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Gallery walls are like incredibly gourmet meals, involved desserts and hyper-luxurious baths. They’re things you see on Pinterest and bookmark for later, knowing you’ll likely never re-create them. Because really, how could you? Gourmet meals are hard to perfect; DIY-desserts-gone-wrong are more common than DIY-desserts-gone-right (we’ve all seen Nailed It); and no one has the time (or patience) to line their tub with crystals and fill it with rose petals before settling in for a dip. Gallery walls are similar—you have to amass art in complementary sizes, then you have to figure out how to display it. Not only that, but your display has to look aesthetically appealing, feel orderly (never cluttered) and go with everything else in the room.
That hasn’t stopped me from dreaming, though. And it hasn’t stopped the myriad people who bookmark pictures of gallery walls on the reg, either.
I’ve lived in four different apartments in the last five years, so moving into a new home has become something of a routine for me. I’ve mastered the whole packing, then unpacking, then decorating thing. But one thing that never fails to trip me up is displaying my art—specifically, figuring out how to hang art in a way that’s efficient, aesthetically appealing and generally stress-free. Every time I try to hang stuff up, concerns consume me. Am I putting this print at the right height? Is this mirror as far away from the wall as the one opposite it? No, it’s closer, right? Oh my God, is that painting slanted? The only reason anything’s currently hung up in my apartment is because my dad got sick of my shit and started nailing things into the wall semi-haphazardly.
Gallery walls are the kind of thing I’m surrounded by in my wildest dreams—dreams where I’m not only chill enough to figure out how to hang stuff in a straight line, but so masterfully chill I managed to hang stuff up in an artsy, complicated way. I spend my days reading in my living room full of gallery walls before cooking an incredibly gourmet meal, baking an involved dessert and enjoying a hyper-luxurious bath. I don’t know how to make the rest of these things attainable, but I have figured out how to make gallery walls more so. I’ve created gallery wall templates—templates you can pin to your digital vision boards and scale when you’ve decided to take the plunge and create a gallery wall of your own.
Since art comes in different shapes and sizes (and since people have different preferences regarding gallery walls), I’ve included 21 templates for you to choose from. Some are minimalist; others are maximalist. But all of them are sure to make the DIY gallery wall of your dreams a little more within reach. (For what it’s worth, I have my eye on templates 1, 5, 8 and 13.)
For the decorator who has so many photos, they’re not even sure where to put them anymore.
Got way more vertical art than horizontal art? We got you.
Problem: You’ve have tons of art that’s (almost) the same size. Solution: This.
Because negative space can be fun, too.
The easiest way to achieve stunning gallery wall status. All you need is five pieces of art. Five.
This soothes my organization-loving soul.
Ain’t nothing wrong with a little symmetry.
Pro tip: Fill this template’s smallest boxes with wall decor, rather than art, for a seriously dynamic display.
Just barely off balance. Just barely.
Not your average linear display.
A next-level template for the gallery-wall fiend.
Why put your four vertical pieces on one wall and your two horizontal pieces on another when you could do this, instead?
The minimalist’s approach to the gallery wall.
For maximum fun, coordinate your two centerpieces and make the other five completely different.
Not sure why you’d have art in these dimensions. But, hey, it’s a thing. And double hey, we support it.
Watch those lines.
For the decorator who loves negative space—and square photos.
Don’t worry about the height on your horizontal pieces. Just make sure they’re long enough to stretch beyond one vertical piece and hit the midpoint of the other.
In case you were super into the template on slide 11 but didn’t have a horizontal piece to fill that void on top.
Proof big art works in a gallery wall, too.
One massive rectangle, made up of tiny ones.
A version of this story was originally published in September 2018.