Put down the hammer, and follow these five tips from an art pro.

How To Hang a Gallery Wall
Credit: Kelli Boyd Photography

Bring a blank living room to life by hanging a gallery wall. Displaying a collection of art, photographs, and other framed mementos fills a space with the homeowner’s personality. Consider empty wallspace outside the living room too, like a breakfast nook, playroom, bedroom, home office, or hallway Whether you’re creating a gallery wall for the first time or you’re refreshing an existing display, plan out where the individual pieces will hang before picking up the hammer. Here, Mollie Creason, the founder and chief curator of Well + Wonder Artist Collective (a curated online collection of original art by emerging Southern artists) shares her top five tips for hanging a gallery wall in your home.

1. Put down the hammer.

“Yes, hanging a gallery wall can be intimidating, but you don’t have to immediately put holes in the wall. Make the process easier on yourself by using brown Kraft paper and laying out your gallery wall. That way, you can confidently arrange pieces and mark up the paper until you find just the right formation. When complete, use painter’s tape to hold the paper to the wall and as a guide for nails,” Mollie says.

2. Select the anchor.

“Identify your favorite piece of the bunch and let it be the anchor, setting the tone for the wall. Perhaps it’s your newly acquired abstract, a hand-me-down portrait of your beloved grandmother, a treasured note, or a sketch from a child,” says Mollie. “Whatever you choose—make it the focal point of your wall and the key feature of the story you’re telling. Hang this piece about eye-level (around five feet from the floor) and continue from that point.”

3. Mix and match.

“Don’t be afraid to mix color, mediums, and price points. Gallery walls are much more interesting and thoughtful when they include a variety of styles and textures. Mix your vintage drawings framed in glass with modern abstracts on chunky wood board. And remember, not every piece is a ‘masterpiece.’ Some of the most beautiful pieces of art may come from the hands of someone you love. The combination will keep it fun and interesting,” says Mollie.

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4. Space it out.

“Be sure to keep your paintings about three inches apart, and keep the spacing consistent between each piece,” advises Mollie. “To make this measurement consistent and easy, simply cut a small piece of paper about three inches wide. Use that to space each piece accordingly.”

5. Hang it up.

“Remember to continue adding to your collection. The fun part is that gallery walls are meant to evolve. When you add to your collection, simply build out and up from your original grouping,” says Mollie.