Looking for gold gallery wall inspiration, ideas, and tips? Learn how to create a simple gallery wall layout with frames, mirrors, and style — without stress or a tape measure.
I didn’t intend to create a gold gallery wall in the nursery. It happened organically over time. And it all started with a wooden Italian mirror with a ribbon design.
When I purchased it online, I thought it was going to be larger. You see, I’d rather not get out the measuring tape — unless I’m sewing or trying to measure Little Bear’s height. Nonetheless, I thought it was darling, so I hung it above a special dresser, on which my mom painted flowers, bunnies, and birds for me when I was younger. It’s now used as a changing table and filled with cloth diapers, homemade diaper rash cream, and pajamas.
Next, I came across a set of three small mismatched Regency style frames from the 1950’s. My favorite from the collection, which features a floral motif, sits on our piano. But the gold gilded frame with a portrait of a 19th century lady and the tiny molded resin mirror adorn the small wall space in the nursery above the dresser.
Do I recommend creating a gallery wall above a changing table? It depends. Several times, Little Bear has kicked the portrait of the 19th century lady off the wall. But they are all lightweight frames, and no harm was done. Even though it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, seeing the gold gallery wall so often each day makes me happy.
How to Create a Gallery Wall
Whether you’re planning a gallery wall for the nursery, the living room behind a vintage sofa, a bedroom, or along the staircase, the basic design principles are the same. This is true no matter if you wish to make a mirror gallery wall or one with floating shelves and air-purifying houseplants. It’s easier than it may appear to make a gallery wall in your home.
Gallery Wall Art
First, find wall art that you love, such as frames, mirrors, and pictures. I recommend taking your time collecting the decor instead of trying to get it all at once. Additionally, it can be helpful to search for small curated sets in which all the pieces complement each other.
From antique shops and thrift stores to Etsy and eBay, there are plenty of places to search. You could also go the DIY route, painting frames and printing — or creating — art. Framing your children’s artwork also adds a personal touch.
Is there a story you’re trying to tell or a feeling you want to convey? Is there a unifying theme that ties all the elements together, or is it more eclectic? What style (country, bohemian, old world, farmhouse, regency, shabby chic, minimalist, etc.) do you want to express? These questions can help guide your ideas for a gallery wall.
For example, I quickly realized that I was drawn to Florentine frames; each one I bought was made in Italy. The nursery, which is now more like a playroom, already had a nature theme. I hoped to add a little more whimsy to the space with the gallery wall.
Just as the room has already changed from a nursery to a playroom, I’m sure one day that wall decor will change, too. Likely, the wall will be covered in pictures or posters that represent the interests of my children, but for this moment in time, I wanted it to be romantic and dreamy.
Gold Gallery Wall Ideas and Tips
If you are designing a gold gallery wall, don’t get too hung up on the shades of gold. You might be surprised how pretty a brassy gold frame with earthy accents of red and brown can look next to one with more vivid yellows. The color palette should still look cohesive, even with different gold tones.
Personally, I like the look of older frames, and I also prefer those that were handmade. Maybe you like more modern, shiny metallic frames. Either way, I wouldn’t worry about making sure the gold hues match precisely, unless that’s an important aspect of what you’re envisioning for your gold gallery wall. Try to integrate repetition with contrast.
On that note, don’t shy away from mixing materials. Textured wood frames can hang alongside vintage Syroco pieces. Likewise, look for different shapes. You can include frames of various sizes for more emphasis or stick to those that are relatively the same.
Most of our playroom gallery wall is comprised of mirrors. They make the room feel more spacious and reflect the sunlight and greenery outdoors. The gallery wall art of a 19th century lady and a needlepoint and velvet picture of a fruit tree add visual interest. I think they also add elegance and charm to the gallery wall.
Feel free to add items that aren’t framed, liked canvases or vintage signs. Also, consider utilitarian pieces, like sconces or a clock. I included an ornate shelf that is useful for displaying books and holding toys.
Gallery Wall Planning and Layout
For me, finding the frames was the fun part. As a perfectionist, I knew the task of actually designing the gallery wall could become stressful, if I let it. I decided not to overthink it.
Since I didn’t find the pieces all at once, and I didn’t originally plan to create a gallery wall, it came together slowly. Frames moved around and more holes were made in the wall than necessary.
If I had known from the start that a gallery wall was the goal, perhaps I would have tried to patiently wait until each item was collected before hanging them. I probably would have roughly sketched out an idea for the layout.
Physically laying out the frames on the ground and finding your favorite alignment can be a helpful step to take before getting out the hammer. This allows you to see the sequence and determine if you’re happy with the visual movement of the design.
Building your design around bigger pieces can be a good place to start; however, I don’t advise putting the biggest piece of gallery wall art front and center. Instead of making it symmetrical, spread out the sizes and mix vertical frames with horizontal ones; this can create balance and interest.
Remember to leave white space, which will really be the color of your wall. Also referred to as negative space, it is like breathing room between the objects in your composition. It helps to organize the layout and establish hierarchy as well.
Simple and Uncomplicated
To make the whole process as stress-free as possible, I suggest just eyeballing it. I think randomness can be beautiful, and imperfections add character.
If you find comfort in exact measurements, then by all means, get out the tape measure and level. If you don’t want nail holes in the wall, you could try to use command hooks.
When the man of the place and I first started arranging and hanging frames, we used nails and screws. Yes, screws. I couldn’t stand the look, but the long nails we had would bend before they were completely hammered into our hard walls that I’m convinced are made of cement.
Eventually, I came across some teeny tiny gold nails. Even though the screws created wider holes, I was able to keep the same placement because the nails are a little longer. I share that because little details can make a big difference; especially, if it’s something that bothers you.
If I make another gallery wall one day, I’ll aim to have all the necessary materials first. I’ll learn from experience and think ahead about what tools and fasteners will be required to create the gallery. After all, I might have to use a stud finder and mounting brackets to ensure it is safe and secure.
Room for More
Ultimately, don’t take it too seriously. Holes can be covered or filled in and frames can be rearranged. You might decide that you have too many frames, or you may realize your favorite one actually fits better in a completely different room.
On the nursery gallery wall, I left a little extra space, in case I come across another frame or two that I absolutely love. Overall, I think it’s best to keep it simple. I personally didn’t want it to look overcrowded.
Nevertheless, if you have the space and the desire to cover the entire wall — or multiple walls — in frames, go for it. Although I have yet to finish watching the movie, I was inspired by one of the settings in “A Room with a View.” (More Italian inspiration!) All the walls and even the corners of one particular room were embellished.
Have Fun with Your Wall Decor
Most importantly, try to have fun creating the gallery wall. You might put it up in ten minutes, or maybe you would rather take a few days to play with the organization of the display.
You could think of it like a puzzle, but I choose to think of it as accessorizing the wall. Like jewelry, some wall accessories can be pricey. I always try to find the best price before making an investment. You can definitely create a gallery wall on a budget.
You might find your entire collection at a yard sale for less than twenty dollars. Contrarily, you might spend months selecting each individual item and more money than you care to admit. Although your style may change and you might decide to redecorate the entire room, if your gallery wall brings you joy now, and hopefully for a little while longer, I think it’s worth it.
Have you created a gallery wall in your home? Tell me about it in the comments.