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DecorBook Classic : Gallery Wall on the Cheap

Are you seeing gallery photo walls everywhere? There used to be a hard-and-fast rule in interior decorating - no personal photographs in public spaces. If you follow social media or watch design shows, you'll see that rule has flown out the window. I'd be inclined to do a series of family photos in the bedroom. But I think maybe some old photos of ancestors would be fun in the guest bathroom. For my wall, I'd choose framing the original photos (not enlargements), all in the same size frame and mat color. There are very affordable ways to do a gallery wall. Let's take a look at some inspiration and some how-to.


Color! Don't you love these colorful mats with black&white photos of nature?

Enlarged black&white family photos pop on a dark wall.

My inspiration for a gallery wall came from this room at RH in San Francisco.

Ah, young love. A gallery wall theme is a good idea - here's to the happy couple!

Last week, I went to IKEA to pre-shop and boy, do they have some affordable frames. Most 16"x20" frames are between $8 and $16, for example. IKEA frames used to come only in white or black but last week, I saw frames in gold and you can order all kinds of frames in fun colors on

There are a lot of how-to websites. Using IKEA frames and mat she cut herself, Kristen made herself a gallery wall using the least expensive of items. Nine IKEA Fiskbo frames (a 16x20 is $7.99). Two 3M Command strips per frame, one in each upper corner affix the frames to the wall.

Kristen writes, "I line up one of my levels horizontally under my frame, and one level vertically next to it. Using the levels like this will not only ensure that your frame is perfectly level, but it also gives you the perfect amount of spacing between your frames. I like to start with the bottom center frame. I made sure it was perfectly centered left to right and then worked my way up and out for the rest of the frames, using my levels to get the correct spacing in between." For more -


Don't you love this hall gallery wall? Tasha sprayed IKEA frames gold, 4 light coats. She used Sherwin-Williams sample pots to paint the mats. 12x12 black&white enlargements were ordered from Shutterfly. For detailed instructions -

my daddy, circa 1914, seattle, wa

I hope you're inspired to try a gallery wall. I'm thinking about using mats that haven't been cutout, so I can tape a photo on each frame's mat and change out the photos when the mood strikes. But I'm sure I'll keep this photo of my father on permanent display as it makes me smile every time I see it. After all, isn't that the purpose of a gallery wall? If you have a gallery wall or are thinking about one, please let me know at I'd love to hear your story.

PS There are quite a few online companies that will make a gallery wall for you. Check out framebridge, simplyframed or picture-wall to name a few.

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