How to Create a Great Gallery Wall

Get the gallery wall of your dreams with tips (and art recommendations!) from Minted's Mariam Naficy.


One thing's for sure—design marketplace Minted has been a game changer when it comes to creating a fun gallery wall. The site showcases thousands of framed and unframed affordable art prints from artists across the globe and routinely holds artist challenges to expand their catalog of offerings. In our March issue, we featured the home of Mariam Naficy, founder and CEO of Minted, and asked her for a few tips on picking out, arranging and hanging art. And who better to get recommendations from, since she's often one of the first to see the site's latest offerings. Here, the design-savvy mom of two shares the inspiration behind (and many of the exact pieces used in!) her lovely living room gallery wall.

Mariam's Tips for a Top-Notch Gallery Wall

1. Mixing media is key for a curated look. Your gallery wall should include prints, photos, paintings and even objects. As you can see, Mariam added variety to her mostly Minted assortment with a portrait of her son, family photos, a framed fabric scrap from Turkey, an antique mirror from a Paris flea market and a vintage French book. Kids' drawings also look great in a gallery wall set-up.

2. Update old pieces with new frames, and add character to newer pieces by using vintage frames. "For some reason, modern photos look great in frames with patina, and vintage paintings or drawings work well with new, simple frames." So buy those beat-up frames you see for a steal at a garage sale, and stock up on the more streamlined styles you might find at big boxes.

3. Get creative with your mats. While Mariam prefers to unite her collection with all white mats, she is a fan of unusually cropping a few pieces to add visual interest. You can find mats with irregular borders and off-center openings at art and craft stores as well as framing stores.

4. Use templates to plan the perfect layout. Mariam traced the dimensions of each item out on kraft paper, labeled each with a quick cell phone snap of the piece itself and then played with placement to build a balanced composition. Painter's tape was used to make positioning tweaks well before any hammers were swung.

Get the Gallery Wall Look (from top to bottom, left to right; frames are vintage and art prints are Minted unless otherwise noted) St. Paul's Cathedral, London by 45wall design. Almond Milk by Carolyn MacLaren. The Rapids by Rose Lindo in Gold. Abstract Muted 1 by Kelly Nasuta in Blush Pink. Prism Diamond by Paper Monkey Press (cropped, shown in the barn wood frame). Vintage fabric from Turkey (personal collection). Portrait (personal collection). Family photograph (personal collection). Abstracciones Vol. 3 in Blush by Aspacia Kusulas (cropped). Family Photograph (personal collection). Fox Child's Artwork (personal collection). Cascade by Grace Kreinbrink (shown in the white premium wood frame). Embrace by R studio. Antique Book (personal collection). Watercolor painting (personal collection). Look DOWN by Gail Schechter. Men in Red by Kate Baird (shown in the white premium wood frame). Child's Artwork (personal collection). Vintage Illustration (personal collection). Vintage Mirror (personal collection).