A Personal Gallery Wall

gallery wall

What I love most is finding an old piece and bringing it back to life to use in my home.  I scour garage sales, thrift stores, and flea markets for quality pieces that may be an ugly color or stain, have outdated hardware, or were simply tossed. As I’m sure you have noticed, gallery walls are EVERYWHERE lately.  I have gone crazy saving ideas on Pinterest for layouts and colors but one thing I have noticed is the lack of personality in some.  When I began to plan mine I wanted a common theme that meant something to me personally. Here are some other tips on creating your own gallery wall.

how to make a personalized gallery wall


Recently, my mom found hundreds of family pictures taken in the early 1900s and on and I noticed some awesome photographs of New York City relatives had taken.  My boyfriend also just moved back from the City so it has grown to hold a special place in our memories.  I wanted to showcase the old photographs with the new ones that we had taken during our own adventures there.

To spark your ideas for the gallery wall, you can build off of one particular item, concept, or place that holds significance to you. Whether it is a painting, a photograph, a saying – anything – think of how to flatter that piece and use different pictures and objects along the same theme to put it on display around it.  I love using a balance of pictures and words in mine so I found a picture of the subway stops we always took to throw in the mix.


One of the crucial pieces of creating a gallery wall is choosing one color scheme to bring cohesion.  I decided to keep all my pictures in black and white and use gold frames with white mats.


Once I chose my pictures and framed everything I laid it all out on the ground and constantly moved it around until I found a design I liked.  I actually started off with more frames but for now decided to stick with 5 and build  upon it slowly.  A principle in design is to use odd numbers to provide balance and symmetry.  I had one larger frame that was more intricate that I wanted to center and I had a bunch of smaller, more simpler sets to surround it. In the largest frame I used a map of New York City to be the showpiece and make it clear what the theme is.

Top left – Photograph of the Brooklyn Bridge taken in 1917 by my great-great grandfather

Bottom left – Image of the Subway stops of my boyfriend’s neighborhood

Center – A vintage style map of New York City

Top right – Photograph of the Williamsburg Bridge taken on one of our “urban hikes”

Bottom left – Photograph of street art from said urban hike


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