Rethinking the "gallery"

For years, I've looked at pictures of gallery or display walls longingly. Something grand just isn't going to fit in my little condo, so inspirational ideas like these:

Photo from InStyle Magazine

Photo from Pottery Barn

have to be shrunk down to fit a space like this:

Yep, that's the "gallery" in my place. You might remember that I painted a bunch of frames during the summer for this wall. I thought they were looking a little random and decided to upgrade to some more traditional frames (found at Michael's, Target, and Ikea).

Before I start hammering, I'm leaving the little paper inserts that came inside four of the frames up on the wall. I've changed their arrangement a few times, but haven't settled on anything yet. Any thoughts?

#1 (top heavy?)

#2 (too orderly?)

#3 (better, but bottom heavy?)

#4 (blah?)

Maybe I need to get inserts out of the smaller frames, too. This isn't as easy as I thought it would be.


  1. Someone once told me that you should place the biggest picture in the middle, with the small ones around it. Worth a try...

  2. I have to confess that I don't like the picture that's in the largest frame as much as others, which is why I was avoiding that set up. I obviously need to guve it a try. Thanks!

  3. Couple thoughts. I feel like the one large frame is throwing it off - like Slip4 said, place in middle. If you don't love the photo as much, then maybe switch it for something you do love?

    I'd get out the inserts fromt he small frames too. Really want to see the *entire* look before committing with holes in walls!

    Funny, becuase this week I too am working on a small photo gallery in one room. :)

  4. My thoughts -

    Add a fifth frame (Christopher Lowell says work with odd numbers) that's a lot smaller

    After adding the fifth rectangular frame, consider a couple of small oval shaped frames.


  5. What if you did 3 or 4 of the same size/shape straight down?

  6. Yes, the largest definitely needs to go in the center area. You'll notice PB did this with their largest/darkest frame. It also happens to be a key rule of print design/page layout!

    And using an odd number is another good design tip!!

    If you don't loooove the larger print/image, what about replacing it? And hanging it horizontally?

  7. In case you didn't see this well-timed post today:

  8. I'm no expert but I'm with Claroise on adding a 5th frame to the mix. I think odd number of things always look better together.

    In addition to the 5th frame (I would make it a larger size), I would also add 2-3 smaller frames to the mix. Like the size of a post card or a tad larger and fill in some of the "white space". If you look at both your inspiration photos they have a mix of large and very small frames, I think the combo will add what you are looking for.

    Good luck!

  9. I'm with these gals on making it an odd number (if you have a spare frame, of course!)! Have you tried grouping them closer together (like the PB pic)? That way the gallery can "grow" as you get more frames.

  10. Ah, I don't think I made it clear...I have a bunch of small items to hang on the wall, but didn't pull the liners out of them. I thought I'd get the big items set first.

    I think I need to start over again!


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