Top Interior Design Experts Reveal The Best Way to Display Art In Your Home


Sian Elin


"A great way of displaying art is grouping together pieces that match in terms of their colour. Don't be afraid to mix and match the kinds of artwork, or frame type – give them unity by making sure the colours complement one another. "

"The best advice I can give anyone for displaying artwork in your home is to have it be personal and meaningful. Galleries are my favorite way to display art by including not only photographs but items that bring back memories. As an example, create a gallery as a tribute to your grandmother. Include photos of her, young and old, framed favorite recipes (even if they are written on the back of envelopes and have stains on them), and if she wore pins, include those in a shadowbox. Have your art tell a story!"

"One of my favorite ways to display a grouping of similar pieces of art (such as intaglios, block prints, black and white photos etc.) is to frame them identically and create a shadow box out of thin moulding around them. Paint of wallpaper the inside of the shadow box and then hang your grouping perfectly spaced inside it. It's a smashing WOW factor in any room!"

"If you end up having a 'stack of art' that has no home, merge it all in a collection together and make a bigger statement…. add interest down a long lonely hall or along a stairway."


"When renovating decide where art might hang ( whether you have the piece for that space or not) then protect that space ruthlessly. Do not allow an errant switch or thermostat to slide into that space, watch for where curtains will hang and then try and plan lighting to suit, be it adjustable overhead directional lighting or picture lights plan it in early.
Other than that, all we'd advise is hang great art that you love. Don't buy for a colour scheme or investment buy because you love it!"

"Many people hang their artwork too high, which means the artwork feels isolated from the other elements in the room – there should be a relationship between your furniture, furnishings, lights and art – this is what creates a harmonious interior… especially an artwork over the back of a sofa. For me, hanging artwork at the right height, is THE most important thing. Whether you are hanging one piece of art, or a grouping, there is ONE rule to stick to:
Ensure your artwork or grouping of artworks, has its centre at your eye level – this is called the 57”/145cm rule.
Basically, with your tape measure, measure 145cm from the floor up – make a small dot with your pencil – and that’s where the centre of your artwork (or grouping of artworks), should lie.
If you have numerous artworks in a room, hung separately (not in a group), don’t try to level up the works at the top or the bottom of each frame, stick to the centre of each artwork being at your eye level, and your artworks will make your room come alive!"

"I would say two things:
1) Make sure art size is proportional to wall it's on
2) Anchor art with furniture underneath so it's not just randomly "floating" on a wall"

"If a room is lacking a focal point, introduce an oversized piece of art for instant impact. Alternatively you can group smaller pieces together to the same effect. For a more modern and simple feel, use an even number of pieces in the same size and colour frame. Or choose a wide mix of styles and sizes to achieve a fun, eclectic display."

"When it comes to displaying art in a home, as much consideration should be given to this as to furniture, fabrics and everything else. Sadly, many people think of art (if at all) as an afterthought, right at the end of a project, not realising that art can really "make or break" an otherwise beautiful scheme. Think about whether the art actually suits the room and decor, rather than as something to fill a space on the wall. A well-decorated and pleasing room is the sum of its parts and the quality of the art, framing and placement is an important component. Often, art is hung too high. Generally speaking the focal point of the art should be around eye level - lower than you think!
Although there aren't any "rules", strictly speaking, certain things should be considered. Art should be related to wall size and furniture size, so as to neither dominate or look insignificant. The colours should complement those in the room, or be linked in some way. Very bright colours should only be displayed in rooms which can handle them, so as not to look garish. There are many creative ways one can make artwork look great. Small pieces can be given a boost or new lease of life by framing in thick, interesting frames. Unifying disparate pieces by framing them in the same type of frame and hanging them together on a wall is a favourite. Incorporating vintage finds or found objects and framing them, to display with more conventional art is a great way of achieving an eclectic, yet curated look. Mix up the sizes, and above all, have fun experiment until you are happy with the result."

