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Are your closets overflowing with pictures and other framed goods that would undoubtedly look much better hung in a prominent location than hardly ever seeing the light of day? Hanging pictures is a great way to tie a room together and add some character and personality to your space.

Instead of simply hanging one picture here and another one there, you can work through your collection a whole lot quicker if you think outside the box and cluster pictures, creating a gallery wall.

But before you go grabbing for a hammer, nails and maybe even a level, assess the space and items you have lying around and come up with a plan. While you may not stick to it 100 percent once you get started–and that’s okay–having even a rough idea of how you envision the space when it’s complete will save you a lot of trouble.

Stick to Your Style. While you may have swooned over gallery walls in other people’s homes or in design magazines, trying to recreate something you’ve seen will most likely leave you feeling less than impressed with your own creation. Tune into your own personal style and incorporate photographs, artwork from your children, greeting cards, a favorite piece of fabric or any other trinkets that truly mean something to you. When creating a gallery wall, anything goes.

Mix and Match. Variety is key here. From various sizes of artwork to numerous textures and even different colored frames, don’t shy away from incorporating different pieces and styles to create a personalized, yet cohesive, look.

Plan It Out. The best way to avoid putting unnecessary holes in the wall is to plan out the entire design before you even think about taking a hammer to the wall. (If you’re a visual person, this step is even more important, so try to resist the urge to skip it.) While it’ll require some additional time, you’re going to want to trace each frame onto a piece of paper. Once the templates have been cut out, tape them to the wall in a pattern of your choosing. Then move them around as necessary until you find the perfect grouping.

Switch It Up. One of the best (or worst?) things about incorporating a gallery wall into your space is the fact that it’s never finished! Don’t be afraid to keep adding things or even swapping out certain pieces.

If you’re ready to finally cross that gallery wall off your to-do list, remember, the options are endless. And there’s no right or wrong way to go about it.

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