One of the most common things my clients ask me to do as an interior designer is to make a gallery wall that tells a story.
A gallery wall is a great way to make a room’s focal point and add a personal touch to your home’s design.
But it can be hard to make a gallery wall that tells a story.
How do you put together a collection of art and photos that looks good and has a common theme?
In this article, I’ll show you 10 ways to make a gallery wall that tells a story.
I’ll talk about my own experiences and the research I’ve done on the subject.
By the end of this article, you’ll know how to make a gallery wall that tells a story and how to make it stand out.
10 Tips for a Stunning Display That Tells a Story
Define your theme
The first step in creating a gallery wall that tells a story is to define your theme.
The theme is the overarching idea that ties all of the pieces on your wall together.
It can be something as simple as a color scheme or as complex as a narrative.
The key is to have a clear theme that guides your curation process.
For example, one of my clients wanted to create a gallery wall that celebrated her family’s history.
We decided to use black and white photographs of her ancestors as the main theme.
We then added in other pieces, such as vintage maps and old postcards, to add context and interest to the wall.
Gather your pieces
Once you have defined your theme, it’s time to gather your pieces.
This is where you will collect all of the art, photographs, and other items that you want to include on your wall.
It’s important to keep in mind your theme as you gather your pieces.
Not every piece will fit perfectly with your theme, and that’s okay.
You can always edit your collection later.
For example, when I was creating a gallery wall for a client’s living room, we gathered a collection of art that included abstract paintings, landscape photographs, and vintage posters.
We then narrowed it down to a selection of pieces that worked well together and fit the theme of the room.
Edit your collection
After you have gathered your pieces, it’s time to edit your collection.
This is where you will go through your pieces and select the ones that fit your theme and work well together.
It’s important to be selective during this step as it will ensure that your gallery wall looks cohesive and tells a story.
For example, when I was creating a gallery wall for a client’s bedroom, we gathered a collection of art that included watercolor paintings, lithographs, and black and white photographs.
After editing the collection, we chose a selection of pieces that fit the theme of the room and had a cohesive color scheme.
Choose your layout
Now that you have edited your collection, it’s time to choose your layout.
The layout is the arrangement of your pieces on the wall.
There are many different layouts to choose from, and the right one for you will depend on the size of your wall and the pieces you have collected.
Some popular gallery wall layouts include:
- The Grid: This layout is where you arrange your pieces in a grid pattern. It’s a popular layout as it’s easy to create and works well with a variety of pieces.
- The Cluster: This layout is where you group your pieces together in a cluster. It’s a great layout for creating a focal point on a wall and works well with larger pieces.
- The Symmetrical: This layout is where you arrange your pieces in a symmetrical pattern. It’s a classic layout that creates a sense of balance and harmony on the wall.
- The Asymmetrical: This layout is where you arrange your pieces in an asymmetrical pattern. It’s a modern layout that creates a sense of movement and interest on the wall.
For example, when I was creating a gallery wall for a client’s dining room, we chose a symmetrical layout to create a sense of balance and harmony in the space.
We used big pieces as the main focus and put smaller ones around them to make a display that went together.
Use a consistent frame
Using a consistent frame is a simple but effective way to create a cohesive look on your gallery wall.
By using the same frame or a similar frame on all of your pieces, you create a sense of unity and cohesiveness.
You can choose a frame that complements your theme or a frame that stands out as an accent.
For example, when I was creating a gallery wall for a client’s office, we used a simple black frame on all of the pieces to create a clean and modern look.
We then added in a few pieces with gold frames as an accent to add interest to the wall.
Add in other elements
Adding in other elements, such as shelves, hooks, or plants, can add depth and interest to your gallery wall.
These elements can also help to create a sense of movement and balance on the wall.
They also give you the opportunity to add more personal touches to your display.
For example, when I was creating a gallery wall for a client’s entryway, we added in a few shelves to display small objects and plants.
This added depth and interest to the wall, and also created a sense of movement as the eye moved up and down the wall.
Lighting is an often-overlooked element of gallery walls but it can have a huge impact on the overall look and feel of your display.
Proper lighting can highlight certain pieces, create a sense of depth, and add warmth to the room.
You can use a combination of natural light and artificial light to create the desired effect.
For example, when I was creating a gallery wall for a client’s living room, we added a combination of natural light and artificial light to create a warm and inviting atmosphere.
We used a combination of wall sconces and track lighting to highlight certain pieces and create a sense of depth on the wall.
Incorporate personal touches
Incorporating personal touches, such as family photographs or sentimental items, can add a personal and meaningful touch to your gallery wall.
These elements can also help to create a sense of connection and intimacy in the space.
For example, when I was creating a gallery wall for a client’s bedroom, we incorporated a few family photographs and sentimental items, such as a vintage clock passed down from her grandparents.
This added a personal and meaningful touch to the wall and created a sense of connection to the space.
Experiment with different arrangements
Before you finalize your layout, it’s important to experiment with different arrangements of your pieces.
This will help you to find the perfect arrangement that works for your theme and space.
You can use a template or a mock-up of your wall to help you visualize different arrangements.
For example, when I was creating a gallery wall for a client’s living room, we experimented with different arrangements until we found the perfect layout that balanced the larger pieces and created a sense of movement on the wall.
We used a template to help us visualize the different arrangements and make sure everything was in proportion.
Finally, it’s important to get feedback on your gallery wall.
This can be from friends, family, or a professional.
Feedback can help you to see things from a different perspective and make any necessary adjustments to your wall.
For example, when I was creating a gallery wall for a client’s bedroom, we asked for feedback from friends and family to get a sense of how the wall was perceived by others.
This helped us to make any necessary adjustments and ensure that the wall was visually pleasing and told a story.
In conclusion, creating a gallery wall that tells a story can be a challenging but rewarding task.
By following these 10 tips, you will have a better understanding of how to create a cohesive and meaningful display that stands out.
Remember to define your theme, gather and edit your pieces, choose your layout, use a consistent frame, add in other elements, use lighting, incorporate personal touches, experiment with different arrangements, and get feedback.
With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to create a stunning gallery wall that tells a story and makes a statement in any room of your home.