look. Laura Williams, Owner and Lead Designer at ATX Interior Design explains: 'The simple gallery wall may not be as prevalent in 2024, however, I see ornate and eclectic frames and wall art becoming more of a design feature in homes moving forward which allows you to show family photos in a more interesting and inviting way.'
'Gallery walls are not necessarily going out of style, but the way that they are now displayed in your home has evolved,' agrees designer Luis Carmona, founder of VERDE Interior Design. 'The days of matching photo frames are gone and the era of a more eclectic aesthetic has arrived.'
Below, we've rounded up three easy ways you can create a gallery wall that still feels stylish, with the core idea being around embracing varying styles and avoiding a perfectly curated look.
1. Mix artworks and frame styles
To create a gallery wall that avoids looking outdated, focus on mixing different styles of artwork as well as mismatched frames, rather than following a strict formula: 'I think the gallery wall still has a place in 2024 – but maybe it’s less matchy-matchy and more of a curated collection,' says Lauren Sullivan, Founder and Principal Designer at Well x Design. 'Think modern art mixed with vintage paintings, or black and white prints of family and friends paired with special keepsakes cased in vintage frames.'
'To really make your gallery wall stand out and maximize its visual intrigue, you’ll want to incorporate a variety of contrasting design elements,' agrees Olma. 'Consider adding varying art in distinct styles and textures – fine art prints mixed with hand-painted pieces that are hung both horizontally and vertically – as well as different colored frames and canvas sizes.'
If you do want to maintain some level of cohesion, you can use color trends to unite the mismatched gallery wall, as Jennifer suggests: 'Thematic cohesion or color schemes can be used to maintain a harmonious visual flow within the diverse elements. This strategic curation ties together the various pieces, ensuring that amidst the diversity, there's an overarching unity to the display.'
2. Experiment with symmetry
Another way to ensure a stylish gallery wall is to play around with the way the frames are positioned. Opt for an asymmetric look rather than having a perfectly symmetrical and regimented display. 'To update the traditional gallery wall, try experimenting with asymmetry, mixing various frame sizes and shapes,' suggests Jennifer.
'Keeping the frames the same and playing with the layout creates a sense of balance between the pieces,' adds interior designer Tyson Ness. 'Recently, I completed a project that required a gallery wall of the client's existing art, so I decided to take the gallery and wrap it around the corner of their main hallway – this same effect can be achieved with any interior corner. I liked doing this because it brought attention to the wall, which creates a sense of mystery as you want to see the pieces.'
Tyson Ness is the founder and director of Studio Ness, a NYC-based full-service interior design studio. Studio Ness is known for its collaborative approach to residential and select commercial and workspace projects across the US and abroad, crafting spaces that are unique to the client. Tyson has over a decade of experience in the NYC design sector and has worked on a number of projects that have been featured in publications both in print and online.
Another idea to explore if you still want to embrace a more symmetrical look is to use the wall as a reference for the shape of the pieces you choose to display. Luis explains that this will help create a balanced feel: 'For a gallery wall with more symmetry, try having the shape of all of the art and photographs mimic the shape of the wall that it is on. This creates a more balanced appearance. Having all of the frames the same distance from each other, typically about three inches, also helps the gallery wall look more strategic and less chaotic.'
3. Show personality
Lastly, don't be too particular with what you choose to display on your gallery wall, but create an eclectic look with items that makes your home feel like you. 'Have fun with your gallery wall,' says Olma. 'Designing your wall in a way that showcases your personality and interests will come across as most authentic and undoubtedly spark conversation with your guests.'
You could also choose to include items that aren't artworks or photos to add further interest to the display, as Jennifer suggests: 'Incorporate unconventional elements like mirrors or shadow boxes amidst the art. These elements can infuse a sense of depth, inviting the viewer to explore the collection in a more immersive way.'
The best part about a gallery wall is that it should constantly evolve. Rather than setting out to complete a gallery wall from the start, let it take shape over time by incorporating different pieces you collect over the years. This is the easiest and most authentic way to master the eclectic, maximalist decor trend.
Before you begin creating your wall display, be aware of these gallery wall mistakes designers warn to avoid. Or, if you are considering other ways to refresh your home decor, experts say these are the most outdated wall decor trends that you may want to steer clear of in 2024.
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Emily Moorman is a News Writer at Homes & Gardens, working across a range of topics spanning interiors, celebrity and emerging trends. With a background in the fashion industry, Emily is well-versed in the world of design and trend cycles. Her undergraduate degree was in Fashion Communication and Promotion which she studied at Norwich University of The Arts, specialising in writing and digital communications.
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