How To Create An Easy Gallery Wall

UPDATE - After writing this post, I was inspired to dig in a little deeper. If you want the expanded version, go to the bottom of this page (or any page on the website) to get a copy of “How To Hang Your Art Like A Pro” in exchange for your email. I’ll also send you a short note every time I write another post!

Oh, I had fun with this one! Be sure to keep reading - the first two examples are very simple, but then I started using a different piece of software that kicked my examples up about 100 notches! If you would rather watch a video of this post, just scroll down to the end and you’ll see that your wish is my command.

But let’s start at the beginning. During my two hour design consultations, I’m often asked about where to hang the art that lucky people have collected over the years. This is one of those topics where a fresh set of eyes can really make a difference. I’ve got lots of ideas about how to place art and make it feel brand spanking new.

I often create a quick layout plan on digital graph paper with the measurements taken during the consult. A plan isn’t much good unless it’s pretty close to scale. Here are 2 layouts I created for a recent client:

Map out where your artwork will hang on graph paper before installing the hooks!

She had a collection of antique floral watercolors. 3 were the same size, 2 were just a little bit larger and one was larger still. The wall was 11’-6,” so I spaced them out equally, but let the largest piece have a bit more space at the end of the wall.

Try a couple of arrangements before hanging up your art.

I gave her a second option, which I liked better because I’m not big on lining everyone up in formation. I like “movement” to the arrangement, and this option gave her that.

Here’s where it gets even better.

There’s an app called Homestyler that I decided to give a whirl. While teaching myself how to use it, I focussed on showing a couple of ways to hang art on large walls.

See what you think:

This is a digital room and I’m pretending that the art sitting on the floor is your collection. It’s bits and pieces of varying styles and you’re thinking that it’s going to look like a hot mess if you hang it all together.

It’s not a hot mess at all, is it? Isn’t this app fantastic?!! Much easier to visualize than looking at shapes on graph paper. “I can’t visualize” is the most common thing clients say to interior designers, so this is a handy tool! I can even take a picture of YOUR wall and virtually hang the art up!

In this room, what I did to make all the art play together well was to put the black and white pieces together, use the large colorful piece as a focal point, placed the 3 smallest pieces in a row to visually “end” the first grouping and then let the large piece on the very end, which is a very different genre than the rest, lead your eyes to the large windows. Hmmm, if that doesn’t make sense to you, it’s okay. When I’m placing art, I’m thinking like this and it may not translate to the spoken word easily. Doesn’t matter, as long as the placement is pleasing in the end.

Here’s another gallery wall in the making:

This is an easy, cozy room with big windows looking out at a nice view. I put an accent wall in the back there and “painted” all the other walls a very soft purple/gray. To me, a touch of color warms up a room.

Now lets’ put art on the wall:

Ta-da! In this make-believe scenario, the homeowner has a collection of Americana posters, but also a partner who doesn’t want the whole room to feature that theme. I installed the Americana pieces on both sides of the door opening and used the wall before the table lamp as one section. The wall space on the other side of the table lamp features a beautiful photograph of a lake and mountain landscape. That landscape relates because it’s an example of the beauty of America (purple mountains majesty, get it?).

Then, as you turn the corner to the window wall, I placed a series of smallish mirror that matched by shape, but not by color and finish. AND when entering the space from the front door, those mirrors will reflect the wallpapered accent wall, creating more interest and texture.

I’m having SO much fun with this!

Here’s one more digital room for you:

Rooms like this one are gorgeous, but sometimes feel cold. Remember, this post isn’t about how to furnish a room—I’m just placing art. So instead of putting bookshelves or furniture in those recessed spots flanking the fireplace, I’m going to hang art. But you’ll see how the art warms things up!

Yes, I added one piece of furniture - the console table behind the sofa. I couldn’t help it. Let’s focus on the art. Right now a big trend is big art. That Gustav Klimt on the left is the star of the room, right? A large piece of art doesn’t need lots of little pieces filling up the rest of the wall. In those recessed areas flanking the fireplace, I hung a collection of black and white photographs on the right side. On the left side I put a tall vase on the floor, balanced by a vertical piece of art over it. Doesn’t it look wonderful? I’m loving the zen vibe of that wispy tree over on the right, but you could easily replace it with more art.

Ok, stepping out of the digital world now because I want to leave you with one more very easy tip that everyone can do. When the art you want to hang is feeling sort of small and lonely on the wall—or it just needs a little something, do this:

I’ve shown you this before, right here. Find a bigger frame somewhere —antique store, flea market, Goodwill, the attic, etc.. Use it as-is or jazz it up like I did with some leftover purple paint. It becomes the frame for the smaller art and will make you happy every single time you walk by it.

Here’s another version of this idea:

This sweet painted needlework, created by Elena Caron is about 4.5” in diameter. The faux wreath also isn’t very big, but it really gives that sweet lady a little more importance on the wall. I put this up during the Christmas holidays (she was a wonderful gift), but I can assure you that this will stay up all year long.

And of course I made a video for this blog post too! I promised myself that I’d keep making videos until they get better or I throw my hands up in surrender. They may not be better yet, but I’m not giving up!

I hope this was helpful!



P.S. Do you follow me on Instagram? It’s fun to post photos of easy, DIY projects there and it’s not quite the black hole that so much of social media can be.

