Are you a fan of gallery walls? I just love them. As a designer, I often suggest a gallery wall in at least one space of the house. Why? Because this design element allows me to infuse the room with a color, a theme, a pattern or shape or texture. It is more than filling a space on a wall, it adds personality to the room!

100% — when I design a gallery wall with my client, I learn so much about who that client is. There are so many stories the client wants to share, and I love to hear, as we curate the art for the wall.

A gallery wall is a creative use of space in a living room, hallway, and stairway. Gallery walls express so much about who you are, your passions, your interests, your travels

A gallery wall is usually photos and art, but it can be other things as well. Consider items like a vintage postcard from your favorite destination, your grandfather’s watch in a shadow box, a lovely locket from your childhood, a map of your home state, or an antique mirror. As you can see, there are infinite possibilities and so many creative avenues to explore.

To achieve success in curating and hanging your gallery wall, please allow me to offer the following tips. If you follow these, you are surely going to improve the project, before you hammer one nail into the wall.


Use of repeated color or color palette is a great way to infuse your gallery wall with a cohesive, pleasing feel. In the photo of one of my gallery walls, you clearly see the use of gold and green. Now that is not to say every frame, art, and mat has to have green, that would be so on the nose and uninspired. But the eye delights in the flow created by the green elements throughout the gallery. Think of the overall wall as a composition.


gallery wall interior design in Darien CT homeIn addition to the color providing cohesion, a theme will make for a great composition and stimulating conversation with guests in your home. Inspiration for a theme may come from the first piece a client shares with me. Recently a client shared the centerpiece for the gallery wall would be a painting of her father playing his accordion instrument. He was a professional musician, who played Carnegie Hall with his lovely music. So the theme of her wall became music. We added some unique items which she treasured, photos of her and her father from her childhood and the like, and I suggested a few new ones such as a framed drawing of a musical note, photograph of piano keys, photo of Carnegie Hall – you get the idea.

Perhaps your inspiration for a theme will come from your passions — do you love to travel — or do you love one country, such as France. The entire wall can honor your love of Paris. See how much fun this can be?


gallery wall by interior designer tami smightIdentity the wall which will be home to your gallery wall. For instance, in the photo of my gallery, the space above the sofa was designated. I first measured the width of the sofa and the height from the top of the sofa to crown moulding. I created my gallery on the floor in front of the sofa first.

I laid out my boundaries on the floor, with two open tape measures. My art was already curated, framed, and ready to hang.

The best part of playing on the floor with various layouts, you protect the wall from any damage. Ideally, once you are certain of your layout, you simply need to start hanging the gallery onto your wall.


gallery picture wallI used blue painters tape to mark my side boundaries on the gallery wall. Luckily, in my home, my husband was my handyman. He expertly hangs art for me at home, and I am so grateful because this is NOT a skill I possess. Must be the Virgo in him, he is so precise and certain before he hammers that nail in the wall. If you are able to hang art yourself, you will save money from hiring a handyman. The key is to have proper quality picture hangers, noting the proper weight capacity per item to match up with the picture hanger.

Think about hanging the largest item first — and radiate out from that piece. Use a level to be certain each item is straight – OR – you may find the entire wall is askew!

It is not the end of the world if you miss and have to hammer two holes. There is always putty and paint… or the art will cover the second hole you created.

Stand back and enjoy your creation, and enjoy the compliments and curious questions you will get from family and friends. Of course, if you need help with inspiration or curating your gallery wall, I am here to help! This is one of the many services I can offer either with e-design or in person for those clients in Connecticut, Rhode Island areas.

Need some assistance from a local interior design company for your Darien CT or Fairfield County home?  Give me a call today at (203) 677-1161 to discuss your design challenges.

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