7 Ways to take your Gallery Wall from Cluttered to Clean

Posted by BedfordBrooks in Design Tips on Dec 17th, 2014

A gallery wall is fantastic for displaying lots of photographs or art, and is the perfect way to turn a boring blank wall into a charming display.

Cluttered Gallery Wall

However if the wall isn’t fully thought out before execution, things can get a little cluttered. With lots of little photos and pieces of art accumulating over time, it can look like a mess.

Fortunately, it is easy to reorganize and come up with an arrangement that will look great!

The goal is to find a simpler and more elegant look instead of cluttered and noisy arrangement. Here are a few tips and ideas for cleaning up your cluttered gallery wall.

  • Test out on the floor
  • Before you start punching new holes in the wall only to realize you don’t like the arrangement, play around with different combinations by laying your pieces out on the floor.

    Use masking tape to mark off the size of wall space you have available and arrange your frames until you’ve found a harmony between them.

  • Add matting to your frames
  • If your frames are sufficiently larger than your photos and art, adding matting is a simple way to enhance the elegance of your gallery wall. White is a classic clean-looking choice, but matting can also come in a variety of colours.

    Keeping the matting consistent across all of your images will bring unity to all of your different pieces.

  • Focus on a theme
  • If you have a hodge-podge of different kinds of photos and prints, try using a more focused theme. For example: black and white photos, designs from the same artist, similar colour palettes, similar subject matters, and matching frames are all great choices to experiment with.

  • Grid pattern of same size frames
  • If you have enough of them, identical frames can really help make the whole arrangement look tidy. You can arrange them in either staggered or aligned rows and columns.

  • Biggest to smallest
  • If you have an assortment of frame sizes, place the largest ones first, then fill in the smaller ones. This will help you avoid awkward spacing and odd gaps. Alternatively, choose one large item as a centerpiece to anchor the whole composition.

  • Symmetry
  • Create a centre line for the wall, and place similarly sized pieces on either side of the line for a symmetrical gallery wall.

  • Even spacing
  • Even if the whole arrangement is asymmetrical, you can still achieve a very clean look by keeping the gaps between frames the same throughout the arrangement. This can be tricky if your frames are different sizes, so it is good to play around with a few combinations until you get it right. This is where using the floor for testing arrangements is useful.