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54 Experts Share Their Best Tip For Displaying Art In The Home

how to display artPerfectly displayed artwork is the final finishing touch for any discerning interior scheme. Whether you have a penchant for modern or fine art, or you want to display your own artistic shots there are many factors to consider before taking the plunge and hanging the pieces in your home.

From lighting to placement, sizing to custom framing, the display options for your favorite artworks are endless and the process requires careful thought as the result can make or break a room. If the thought of hanging a gallery wall makes you break into a cold sweat or you’re getting a migraine from finding the ideal lighting to make each piece pop, then don’t panic, we have asked the experts their top tips on displaying artwork in the home.

One read of their advice will make sure that every original artwork, be it your latest holiday print or your newest gallery discovery, is a breeze to showcase…

Jenny Gibbs, KLC School of Design

• Always apply the same design principles to displaying artwork as the rest of the space.
• A successful display of art is all about scale, balance and composition but also about style and mood.
• Group small pictures together but go for larger scale artwork in a busy space to create a sense of balance.
• Create a mock up on the floor or wall with paper cut to the size of the pictures you are planning to hang which will give you the chance to get the arrangement right and avoid any disasters

David & Mark, Forward Features

Always consider colour and size. We tend to opt for white frames as they don’t distract from the art and instead enhance the colours. If you have a small piece of art, don’t be afraid of using a larger frame leaving more white space around the image. It can draw the eye and create a really interesting focal point to a room.

Carla Jones, Carla Jones Designs

1. If you have bought a new piece of art, sit the piece in the room you’ve chosen for it for a few days before deciding to hang it. See how the light sits with the piece. Daylight, mood lighting, evening shade – all can really make a piece of art shine in a room. But don’t rush to hang it, see how light reacts to your artwork at different times of the day and then you’ll find the best place for it in your room.

2. If you have a few (or more) pieces of great artwork for a room, don’t be afraid to make a feature gallery wall! Show off all this beautiful artwork you have! On creating a ‘gallery wall’ in your home it makes a real statement about your own style and also provides a great talking point for your guests to when they visit!

Odysseas Constantine, Home Arty Home

Apart from always making sure you choose art you love, and complementing it with an appropriate frame, try to display pieces in your eyeline so you can appreciate them – don’t feel you need to place art behind your seating where you can’t admire it, just because there’s a blank wall. Importantly, keep all art out of direct sunlight to ensure longevity so you can admire it for years to come, without prints fading like photos in a barbers window.

Claire Garner, Claire Garner Indoors

Artwork can add so much character and personality to a space, so I quite often find inspiration for a room’s design here. By picking up the subtle tones and textures in a piece of art and drawing on these for inspiration to use in the soft furnishings, upholstery and accessories, you can create a really subtle and sophisticated, cohesive design. Good design shouldn’t be about making elements match, but compliment each other, and by doing this, your artwork  will sing in it’s surroundings.

Alessandra Barlassina, Gucki

Choosing the right artwork for an empty wall is a great deal, it would add character to the room. My number one tip is choose the right size. A big artwork would have great impact. Otherwise you can arrange a wall composition with artworks in different sizes. Have special care for frames: they can add different flavours and complete artworks.

Alison Gibb, Her Interiors

Decide on an artwork that you would most like to see when you come home and put it in your hall.
Choose another key piece for the living room – this should be the focal point and can usefully distract the eye from the TV, which should NOT be the focal point!
Last but not least, don’t forget the bedroom – a great spot for beautiful art.

Jessica Zoob

Don’t  be frightened of putting large paintings in small spaces. Outsize art can make tiny rooms feel so much more glamorous!!

Dana Miller, House Tweaking

Don’t hang artwork too high or it will feel disconnected from the rest of the room. In dining and living rooms where a seated position is most common, artwork should hang lower. In the kitchen, artwork can be hung higher or placed on a shelf to view from a standing position.

Adrienne Chinn

Find a good framer and spend some time looking at different frame and mount options. I like double-mounting with a thin line of a colour from the artwork along the edge of the art. Many people just look at the pre-fabricated frames on display in the shop, but a good framer with have catalogues of other frame styles which can be custom-painted. Think about the glass as well — I’d always go for low-reflective Art Glass. Final tip:  Don’t try to match the mount colour to a room accent — the frame should draw your eye to the art.

Vicki Murdoch, Silken Favours

Framing a silk scarf can be an incredible way of brightening up your home, I like to create a gallery wall in mine, allowing you to mix and match, play with scale and shape plus vintage and new frames adding personality to your space by having all your favourite most treasured artworks sitting together.

