Three Overlooked Gallery Wall Strategies + A Giveaway

by D*S Market Editors

This post is a collaboration with our friends at Society 6, where every purchase pays an artist. A big thank you for supporting our sponsors who help us bring you free, original content. All art choices & words come directly from us here at Design*Sponge.

Gallery walls have been a mainstay in homes for what seems like forever and today we’re taking a look at three placement “designs” that are often underused. Those of us who create gallery walls (or want to) usually fall into two categories – those of us who throw caution to the wind and just start with a stack of art, some nails and a hammer and those who meticulously measure, plan, create mock walls on the floor and even photograph the arrangements on their cell phones to see which arrangement they like best.

We’re not here to tell you which method is best, but overthinking a gallery wall does take something away from the healthy act of trusting your intuition and letting happy mistakes come together beautifully. Today we’re working with Society 6 and their fantastic print shop to not only share some tips for your own gallery walls, but also to show you how different styles of prints can work together in some unexpected ways. Let’s get started!

P.S. We’re giving away a $150 gift card to spend at Society 6 to add some art to your art – gallery wall or not! Details for the giveaway are at the end of the post.

The Swoosh

Since creating a gallery wall gives you the opportunity to make a statement about who you are and what you like, why not shoot for the stars? This Swoosh sweeps the eye upward with its mix of paintings, illustrations, collage, black-and-white and color and combines high and low pieces. Note that this arrangement is especially helpful for giving smaller spaces a sense of height and for leaving visual space for hanging light fixtures.

The Swoosh Explained

Starting with one of the smaller piece of art and, if you’re building above seating, leave at least 8″ between the couch or chair and the bottom of the frame. Add a larger piece to either side of the first, just a few inches higher than piece number one. After the two singular pieces, work in pairs going up towards the ceiling.

Below is a closer look of the art we chose for the wall above, all courtesy of Society 6.

Almond Blossoms by Vincent van Gogh offered by Palazzo Art Gallery  |  Mischka by Tracie Andrews  |   Yolke Girl by Isabelle Feliu  |  Color Beauty by Explicit Design  |  Lady Flowers by linco7n  |  Into Chill by abasetek

The Reflection

This scheme creates the illusion of that perfect, well-thought out gallery wall by following one simple rule: placing all art pieces either above or below an imaginary line in between them. Choosing a variety of frame styles and colors makes this set-up feel way more amazingly accidental than it actually is. Society 6 has a great collection of frames to choose from so if you want to order your art ready to go up on the wall when it arrives, definitely take advantage of this option.

A Tip for Creating The Reflection

If you don’t own a level, borrow one from a neighbor or friend or pick an inexpensive one like this one up online for yourself and your toolbox. If you swap out your art now and then, it will come in handy!

Mark the wall at your approximate eye line. This will be your center line that all of your art tops and bottoms will align with to create some visual order. Use your level to mark the top and bottom of your center line, making sure your marks on the wall in pencil are level the entire way across the space where your art will hang. The distance between your top and bottom markings for your invisible line should be about 2″ – 3″. That will be the space between the top row and the bottom row of your art.

We added these two very different pieces to the mix above to illustrate that your gallery wall can handle, and even thrive, on contrasting themes, colors and styles.

Vintage Spain Travel Ad – Flamenco by Yesteryears  | Pink by Beth Hoeckel from here Color Patterns series

The Classic

The gallery wall’s comeback in the last decade has made it mark by mixing and matching styles and mediums, allowing thrift shop finds to make quirky statements within the group. The Classic presents the opportunity to enjoy a series of pieces within a collection by an artist. Artwork series and sets the scene for a more contemplative experience for both residents of the space and their guests. This the case with the images above and below, where we’re allowed to see and ponder an artist Beth Hoeckel’s work as a series. Living with a series of an artist’s work very well may be the original binge watching.

Prints above from Beth Hoeckel’s series Color Patterns (clockwise): 1. Mustard Yellow  |  2. Yellow  |  3. Orange II  |  4. Magenta  |  5. Pink

All available on Society 6.

Start With Pairs

A good wall to get started with your own gallery wall is to gather two pieces you love that share something in common. The example pair above combines an upbeat vintage feel with a bold graphic message. Working in surrounding pieces become a breeze once you’ve established a foundation.

Prints above: Vintage Spain Travel Ad – Flamenco by Yesteryears  |  It Is What It Is by Julia Walck


Mix Mediums

Illustrations, paintings, even colored pencil drawings can all have a home on your gallery wall. Don’t be afraid to add in embroidery or photography into your scheme. If you’re after a true “salon” vibe, start with a strong first step of eye-catching prints like the pink themed pair above and then add in as many mediums as you have available.

Prints above: Se Cacher by Isabelle Feliu  |  Yeah / 1 by subliming 

Thematic Walls

Gallery walls do not have to be eclectic and varied. Choosing art that is thematically aligned, either by subject, color or medium is perfectly fine! Thematic gallery walls can provide a sense of continuity and comfort for their owners, allowing for a similar type of contemplative environment as The Classic arrangement. Admiring the similarities and differences of each piece is a wonderful introduction to an internal dialogue and a great conversation starter when guests visit.

Prints above revolve around women: Shrimps! #1  by Isabelle Feliu |  Brave by Alexandra Bowman

Prints below present a varied study of bubble gum blowing (clockwise): How Far Is A Light Year? by Alexander Grahovsky  |  Hey Mickey by The Half Guava  |  1993 by by Alexander Grahovsky  |  Georgia  by Alexander Grahovsky  |  U Used 2 Call Me by Alexander Grahovsky  |  Pumpkin by Alexander Grahovsky

If you’re just starting an art collection for your home or looking to add some new pieces, definitely browse over at Society 6. Aside from hundreds of prints of original art by independent artists, they also carry a ton of home goods that your favorite art can be applied to. Think wall hangings, tapestries and even serving trays and coasters. Oh and wallpaper too! Now onto the giveaway details —

To Enter The Giveaway:

  1. Visit Society 6 here.
  2. Find a favorite piece of wall art you’d love to see in your home.
  3. Share it here in the comment section for a chance to win a Society 6 $150 gift card! 

Good luck everyone! 









Suggested For You