Photo walls can really add to your interior aesthetic, bringing a personalized touch to a design scheme while adding a bit of interest to an otherwise empty space. From family photos, photos of loved ones to snapshots of landscapes from vacations past, mixed with your favorite fine art prints, there are so many different ways to display your treasured photos and your wall is a blank canvas to look forward to. must take advantage.
Photo walls also work in any room of the house, from personal collections in your bedroom to your home gallery displayed on your stairs, in your downstairs restroom, or as a unique wall decor idea for the living room .
However, photo walls aren’t always the easiest thing to do. Family photographs don’t always have the same aesthetic appeal as fine art, while mixing and matching photographs of different sizes, shapes, and subjects can be a real challenge.
There are a lot of considerations to take into account when planning your home gallery, so we’ve put together a handy guide to help you out.
Things to Consider When Planning Photo Wall Ideas
The first thing to consider when planning your photo wall is to think about the space you are designing and the scheme you are looking to create. It’s not just the difference in the photos themselves, think about the framing – do you want the frames to be uniform or show off your eclectic style with different styles and sizes?
Displaying your photos is a very personal form of home decor, whether you choose to decorate with family photos or specially selected fine art prints, so consider how you want your image collection comes together, the mood you want your gallery to evoke and what you want your gallery to reveal your identity to guests.
Don’t forget to consider the other furniture in your space. “I highly recommend faking placement with tape,” says interior designer Laura Hammett. “It will help you visualize what it will look like before drilling begins – you won’t regret spending the extra time making it perfect.”
1. Take your framed photos to the ceiling
Why not take frames to new heights by placing framed pictures on the ceiling? This colorful living room is a clever way to use framed photos to create movement and texture on the wall, making the home gallery more visually appealing to guests.
“The playroom and living room feature an installation of family photos,” says Melissa Anderson, owner of Brooklyn-based interior design service OAD Interiors. (opens in a new tab). “Clients were looking for a unique way to display family photos and we came up with a sort of art installation that our team put together to fit the space,” adds Melissa.
2. Create a staircase gallery
A staircase is a natural space to put your photo wall. The wall of pictures allows you to focus your gaze as you move down the hallway and adds a bit of interest to an otherwise often sparse space.
“The staircase is usually the first thing people see when they enter your home and a great way to inject your personality,” says Natascha Dartnall, Founder of ND Studios. (opens in a new tab).
“This usually empty space is the perfect place to hang your favorite photos and artwork. Here we have been adventurous with the choice of mounts. Hanging with a character frame will draw attention to art or photos and by mixing different frames it gives each piece its own identity.
3. Try Unusual Editing Ideas
You can go all out with your photo wall ideas and create a modern art gallery that houses your curated collection in any room you choose. In this example from Wade Weissmann Architecture (opens in a new tab)the impact is dramatic and highly stylized.
“I have over 400 pieces and had to get creative with how I hung them. The positioning of the artwork was decided before the furniture was even brought in. I love grouping things cohesively – there is a story to be told in groupings,” says Peg, a client of Wade Weissmann Architecture.
‘This particular series is on steel frames and steel tubes which can be rotated in any direction and can also be laid flat against the wall. The images reflect the story of my life in a series of photos that I decided to take of myself when I turned 60 to reflect my life.
Think carefully about lighting your frames for that gallery feel. Light up from above with cleverly mounted light fixtures, attach a light to a mantle or shelf to illuminate from below, or try a ceiling-mounted spotlight attached to a frame or suspended directly above the room. Also consider the finish of the photo. For matte photographs, any light source will work, but gloss and semi-gloss finishes benefit from a wide base light.
4. Use black and white prints for a cohesive photo wall
Black and white offers the classic look of the photo wall, bringing cohesiveness and uniform style to your wall. It gives a theme to your photo wall and can look smart and sophisticated. Also, the color of photographs can often be a little too eclectic and bold for the rest of your room design.
This example is by interior designer Clarisa LLaneza (opens in a new tab). “The space was affectionately called ‘the gallery,’ where the art was really the focal point of the room,” says Laura Mann, art curator for Mason Lane, who was in charge of curating and purchasing of most artwork for Clarisa’s. project.
5. Go big in a hallway
Don’t be afraid to go all out with your photo wall scheme and cover every inch of wall space with your framed photos. “Gallery walls can easily get lost in a large space,” Robert Novogratz, designer and co-founder of The Novogratz (opens in a new tab) tell us.
“In our Massachusetts home, we went all out with the idea, going floor-to-ceiling with black-and-white prints.” The result is that a clean, white-walled scheme is blessed with abundant character.
6. Choose a loud wallpaper
Your wall is a blank canvas to play with, so bring interest to your project by opting for a dramatic wallpaper idea. It draws attention to the wall, encourages guests to focus on your chosen photos and artwork, and highlights your personality.
If you’ve opted for black and white photos, you may find that you’re less limited when it comes to wallpaper choices. Color photos may be more difficult to match. When planning wallpaper, also think about the room it might work for. A large wallpapered space can be quite noisy, while a small powder room can suit a quirky, eclectic look.
7. Create a photo corner
Making a dedicated nook or nook for your photos to be displayed is a nice place to give your photography its own designated part of the house. In this example, tightly framed portraits with square black frames create an art gallery corner in the home.
8. Choose different shapes and sizes
When thinking about how many frames you want to frame, opt for an array of styles and shapes to really make your picture wall stand out.
“For placement, go for uniformity, like about six frames in a perfect 2×3 formation, or the ‘gallery’ style by playing with spacing and frame size. If the spacing is more mismatched, keep the style and frame material very similar to prevent them from looking too mismatched,” says Laura Hammett.
9. Go floor to ceiling
This floor-to-ceiling photo wall helps the TV blend into the wall. “This client is an avid art collector and it was really fun creating a creative kitchen for him,” says Scott Dresner of Dresner Design. (opens in a new tab). “He’s a fashion designer and he has incredible taste not only in clothes, but also in art and photography.” Her collection works like a gallery wall because it’s incredibly eclectic.
How to design a photo wall
When checking out the photos that make the cut, lay them out on the floor and carefully consider how they go together. Do you have a mix of landscapes and portraits, or maybe they are all portraits of family members and loved ones. Think about how the subject works together. The nice thing about a photo wall is that you can cut and change whenever you feel like refreshing the space – changing the pictures seasonally is a great way to do this.
Also think about how the colors work together. A monochromatic black and white selection can be quite striking, but also stark, and too many colors can disrupt your pre-existing color palette. Finally, mixing your photography with illustrations is a nice touch. Posters recovered from travels, your favorite print.