Hanging Artwork

Wonder Walls:

12 Ways to Display Art

Savvy decorators know the secrets of selecting and arranging art

Strength of Symmetry

A symmetrical arrangement is created when each half of a display is the mirror image of the opposite side. One mirror flanked by a pair of lamps or a trio of prints over a centered bowl are both examples of symmetry.


However, your displays of artwork need not be so prescriptive. It is as acceptable to leave old paintings unframed as it is to hang photographs in a neat grid pattern.

Casual Asymmetry

Four prints hung in a line over a table could be a recipe for boring, yet the objects displayed below the artwork make the difference with color repetition and interesting shapes.

Pop with Color

Contrasting artwork with a wall color is good technique to highlight treasured objects. Here, red walls frame four Asian prints with saturated color


Hang Artifacts


Expand your art selection to include items with visual appeals. Vintage iron pieces, decorative windows, china, plaques, baskets, and trays are just a few pieces that can hang on walls to personalize your home.

Odd Numbers

Learn the "rule of threes" to apply to your home decorating projects. In general, odd numbers of objects are more interesting to the eye.


You can arrange odd numbers of objects symmetrically for an ordered approach, or go for a more creative, casual look with an asymmetrical arrangement.



Hanging in odd numbers is also a good technique to use when hanging diverse items like plates, platters, and other items.

Go Vertical

Work with the shape of the hanging surface. On a narrow wall for example, hang one tall picture. Or arrange a number of smaller items in a vertical line.

Fit Art

Though you might be tempted to ignore the small patch of wall like the one above this chair, correctly sized artwork can be a great addition.


Hang art that is the correct scale for the wall surface.


Relax traditional art with innovative display. Here the two lower watercolor prints hang with the frame edges under the prints (inside the mats).

This arrangement calls attention to the central sculpture and frames the table display below.

Art Ledges

Picture shelves are a great way to organize framed and matted photographs. Though black-and-white photos are a terrific look in a contemporary room, art shelves can also host prints, framed postcards, and a variety of other objects.

Lean and overlap frames to avoid blanks; fill in with edited accessories in fluid

Stair step

Though this type of stairstep arrangement is more difficult to measure and hang, it has a huge impact on a stairwell area.

Notice too, how the pictures are a larger scale to hold their own in this oversize space.

Mix Shapes

Turn assorted prints, photographs, and frames into an arrangement with paint and mats.

Work out the grouping on the floor or trace shapes on kraft paper and tape to the wall before nailing. Start in the center and work out.



Art Trays


Vary shapes and sizes of the same type and same color of object (here floral tole trays) for a strong focal point.


Center the largest object to anchor the arrangement, then flank with pairs of similar objects.







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