Stylish Ways to Display Family Photos & Artwork

Stylish Ways to Display Gallery Family Photos & Artwork

Have you ever seen a gallery display of photos or artwork on a wall and wondered how they got that mismatched look to work?

Gallery walls are a great way to add interest, pattern and colour to a room. They can also be very intimidating to put together.

Here are some designer secrets to creating this look.

Firstly ensure there is at least one common element running through the display such as:

  • Black and white photography. They  look fabulous together.
  • Similar mats that will bring cohesiveness to the display.
  • Frames of one colour such as black, white or gold.

Then before you start, lay it all out:

  • Use paper cut to the size of each piece and tape to the wall creating the desired effect, or
  • Lay it all out on the floor
  • Make sure each piece is spaced out evenly throughout the display. For example, 1” space between each piece on four sides (top, bottom, both sides).

A gallery of photos or artwork can be displayed effectively just about anywhere you have an empty wall or shelf.


The Stairs

The staircase wall provides a wonderful opportunity to show off your artwork or family photos. The key for a successful display is to match the angle of the display to the angle of the staircase.

Make an interesting line with the bigger photos as the focal point. Then fill in with smaller pics. This cluster display is an excellent use of otherwise wasted space.

The Tabletop/Dresser

Add character to a dresser or tabletop with framed family photos. Play with frames of different materials.  Add frames with different sizes and shapes for visual interest.  Then place photos at the same angle to create a unified look. 

Here are some unique and creative ways to arrange your gallery:


The Collection

If your collection consists of a variety of shapes and sizes, make sure the display is evenly balanced with an assortment of shapes and sizes used throughout. Make sure the space between each piece is uniform. For example, 1” space between each piece on four sides (top, bottom, both sides).

The Grid

Using tape, mask out an area on the wall and keep all the frames within the perimeter of the tape, making sure the space between each piece (top, bottom and sides) is uniform.
The Clock

Arrange family photos in a circle on the wall with the hands of a clock in the middle.  This could be especially effective if a time related quote were added. A few to consider:

  • A moment in time changed forever. (birth of a child)
  • Time is not measured by clocks but by moments.
  • Make time to enjoy the simple things in life.

The Family Tree

Show how your family tree has blossomed with a family photo tree display. Paint a family tree on the wall and place photos as the leaves. 

Add a family quote like “Time spent with family is precious” or an acrylic wall sticker that says “family” or “our family tree”. 

The Heart

Designing a heart-shaped photo collage is easy. Just grab your favourite family pictures and place on the wall in a heart shape.  Then add a heart-based quote like “A family is tied together with heart strings” or “Side by side or miles apart, family is always close to the heart.”

The Clothesline

String up your favourite photos side by side on a wall for a rustic look.  You can clip them up with miniature clothes pins.  It’s a whimsical way to show off your memories.  Plus, it’s really easy to swap out photos.  You can even stack several clotheslines on top of each other for a layered look. 

We all have treasured artwork and family photos we love. I hope these suggestions help you to get inspired to create your own unique displays in your home.

Happy decorating.

If you live in the North Vancouver area and want to learn ideas for remodeling or redecorating, we invite you to contact us for a design consultation here.

Barb has recently completed an entire renovation of our home’s interior. She had worked with us 13 years ago,
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