Top Tips from a Gallery Wall Specialist

Top Tips from a Gallery Wall Specialist

When we met someone who was just as passionate about gallery walls as we are, we knew we had to introduce her to our community! Tara Gavin has been curating high-end gallery walls with On the Wall Framing for 17 years, and you can still hear the smile in her voice when she talks about what she does. 

“I just love gallery walls so much! They’re such wonderful conversation starters… That is, if you know how to do them right!” she laughs. And how exactly does she go about creating these fabulous masterpieces? Here are Tara’s golden tips for acing your own gallery wall.


Start With a Wow

When curating gallery walls for the home of holistic nutritionist Jordana Hart, Tara began her process like she always does: “I got Jordana to comb through your website and pick 2-3 prints that really spoke to her.” The gallery wall aficionada recommends starting with pieces that you absolutely love and then building around them to create a cohesive look. Don’t worry too much about whether your top picks match, Tara’s gets to that point with her second tip…

Repeat After Us: Repetition

“Unless I’m going for a really eclectic look, I try to repeat sizes, colors, and styles.” she explains. For instance, if you pick a line art illustration as one of your first picks, Tara recommends working another line art poster into your gallery wall. And let’s say a yellow poster caught your eye, choosing at least one other print with touches of yellow will give your gallery wall a more unified and put together look. Tara’s also all about playing with frame orientation: “I like to mix up square, landscape, and vertical formats to keep things interesting, but I always make sure to follow the repetition rule for orientation too.”

Tell Your Story

Tara likes to think of the galleries she creates as living walls. Beyond beautifying empty spaces, she knows that good gallery walls are also powerful storytelling tools. That’s why she wanted to learn about Jordana’s interests and quirks before curating a gallery wall for her. Our iconic “Flow” poster speaks to Jordana’s love of yoga and wellness while the cute coffee and cantaloupe prints reflect her passion for caffeine and holistic nutrition. Think of the things that make you uniquely you and try to keep them in mind as you’re shopping for art. While there’s nothing wrong with recreating decor trends, you’ll find personalized gallery walls will give your home so much more character.

Go Big and Go Mat

As a high-end gallery wall designer, Tara knows how to create sophisticated decor. When asked about her main recommendations for making any gallery wall look more expensive she didn’t hesitate: “large sizes and picture mats”. When curating a gallery wall for your home, don’t be afraid to go for the largest frame formats available. Our 24x36 inch frames, for example, create an instant ‘wow’ factor and actually make walls appear bigger. As for picture mats, Tara is adamant: they’re the best way to elevate any print. “I like to place the smallest possible print in a large picture mat, it makes them look so much better,” she adds. 

Tara’s final word of advice? Have fun with it! Like any other creative process, creating a gallery wall can sometimes take a minute…or two. So don’t stress about finding the perfect combination right away. Allow yourself to play around with various layouts and dare to venture toward bolder and more colorful options. And when you do finalize your masterpiece, make sure to send us a picture!

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