5 Gallery Walls That Work for Type A People

January 15, 2016

I enjoy a good gallery wall—I just don’t want the usual jumbled iteration of one in my house.

That’s because, while I can appreciate the joy of a haphazard collection of frames elsewhere, in my own space, visual clutter turns into mental clutter: I like a little order in my disorder.

I could not live here (or there). Photo by Pinterest, Pinterest

Luckily, the solution is simple: Add a little order to your gallery wall.

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With my arrangement (shown below) I used an imaginary horizontal line to break up the collection of artwork and create some organization—just a bit, not too much. You’ll notice that not everything lines up perfectly on that horizontal line, and there are a couple outliers to add interest.

Order, sweet order. (With an acceptable level of wonkiness with the "Bonne Nuit" lace crochet.)

If the horizontal line isn’t for you, there are a few other ways to give your gallery wall some sense:

  • Create a border to constrain the size and shape of your grouping. Use painter's tape to mark off a rectangle or square on your wall and use that as an exterior border to neatly confine your grouping.
Photo by Melissa Oholendt via Emily Henderson
  • To keep the arrangement really visually calming, stick with a similar color palette for all of the artwork and frames—bonus soothing points if the color is a neutral one.
Photo by DwellStudio via HGTV
  • Organize your gallery wall with a grid pattern, by using all the same size frames.
  • Mount shallow shelves in orderly rows, then lean art of all shapes and sizes on them (which makes for easy re-arranging, too!).
Photo by Vosges Paris
Photo by Pinterest

Tell us: Where do you like to have a little order in your disorder?

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Ali Slagle
    Ali Slagle
  • Kristen Miglore
    Kristen Miglore
I like esoteric facts about vegetables. Author of the IACP Award-nominated cookbook, Cooking with Scraps.


Ali S. January 15, 2016
Kristen M. January 15, 2016
We tried gallery-walling in our apartment last weekend and immediately felt claustrophobic, so we talked about downsizing to only teeny, orderly things or stand-alone larger pieces that still leave lots of white space. This is so soothing and helpful (and well-timed!).