Victoria Jackson, Apartment Number 4

Group pictures in a gallery wall, either in the living room or running up the stairs in the hallway to create a statement within your home. For an aesthetically pleasing home addition, use one colour throughout for your frames but add interest from different pieces of art work and photography.

Emma Blomfield

Hang your favourite pieces where you can see them, there’s no point hanging art in rooms you barely use or guests never visit. You want to show off your gorgeous artworks to guests and also for your own pleasure. A beautiful statement piece of art at the front entry or above your sofa is the best way to get impact and wow factor.

Emma Harris, A Quiet Style

I think my number 1 tip for getting the most out of artwork when displaying it in your home, is to have a little rejig every so often.  Move things around, all of a sudden you learn to appreciate an old favourite again if it is in a different space, and not only does it give new life to the piece of artwork, it also gives new life to the room you hang it in.

Emily Osmond, Get in my Home

Invest in getting the artwork professionally framed. A simple thin frame in a beech, white or black is what it’s all about at the moment. Let the artwork do the talking by showing it off in a frame that fits perfectly and doesn’t compete with the piece.

Laura Thomas, Laura Thomas Interior Design

Move art around.  Hang a piece that you think will look good in a certain area or on a certain wall.  Live with it for a week or so and if your gut feeling is that it isn’t 100% right there, then move it to somewhere else.  It is amazing how moving art to another place can make such a difference.  I tend to do this all the time!

Sarah Myall, Whitehouse Interiors

My no 1 tip is get the right frame. Make sure you chose a frame style that will accentuate the art or even go no frame at all in order to not distract from the object of the artwork.

Kylie Mawdsley, Kylie M Interiors

My number 1 tip for hanging art is to only hang what you love.  So often we get caught up in ‘what matches and what is trendy’, without thinking enough about what we really love.  You should respond emotionally to your artwork, whether it’s an original painting or a Home Sense special, you should love each piece for how it makes you feel when you look at it – the esthetics should come after.

Lynni Megginson

My number one tip for displaying artwork in the home is to keep it SIMPLE and STRONG.

One large amazing piece that commands your attention in the room is so much more preferable than feeling as if you need to hang something on every single wall. I use artwork to convey the emotion and use of the room…always large in scale and always in keeping with the way I want my clients to FEEL when they are in the space. So, as a result, calming pieces in Bedrooms and pieces with more energy and punch in Living Rooms and Family Rooms. When a piece of art speaks to you, you just feel it down to the tips of your toes!

Allan Torp, Bungalow5

One thing I really love is if people can surprise me with their art – either by what it shows or where it is hung. I have a fun banana print hanging in my restroom – for some it might seem inappropriate, to me it is just perfect and super fun.

Ashley Cramp, Lazy Daisy Jones

Only buy or collect art and prints that you truly love don’t be influenced by fashion. Mix it up, old and new look fabulous together. In this way your personality will shine through making your collection unique to your family and home.

Gail Green, Gail Green Interiors

Showcasing artwork is an art; that is, art comes alive when it is positioned within a specific context that is correctly proportioned.  It has to look right for the wall upon which it is placed.  Thus, if the wall is too big, the art will look diminished in stature.  If the wall is too small, the observer’s eye will not properly focus on the art.  In addition, if it hangs in collaboration with other works of art, there needs to be a continuity of space and form between them, meaning they need to somehow relate by aligning tightly together on the surface or accede to a datum line that creates consistency within an area.

Brenda Kula-Pruitt, Cozy Little House

The mistake (or at least I see it that way) that I see most of all is people putting the paintings too high up. Then it looks lost on the wall instead of complementing it.

Kerrie Kelly, Kerrie Kelly Design Lab

Try a modern way to display your art collection: Lean multiple frames of various sizes and finishes against the wall on a floating shelf for a chic collage effect.

Anita Brown, Anita Brown Design Studio

Use the piece of art as a starting point for choosing your colour palette in the space, you can either choose a colour scheme that compliments the piece of art, or contrasts with it.  Don’t be afraid of using a dark backdrop to hang your favourite piece.  Dark painted walls are excellent at highlighting colour in artwork!

Hannah, Layer Home

We love gallery walls here at Layer and we believe that artworks of different price, provenance and style can all be displayed together to create a beautiful representation of your personality. By finding a common thread – whether that’s a colour used within all of the artworks or a particular style of frame – you can create cohesion across otherwise differing pieces.

