This Is the Smartest, “Why Didn’t I Think of That?” Way to Display Large Pieces of Art

published Nov 30, 2022
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Credit: Lula Poggi

I’ve seen plenty of creative ways to display art in Apartment Therapy house tours over the years, and they usually fall into a few categories: pieces either hung on or leaned against walls or perched atop shelves, both typically in unexpected spots to truly be labeled as “inventive.” I’ve also seen gallery walls galore, grids, photo ledges, and more. Something you don’t always see, though, is freestanding art, which serves the dual purpose of giving a particularly special piece pride of place while also taking up some room real estate that might otherwise feel empty. Sometimes the best way to display a piece of art is also the most obvious. Enter: the humble easel.

Credit: Lula Poggi

Interior architect and designer Nella Kasurinen has nailed the freestanding, corner-of-the-room art display concept in her Barcelona apartment by placing a favorite piece on an easel, which makes me wonder how did I not think of this idea myself? Of course, much of the art people love starts out on easels, but when it comes to displaying pieces in homes, folks are much more likely to mount them on the wall. This is actually one of Kasurinen’s favorite elements in her home, saying that she actually carried her “grandfather’s old painting easel from Finland to here” and “now it works as a stand for one big, black and white turtle painting” that a friend made her.

Credit: Lula Poggi

While Kasurinen’s easel is a treasured family heirloom, you could shop for a more modern, slim easel online or at an art supply store, or spring for a more traditional and supportive art easel that could serve as an unexpected TV display device (especially if you have a TV capable of displaying art in an ambient mode). Do some digging and you can find these types of pieces for well under $100, making them a fairly inexpensive solution, too.

I’m particularly fond of how this display application also totally fills out an otherwise barren corner of a room, which is especially helpful if you’re on a budget or waiting to acquire forever furniture pieces to fill out your space. You can also keep your eyes peeled for a vintage easel when you’re thrifting or at a flea market, too, which, like Kasurinen’s example has shown, can be a nice juxtaposition to a more modern piece of art.