Who doesn’t love a great gallery wall? They are a great way to show your love for family, travel, art, or anything else you love. Sometimes the trendy super curated gallery walls all over the interwebs are just not feasible. So let’s talk about some unique gallery wall ideas – ways to incorporate a gallery wall in your home decor that may be a bit unconventional but are still very beautiful.
Gallery walls aren’t new. I grew up with everywhere. In our home, my grandparents had family photos arranged on both walls of the stairwell, over the fireplace in the den, along the long sofa wall in the den, and on tabletops or any flat surface they could find.
Going to other family member’s homes would reveal the same style time after time – from aunts & uncles to my great grandparents homes all we ever knew was “gallery walls” full of family photos.
Fast forward a few decades and super curated grids of individual & group family photos and travel adventures were popping up everywhere. Of course I’ve even created them for clients who absolutely love them! For me, the key to a successful gallery wall installation in a client project is to leave space for the gallery to expand over over time.
I’ve personally always loved gallery walls because of what is has always represented to me – family. What I don’t love is the lack of individuality. We have been in our current home 8 years & I have tried all kinds of variations in our family room.
I always wanted an art gallery style gallery wall in our family room, which isn’t technically a roomunto itself. It’s a great room with 1 wall that spans the equivalent of 3 rooms. A carefully curated gallery wall would have required that I break up that wall expanse into 2, visually creating 2 room out of 1. Only problem is that breaking the wall into sections is that:
- it’s no longer 1 large cohesive room
- to make it cohesive could get tricky, busy, & potentially very expensive
- it no longer feels like everyone is in the same space
The other thing is, there’s nothing unique about the concept. Everyone’s doing it because we all love gallery walls. So how can you incorporate some unique gallery wall ideas into your home?
So I ended up treating the entire wall as 1 long art gallery style wall with large scale pieces that all relate in some way – in this case family photos in similarly dark frames. All the frames are not the same size or orientation – some are horizontal, some vertical but they are all middle aligned giving the illusion of sameness (in a good way).
A few unexpected items added gives this unique gallery wall more texture & interest. Notice the large empty frame around the smaller framed print combined with an African Mask and the thermostat!
Let’s Explore More Unique Gallery Wall Ideas
Storage in plain sight
Perfect for collectors of all sorts – here we used the concept for our sneakerhead son. Teenagers love things like this because it shows off what they love & no one else will ever have the exact same configuration. Bonus points for freeing up extra storage space in the closet!
Storage in plain sight – Part 2
Again with the collectors! Use the same concept from above for baseball cap organization. Because honestly most people that are into sneakers probably love caps too. Or some other type(s) of sports gear, paraphernalia, or equipment. So if it has to be there, why not store it in plain sight – as a galley wall!
Album & LP Storage
This is a similar concept to storing collections in plain sight except that album covers are pure art within themselves. And they are the perfect size for creating unique take on a grid gallery wall.
Basket walls are having a moment! A very long moment. Just like gallery walls, basket walls are not new. I remember my mom having tons of baskets in the 70’s & without enough space to store them, some ended up hanging from the wall. Of course it was purely for functionality back then but who knew that would spark a whole aesthetic that is the Afro Boho Basket Wall?!
Use a shelf to display artwork of all kids. This makes it easy to switch things up seasonally or as the kids or grandkids grow, for example.
These are 5 unique gallery wall ideas that you can use in your home to create stunning one of a kind art installations you’ll never see anywhere else. Take these ideas and make them your own by incorporating meaningful items you love in to your home decor.
As always, take your time and enjoy the process!