Lauren Liess, Lauren Liess Pure Style Home

When displaying art work at home, I find grouping similar pieces together en masse has major impact.  A collection of abstract oils or a large grouping of photographs adds interest and creates a conversation piece.  Frames can be matched or mismatched depending upon the vibe you’re going for- mismatched feels more collected and relaxed whereas matching feels more ordered.

Grant Pierrus, Interior Style Hunter

When displaying art, you need to think about the scale of the piece. A small piece of art on a large wall looks a bit silly and loses impact, rather place the piece on a smaller wall. However, a large piece of art hung on a wall just bigger than the piece creates a strong impact and adds drama to the space.

Elaine, A Hint of White

When planning a room, every one considers wall colour, flooring and furniture but little thought is put into what is hung on the wall once they are finished.  I think art work should also be in that list. The colours of the wall where you hang the picture can make a dramatic difference to how you view the artwork.  Artwork should compliment your decor style, consider using artwork that contains colours from your decor making the whole room work together.

Gwen Hefner, The Makerista

When you’re first starting out I think splurging on the largest piece you can buy is better than getting several small things.  Pick one piece that really speaks to you, give it a minimal frame that let’s the art shine and enjoy for years to come!

Nicolette Lafonseca, Archie and the Rug

Whether you are a fan of gallery walls or not art has a place in all of our homes, art is what turns a house into home. With that in mind my top tip for displaying art in your home is to keep it personal. Remember that what is on the wall is a reflection of you and your family. Think back to your teenage days when your room told the world what music you liked.

The wall in your home should fill organically and as tempting as it may be to take a trip down to a megastore and buy arty posters don’t! When I walk around my home I can see my journey and my growing family’s journey, The print we bought on our first weekend away, the endless bits that we I picked up on my travels.

This way you will start to display work that goes beyond an art print. Perhaps a wooden mask or woven bowl you found together on a trip or at a flea market. Don’t neglect a child’s drawing or a Polaroid snap, well framed these items will hold their own. So with that in mind go and make a start making your art reflect your life.

Karolina Barnes

Art is a medium of self-expression. It only works if you can see part of yourself in it. And so my advice would be to take your time and choose your art wisely. Go by instinct. Once you have your artwork, work your space around it. Pull 3 – 4 colours out and inject them into your interior through cushions, rugs, soft furnishings and accessories. Tell the story of you, make the colours flow naturally throughout the space. And when it comes to hanging art, make sure that it’s not installed too high or too low.

Anita Kohn, Living In Space

Artwork can be the focus or highlight of a room – choose your balance by determining what feature you would most like to emphasize. A narrow hallway is piqued by including a large piece of artwork at one end, drawing the eye down the length of it as opposed to the width. Artwork between open-plan rooms can create a border between two spaces without blocking movement. However, if you have inherited a valuable piece of art that also has sentimental purpose but may not be your taste, use it as a colour accent in a corner of a neutral room and be sure to maximise features in your interior scheme that juxtapose the style of the artwork, thereby turning it into an eclectic highlight.

Susie Miles, Susie Miles Design

Choose unique works of art that make you feel good and give you joy! Remember, an artwork doesn’t need to blend in with your interior colour scheme, an element of surprise creates impact.

Gabby Palumbo, Flat 15

Focus on scale! Make sure to choose an artwork that fits in proportion to the space that you want to fill on the wall. An art piece that is too small can look lost and really take away from the work itself. In contrast, artwork that is too large can also seem overdone in a well designed interior. Look at the wall space you have available and choose your artwork (and framing) accordingly.

Hester van Overbeek, Hesters Handmade Home

I love creating a gallery wall by hanging different sized frames together creating a real eye catcher. Keep to one main colour in your the art works, photo’s or hand lettered art to creative a cohesive look. Before drilling a lot of holes in your wall it might be good to work out the layout of your gallery wall with cardboard cut to the size of your frames. When you are happy with the look, tape the cardboard pieces to your wall and mark where your screws need to go.

Ramona Griffin, G&G Interior Design

I love to display my favorite art in places I walk by several times a day like a foyer or a hallway. That way I can see and enjoy it all the time and not just when I walk into an unused room or secondary space. I try to encourage my customers to buy and collect pieces that are meaningful to them that they really love and not just items to fill a void in a wall. And remember, art is like wine. It doesn’t matter how much it costs, it only matters whether you like it or not.

Nora Santonastaso, Design Outfit

I think that “composition” is my number 1 tip for displaying art at home. I love to play with colors and frames of different dimensions and shapes and I always try to combine them harmoniously on the wall. One of the best trick is to organize all the frames around the biggest and important one, that must be placed in the center of the wall.

