I talk a lot about how your photos are worth more than just becoming the latest and greatest phone wallpaper. Now, putting your photos on your phone is totally valid, and I do think you should. But there are SO many more, WAY cooler things you can do with them!! And one of those things, is creating a gallery wall in your home.
Whether you’re someone who goes for a “show home” aesthetic, or more like me who goes for a “chaotic and lived in with love” aesthetic (I have two boys and I like spending time in my pool more than I like making sure everything is like… perfectly tidy all the time. It is what is it!) gallery walls will STILL fit in with the world of your home.
You’re probably not a designer… but you don’t have to be!
The idea of gallery walls can be intimidating.
If you search it on Pinterest, you’ll get all kinds of results that are essentially “the perfect gallery wall designed by a designer or interior decorator” and it kind of makes it feel impossible, and I totally get that. But I’m here to help!
If you decide that you want to order prints to fill out a gallery wall, whether it’s in your hallway or your bedroom, I will help you every step along the way. Everything from choosing the images themselves, to pairing them with sizes, to laying out their placement on the wall! I’ll be there to hold your hand and make it feel easy – because being surrounded by images of the people you love? It should be easy.
If you don’t want quite as much hand holding… that’s fine too! It’s your house, and you can have as much control over how it looks as you want. For those of you who are more DIY inclined, I’ve pulled together some things to think about when you’re choosing images, laying them out, and getting things done!!
1. Choose a Location
Obviously, I don’t mean a location for your photoshoot, that’s a WHOLE other topic. What I mean, is a location in your home for the gallery wall itself! Don’t be afraid to choose somewhere that you already have other artwork. If it’s not big, we might be able to work your new photos around the existing art, or budge things around a tiny bit and arrive at a wall that includes your OLD wall art, and your new ones!
When you’re looking at locations in your home, think about high-traffic areas. I mean, you COULD put a gallery wall in your guest room, but… you want to enjoy your images, right? So, if they’re in your guest room… how often do you go in there? Like once a month because you forgot whether you closed the window even though logically you know you definitely did but you just have to check because you feel like there might be a draft coming from somewhere?
Yeah. That’s NOT the kind of location we usually want to choose for a gallery wall. We want to think about places like your livingroom, the hallway that leads to your bedroom – something in the dining room that you can look at while you’re eating dinner. Locations where you’re going to see them everyday, and get to enjoy them!
2. Think about Lighting
While you’re looking at locations in your home, another thing to think about is how those areas get their light. Is it a hallway without much natural light, and it’s going to be lit from above if at all? Or is it a wall in your livingroom where there will be TONS of natural light, and your images will almost always be in the sun?
We think about this as a factor, because depending on where you get your prints, you may want to make sure that you balance lighting. All prints ordered through me personally are UV resistant and use archival ink – meaning they’re as resistant to fading over time as they possibly can be. But if you’re taking your digitals to print outside of ordering from me, the LAST thing you want is to put non-archival, non-UV-resistant prints in a naturally lit area of your home! Within a few years, the vibrant colors that you loved will age and fade, and the allure of your gallery wall… it’ll dull. So make sure that you think about lighting when you’re selecting your area!
3. Style and Spacing
Once you’ve thought about the location, and the lighting, it’s time to think about style, and spacing, and layout! This is another opportunity to go pop onto Pinterest, and take a look at some inspiration. There are SO many layouts that you can choose, from “totally evenly spaced and printed in the same size” to “chaotic and random and fun” and everything in between.
Some of that decision will be made FOR you, if you’re planning on interspersing your new prints among existing pieces of art in your home. If you’ve got a big ole print from a past session with your kiddos, and it takes up a ton of space, turning that area into a gallery wall (unless the wall is giant!) if you don’t go for a “everything the same size and spaced evenly” vibe.
So take a look at inspiration, and get a feeling for how you want to style and space your prints.
4. Frames & Format
So, this topic will feel a little designer-y, and I want to warn you about that up front. But it HAS to be talked about, so here we go!!
Once we’ve thought about the style of the wall you want to create, it’s time to think framing and format – which… is admittedly a lot of options. If the style you’re going for will be the “evenly spaced and all the same” tone, then it’s easier to balance things! With that tone, you’ll pick one format, and one frame style, and run with it for all of the images.
Maybe you want to do a set of 9 unframed canvases, and lay them out 3×3 on the wall with a few inches in between! But if you’re leaning more chaotic… you get to pick a TON of things and get the best of all worlds!
Think about having some dark frames, and some light ones – and maybe including a metal print or a canvas in the set as well. Remember that you can lean on those Pinterest inspiration pics, to get a feel for how things will look when they’re actually on your wall.
5. When in doubt, ask for help!
This feels like a cop-out step, but stay with me.
It can be super difficult to imagine images on your walls if you’re not a visual thinker, and that’s why I exist! If you’re looking at getting prints of your images, especially if you want to order through me, I can actually mock up, true to size, how things will look printed on your wall.
Whether you want a set of three big prints, twelve smaller ones, or something in between, we can work together to create a wall that both works for your budget and looks amazing in your home. I can even come to your place and we can look at it together, to collaborate on what you’ll end up with from your session.
It’s so, so important to me that you enjoy your session – but enjoying your images doesn’t end there with the experience of actually having your photo taken. Enjoying your pictures should be something you get to do every day, for the rest of forever.
So the BIGGEST tip I have for you about gallery walls is a quote from Nike (can you say cliché?) – just do it!!