Joanna Gaines Gallery Wall Tips: 7 Ways to Master Layout

Gallery walls are one of those headache-inducing home decor trends that can sometimes leave you more frustrated (and with more holes in your walls) than you were before embarking on its story-telling appeal. However, Joanna Gaines gallery wall tips — which were shared in this month’s issue of Magnolia Journal — remove all confusion and complications with advice on how to master gallery wall layout. Plus, she shares what makes a gallery wall so special: The unique factor it brings to your home and family.

Need help designing a gallery wall for your space? While she can’t help you physically hang the frames, Joanna Gaines gallery wall tips can help you get started on a must-try decor trend.

Lunar Lander house fixer upper

Gallery walls can be organic or symmetrical. | Magnolia Market

1. Give it your own touch

Gallery walls might be trendy, but they are also deeply personal. “I’m a firm believer that you’re home should be a reflection of the people living in it. A gallery wall of personal art makes a space come alive, and it’s one of the most literal ways your home can tell a story,” Joanna shared in Magnolia Journal. Whether it’s a sweet note from your partner, a postcard from your honeymoon, or a piece of your kid’s abstract artwork, adding these small yet impactful touches makes gallery walls more than a wall of photos.

2. Aim for timeless

If you pick up pieces that aren’t made by you or memories from a trip, keep its timelessness in mind and ensure that it meets your overall style, not just the current home decor trends. Joanna keeps a vintage 57th street sign on her office gallery wall and, to some, it has no meaning and might seem a little trendy. But, to her, it reminds her of when she lived in New York City — on 57th street, no less — and matches her vintage meets modern personal flair.

3. Different shapes and sizes

Your gallery wall doesn’t need to only feature rectangular picture frames. According to Joanna Gaines’ gallery wall tips, adding a variety of shapes can give it more texture and depth. “Think of your own as an exhibit of you and your loved ones — and the myriad of personalities, experiences, and expressions represented in your home,” she notes. “It can be a collection of nearly anything that brings you joy — paintings, prints, architectural pieces, illustrations, typography, photos, book pages, sheet music, and letters, to name a few,” she adds. In addition, she makes a point that some items might seem the least like wall art but, once up there on display, they make a huge statement.

4. Add some dimension

An easy way to add some dimension to your gallery wall is by “placing art on a shelf or ledge,” notes Joanna. Doing so gives it depth, texture, and makes it feel less stagnant.

5. Consider what you’re drawn to

When deciding on a layout, think about what you are most drawn to. Do you love symmetry? Do you prefer a mix of round and pointed edges? Thinking about these interests can help you better decide if you should go with a complete symmetrical wall, use a mix of round and rectangle frames, add dimension, or want to take a more organic, free-flowing approach.

6. Balance it all out

The key to gallery wall planning is the balance. In Joanna Gaines’ gallery wall story, she suggests starting with your biggest pieces as an anchor and then building around them. However, placement is the only way to tie everything together. In addition, she says to look at the colors of each piece and select only two or three frame colors and styles to “achieve a more unified look.” Even if your gallery doesn’t have a lot of structure, doing so can “add a cohesiveness so the curation doesn’t appear random.”

7. Create a template

Lastly, the template should be considered. To avoid unnecessary holes in the wall, Joanna recommends plotting with paper templates. Here is her five-step guide on how to create a gallery wall template:

  • Reach for a roll of kraft paper (wrapping paper also works!) to trace out each frame and item you plan to hang, then cut to create the templates.
  • Measure out where the hanger lies on each frame and create a mark for accuracy.
  • On the floor (or a flat surface) lay out the order in which you want each frame to exist. Once you decide on the arrangement, use painters tape to stick the templates to the wall.
  • Feel free to move the templates around until you land on the exact formation. Then, hammer nails into the wall (using the marking you made in step three).
  • Remove paper and hang your pieces!

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