Cat’s Pro Tips: The Great Gallery Wall

Whether your walls are expansive or small, there’s no better way to gussy ’em up than a gallery wall. But when you’ve got dozens of pieces and parts staring you down, getting them up in a cohesive fashion can seem like a very tall order- but it doesn’t have to be. We’ve got Cat’s tips and tricks for how to make it a beautiful and unique feature in your home.

Check the Stockroom

It may be that you want to order all new items for your gallery wall, but lots of folks actually have plenty of things already on hand. Maybe you’ve got pictures floating around from a prior living space but aren’t sure where to put them in a new home. Maybe you’ve been gifted a lot of family photos over the years of varying sizes. Or, maybe it’s some of everything! Gather up any and all items that you think you might want to use, even if you aren’t quite sure yet how they will fit- give yourself lots of choices and wait until you’ve got everything together to decide what belongs.

Alternate Gallery Wall Ideas

Think outside the Frame

If you like a more classic look, you could consider black and white photos, matching frames and mats, or grouping similarly sized items. But if that’s not your style, or you have a variety of different items you want to display, that’s perfect too- this is where getting creative is a good thing! You can even include non-picture items such as beautiful plates or pottery, canvases, mirrors, or even wall planters and hanging plants. Loosely arrange your pieces together on the floor and then keep moving things around until you find a combination that gives you the happy feels. Add balance and symmetry by alternating smaller and larger items. Looking for a common thread (such as items that have a similar color) can sometimes be helpful to achieve the look you want.

Gallery Wall - Cat French Design

Let it Travel!

Some of the most stunning gallery walls are those that have an element of flow. This could be the items moving across a corner and onto an adjoining wall, or moving upward in tandem with a staircase. Galleries that go above and around lamps or follow the shape of nearby furniture can also add major impact. In other words- don’t feel like it has to all fit into a square or go on one wall. Make it fit your space in whatever way works best for you with the items you have, and let it bring you all the gallery-joy.

Gallery Wall over doorway

Tools of the Trade

Break out that measuring tape (or ruler) and a level, if you have one! Consistent spacing is one of the key components for making a gallery wall look complete and polished. To get things started, Cat says, “Consider placing items a consistent 4-5 inches apart from each other (top and bottom and side to side). Or, if you’re creating a tighter cluster of items, try 2-3 inches of space between items.” Once all your items are in place, grab your level to help you make adjustments for the perfect finish.

Make it Your Own

At the end of the day, the element of customization is what really makes the gallery wall great. It’s eternal favored status is due in no small part to the fact that you can really do it any way you like, with any items you like. Taking the time to think about the look you want, taking stock of the items you have, and doing some good ole’ planning and measuring can go a long way to making it all work. But that being said- the secret sauce is all about personality. Fill it with things that make your home feel like you, and you can’t go wrong.

All images were styled by the Team at Catherine French Design, LLC. All photographs were taken by J. Sinclair Photography and Melissa Hebert

Looking for a bit more help? You can always reach us at! Or, view our brief new client questionnaire here. Want to keep checking things out? See even more images from past CFD projects on our Portfolio Page!