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Publication Date: 2014-12-29

Design Insights

6 Mistakes You're Making When Hanging a Gallery Wall

Everyone loves a good gallery wall. But how do you get it right? Here are some common mistakes people make when hanging a gallery wall.


1. Not Using Various in Artwork Sizes. Use a couple of larger pieces to focus the eye. "I usually vary the sizes of the artwork, especially on a large wall, but I like having two or three large, important pieces to help focus the eye - and they usually tend to hover towards the middle of the gallery space," designer Scot Meacham Wood says.

2. Not Thinking About Layout First. Think before you hang. Either sketch out how you want to hang the photos or even lay the photos on the floor first to create a layout you're happy with. "I always start by hanging the larger pieces first and then filling in with the smaller pieces to create the display," Wood says.

3. Too Few Options. Aim to gather nearly twice as many pieces than you actually need. "You want to have enough options so that you can add and subtract as you go along," San Francisco-based stylist Rosy Strazzeri-Fridman says. "The last thing you want is to be stuck with one or two pieces that don't quite work with the mix."

4. Forgetting About Color. For a cohesive look, it's important to think of which colors and frame styles you're going to use. Strazzeri-Fridman suggests either deciding on one color palette for your artwork and mixing neutrals throughout and using an eclectic mix of frame styles. Or, choosing a wide range of colors in your artwork and sticking to simple, more uniform frames.

5. Spacing Issues. Keep the spacing between frames consistent. But if one frame is too thick, you might want to give it a bit more room.

6. Not Thinking Outside the Box. You don't just have to hang artwork. If you feel that your gallery wall is missing something, think about other details like bowls, mirrors, or other wall decor items to give the space a more unique look.

By Sarah Yang


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