8 Steps to Create an Eclectic Gallery Wall

How to Create an Eclectic Gallery Wall

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We love a good gallery wall, and even better when it’s eclectic! And that’s exactly the style we’re going for in our home. 

Eclectic style encompasses a variety of periods and styles and is brought together through the use of color, texture, shape, and finish.

Instead of being so worried about what’s on-trend, what style is in or what’s out, or what goes with this or that, we’ve decided that in our home, we’re just going with anything and everything that makes us happy!

If it is sentimental, tells a story, supports someone we love, puts a smile on our face, or gives us all the good energy and feels, it’s coming home with us.

And that’s exactly the rule of thumb we went with when we designed our living room space and put this eclectic gallery wall together.

So today we wanted to chat with you on how to create an eclectic gallery wall of your own.

Choose a Theme

First, you want to choose a theme. To keep your eclectic gallery wall as cohesive as eclectic can be, choose an overall theme for your wall. Do you want it to be all family photos, art, travel, design?

The point of an eclectic gallery wall is to mix it up, but you also need to know what overall theme you want to incorporate on the wall, or it can get really overwhelming. 

For us, I knew I wanted it to be colorful! Yet, bring in natural tones and elements that go with the vibe of the furniture and decor in our living room.

Our theme was modern boho. And I wanted it to be a representation of family for our family living room.

Which meant a mix of family photos, family artwork, places we’ve traveled, and handwritten notes from the family members we’ve lost. 

How to Create an Eclectic Gallery Wall

Use Multiple Sizes

For true eclectic style, you want to use multiple sizes of frames, prints, pictures, and art.

And then you want to make sure the sizes draw your eye around. When you fill your wall with various size frames, it will create visual interest.

Plus, it is like a fun puzzle to piece everything together. It’ll keep your eye searching from one piece to the next and bring curiosity to the story. 

Think about any eclectic gallery wall you’ve seen. Did it have a variety of sizes? Did it keep you curiosity moving from one image to the next and asking, “where did you get that?”

And I bet each had a very unique story to tell! 

I pulled in my Grandma’s artwork, and took the frame off, framed my Dad’s and Jamie’s Grandma’s handwritten recipe cards. Used mats in some frames while I left others out. Again, with eclectic, don’t be afraid to mix it up.

How to Create an Eclectic Gallery Wall

Have an Anchor

However, when you use multiple sizes, you want to start by using something large as an anchor. For this wall, I used one large anchor print, the piece of art on the top left-hand side, and then I had the second-largest print on the bottom right-hand side with a couple of larger pieces of art in the middle, one high and one lower.

This makes your eye drawn to start at one “anchor” point and then move around. I still want another large piece of art on the far right-hand side but haven’t landed my eyes on something I’ve fallen in LOVE with quite yet, so the wait is still on for that perfect piece. I didn’t want to rush the process just to have something that didn’t spark joy. 

eclectic gallery wall in living room design ideas

Mix Horizontal and Vertical

Especially when using multiple sizes, you want to mix vertical and horizontal frames. Being eclectic means everything being matchy-matchy and perfectly cohesive is out the window. 

How to Create an Eclectic Gallery Wall

We went with three different colors and styles of frames: black, wood, and gold. Then we made sure we had a good mixture of black vertical and horizontal to ensure that all one style and color of frame weren’t all the same direction.

And then it’s almost like a jigsaw puzzle that you create on your own. Lay the anchor piece down in whichever direction you want and then start surrounding the anchor piece with either vertical or horizontal pieces, whichever way they fit the best snug around. Take a step back, admire, and shift pieces until it makes sense.  

How to Create an Eclectic Gallery Wall

Mix up the Frames! 

Choose 2-3 different colors, styles, and finishes—eclectic means bringing many styles together, not just one. And is brought together through the use of color, texture, shape, and finish, and this is easy to do with the frames you use!

At first, I had so many white, matted frames from our previous gallery wall that I wanted to utilize those within this new eclectic gallery wall to save a few bucks. I was going to do white, wood, and gold.

So I got the frames laid out on the floor and just sat with them for weeks. But there was something that didn’t seem right. And I realized we really had no white in this room.

So I decided to spraypaint the white frames black. And just like that, it all pulled together and complimented the space.

Then I knew we wanted to use some wood frames to tie in the wood elements around the fireplace, hardware, and decor. And lastly, I wanted just a little sparkle, and being we had leftover gold frames, gold it was! 

How to Create an Eclectic Gallery Wall

Tell a Story

Most importantly, you want every piece to tell a story! Make this gallery wall a conversation piece of art for your home.

Did you commission your favorite artist to paint a piece of art? Is it sentimental, did you find it at your favorite thrift store, or has it been on this journey of life with you?

A family photo or your favorite vacation destination? What will the story be that you tell when someone asks about it? And do you want that story to be a reflection, daily reminder within your home? 

How to Create an Eclectic Gallery Wall

If you’re looking for unique pieces that tell a story, make sure to check out our blog post, Your guide to Creative Gallery Wall Artwork

Have Accurate Spacing in Between

Once you know all the prints, frames, colors, sizes, and textures you’ll incorporate in your eclectic gallery wall, it’s time to get to work and hang these beauties!

We recommend using 2″ – 3″ between frames as it is best to have frames too close together rather than too far apart. Having the frames too far apart could cause it to feel busy or cluttered rather than uniform.

Think of your eclectic gallery wall as one piece (your gallery wall), versus thinking of it as a bunch of various frames and decor on your wall. 

I like to start on the floor first. Start with our 1-4 anchor pieces and get them laid out on the floor in front of the wall.

Then just like a jigsaw puzzle, start laying the other pieces around your anchor pieces, keeping that consistency of 2-3″ from one another. 

8 Steps to Create an Eclectic Gallery Wall 1

Measure, Level, Nail & Hang

And then it’s time to measure, level, nail, and hang! The good news is that when it comes to eclectic, imperfect is best. 

Measure the entire length and height of the wall and find the middle spot of where your gallery wall will be. Then from your temporary gallery wall spread out on your floor, double-check that each from is 2-3″ from one another.

From there, you can measure where your 1st anchor frame will be. Tape off on the wall and start hanging! Those are the only two key spots I measure off when hanging an eclectic gallery wall. 

Measure, level, nail, hang or measure, nail, hang, and level will depend on what types of frames you use. If you are using frames that only have one hanger on the back, I level and adjust once everything is hung.

However, if you have frames with two hangers on the back, then you’ll want to measure and level before you nail and hang. 

8 Steps to Create an Eclectic Gallery Wall 2 

And do the happy dance, you’re done!! I hope this inspires you to get your creative juices flowing and to make that eclectic gallery wall of yours. Any questions? Drop a comment below, and we’ll be sure to help. 

Happy designing! 


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