Displaying a broad assortment of photographs, art, and interesting objects is a great way to let your personal style shine through. There are no real rules here: Unique finds from consignment shops, auctions, or your travels are a great place to start. Get the creative juices flowing with a few pieces that work with your color scheme, then add items that enhance the texture of the display.
A Sense of Place
Imagine having a reminder of that special place that tugs at your heartstrings every time you walk into your living room. Whether your sentimental spot is Paris or Pasadena, you can really make a wall come to life with an assortment of framed photos, prints, maps, and artifacts that pay tribute to your favorite stomping grounds.
Related: 5 Things to Do with... Maps
Black-and-white celebrations of typography promote a sophisticated yet streamlined mood in a room. Using simple matted frames, you can spotlight bold fonts, unique postcards, a family initial, or even some minimalist artwork of your own.
If you have a bulging envelope of school art projects in a closet somewhere, you're not alone. Why not give them some hang time? Your kids’ masterpieces—displayed in a whimsical geometrical pattern—can become a charming gallery of their own. Drawings, paintings, collages, and even that dried macaroni necklace glued to construction paper are all fair game.
Related: 12 Fresh Ideas for Your Kids' Room
Color Outside the Lines
A monochromatic wall display is anything but boring when it's backed by a contrasting color or texture. As an alternative to using paint to make your gallery pop, arranging it on a brick or paneled wall, or on some other raised surface, will make the display more distinct.
Related: How To Paint Wood Paneling
50 Shades of…
Staircase to Heaven
The wall flanking your staircase is a perfect place for a gallery. The project peeve? It's tough to keep your frames level and evenly spaced while following the natural ascent of the stairs. If you like the creative part of the job more than the planning stage, consider using a DIY gallery kit that includes a template, such as those available from Picturewall.
Photos Without Borders
If you have some high-resolution photos to show off, why not go big? Family portraits or colorful landscapes look great enlarged and printed on durable canvas. The material is wrapped around a hidden frame, so all you see are your dynamic images mounted in bold, living color.
They Were Framed
A variety of colorful or unusually shaped frames add interest to a themed display. If you can’t find the exact colors you’re looking for, consider painting your own or shopping for a collection on Etsy. This bunch looks so nice on its own, you might even consider hanging the frames sans photos.
Etsy.com via FeFiFoFun
Off the Wall
With some simple shelving, you can easily assemble an attractive, functional, and interchangeable wall display. To create depth, nestle small objects, such as candles, vases, or figurines, among the framed images. Shelves also give you some freedom of composition, allowing you to mix, match, and change things up without having to fill in nail holes.
Related: How To Install Floating Shelves
‘Round the Bend
Line Up and Be Counted
Sometimes beauty lies in sheer simplicity. For an aesthetically pleasing, minimalist approach, use matching frames and hang them on a single plane, with an equal amount of space between each. Tip: When you're hanging two pieces of artwork side by side, treat them as one large picture to find the center point in between.
Power in Numbers
86 the White Space
We tend to covet white space, and gallery displays are no exception. In general, you should try to retain about two inches of white space around your frames. Yet, although this display of maps defies this rule of thumb, the result is striking. The frames shown here are actually all the same size, but half are positioned vertically, half horizontally.
Related: 5 Tricks for Enhancing Hallways
Your frames' layout can have as much eye-catching impact as their contents. You'll find that it's easy to design a dramatic, multilevel display with the help of the right hardware. This studio wall easel from Pottery Barn secures the frames with brackets, which slide and lock into place.
Take a Photo Break
Photos aren’t the only stars of the show. This arrangement (seen here laid out on a carpet for planning purposes) pulls in shades of yellow and green to coordinate with the color scheme of the room. Let your imagination take off with this concept by framing unusual items like swatches of wallpaper or your own doodles. As for the frames themselves, anything goes. Do you notice the two embroidery hoops used as frames?
We all know that artwork seems right at home above the sofa, but behind it? This approach creates the illusion that the lower frames are “peeking out,” but there is actually a narrow corridor between the couch and the wall. A floor-to-ceiling display puts the art center stage; you feel like you are literally sitting in the middle of a gallery.
Related: Bob Vila Radio—Picture Frames
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