Showhome Designers Insider DIY tips: The Gallery Wall

Our showhome decorator Marnie is constantly finding ways to make a statement in a new home. With a tight budget and a creative timeline, our decorating team is all about making the latest trends our own and will be showing you how to create some seriously stylish DIY projects.

Gallery walls aren’t just for boutique art studios anymore. We’ve been using this trend in our showhomes a lot lately, and it works with almost any space. Your staircase wall is an empty canvas, making it a perfect spot for an art gallery. Here are the materials you’ll need to make it happen.

DIY Gallery Wall
Skill Level 2/10 (a one or two hour project and just a few simple tools.)
Cost: $100

8-10 – Frames and artwork varying in size from four inches wide to 12 inches wide
1- Bottle of craft paint or can of spray paint
8 -10 – Photos, pieces of fabric, scrapbooking paper, wrapping paper, or anything else you want to fill your frame s with

1 – Hammer
1 – Box of picture hanging nails
1 – Roll of painter’s tape
1 – Roll of brown craft paper
1 – Measuring tape

Step 1: Decide on a palette. Look around your house and see what colours you use, or would like to use. This is a great way to figure out what colours to pick for your frames and photos. We like complementary colours that work with what you already have. The showhome we were working in had a Key West theme, so we’re going with beach and ocean colours.

Step 2: Pick your pictures. Find frames that are the same depth, so they have a similar profile (because you’ll see the sides of the frames as you walk up the stairs). Use all different sizes of frames for an eclectic and collected look. For art, we like family photos or personal mementos; paper and fabrics are good space fillers too.

Step 3: Paint your frames. If your frames don’t go with your palette, just paint them! Take the glass and backing out, then use spray paint or craft paint to coat.

Step 4: Lay it out before you hang it up. Put the art in the frames and lay them on the floor to arrange. HELPFUL TIP: Taking a picture helps you remember when you go to hang them. Start with the biggest frame as the focal point and work your way out. Remember that it’s on a staircase, so the frames should be arranged in a diagonal line to follow the line of the stairs.

Step 5: Grab your hammer and hang. Now trace the frames in brown paper, cut out the shapes, then use painter’s tape to hang them up on the wall the same way you arranged them on the floor. They should have about 1 ½ to 2 inches between each frame. Keep at least 18-24 inches above the floor, so the frames are at eye level.

DECORATOR TIP: Use a piece of painter’s tape on the back of each frame, and mark where the hook or wire hangs. Then transfer the tape to the wall and place the nail where your marks are. After you’ve put the nails in, just remove the tape and hang your picture.

Step 6: Step back and admire your stylish gallery wall! I love this look because you can always swap out photos as your tastes change (or whenever you get new family photos!) It’s a great way to create a really personal space in your house, while adding some serious style.

Check out Marnie bringing this to life on youtube.