There I was last fall, alone in our hallway, juggling a hammer, level, painter’s tape, and a ruler; all the tools needed to create a gallery wall. I wasn’t sure how many pieces would actually end up displayed, though. Why? Because getting each one to hang equidistant from the next in a perfect line (like all the displays I was seeing online) was tedious!

"When did displaying your art become so challenging?" I asked myself.

I guess it was when the internet decided there are only a few “right” ways to hang prints and paintings. You have the grided approach, where individual pieces are meticulously spaced out in order to create a larger square or rectangle. Then there’s the display where pieces of varying size magically fit together like a puzzle without any serious planning (What luck!), and the thematic wall, where we all tell each other, “Oh I just happened to have a bunch of pictures that matched and voila! Here they are. It was simple!”

The truth is that no matter the approach, these tried-and-true approaches take a lot of planning and time. So much so that for every pin and article dedicated to gallery walls there are an equal number of guides that aim to help you make things easier on yourself. It’s all just too much.

Well, it’s 2020, and I’m here to tell you that my household has officially thrown out the rulebook. This year, I’m taking our hallway display down and replacing it with one of the more laid-back (and way less time-consuming) approaches below. You should, too. Not only will you enjoy decorating a bit more (and get some time back), but any one of the styles below will instantly set your house apart from everyone else’s.

Words by Garrett Fleming at Food52

[Photo via @liz_kamarul]