6 Easy Tips for Creating & Hanging a Colorful & Eclectic Gallery Wall

Colorful and eclectic gallery wall around a samsung frame tv.
Colorful and bold gallery wall around a Samsung Frame tv. Design by The Styled Domicile.

Gallery walls never get old to me. The best ones are full of color and personality. They aren't about being perfect and yet every piece just works so well together. If you're intimidated by the thought of creating them in your own home (or if you have tried and given up out of frustration) you are not alone. They do need some thoughtful planning, but it's nothing you can't handle! I'm gonna lay it all out for you so that you can create a gallery wall that makes you think "damn! that's a good-looking gallery wall!"

So, before you start putting holes in your wall, the first thing you want to do is make sure the art (and the frames they are in) have a cohesive look. Here's how to do it:

  1. Stick to a color palette. All of the colors above complement each other. There are lots of blue, green, and black with bits of soft pinks, oranges, and yellows. Now imagine a bright red abstract painting thrown in the mix. It would stand out (not in a good way) and feel very random and jarring.

  2. Vary & repeat the frame style and material. In the gallery wall above, you'll notice frames with different styles and materials and see them repeated over and over. There's a mix of black frames, white frames, warm wood frames, gold metal frames and unframed canvases. Some are sleek and modern. Some of the frames are more ornate. Mixing the style of the frames creates a more interesting look and the repetition creates a sense of unity. (The colors in the art also create a sense of repetition!)

  3. Mix vertical & horizontal orientation. Some pieces are hung vertically and some are hung horizontally. It looks more aesthetically pleasing than if everything was the same orientation.

Eclectic modern gallery wall above a bed.
Eclectic modern gallery wall above a bed. Design by The Styled Domicile.

Now that you've got a cohesive collection going on we can start thinking about getting everything up on the wall. The most important piece of advice I can give you is to...

  1. Forget about perfection. I think this is the most important piece of advice. You don’t need to make sure each piece is hung exactly 1.5 inches apart. It looks more natural when it isn’t so exact and perfect is boring anyways. If you hang a print and it's just a littlecloser then you would like to another piece JUST LEAVE IT. You're going to drive yourself crazy if you obsess over making it perfect.

  2. Arrange the art on the floor first. Don't start hanging until you know what you want the arrangement to look like. Play with the layout on the floor. Keep doing it until you like how it looks. When you're ready to hang, you're going to start with the middle piece or as close to the middle as you can get and work your way out in each direction. But first....

  3. Toothpaste is your friend. If the art is hung with a saw tooth hanger, put a dab of toothpaste on the middle of the hanger and press against the wall where you want it to hang. The toothpaste will leave a mark and that's exactly where you want to put the nail! If you're working with a wire hanger, it's a little different. Dab the toothpaste on the top middle of the frame and press against the wall. Now hook a tape measure to the wire and measure the distance to the top of the frame (demonstration pic below). Take that number and measure that far down from the toothpaste dab. That's where your nail will go. Once you've got the nail in you can wipe the toothpaste off with a wet cloth.

Now you've got the confidence to create the eclectic gallery wall of your dreams. Get to creating and hanging!


Did you know The Styled Domicile offers online design services in addition to full-service design? I can help you design a space you are proud to show off no matter where you live. Schedule a discovery call with me to chat about how my design services can help you!