Janice Issitt, Janice Issitt Life & Style

I think the best way to display artwork is to group the pictures together, make a feature wall of all the art in one place.  I buy old vintage and antique frames which I then use to frame the art, however you could always personalise the frame by distressing or painting it.  I have two areas where I group my artworks together, one on a long wall in the lounge, above a sofa, and the other taking up the whole wall on an upstairs hallway.  Staircases are great places to make a feature wall too, as they can be viewed from top to bottom.

Bianca Hall, French for Pineapple

Most people hang art too high, so consider eye level before banging holes in the walls! The centre of the artwork should sit approximately 59 inches from the floor. And If you have a large bare wall, don’t make the mistake of hanging one small piece right in the middle of it – it will look out of place and lost. It’s much better to hang one large piece, or to create a gallery wall with several smaller pieces, keeping the frames the same colour or within a limited palette.

Myrline Delva, Designed For Life

My #1 tip for getting the most out of artwork when displaying it in your home is to not be afraid of mixing and matching. Mixing mediums, styles, frames and composition can make for a really interesting and unique display. I’ve always love the idea of gallery walls that have a single overarching theme (be it in colour or imagery) to maintain cohesion while still being personal.

Rani Engineer, La Maison Jolie

My number 1 tip for displaying artwork in my home is… avoid hanging art on pre-existing picture hooks since they may not all be at the right height. Always hang art so that the centre point of the artwork is at about eye level and remember to adjust the height accordingly if hanging art in children’s rooms.

Stacey Ann Blake, Design Addict Mom

Our homes come alive with art and art is a great way for homeowners to showcase their personality and express themselves. However, one of the most common mistakes that I see often is art hung too high. For me to get the most out of art displayed in our homes, it should be hung at the right height. Art should be hung at eye level; usually about 58 inches high. The center of the art piece should be at that height. Displaying art at eye level or the right height creates a cohesive interior and makes the entire space shine!

Fiona Reid, Copperline

Personally, I like to have a unity when I’m displaying artworks. The art itself might be diverse, but I like to unify the style of framing – I really like minimal black or white wooden frames as a way of unifying pieces. You can group artworks together and, simply by using the one colour, the frames almost disappear. Of course, this depends on the style of art – I’m always drawn to screenprints that are complemented by a very clean and minimal framing style.

But then, art is so personal, you really have to go with what feels right for you. I was in a house recently where the owners had picked up a pair of oil portraits in an auction, and they had the most elaborate frames. They weren’t expensive, and they were different in style to the other artworks the couple had, but they looked so dramatic set against a beautiful Farrow & Ball wall colour. It reminded me that you can’t be too set in your rules.

Kelly Davies

Spend time choosing the perfect frame for your artwork, think about the colours that you wish to bring out in the piece and consider the style of the work. A large ornate frame will compliment a traditional painting, whilst a sleek modern frame will work well with an abstract print.

Alina Ghost, The Fairytale Pretty Picture

Test and learn. Especially when it comes to displaying clusters of artwork, I like to cut out pieces of card or paper and apply these to the wall, using blue tack. This helps me visualise the final look and makes it easy to move around to find the perfectly styled interior finish that I’m looking for.

Mary Middleton, Hellopeagreen

The arrangement and hanging of art can be daunting for some people, we’ve all seen displays where the arrangement itself is an art form, but don’t be deterred.  When displaying artwork I prefer to hang on walls with high saturated colour, including wallpaper sometimes.  Many major art galleries use colour to make the artwork really stand out; the Royal Academy of Art for example. The results are really captivating and as long as your lighting is good it can be really mesmerising in a space. Go bold and have fun.

Christine Dovey, Bijou & Boheme

The number one tip for getting the most out of artwork when displaying it in the home is to choose pieces that really reflect what it is you love or feel speaks to you. Often I find people will choose artwork because they think it needs to match the various room elements (textiles, colour etc.) however, adding a statement piece-even if it is the odd thing out, will not only give the room a custom feel, but further will be something you truly enjoy whenever you walk into the room, this is after all, the purpose of art.

Nicola Holden, Nicola Holden Designs

To get the most out of artwork when displaying it in your home don’t neglect your lighting.  So many people either just have a single central pendant, or else downlights set out in a nice neat grid in the ceiling, and no lighting directed on your artwork.  Lighting your artwork is the most transformative thing you can do to make it pop off the walls and draw your eyes straight to it.

