How to Curate a Gallery Wall

January 12, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

Curate A Gallery Wall

Curating a gallery wall for your home is like the assembly of the Beatles. Yup - with my love for the Beatles I went there. 

But really, creating a gallery wall for your art or photographs allows you to express yourself and showcase who or what you truly love in your favorite space. 

Originally published in the REDFIN Blog, find out how you can curate your own wall and and assemble it like the Beatles (written by yours truly ♥)

By:  For REDFIN and other contributing writers


Gallery walls are a timeless way to bring new life to a space without breaking the bank.
However, assembling a gallery wall on your own may seem like a daunting task. Without any
form of guidance things like choosing the right photos, framing, colors, lighting, etc. can take a
longer time than you’d think. But here at Redfin, we wanted to help simplify the process by
reaching out to the experts in photography and aesthetics from Sacramento to Miami to help you
on your journey to create the gallery of your dreams. So sit back and learn how you can curate a
gallery wall that friends and family will admire for years to come.

Plan it out
Photo galleries are a beautiful addition to any home. In order for them to remain a beautiful
addition as opposed to a mess on the wall, it's important to decide on a style for your photo
gallery before committing to it. There are many factors that you should figure out before diving
into the project. Questions you should ask yourself include what type of house do you have?
What room will it be in? What style is the decor? What's the existing color of the room? It's
important that your photo gallery complements the existing style of the room. Once you identify
the existing style, pick a color scheme that complements it. If you aren't sure, I recommend going
with natural tones/earth tones as they will go with almost any existing styles. - Orange County

You can now create your own unique and favorite photo gallery in your home, for yourself,
family and visitors to your home that they can enjoy and admire. First and foremost, choose your
genre e.g. family portraits, travel adventures, black and white, or a portfolio of your best
photography works. You can also do it via color themes such as your favorite color is yellow,
start curating your photographs that have a strong yellow presence in them. After a careful
curation, you can choose to bring it to your local printer or you can print it from your home
photo printer. Your printed photographs can be displayed in a wooden frame or they can be
mounted on hard boards before you mount them on your wall. - TanGengHui Photography

Coordinate photos to compliment your home’s style
When adding a photo gallery to your home, the BEST plan is to do your planning before your
portrait session. Wear colors that compliment the color scheme of your home. Opt for locations
that reflect the style of your home, or choose a studio session. For example, if your decor is
coastal, do a portrait session at the beach. If your home is modern, do a session downtown. - Wet

As a professional photographer, my best advice to create a beautiful photo gallery in your home,
try and match your photo background to the color scheme of your home! This way, all of your
photos match your already existing decor. For example, a modern home with cool deep tones
would match a more city-style background for your photos. Is your home warmer toned and
neutral? Try a field or pasture. Perhaps your home is more earthy, choosing a park could work
best to showcase your family in your home. Already have photos? Convert them to black and
white and create a more timeless look that goes with any home! - Jackie Lamas Photography

Assemble your photos like members of a band
Curating a gallery wall for your home is like the assembly of the Beatles. The right grouping
takes time & intent because some photos (bandmates) work, others do not or you have to try
something different (a la Pete Best versus Ringo). Find your anchor pieces or great stand-alone
(Lennon-McCartney), then curate other photos using balance, symmetry, uniform and similar
themes, size and color to tell the story on your wall like the 1964 Beatles polished look.
However, you can use, instead,  a mix of the psychedelic Beatles style
of styles, colors, frames, and abstract geometrical shapes
for added visual drama, interest and uniqueness to the space you are decorating. Either way, with
a little thought or With A Little Help From Your Friends, on mood or story the wall represents,
you can create a space that showcases your style/aesthetics and can be enjoyed for years to come
and add to as life evolves. (Or Let it Be as it is ;) - Melissa J Collins Photography

Minimize negative space
To create a stunning photo wall in your home, choose images that coordinate and make them as
large as your budget and space allow.  Quite often photos are printed in smaller sizes and don't
fill up the space making them look lonely and leaving too much negative space leftover on the
wall.  Large prints fill up space beautifully and always look more put together and high
end....making every photo wall just about perfect! - Hetler Photography

Be bold
Nothing makes an impact like size, so I recommend creating extra-large prints! With today’s
modern printers and high-resolution cameras, digital cameras can produce amazing quality in
sizes that can be 3 to 6 feet long. Whether you have a large wall space in the living room,
hallway, or up a grand staircase, having a large print hanging means your family and guests do
not have to be up close to see details in your art. This can work for landscape images or family
portraits. - Timeline Media

Capture emotion
Pick photos that capture emotion. Try to think beyond a perfect smile or outfit and chose images
that convey to the viewer a particular thought, or feeling about the subject such as love, laughter,
admiration, etc. Most photo walls are centered around family. I like to have a nice image of the
entire family in the center and work out and around from there. Uniform framing and matting
help to keep the look clean and not cluttered. - A.G. Johnson Photography

