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a changing gallery wall…

How to Change Up Your Gallery Wall

How to Change Up Your Gallery Wall

There's nothing I love more in a home than a good gallery wall. With my love of artwork and prints by all the talented artists and makers out there, I have grown a collection of art that I want to share and display. I have two large gallery walls that you may have seen previously—one in my home and one in my studio—and I wanted to show you how they have changed over the years and also my tips on how to change them when you're feeling like a refresh…

Oh Joy Living Room / designed by Emily Henderson

2010 – In 2010, we had our living room designed by a certain interior designer/blogger named Emily Henderson for her then-show Secrets from a Stylist on HGTV. She is the queen of gallery walls, and I owe her a life-sized cut-out of Ryan Gosling for showing me how to do it right. You can read Emily's tips right here for how to create a gallery wall from scratch.

Prints in 2010 photo: lady print by Peggy Wolf, floral hedgehog byChipmunk Cheeks, vintage poodle print from Rosebowl flea market, popsicle print by Anna Tillett, heart by CDR, portrait by Gemma Correll, bird print by Yumi Yumi, Manhattan print by Jim Datz for Three Potato Four, lemon print by Dear Colleen, lady print by Peggy Wolf, Swan girl print by Sophie Blackall, rabbit by Fifi Lapin, and buildings by Julia Rothman. Photo by Laure Joliet.

Oh Joy Living Room / designed by Emily Henderson

2012 – After the show in 2010, Emily and I became fast (real-life) friends cemented by our love of The Bachelor. We realized how much we loved working together so we did it again with a baby-proof update to my living room. She helped me update the art so that it felt a bit more unified with the same frame colors and a color palette that had pops of blue that tied back to the baby-proofed couch cover we added.

Prints in 2012 photo: Brooklyn Print by Jim Datz; Summer's End Print by Aeropagita; Polaroid Prints by Jen Gotch, "Static" and "Lucky 13"; Before Print by Leah Giberson; Female Portrait by Zoe Pawlak; Abstract Painting by Michelle Armas; ceramic hanging woman is vintage; Heart Print by Christopher David Ryan. Photo by Bonnie Tsang.

Oh Joy Living Room

2016 – Four years later, I was ready to freshen up the wall again. This time I updated just a few pieces and wanted to keep the overall layout the same as before. Using the placement that Emily established previously, I added in some gold frames to mix in with the white frames as well as dimensional elements like the neon heart.

Prints in 2016 photo: Heart Print by Christopher David Ryan, Oh Joy for Target "You're Okay" print, Summer's End Print by Aeropagita, Abstract Painting by Michelle Armas, Polaroid Prints by Jen Gotch, "Static", Oh Joy for Target "Hey Hey Hey" print, Oh Joy for Target neon heart light (restocking soon). Photo by Casey Brodley.

After changing the art a few times now on the same wall, here is what I've learned:

1. Establish a general sense of size, quantity, and layout of artwork from the beginning. Emily changed our layout significantly from 2010 to 2012 by reducing the number of pieces and using larger pieces. I definitely like the update more as I preferred the larger pieces and being able to focus on fewer pieces that felt more unified (especially up against that graphic wallpaper). Once the preferred layout was established, it was much easier to change in 2016 when I did it myself.

2. Use the existing art (and the nail/hooks that hold it as a basis for where you'll put the replacement). This might sound obvious, but sometimes a new piece isn't the same exact size as a previous one. Using an existing hook as your guide, place a new piece on the old hook, and then take a step back. From there, you can tell if you need to move the piece up, down, left or right a few inches to make up for the adjusted size in the new piece.

3. Unless you know you will love one frame colors for the next 10 years (ie. white), choose 2 or 3 colors for your artwork frames. The 2010 wall had a few too many different frame and matte colors for me. But once we toned it down and then I ended up with white and gold as my main colors, it felt more cohesive yet still eclectic.

Here's one last gallery wall update for you to see in my studio…

Oh Joy Studio / Designed by Emily Henderson

This is still probably my favorite wall in the history of gallery walls, and I feel very lucky to get to see it at work every day.

Prints, left to right: Ashley Percival panda print, Studio Legohead cat print, Bonnie Tsang custom print, Animal Print Shopbaby giraffe print, Jen Gotch paper cups print, Jenny Vorwaller abstract painting, Ruby sketch by Casey Brodley, Lulie Wallace floral painting, Bonnie Tsang custom pool print, Paul Octavious kite hill print, Jen Gotch glasses custom print, Cali print by Rocket Ink, Joel Penkman popsicle print, Jenny Vorwaller abstract painting, Geronimo x Jennifer Youngcustom Ruby photo, Ruby oil painting by Casey Brodley, Max Wanger custom print, Ashley Percival cool deer print,Studio Legohead floral print, Marion Barraud fish print. Framing by Curve Line Space. Photo by Zeke Ruelas.

Oh Joy Studio - Gallery Wall

We made some minor updates recently which didn't change the overall feel too much. It was mostly so that we could update our wall with our own artwork while still keeping the general feel the same as before. It's kind of a fun "find the differences" exercise to do to see what got replaced or what just moved around a bit!

{Photos referenced above. Final 2016 studio photo by Casey Brodley. Both rooms shown were designed by Emily Henderson.}


  1. I personally love the art wall from your studio. It’s my favorite too. While creating an art wall is it important to have a theme for the pictures? I have a lot of Indian art and I find it hard to mix that with non-indian art. Any suggestions on how to mix traditional/ethnic pic with more modern ones?

  2. Didn’t using nails ruin/put holes in the wallpaper that was unfixable once you decided to change/move things around?

  3. I can’t tell you how excited I am to see this post today. I have been gathering artwork and frames to create a gallery wall for our living room and I have been struggling on some things. Specifically I have struggled with the idea of using just one color for the frames or mixing colors. Originally I thought of using just black frames, but now I am considering adding some metals in there. I also enjoy seeing how people create a layout for their wall and yours is definitely inspiring.
    Thanks so much for this post. It was so helpful in creating my own wall!

  4. There were some extra holes but you can’t see them on the wallpaper since the print sort of covers it up. But that’s also why my first tip would be to establish your layout from the beginning so that later if you change it, you’re not also moving items around too much and more swapping out prints of similar size.

  5. Hi Shruti,
    I don’t think there needs to be a theme as long as there are some overlapping colors. If it were me, I would definitely mix them!

  6. Wow! Your recent gallery wall (2013 and onwards) is so beautiful – I’m looking to make one in my new apartment. I have a photograph from our wedding I want to feature!

  7. i can really see the difference with the like-toned frames and how it definitely creates a more uniform look that’s more pleasing to the eye


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