How To Create an Eclectic Art Gallery Style Picture Arrangement or Grouping

by Sasha on August 10, 2011

Photo Wall Grouping (Picture compliments of Ikea)

One of the hottest design trends right now are those Chic Eclectic Art Gallery picture arrangements for your home. This stylistic form of hanging artwork is a fantastic way to showcase a grouping of your family photos or an artwork collection, and gives you the ability to display several pieces of various size within a relatively small footprint.

Displaying artwork on your walls in groupings, is an art-form itself but after creating several of these sensational decorative walls for clients I’ve come up with a collection of the best designer tricks and tips to make your job easier. This handy how-to guide will help ensure that your new picture arrangement idea is a success!

STEP 1
Start by choosing a large wall in your home and determine how much of that wall you want to cover, 2/3rd of the space is a good guideline to follow but you can also use a furniture piece (like a sofa) to anchor the artwork grouping. If you choose to create your arrangement over a piece of furniture, use the same ratio 2/3rd’s artwork, 1/3rd blank space as illustrated below.

photo gallery wall, art wall

STEP 2
Now that you know roughly how large an area you’d like to cover you’ll need a large piece of paper. I find that the blank, back side of a roll of wrapping paper works well. Cut it to the approximate size of the area you’ll be covering with artwork. Then using low-tack painters tape (so you don’t peel the paint off your walls), gently tape the piece of paper to the wall where your picture arrangement will eventually hang. Take a step back and see if you like the amount of space the hanging artwork grouping will take up, if you need to, adjust the paper size accordingly.

STEP 3
Lay out that same piece of paper on the floor and find the center point of the piece of paper; do this by folding the paper in half both vertically and horizontally, where the folds meet is your center point, unfold the paper and mark the center point.
Gather together the pictures that you’ll be using in your arrangement. Start by placing your largest photo or piece of artwork somewhere near the middle of the paper. Then proceed to layout the rest of your pieces, fitting them together like a jigsaw puzzle within the boundaries of the paper until you get an arrangement that looks good.

Hang photo grouping template, Home Decorating Ideas

STEP 4
Trace the outline of each frame and turn it over so that the back of the frame is facing up, this will be your template. Using your traced outline as a guide slide the picture towards you and draw a line on the paper to illustrate where the picture hanging hardware sits on the frame (or the center point of the wire).

How to hang pictures, gallery wall

Then do the same to show the height of the hanging hardware (B) by sliding the picture frame to the right (within the traced lines) and draw a line to mark the point.

gallery art wall, display family photos

Where the two lines intersect is where you’ll need to install your nail or hook. Repeat this process for each piece of artwork or framed photograph in your grouping.

STEP 5
Once you have the hanging marks for each picture marked on your paper template it’s time to tape the piece of paper back up on the wall. The center point that you marked in step 3 should sit at 57” from the floor. Be sure to level the piece of paper so that it is perfectly straight and square in the desired spot on the wall.
With the paper in place all you need to do is hammer in your nails or Monkey Hooks through the paper using the marker lines you created. TIP: if you’re using hooks, make sure that the bottom of the hook (NOT the nail) lines up with the intersecting lines.

STEP 6
Gently remove the paper from the wall leaving the hooks or nails in place. You can tear the paper if you need to, we’re done with it. Now simply place hang your pictures on the installed hooks, level or adjust as required and YOU’RE DONE!

You now have a perfectly aligned picture arrangement without creating a single pencil mark on your walls. Sit back and enjoy your stylish new Eclectic Art Gallery Picture Wall Arrangement.

DECORATING TIP: These groupings tend to look best if there is a unifying element to your arrangement. I usually recommend using the same picture frames in different sizes like the ones shown here. Shop for these gorgeous picture frames here.

Picture Frames for Photo Grouping Hammered Copper Picture Frame

For an alternate method and a great tip on selecting picture hanging hardware, check out our “How to Hang Artwork, Pictures and Wall Decor at the Perfect Height Everytime” blog post.

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