"Hanging art & what you chose to hang on your walls, is in a way, art-work i itself.
What you display, adds both character & personality to the interior. It is also about, what you select to display which can awake emotion. Also, the style can increase “the feeling” of your interior.
For example, decorating your space with only 18th-century pieces & hanging art with motives from the same epoch in time. So, how you display the art & what the motive you display on the art, is of importance. Art influences your space enormously,  since it has the power to wake emotions. Then there are of course, out of my own point of view, “no-rules” for creativity, simply, my opinion would be that “what feels & looks right for you, is right”.
1. Think about how you want to display. Make a drawing before hanging the art. One very good idea, is to lay your paintings/art out in  the floor, such as you are planning to organize them when hanged on the wall. This way you can play with different options.
2. Have in mind what you display- since this will be something you might see daily. Have something you love, something that makes you happy or nostalgic. Or is a very decorative detail to your interior.
3. Have fun with the art. Either you chose a more symmetric style, for a more harmonic setting, or be playful, use different frames & motives, from tiny to huge paintings. 4. Be creative, there are always some basic rules of course, when hanging art. However, “if it feels right, it is right”. "

"In my opinion the biggest mistake made when hanging art is hanging it too high. Never think of art as something to fill a blank wall, think of it as an integral part of the entire space and should therefore have some visual connection to its environment. As a general rule, art should be at eye level from where it will be viewed. If this is from a seating area it will be at a seated eye height. Above a sofa, I usually like an approximate 10” spacing. In a contemporary open plan space use the hanging of the art to help define rooms within the room. Don’t hang your art on walls between areas, negative space is just as important as the art to make all areas feel cohesive and comfortable and make the art prominent."

"Displaying art in your home can be a very personal exercise as certain styles are favoured by some and detested by others (which can become tricky when those two choices collide in one household!). Some pieces have sentimental value but may not fit in with your chosen interior style – these are all challenges that make sourcing or hanging art in client’s homes a challenge, but here are a few tips:
1. While symmetry may be the obvious choice when hanging art, asymmetry can prove equally interesting. If you don’t have a large enough piece to install on one wall, remember that negative space can be just as captivating – consider hanging your chosen piece of work closer to another feature in the room rather than right in the center.
2. Don’t be afraid to hang different styles together on one wall, in fact the more the better! The best way to collect items to display together is to keep them all within a similar tonal variance, and don’t forget a small amount of blank wall space around each frame to give every item a chance to ‘breathe’ amongst each other.
3. When considering hand-me-downs or sentimental pieces and how to introduce them into your new scheme, remember that a simple update can be obtained from merely replacing the frame. A good framer will be able to assist you in the choices out there and which ones would suit not only the art but the type of installation you’re after too. We are seeing a big trend toward aged heirlooms being displayed in contemporary box frames or glass and slim-panel framing."

"If you are hanging a number of pieces it's worth employing a specialist picture hanger. Yes, they do exist! And never, ever buy art just because it matches your colour scheme."


Rowena Vaughan

via RJV Designs

"Don’t put pictures too far up the wall. Pictures should be at eye height (obviously dependant on height of room, but a good rule of thumb). Pictures displayed in groups often look better than single pictures dotted around the room. Don’t be afraid to have blank walls. Good lighting makes better art – there are some great lights on the market now. Do be aware of the different tones of LED lights and the affect  these will have on the colours in your pictures. When planning your room and electrical layout, always think about your art & Give sculptures ‘space’."

"You can use art to draw attention to a particular element in the room that you would like to highlight as the focus, such as a lovely marble mantle-piece or a wooden panelled contemporary wall."

"Art has a true and firm and valuable place in interiors. Whether elaborate and classical, or stark white and minimalist - any interior can showcase and benefit from art. One way we tend to use art in an interior is for inspiration – colours may be picked out from a painting and translated into an interior. Another way is choose a painting for an interior which has been conceived already and select a painting that would reflect the hues used in a room. Another good way is to group pictured together, to make it work you may want to think about their size and also framing. Similar frames in colour, size or style will unify your collection. If you plan to use art however it may pay off to plan for it early in the process to allow either natural or artificial light accentuate and bring out your artworks."

"I believe when hanging wall art it is quite important that the size of the art sits well in proportion with the wall. There are so many beautiful art pieces around and it is most important that you have something in your home that you love as it will be you admiring the works of art most of the time and offcourse  your guests will too. Art is very personal and can be interpreted in so many different ways. As the saying goes a picture tells a thousand words. If hanging multiple art on the one wall I like to always go with odd numbers as it is more visually appealing to the eye. Also depending on the art piece a strong coloured background also helps to enhance the artwork."