Reader SOS: Creating a Gallery Wall Around a TV

Do you guys remember our #DIYPlaybookSOS series? We’re not surprised if you’ve forgotten all about it, because it has been a heck of a long time since we’ve virtually tackled a reader’s space (you can check out the first one right here!)

How to Create A Gallery Wall Around a TV | DIY PlaybookTo bring you up to speed on this post format. Essentially, it’s a way for you to say, “DIY Playbook, Save our Space!” You guys have been emailing us and tagging your rooms that need a little TLC with this hashtag on social media, and we’ve been able to get a little glimpse into some of the dilemmas you’re having when it comes to decorating. Our plan for #DIYPlaybookSOS is to take a reader’s space and (virtually) offer tips & tricks on how to improve it.

We figure this is a good idea for a few reasons…

  • You may have the exact same design dilemma as one of the featured spaces, so hearing some decorating advice could help you tackle your own home!
  • We can showcase various styles that may be different from ours.

Reader Question

Here’s an email we received from a very sweet reader named Jen…

A reader wants to create a gallery wall surrounding her TV but has no idea where to start. Here is the space she has to work with.

I’m in the preliminary stages of planning a gallery wall in my living room and wanted an opinion from someone other than my husband. Here’s a photo of the current space (ignore the taped catalog papers, I’m trying to visualize size for frames). The problem is that we are going to build a new TV console that is a foot higher than the current one. So in the photo, the blue post-it is about where the top of the TV will be with the new console. This leaves me about 5 feet of wall space from the top of the TV to the ceiling. 

My questions are:

  1. Is having the TV that high up going to look ridiculous?
  2. Will having frames fill the space above and around the TV be too much or too busy? 

Our Initial Thoughts

We think Jen is already doing a great job by using the paper to visualize the sizes of the frames, definitely a helpful tool to make sure the gallery wall turns out exactly how she wants it to. For the really large frames, we sometimes even cut the template out of wrapping paper to get the size right.

Paint color sample fan.And her paint color is GORGEOUS! We later found out it’s the same color that’s throughout Bridget’s house (Benjamin Moore’s “Revere Pewter”)… no wonder we love it so much!

Our Answers

As for her specific questions, here’s what we had to say.

Is the TV too high? 

We don’t think the TV will be up too high on the wall. As long as it’s at a comfortable height to watch, we think Jen is good to move forward with her gameplan. We found this article really helpful to figure out where you should mount a TV in relation to the seating in your room, and depending on the exact size of your television. Following these guidelines is a safe bet!

If Jen was still nervous about the TV height, we have another idea for her to consider. We see curtains poking out the side of the original picture and we notice they’re only about halfway up the wall. If she was at all nervous that the TV or photos will appear too high, she can always raise the curtain height to make the whole room look taller (a guide to where to hang curtains can be found in this blog post). With the curtains higher, not only will the window and room look bigger, but the TV won’t appear as high in relation to the curtains.

Will the frames be too busy?

We actually love this look! As long as photos/frames are not just above the TV but all around the TV, we think it’ll look amazing!

This gallery wall designed around the TV matches the lines of the TV and keeps the space from looking too busy.We did this exact project in this room and LOVE how the frames camouflage the TV without looking too busy.

Photo from Desert Domicile - this gallery wall was designed around the TV to frame with with bright colors and pretty artwork. Inspiration via Desert Domicile

We were inspired to do this from this gorgeous space. Not only do we love how the frames camoflauge the TV, but we love this picture because you can see exactly what we mean about raising the curtains in this room too!

Black and White Gallery Wall designed around a TV - Photo from Homey oh MyInspiration via Homey oh My

Jen did mention that she was worried about it looking too busy with lots of frames. In that case, we recommend choosing larger scale frames so you use less. Maybe about 5-7 total would look good? We think this would make a chic statement instead of doing too many small ones surrounding the television.
Living room gallery wall designed with large artwork - photo by Simply Grove

Inspiration via Simply Grove

This inspiration pictures prove once again that you don’t need a lot of tiny frames, instead choosing 5-8 large favorites can cover a lot of wall space while not competing with the TV. We love how Kristen mixes and matches colors, textures and frames, which makes the whole look feel layered and gorgeous!

Simple black and white gallery wall designed around a TV - photo by Driven by Decor

Inspiration via Driven by Decor

Another idea is to do symmetrical frames around the console like the gorgeous space above. That could create a cohesive look in the family room without making things too busy.

We really like all of the ideas and think Jen can’t go wrong by adding some frames!

Our Gameplan for Jen’s Space

Here’s a snapshot of inspiration we wanted to share for Jen’s space. We used the photo she sent over and the exact TV stand she and her husband are building to provide a little more inspiration (and a concrete visual) for this space. The photos aren’t to scale but we do think this sketch-up proves that a gallery wall around the TV is bound to look amazing!

Our design plan for Jen's new gallery wall in her living room.

From Left (bottom) to Right: Key Print // Pyramid Print //
Abstract Art Center // More Abstract Art // More Abstract Art

We Want to Hear from You!

We wish we could come to ALL of your homes to hang out, drink coffee, and help solve your design dilemmas (#dreamjob!). Sadly, we can’t BUT that doesn’t mean we still can’t drink coffee and help solve some of these design dilemmas from afar! If you want your space to be the next #diyplaybookSOS feature, all you have to do is share a photo on Instagram, tag @diyplaybook and use the #diyplaybooksos. Tell us about your design dilemma and your space could be our next feature!


The Year of Casey

Hey there!

I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m a Chicago gal teaching you how to design, DIY, and maintain your home…by yourself! Learn more about me right here.

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