20 Creative Ways to Display Art

Living room with photographs hanging behind couch
Photo: Brian Mc Weeney

If you're stumped for ideas on how to hang your favorite works of art, follow our tips for gallery walls, symmetrical arrangements, and mixed media displays. Our roundup has a solution for every blank space in your home.

01 of 20

A Gallery of Assorted Frames

Living room with books and artwork
Kim Cornelison

To fill a wall with beautiful art, head to your local salvage store for an assortment of old frames. Give them a quick makeover by painting them all the same color or use a coordinating color scheme, then hang them in a gallery. Using a variety of sizes creates the look of having been gathered over time. Wide white mats unify the colorful mix of prints.

02 of 20

Add Picture Ledges

Table with drawers and picture frames above
Jay Wilde

Picture ledges are a stylish way to organize framed and matted photographs. Mix them into your gallery wall display to add dimension as well as function. Not only can the shallow shelves host artwork, but they're also perfect for showcasing small mementos, sculptural objects, and even houseplants. Lean and overlap frames to avoid blank spaces and edit in accessories in unique shapes.

03 of 20

Odd Numbers

Blue cabinet with painted artwork
Adam Albright

Learn the "rule of threes" for home decorating projects: In general, odd numbers are more interesting to the eye. You can arrange an odd number of objects symmetrically, for an ordered approach, or go for a more creative, casual look with an asymmetrical arrangement. Displaying odd numbers is also a good technique to use when hanging diverse items, such as plates, platters, and other collectibles.

04 of 20

Go Vertical

Entryway with multiple silhouettes in arch around door
Brittany Ambridge

Play with the shape of the wall surface. On a narrow wall, for example, hang one tall art piece, or arrange a number of smaller items, like these vintage silhouettes, in a vertical pattern along a door frame.

05 of 20

A Stair-Step Gallery

Stairway with multiple frames
Helen Norman

Although this type of stair-step arrangement can be more difficult to measure and hang, it has a huge impact on a stairwell. Artwork in a variety of sizes helps fill the space without the arrangement feeling too angular. Black frames with white mats unify the design.

06 of 20

No Wasted Space

Chair next to window with elephant pillow
Brie Williams

Although you might be tempted to ignore a small patch of wall—like the one above this chair—correctly sized artwork can be a great addition. The key is to hang pieces in the correct size and scale for the available wall area. For a polished look, partner them with a chair, bench, or small table.

07 of 20

Create a Grid

Living room with photographs hanging behind couch
Brian Mc Weeney

Hanging a collection of art in a tight grid creates the feel of a single piece of work. Here, colorful travel photography creates a central theme, yet each piece is its own stunning work of art. This display idea is perfect for a large blank space, say, above a sofa, bed frame, or in an entryway.

08 of 20

Hang Artifacts

Seating area with woven artwork and plates
Jeff Herr

Expand your art collection to include three-dimensional items with visual appeal. Vintage iron pieces, decorative windows, china, plaques, baskets, and trays are just a few pieces you can hang to personalize your home. Flea markets and antique shops are the perfect places to hunt for one-of-a-kind pieces for your wall.

09 of 20

Strength of Symmetry

Rustic wood wall with relief artwork
David Patterson

A symmetrical arrangement could be a mirror flanked by a pair of lamps, or a trio of prints over a centered bowl. Here, the symmetry of the framed art pieces is echoed by the chairs on either side of a table.

10 of 20

Shine a Light

Large black and white artwork next to chair
Adam Albright

Sometimes less is more when it comes to displaying artwork. Create a high-end look with a single piece hung under a low-watt picture light. This attracts viewers and showcases a beloved photo or painting.

11 of 20

Oversized Prints

Living room with purple walls and plant artwork
Greg Scheidemann

Make a statement with a collection of extra-large prints. These simple botanicals are eye-catching against their white canvases and the serene blue wall color. When displaying oversized artwork, steer clear of colors or patterns that might overpower the rest of the room.

12 of 20

Kitchen Shelves

Green brick kitchen with shelves that hold decor
Adam Albright

Dress up open shelving in the kitchen with colorful prints to lean against the wall. Wood serving bowls and cutting boards add interest to the display. Consider small stacks of simple white dishware to keep the area functional.

13 of 20

Off-Center Artwork

Entryway with black-and-white photography
Adam Albright

Relax the old rules with an innovative display. Instead of being perfectly centered over the bench, this arrangement of black and white photography inches off to the left. The arrangement is welcoming and friendly, a wonderful way to greet guests.

14 of 20

All Lined Up

Dining area nook with silhouettes
Jessica Klewicki Glynn

Six prints hung in a symmetrical line over a table might sound boring, yet the throw pillows on the banquette below make the difference, with their interesting texture and patterns. Silhouettes are a clever way to personalize art without relying solely on photography. When hanging art above a dining area, be mindful of the bottoms of the frames, so that no one bumps their head on the artwork.

15 of 20

Mix Shapes

Corner seating with signs and artwork
James Nathan Schroder

Unify assorted prints, photographs, and sculptural pieces with a neutral color scheme. On the floor. begin experimenting with the arrangement, starting in the center. Trace the shapes on kraft paper, then tape it to the wall for one more look before hammering in nails.

16 of 20

Skip the Frames

Desk with clipboards of artwork above it
Adam Albright

If you're constantly inspired by new things, opt for a flexible solution. Hang a series of clipboards to the wall, then print and cut phrases or graphics to fit the boards. You can easily swap images or graphics to match the season—or your mood.

17 of 20

Floor-to-Ceiling Installation

Bedroom with wall covered by posters and artwork
Michael Garland

Bedroom walls are the perfect destination for a collage of artwork that speaks to you and your interests. Pair stylish prints with souvenir images from a beloved vacation, or with inspirational graphic art. For a high-impact look, install the pieces from floor to ceiling.

18 of 20

Utilize a Bookshelf

Wooden shelving with décor and books
Kritsada Panichgul

Go beyond walls for your art display. Add interest to a bookshelf with framed prints, small plants, and sculptural pieces. Keep the mats and frames consistent to focus attention on the artwork. This casual look is easy to update at any time.

19 of 20

Emphasize a Mantel

Fireplace with floral artwork above it
Annie Schlechter

Your fireplace is a natural focal point, so dress up the area with a large print or a series of framed artwork. Carry color from the display into the room through accessories and fabrics. Here, a bold floral print immediately draws attention to a traditional white mantel and soft pink walls.

20 of 20

Pop with Color

Dark purple wall with watercolor art and photos
Nicolas Gourguechon

Contrast artwork with a bold color to highlight treasured objects. Here, saturated aubergine walls frame the contemporary look of abstract watercolor prints. Sepia-toned photography and gold accents pull this warm, yet sophisticated, look together.

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