Darcy Miller Designs, Darcy Miller, Studio Tour, Office Design

There’s more than one way to build a gallery wall! We created a vertical portfolio on the narrow wall behind the studio’s front door, which otherwise would remain empty. Now, we’re making the most of the small space by showcasing some of our favorite past projects and products. Here are some tips on making your own vertical portfolio.

Fit it in. Where do you want to set up your display? Your portfolio could take up the center of a vast wall. A hallway wall or hidden nook like ours, is also great. All you need is a wall with at least a couple of inches of space in front of it. You can display your (or your kids’) artwork, crafts, framed photos, or collections. Find the right shelving and you can make it work anywhere.

Plan ahead. If you’re hanging more than one row of shelving, think about how much vertical wall space you have. Then, take that into account when choosing the height of each shelf. If you’re displaying a collection of salt and pepper shakers or snow globes, say, you’ll need less space than if you’re showcasing upright coffee table books or large framed photos.

Give them some lip. These shelves are narrow, but because they have a lip, it means we can display 3-D objects like party favors and scrapboxes. (That’s what I call my versions of shadowboxes that hold photos or mementos—or both!)

Set a stage. Since the space is small and the art and objects are so colorful, we decided to keep the frames all one color. These are white frames from Framebridge.

Play it safe. If you’re displaying something particularly heavy, like a weighty frame, mount it to the wall so it won’t come crashing down.

Gather a group. Since each shelf has a little depth, you can layer some objects in front of others, with taller items in back. Here, we set illustrated favor boxes in front of larger frames.

Tell a story. We grouped all the Valentines on one shelf, wedding-related items on another, and devoted other shelves to babies, birthdays, and other celebrations.

Darcy Miller Designs, Darcy Miller, Studio Tour, Office Design

Rows of narrow shelves are filled with past projects, from framed artwork to 3-D favor boxes. If you look closely you’ll spot one of the plates from my Darcy Miller x Lenox collaboration, arranged as a placesetting and framed in a scrapbox! I’ve also showcased souvenirs from my favorite events. There’s a blower from a birthday party I threw for Martha Stewart, a poodle-themed favor from Serena Williams’ bridal shower, and a wrapped chocolate bar from Tina Fey’s baby shower. Look to find a favor bag from my husband’s 50th birthday party, and a Chanel-inspired cookie from my mom’s birthday.

Darcy Miller Designs, Darcy Miller, Studio Tour, Office Design

Valentine’s Day is my favorite holiday, so our past family Valentines take up two shelves. They sit alongside the Little Love Bag we created for my collaboration with Bloomingdale’s and the chocolate box I designed for my friend Preston Bailey’s Valentine’s-Eve wedding. Can you tell I love love? Who knows what will join them in the next year! Swapping out items to showcase new parties, projects, and collaborations is as easy as pulling an item off the shelf and dropping in a new one.

1. Acrylic Shelves, 2. White Frame, 3. Level, 4. Thin White Frame, 5. Museum Wax

photo credits