Gallery Walls Deconstructed

May 2016

Sinkology is proud to present Kristan Allen, our design expert and guest blogger who runs the @FarmhouseRedefined Instagram. Kristan is here to share some design ideas and inspiration around designing your home around your Sinkology sink.


Confession: I have never met a gallery wall I didn’t like. I have a love affair with gallery walls and I’m instantly drawn to them. You can learn so much about a person by looking at their gallery wall. Is it perfectly symmetrical? Is it dedicated to one color or subject matter? I’m always mentally deconstructing gallery walls and have noticed a few similarities in the ones that leave a lasting impression on me. So here are a few tips for maximizing impact with your gallery:

Whether You’re Mixing It Up or Going Uniform, Make it Meaningful

sitting space with white walls and picture frames

I think the best way to make a big impact with a gallery wall is to fill it with pieces that mean something to you. Your child’s artwork, an antique license plate, an old news clipping, a collection of sketches… these all become art when they capture something you love or that you’re passionate about. You can choose to highlight a collection of similar items or mix it up with a variety of different things. I’ve got quite the collection in this small office gallery wall—an original lunar landing clip, a fashion sketch drawn by my grandmother when she was a teenager, a colored pencil my son glued to a piece of paper. All of these items have a very special place in my heart for various reasons. And as different as they are, I’ve created a sense of uniformity with black frames and even spacing.

Go Bold with Dimension and Texture

wall decor design with tapestry mirrors and photo frame

Think outside the box when it comes to adding dimension and texture to your gallery wall. A 3-D piece like this wire deer bust from Target literally makes the art jump out at you. Just be careful that your 3-D pieces aren’t so deep that they’re hitting people as they walk past! Also, consider unlikely sources when it comes to adding texture. This wall hanging is actually a rug from Anthropologie. It’s 2’ x 3’, making it a large piece of art that was pretty affordable!

wall design with mirrors picture frames and other decorations

Get Creative with Your Frames and If You Can’t Find It…Make It

white walled foyer with picture frames and wood framed door

Unique frames are a great way to highlight a gallery wall, especially if you’re using a collection of the same types of art. This wall in my foyer is home to a set of antique botanical plates. I chose to showcase them in these cool wrought-iron ring frames from Pottery Barn to amp things up a bit. If you’re looking for something unique, but can’t quite find the right style, try your hand at sprucing up plain-Jane frames. I wanted a riveted, industrial look for my son’s room, so I took a simple frame from Wal-Mart and added thumbtacks at even intervals. After that, I hit the whole thing with a coat of silver spray paint and voila – instant industrial upgrade for this affordable frame!

metallic picture frame on white carpet

Mix in Some Metallics

white walled living space with leather chair and metallic table

Metallics always add a special pop to décor and a gallery wall is no exception. I added a few metallic frames and mirrored accents in this gallery wall to complement the brass table next to it. The consistent color palette and subtle shine really brighten the entire space and add a touch of glam. Playing off other metallic tones in your room, like your kitchen copper sink or your bathroom copper sink, can help to make a big impact, as well.

Consider a Gallery Shelf for Ease and Versatility

Are you (or would you be) constantly switching out art or photos in your gallery wall? Then consider a gallery wall on a shelf, like this one via One Kindesign. Using a low-profile shelf, or multiple rows of shelves, as the foundation for your gallery makes it really easy to switch art in and out. You can use varying sizes of frames and play around with spacing and layering, all while eliminating the need for nail holes or sticky strips. Easy peasy, right?

Show us how you’re styling your gallery wall by tagging @FarmhouseRedefined and @Sinkology on Instagram. Can’t wait to see how you’re treating your walls!


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