Get Art Confident: A Gallery Owner Shares Her No-Fail Display Ideas

updated May 3, 2019
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(Image credit: Jacqueline Marque)

Kristen Coates, owner of an art gallery and home decor store, makes decorating seem effortless. She can arrange an entire wall of artwork, whip together a gorgeous bouquet, and create a picture-perfect window display with a sense of vision and ease that is second nature. We recently featured the apartment she shares with her boyfriend Michael. With all the time she spends arranging and rearranging art for gallery openings and seasonal events, we thought we’d ask her for some tips on displaying art at home.

(Image credit: Jacqueline Marque)

Embrace the diptych

Hanging a large mirror or giant piece of art over the mantel in our bedroom felt overwhelming. Instead, we opted for two pieces that live happily together to share the space and keep the room light and bright.

(Image credit: Jacqueline Marque)

Pair dramatic wall colors with bright, larger-than-life art pieces

Painting the small kitchen a dark navy blue was our way of updating the white cabinets in a rental. Instead of hiding them, we made them pop. Painting the walls a dark color made us lose a lot of light. Hanging a large, bright painting over the mantel lightened up the entire room and made the space feel bigger. It almost feels like there is a big picture window in the center of the room.

(Image credit: Jacqueline Marque)

Hang art that is personal to you in a place you will see often

Michael’s photograph over the mantel depicts a beach in Miami, a city we love and visit often for work. We admire the photo daily and it gives us motivation to make our next travel plans.

(Image credit: Jacqueline Marque)

Have fun with the spaces that are just for you

We hung a semi-naughty Shanna Fisher photograph in the dressing room just for us. It isn’t completely over-the-top, but a nod to being a bit risque in our private space.

See Kristen’s full house tour → A 163-Year-Old Victorian House on the Coast