Get the space between picture frames right

When you are creating a gallery by hanging a number of items together, how you space them apart can help give the gallery a particular feel. In this article we’ll take a look at different types of spacing and how it can influence the overall appeal of your arrangement.

Image of a gallery wall of 4 picture frames evenly spaced about a computer

Image a gallery wall of 12 picture frames above a bed all spaced evenly.

Space it evenly for a modern look 

Generally speaking, the more uniform a collection of images are, the more ‘modern’ or contemporary it feels. This is also a great way to pull together a variety of images and instantly give them some consistency.

Use the same frame sizes and finishes and keep the spacing between them even. This creates the possibility for you to add different types of images in the frame and have the entire arrangement look cohesive.

An image of a gallery wall of 6 picture frames that are all spaced evenly and close together to create a cohesive look.

Use spacing to group similar items together 

Here’s an example using common spacing to visually tie together a number of items, even if they are in different sized frames. Even though the outside of the arrangement doesn’t line up or fit into a neat rectangle, the overall effect is a modern, cohesive look.

An image of a gallery wall of 12 frames hung above a bed, showing how you can you close spacing for a subset of frames in the arrangement to help them stand out as 1 unit.Here’s another example showing how using tighter spacing on some items in an arrangement can pull them together and make them stand out as a single unit. This is an easy way to create a grouping within a grouping.

Even spacing is a simple and easy way to get your arrangements looking cohesive, but there are some advantages to using uneven spacing as well. Let’s have a look at a few examples.

An image of a gallery wall of 9 picture frames above a bed, that shows how you can increase the space around a single picture to make it stand out.

Use bigger spacing to focus on a specific piece

A simple way to draw focus to a specific piece in an arrangement is to increase the amount of space around it. This helps set it apart visually and draws the eye to it.

 An image of a gallery wall made up of a number of different shapes and sizes of wall décor and the spacing needs between items to create a balanced look.

Incorporate differently shaped items using varied spacing

Hanging a collection of items of not only different sizes but different shapes can be a bit more of a challenge. Generally speaking, round or oddly shaped items need to have a little more space around them to avoid feeling cramped. In this gallery, the round frame, deer’s head and black ornate frame all have extra space around them. Note as well the use of tighter spacing between the middle two frames and the three frames on the right to arrange them together into a grouping within a grouping as we described above. 

A living room gallery wall of 13 different sizes and styles of pictures and wall décor that is spaced randomly for an eclectic look.

Use random spacing for an eclectic look

Just to show that there are no hard and fast rules, you can use any kind of spacing you like, to create a casual, eclectic look to your arrangement. This makes it super easy to add new items as your collection grows, without worrying about how to fit them into the overall collection. This is a great approach when you are trying to fill an oddly shaped space as well. 

An image of a person standing on a stool to take a photo of items placed on the floor in the layout of the gallery wall they are going to hang.

Get a new perspective

Sometimes it’s hard to get a clear idea of what your favorite option is, so here’s a trick we use all the time. Arrange your items on the floor and take a photo of each arrangement. Review the photos to decide which option suits you best. Sometimes looking at the photo will show you things you didn’t notice in the moment you were arranging the items, and it’s a lot easier to make changes when it’s on the floor versus on the wall.

Do what feels good to you

Remember, these rules are guidelines only. At the end of the day, whatever looks good to you is the right answer. Don’t be afraid to experiment with your hanging arrangement, or change them around when you need a refresh.

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