Kitchen Update

Kitchen Update Video.jpg

I’ve made another video to go along with this blog post. You don’t have to read the post if you don’t want to - you can scroll right down to the video and watch it instead.

I helped Lisa update her tired Kitchen on a strict budget. You’re going to enjoy this one because it came out just the way we all hope our semi-DIY projects will—successfully! I gave her direction: resources (people to call, websites to visit, paint color suggestions, lighting ideas and technical advice. She handled ALL the project management, which is not easy. Buying and coordinating the delivery and installation of every element takes a lot of determination and the patience of a saint. But she did it!

Here’s a Before photo:


Next is the concept board that showed how her selections were all going to play together very nicely.


And take a look at it now:

Buh-bye dated kitchen. Now this is what I would call a remarkable transformation! White cabinets against warm brown hand-scraped floors may be termed “farmhouse” right now, but this is a classic look that will stand the test of time because every element is gorgeous.


Those elongated subway tiles are hand-made, taking the sharp edge off the look of a basic white subway tile. I bet Lisa runs her hands over those tiles on a daily basis (okay, maybe weekly).

The next photo is a Before of the peninsula. Just your standard flat wood back.


Now take a look at it with some simple new moldings:


What a difference, right? I can’t pick which new addition is my favorite, but this has got to be near the top of my list!


The sweet roman shade window treatment came from an Etsy vendor. Don’t you just love Etsy? It’s becoming a regular shopping site for absolutely everyone!

Oops! Did I forget to call out the new Thunder White granite counters? They’re hard to miss! Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous.


Lisa is a big Rae Dunn pottery fan. On the other side of the kitchen there’s a counter that serves as the coffee station, but Lisa also likes to decorate it for various holidays with pieces from her extensive collection. Such a welcoming kitchen!

Jeez, I almost forgot to insert the video I made of this project. Here it is. Enjoy!



I provide the BEST 2 hour design consultation, but my videos are pretty bad!

It’s true - I’m the self appointed Queen of Consultations in the Triangle. I’ve done a TON of 2 hour consults, leaving a trail of happy clients; many even schedule a second (or third!) consultation as they move through updates and renovations in their homes. I really enjoy my job.

But just like it’s a must for a thriving business to have a website, now it’s also a must for said business to make videos and attach them to that website. I’d rather chew off my arm than star in a video! I’m not looking to bedazzle anyone with my on-screen presence. I’m a working interior designer, guardian to an awesome (yet snarky) 13 year old grandson, wife, homeowner, friend, sister, pet owner, etc. You get my drift. Don’t I have enough to do?


It’s not enough that I help homeowners in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel HIll, Apex and Holly Springs create homes that make them smile, make entertaining easier and just make life a whole lot nicer? Not enough that they get results like this?

I’ll write a post about this homeowner’s update very soon - it’s nothing short of spectacular and finished on the DAY before Thanksgiving!

I’ll write a post about this homeowner’s update very soon - it’s nothing short of spectacular and finished on the DAY before Thanksgiving!

Or this:

Form meets function and falls in love.

Form meets function and falls in love.

Or this:

A fabulous window-seat update in the the arts & craft style of William Morris.

A fabulous window-seat update in the the arts & craft style of William Morris.

Or how ‘bout this one from an incredibly talented DIY client:

Adding trim, warming up the wall color, art, rug, lighting - all ideas from my design consultation. What a difference!

Adding trim, warming up the wall color, art, rug, lighting - all ideas from my design consultation. What a difference!

And we teamed up on this one as well (and many more):

A navy blue accent near the ceiling, stacked stone tile sandwiched between copper molding, copper framed mirror. This guy is fun to work with!

A navy blue accent near the ceiling, stacked stone tile sandwiched between copper molding, copper framed mirror. This guy is fun to work with!

Oh, I could go on and on, but Mr. Google wants videos as well as words and pretty photos. So here’s the first video I’ve made in a very long time. Truth be told, my older ones are even worse.

I send this video to potential clients who are on the fence about scheduling a 2 hour consultation. It lets them see my face and hear me say “um” about 100 times. Then they know I’m friendly and won’t bite and I’ve got enough ideas and enthusiasm to help them in a big way. Try not to laugh too hard. Do you want me to spend my time making videos or designing beautiful rooms?

I’m a MUCH better designer than video star! Go on over to my Contact page and let’s get the ball rolling on YOUR 2 hour consultation!

With sparkle and texture,


What I'm reading now.

It's snowing -  a big event here in NC.  It is really piling up and the perfect opportunity to pull out a book.  Today I'm reading "Theft By Finding" by David Sedaris.  As is usually the case with Sedaris, it's a laugh out loud book, with plenty of serious stuff tucked in

You can buy it here, or by clicking on the book photo.


I love David Sedaris and his kind of humor.  It's dry, sad, honest and hilarious--a quirky combination that's very human.  I can't take his books to waiting rooms because they make me laugh too hard.

Here's an update as I finished the book - this one isn't as consistently funny as some of his others.  It's still a good read and often very funny, but it's more of an interesting story of what he was doing and going through during 1977-2002.

The link is because I'm an Amazon affiliate.  That means if you buy something through the link, I get a small payment that doesn't affect your price at all.  I appreciate your use of links I post.

Whenever you have the chance, grab a book that makes you laugh.