AuctionNinja x We_dabble: How to Create a Harmonious Gallery Wall

Husband & wife, Valerie and Mario show some tips on layering items to create a harmonious gallery wall and maintain a cohesive design style

Meet Mario and Valerie - husband & wife and a Home Décor/DIY team. Valerie has a huge love for home décor and Mario helps make her visions a reality! Valerie enjoys hunting for vintage and unique pieces at second hand stores, garage sales, estate sales and auctions. She occasionally brings a piece home and revamp it, give it new life and use it in a completely new way in our home. 

Together, they have transformed their place into their forever home with DIY’s and by mixing old and new items throughout. 

In this week’s edition of Collected Perspectives, we asked Valerie and Mario to select some of their favorite vintage from our marketplace and share their tips to maintain the cohesiveness and to create a harmonious gallery wall while incorporating layers into their design.


You're so creative in arranging gallery walls. Can you share some basic steps to achieve a harmonious gallery wall?

I start by collecting vintage frames, and looking for photos on google that I love and think would go well together. Then I have them printed and place them into the frames. 

Once that is done I play around with the placement of the frames on a flat surface near the wall it’s going to go up on. Once  I am happy with the layout I start placing them on the wall. Same goes for my basket and plate wall. It’s so fun putting these together and seeing what I come up with.

Auction Ninja


Whether it be wall decor, hanging items, or the treasures filling your shelves, your designs seem to incorporate lots of layering. What advice would you give people looking to achieve a similar layered look while still maintaining a cohesive style?

Layering decor is so fun and I tend to do this and try staying with three and/or five of the same items when displaying my found treasures. I never want it to look too overwhelming or like there is too much of something being displayed. 

Have fun with layering, play around with the items, step back, take a look and pic to see how and if you love it!

Auction Ninja


What got you interested in secondhand, vintage and antique items? 

I remember being a little girl and seeing my mom stop at the side of the road where someone was getting rid of their furniture and putting that piece of furniture into our car, bringing it home, giving it a good cleaning and making it part of our home! We always shopped at second hand shops and garage sales. I remember finding some of the coolest toys and trinkets at some of these places. I think my love for vintage items started when I was young and has grown since.


What are the one or two things that you always find yourself bidding on/looking for when shopping secondhand? 

I always find myself looking for vintage books, brass candlesticks, ironstone, vintage frames, and unique furniture pieces.

Auction Ninja


What's your absolute favorite item ever purchased at an estate sale or online auction?

We have so many items throughout our home that I absolutely love! However I would say that my favorite thing ever purchased is the headboard in our guestroom. It is a beautiful statement piece, unique and pulls the entire space together perfectly. 

I also absolutely love the Dutch Door we found on Craigslist years ago that was painted a chocolate brown when we purchased it. We stripped it of its natural wood, purchased hardware for it and installed it as the back door to our kitchen!  

Auction Ninja 

Any tips or advice for online auction or estate sale newbies? 

I tend to take my time in searching for the right piece. When I see something that I love and know will work with my style and home, I don’t hesitate to purchase it, as I feel if I don’t it may not be there when or if I return for it... I have had to learn this the hard way. 😊 

Enjoy yourself when hunting for treasures. It’s so fun to find new pieces and make something old that was once treasured in someone’s home into part of your home and décor!

Auction Ninja


Valerie & Mario’s AuctionNinja Picks:

Auction Ninja

  1. Antique Mahogany? Dental Cabinet - American Cabinet Co. with Porcelain Inserts (Windy Knoll Antiques)

  2. Vtg Cement Swan Planter (Beehive Bargains)

  3. A Vintage Framed Still Life Painting Signed Deporre (Clearing House Estate Sales)

  4. Beautiful Pair of Antique Vintage Framed Wall Art 6.5 in #202 (Treasure Chest Estate Sales)

  5. Rare! Antique Metal Scale (All American Tag Sales)

  6. Decorative Small Metal Swan Figurines (Estate Inventory Auctions)

  7. Renaissance Ladies Print (Blue Moon Estate Sales North Jeffco-Boulder)

  8. Hand-knotted Oushak Wool Area Rug, 5'1" X 7’10”, New (Black Rock Galleries)

  9. Beautiful Mahogany Inlaid Serpentine Front Sideboard (Black Rock Galleries)


Want AuctionNinja in your inbox?
Yes, I want to be on AuctionNinja's exclusive email list! Terms of Service and Privacy Policy apply.
Top Auction Locations

New York









New York


New York

Rhode Island

North Carolina




District of Columbia