Create something that can grow with you
As a family portrait photographer, I encourage clients to create a gallery wall that can grow with
the family.  This means an organic layout that is intentionally imprecise and eclectic with
different sizes, colors, frames, media, and textures.  Over the years tastes change, and families
update their family photos and acquire new art.  An organic layout makes it easy to add newpieces to the wall without stressing about everything matching or aligning perfectly. - Jennifer
Young Photography

Tell a story
I think the best gallery walls are ones that tell a story. A story of the places you have been and
the people you love. Framed ticket stubs from an important event in your life, family portraits,
art collected from places you have traveled to, or quirky original prints that share insight into
your personality. These elements mixed with texture and color can really bring a gallery wall to
life. - The One With Wanderlust

As a photographer, I like to grab a shot of my client's kids showing their age with their fingers.
Its a cute way to timestamp their age with a photo as they grow and it adds some fun candid
moments to the gallery. Another tip: request close up black and white shots of the kids from your
photographer. This creates a more documentary feel to a gallery wall, especially when you add to
it each year. - Kelli Avila Photography

Help potential buyers visualize themselves in the home
It's one of the important things to have a photo gallery wall inside your home when selling one.
People mostly buy homes to move in with their families. When they see how fun and blessed
moments can be made inside one home, it brings out positive emotions. One of the ways to
curate a photo wall is to set the photos chronologically. From the earliest moments to the latest,
also paint the wall in a "soft" color. - I Sold My House

Curate something the family can admire for generations to come
Your goal is to not only build a gallery that your family can admire every day, but also one that
can be passed down for generations. Talk to your photographer to ensure that your prints are
archival, so that you can, in fact, pass them on. And don't fret about your attire being precisely
matchy-matchy, work around a color family, instead. - Shayna Image

Develop a sense of timelessness
There’s nothing as timelessly elegant as a series of black & white portraits, matted and framed,
and hung in a custom wall display. One favorite is a collection of mismatched, but
complimentary frames (an assortment of rustic woods, gold, silver, black) in different shapes &
sizes, laid out sporadically on a wall and added to over time. Another popular layout is to place
assorted sized frames on shelves, one on top of the other, or staggered on a wall (perfect for
smaller spaces). I also love the look of a collection of images in identical frames, either
symmetrically matted or “top-heavy”, with a horizontal photo matted towards the top of a
vertical frame. These look great anywhere but are really striking along a hallway. - Stephanie
Neal Photography

To create a classic and timeless photo gallery wall that will never go out of style, use the same
color frames for every photo.  If some of the photos are matted in the frame, just make sure all
the mats are the same color. Then, mix it up; use all different sizes, vertical and portrait
orientations, and both color and black and white prints. Finally, to add a bit of fun, try framing
concert tickets, a playbill or even a t-shirt - the possibilities are endless! - Lisa Villella

Establish a midline
One great way to start a unique gallery wall is to hang three frames either centered on the same
midline or lined up level on the same top or bottom line. Then as you want to add to the gallery
wall you just maintain that line and build it out horizontally. This can be done with artwork or
family photos, works well with matching or non-matching frame sizes/colors, and in a location
where you have a long area to work with like over a couch, behind a dining room table, or in a
hallway. - Hunnicutt Photography

Try incorporating a focal point
I find it most aesthetically pleasing when a photo gallery consists of either a focal point with
complimentary images arranged around it, or evenly distributed images with straight lines and
exact sizes. I incorporate both of these strategies in my own home in the same manner that many
would display their art pieces since my family’s beautifully captured moments are the art pieces
that I value most. - Tara Lee Photography

Involve different textures and materials
Turn your images into art with the right paper. If you are looking for an extraordinary way to
make your photos stand out, pick a high-quality FineArt inkjet paper. Hahnemühle and the
Hahnemühle Certified Studios offer various luxurious and unique options that highlight the best
in your photographs and guarantee a lasting gallery for generations. One can't look away from a
striking print on the wall. - Hahnemühle FineArt GmbH

Things to consider when framing
Two tips for ensuring your photo gallery is always fresh with great photos: #1: when you go to
frame a photo, make another couple of prints of other photos, and place them behind the print
you intend to display. Then set an alarm for 3 months from now, and when that day comes,
simply swap the displayed photo for the one behind it, and repeat the process! #2: Invest in a
good digital photo frame - we reviewed the best ones, but suffice to say, you get what you pay
for! - Shotkit

Keep it cohesive

When creating a photo gallery wall, the only rule you really need to follow is to keep things
cohesive within a theme. So if you choose to use all white frames, you can vary the sizes and
styles to create interest. Or you can pull together all different types of framing but then create
cohesion by showcasing black and white photography in all of them. This will allow you to add
on to your gallery over time without it being obvious. And remember, the most important thing is
that your gallery reflects your personal style, not the most recent trends. - N. Lalor Photography


Can I help you curate photos for your space? Contact me HERE

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