Louise de Miranda, 30s Magazine

When displaying artwork in your home, let the piece be the focal point. Build your furniture and accessories around it. Let the eye travel to the painting, statue, or framed photo by creating a stark contrast with your furniture in color or in style. Combine a contemporary art work with a vintage console and some classic vases for example. Make sure its scale is appropriate and balanced with the surrounding objects.

Natalie Marchbanks, Block Prints Social

When hanging art, I like to consider the primary use of the room and how people inhabit the space. In a dining room or casual living room – where my guests and I are most often sitting – I tend to hang art a little bit lower than in a hallway or kitchen, where we’re more likely to view the art from a standing position. That’s because I like to have a good view of the art without straining my neck to look up high (some might call me lazy!) and I like to see the relationship between art and the furniture in a room.

That said, this approach can require some trial and error – especially if you’re new to it – so a quick and easy rule of thumb is to center your art 57 inches from the floor, or eye level for a person of average height.

Jacquin Milhouse-Headen, Interiors by Jacquin

When selecting artwork for your home be sure to consider the dimensions of your artwork to ensure that your walls will have a balanced appearance once hung. If you featured artwork is too small for the wall, it will not look as great in your space. Oversized artwork could be the perfect solution or hang a series of 3 smaller works of art. Most importantly, don’t shy away from bright colors in your artwork. A colorful work of art can transform a boring space into a well-designed space!

Joni Webb, Cote de Texas

When utilizing art work in the home my pet peeve is to be sure to hang the piece correctly.   A good rule of thumb is eye level. You don’t want to crane your neck up or down to see it.   And be sure to hang it at most six inches above a sofa or console.  At most.    You want the piece to relate to what is underneath it. Too high and the art will look like it is floating around in space. Ground it by placing it within inches of what is below.

Carin Cullen, Artfully Carin

My number 1 tip for getting the most out of artwork is to invest a little extra in UV glass if you are hanging light sensitive artwork (such as watercolours or  pencil drawings) in a sunny spot as they will fade very quickly.

Wow, some amazing tips from experienced professionals there! If you got one thing out of all of the tips, its make sure you don’t hang your artwork too high.

What Now?

Get out there, buy some fancy artwork, cool prints or funky designs and get it on your walls – you’ll be amazed how much just one piece of art can really finish off a room.

FrameWorks

FrameWorks Miami is owned and operated by Christine Sweeny and Claire Lardner, both Certified Picture Framers. For more than 20 years, FrameWorks has provided professional custom framing solutions and design services to galleries, public and private art collections, artists, businesses, hotels, and residential clients.

Cris Sweeny54 Experts Share Their Best Tip For Displaying Art In The Home

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  • Peter King - August 7, 2016 reply

    This website was… how do I say it? Relevant!!
    Finally I have found something which helped me. Many thanks!

  • Expert Advice on Using Art at Home - LuxPad - August 17, 2016 reply

    […] of the best ways to personalise your home space is to add pieces of art. From favourite prints to original paintings; it can be tough to know where to start and what […]

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    […] I usually choose dark grey or taupe, I find it softer and more soothing than crisp white. And do not forget artwork – for the bedroom – the edgier the better – no one else will see it so you can […]

  • Will - September 30, 2016 reply

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  • Tips How to Style Wall Art | Tips Home Design - November 3, 2016 reply

    […] personality or pieces that you simply love can bring style and substance to any room in your home. Displaying wall decor and wall art can take a little forethought however, from where abouts to place your treasured piece […]

    Cris Sweeny - November 3, 2016 reply

    Thank you very much!

  • Luke Smith - November 29, 2016 reply

    I love Jenny Gibbs’ comment about using a larger scale artwork in a busy space to create a sense of balance. I imagine that there are galleries and dealers who specialize in large scale art prints, which would be very handy. I have always loved the idea of varying sizes of artwork around the home.

  • emily bennette - January 27, 2017 reply

    Wow, I didn’t realize that there are so many different ways to hang art. I liked one of the suggestions about keeping it simple and strong. It does seem like a good idea to try to not let the frame distract from the piece. I also wouldn’t want to have to worry about the painting falling down.

  • Denby Dowling - April 12, 2017 reply

    Fantastic ideas and nice article! The artwork is overwhelming and should be hung without anyone else’s input on a prominent place on the wall. When you are choosing art for your home wall, choose something that is meaningful to you and reflects your style. Taking time to curate worthwhile art will instill the room with style and appeal and will impress both you and your guests.

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