Gallery Wall Above Sofa: Top 5 Design Secrets

June 29, 2020

Gallery Wall Above Sofa: Top 5 Design Secrets

Below are our Top 5 design secrets to keep in mind when designing your own gallery wall above your sofa. These are our key tips and suggestions we have gathered during our time running MK Envision Galleries and working with Interior Designers. We hope you get some inspiration from this list and will be off designing your own living room gallery wall this weekend!


If you are looking for a deeper dive into planning out a gallery wall in your home, including layouts, hanging tips, and more ideas and inspiration, we have put together a complete guidebook free for our email subscribers.  


Design Secret #1: Pick a theme

Though gallery walls are meant to be a medley (and eclectic can work very well - see below), a theme can help add order to the chaos.  The theme can be color scheme, subject matter, or uniform frames.  The image below has all three elements aligned for a very cohesive look - same frames, a beach/ coastal subject matter and sepia color scheme.


Shop the look: beachradish images Collection + Roy Kerckhoffs Collection


Design Secret #2: Use the two-thirds rule

As a general rule, the “wingspan” of the gallery wall above your sofa should be no wider than two-thirds the length of the sofa.  This tends to be pleasing to the eye and won’t dwarf the furniture.  

Pro Tip: The lowest piece should be 5-8” above the sofa.


Shop the look: Cafe Arcade by John Scanlan


Design Secret #3: Play with mixed media

Mixed media is a great way to add interest and personalization to gallery walls, and collecting various types of art and momentos can be part of the fun.  Sketches, photographs, paintings, a feather in a shadow box frame, your kid’s finger painting from school... possibilities are endless.

Pictured below is a picture ledge gallery wall - an easy way to swap out art more frequently.


Shop the look: Calle de Blanco & Road to Brunello by John Scanlan


Design Secret #4: Alternate horizontal and vertical

If you are struggling with the layout, alternating horizontal and vertical orientation is a design tip that often helps your gallery wall take shape.  

Pro Tip: Space your art 2-3” apart from each other in each direction.


 Shop the look: Spring 2020 Collection


Design Secret #5: Tape gallery wall layout on the wall

Once you know the general layout you want to create, this extra step is well worth the effort.  Cut out representations true to size of each of your art pieces and tape them on your wall, moving them around until you are happy with the result.  

Pro Tip: Start with the bottom, most central pieces first and work your way out and up.



Ready to get started designing your own gallery wall?  Check out our Ultimate Gallery Wall Guidebook, complete with organic and symmetrical gallery wall design ideas, layouts and lighting tips. Happy designing!


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