May 22, 2013 at 4:49 PM ET
Designing a gallery wall anywhere in your home may seem intimidating but it’s not as hard as you might think. The trick is proper planning since even the most whimsical layouts succeed as the result of purposeful decision-making.
1.Choose Your Wall
Define your space—say, above the sofa or in an entryway—and visually divide it into quadrants, building art off of the horizontal line, the vertical line, or both, suggests the blog Design Crush.
2.Curate Your Photos and Artwork
Select your art or photos, and choose complementary frames. (Design Crush likes frames of varying depths for a dimensional effect). We love the idea of creating a gallery around a theme, like current and vintage family photos, or maps, or travel pics and prints—or a bunch of gorgeous frames.
3.Play With Your Layout
Arrange the frames on a floor or table in a sample layout, which you can easily change until you have a look you love. For creative layout ideas, including angled looks perfect for staircases, check out the SAS Interiors blog.
4.Space Out Your Frames
Use contractor’s paper, available at hardware stores, to lay things out on the wall, measuring and cutting paper to the size of your pieces. (As an alternative, the blog In My Own Style suggests using newspaper right out of your recycling bin.) Label the pieces to help you keep track, and mark on each the place where the nail or hook will go. Keep the margins between pieces the same, for instance an inch everywhere around.
Use masking tape to hang the paper, and hammer the nails right through it. Then hang your items—and start enjoying your masterpiece.
A version of this story originally appeared on iVillage.