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How to put together a creative gallery wall

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Gallery walls have become a popular way of showing a group of pictures or memorabilia in a stylish design. It's an easy way to get creative and use your imagination while you are spending all this time at home. You can hang anything from paintings, prints, plates, ceramics and family artwork.

Lola swift gallery wall room shot

I'm a big fan of a gallery wall especially in areas that don't often get noticed, I also have lots of objects that need a home and it's a perfect way of giving each item a spotlight. The more personal you make it the better, gifts, photos of family, something handmade or a reminder of someone or a place you love to go.

My favourite way to display is by using a simple white pegboard from a timber merchant, giving the flexibility to change the design when desired. This may be tricky to get hold of right now but one to keep in mind for the future.

Things to consider whilst planning your design:


1. Where is the best place to have it?

The first consideration is the room or area where you want to design the gallery wall. It could be in a child's bedroom, workspace, living room, hallway or a downstairs bathroom. It is also a good idea to have a plain wall behind to keep the display from being too busy.

Lola swift gallery wall under the stairs

The hallway under the stairs

The image above is of an area of our hallway that was dark and insignificant, I decided to paint the wall yellow as a base to make the pictures I added pop out. For this gallery wall, I added artwork that was made for me or given to me over the years by my friends and family. We now walk through the hallway and immediately notice the display. 

2. Choosing what to hang and how to group it

Try to link up your display by finding colours or styles of work that complement each other but add some quirky pieces to keep it interesting. I think the best gallery walls are less uniform making them unique.

3. Hanging equipment and layout

It's a good idea to lay down the display on the floor to work out where everything is going to go. Think about colour grouping and shapes that will work well near each other. I tend to work out a pattern by eye but I know many want it to be precise and measuring it out is a good option ( I just don't have the patience). If using a pegboard there are many options to use to hang your pieces, consider the different hanging options and how it will affect the angle once upon the wall. The image below shows my layout for the first pegboard display and all the hardware I used to hang everything up, all of which can be found from online hardware stores.

Gallery wall lay out

Example gallery walls:

My kitchen gallery wall

This wall is in a walkthrough point, it is also opposite a seating area so it's perfect for viewing. The landscape painting was painted by a great local Bath artist and friend Paul Jackson The portraits of my children were painted by my neighbour and acclaimed artist Sally Muir. The colour wheel decoupage plate is part of a collection by John Derian that I stock on my website as is the sheepskin rug on the bench.

Lola Swift Kitchen gallery wall

My workroom gallery wall

This wall is my daily inspiration, with artwork, photos, and everything I love around me. I also sell the butterfly wall sculptures online in a variety of styles.

Lola Swift workroom colourful gallery wall

Landing gallery wall

I had a lot of fun painting up an old printers tray letterpress drawer and inserting lots of trinkets, wallpapers and fabrics. It helps to create a focal point in my display.

Lola Swift Landing gallery wall

Printed photo wallpaper

This final image is an entirely different way to make a wall of photos, it is a printed wallpaper. It is in our downstairs bathroom and works beautifully in a small room as you can get up close and enjoy looking at all the photos.

Lola swift bathroom photo wallpaper

This hopefully shows you some of the fun ways you can make a gallery wall, it's not the traditional way with white frames and children's photos, but I like things to be different, I want to awake your senses and create the extraordinary.

I'm always on hand to offer any design advice, please email over any images of areas or displays you are working on.


Lola Swift




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